Thursday, 19 April 2012

Viking yarn arts

My two new playthings have arrived: a nostepinne and a set of three lucets.

I had never heard of these things either until recently, but lots of people have.  In the age of google and youtube it's really easy to discover new arts and learn the skills to practise them.

A nostepinne is a stick to help wind skeins of yarn into a centre-pull ball.  Here's a picture of mine.

(c) divacultura 2012

Of course it isn't just a stick - handcrafted though it may be!  What this nifty - and beautiful - piece of wood does is allow me to wind a ball of yarn that I can pull from the middle.  This is fantastic because it means the ball doesn't run away while I'm knitting.

I have a fancy ball winder which attaches to a table and has a handle to very swiftly wind a ball, but it's limited to about 400 metres of yarn.  Any bigger than that and it won't wind.  You can see one in action here.  It's definitely better than using the spurtle I usually use to stir my porridge.  It worked well, but probably isn't ideal.

Now to the lucets.  They are also known as "knitting forks" and here's what they look like.
(c) divacultura 2012
I'm still getting the hang of how to use them, but you can see one in action here and get a better sense of what is produced by this method.  Aren't they cute!  Vikings used them to make cord.  Cord was essential to keep your clothes on in the absence of things like zips and buttons.

Here's two more pictures so you can get a sense of scale.
Papa bear
(c) divacultura 2012

Baby bear
(c) divacultura 2012

When I picked up the parcel at the post office, another woman was collecting a parcel.  She commented that my parcel looked interesting and asked me if I knew what was in it.  I told her what it was and she revealed that her parcel contained flower making supplies.  It would seem that various crafts, obscure and mainstream, are alive and well.  I love that I can learn a skill which is so old and practise it so far away from the people who created it!

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