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Nalbinding

In this website you can find nalbinding videos, and instructions on how to make nalbinding mittens.

"In the past years nalbinding has become a 'fashionable' hobby"


- Toini-Inkeri Kaukonen,
56 years ago (1960)

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Finishing off - At the Top


How to finish off at the top of the mitten when you have made your mittens cuff up.

Video (decreasing) (link)
Video (mitten top) (link)

Before you'll start decreasing, make sure both of your mittens are of the same length.

You can make the mitten top rounded, more 'hand-shaped' by starting the decreasing at the both sides of the mitten, at about height of the tip of your index finger. How many stitches to decrease at both sides, that depends on the thickness of your yarn. If the yarn is thin, it may be ok to decrease a couple of stitches at both sides, and with thick yarn decreasing one stitch at both sides may work fine. At the end decrease in every second stitch, and finally in every stitch. 

Another way to make a rounded top, is to nalbind until the mid-finger is almost covered, and only half of the nail is visible. Then, decrease in every stitch. The top of the mitten closes up very quickly, so make sure the mitten is long enough.

Keep on decreasing until it is difficult to pick up the stitches, or the opening is only about the size of a finger tip. Pull the last few stitches small carefully by hand in order to avoid loose loops. Either sew the gap closed with a couple of stitches, or insert the needle (a thin darning needle works better) through all the last loops, and then pull the yarn to close the gap, and secure with a couple of stitches. Hide the yarn onto the reverse side by weaving it into the loops there.

To make a square top mitten, when you have reached the tip of your index finger, you can decrease 1-2 stitches (depending on your yarn thickness) at both sides, and continue until the length of the mitten is suitable.

Another option for a square top is to continue, without decreasing, until the lenght of the mitten is suitable, and then decrease a couple of stitches at both corners.

After that, close the opening by sewing by hand with invisible stitches. Insert the needle into the opposite egde from bottom to upwards (from inside to outside), and similarly at other edge, from bottom to upwards (from inside to outside), both edges in turns. Darning needle works fine. Hide the yarn onto the reverse side by weaving it into the loops there.

Cuff - how to finish off - video (link)

Either loosen or undo a couple of stitches at the cuff, at the point where you started your mittens. Then lift one or two thumb loops onto your thumb (depending on what stitch you were using).

When you are finishing off the edge, you can first start by pulling the stitches smaller, and at the same time gradually pick up less loops behind the thumb, and the ones you have around the thumb (if you have more than one).
 
If you have tensioned the new stitches around your thumb, you can pull them smaller by tensioning them around the thumb nail/tip. When the stitches become so small the thumb loop does not fit around your thumb anymore, you can insert the needle through the stitches without thumb loop(s) (flat). Do a couple of those smaller stitches.

If your stitch has been e.g. Finnish Stitch 1+3 (Brodén Stitch), you can gradually pick up less loops behind the thumb. First, go with FS 1+2 (Mammen Stitch), do a couple of them. Then do FS 1+1 (Oslo Stitch), and do of couple of them, too. Then do FS 1+0 (ie 1 thumb loop, but no loops onto needle behind thumb), do a couple of them, and finally do a couple of stitches, like you were simply sewing by hand around the edge of the fabric.

In order to get a 'gently sloping' edge, do the finishing off little by little, during several stitches, and often it is good to make two or three stitches before you change the stitch (ie pick up less loops behind). At the end, you can pull the last few stitches (FS 1+0) smaller by pulling the yarn by hand (see the video), and finally 'sew' over the edge of the cuff a couple of times. Hide the yarn on the reverse side by weaving it into the loops there.

Before you'll start decreasing, make sure both of your mittens are of the same length.

If the top part (finger part) is too short or too long, the easiest and quickest way to fix that is to use scissors to cut off the top, and then either do one or two additional rows or start decreasing earlier. Pluck off the loose pieces of yarn at the cut edge, and look for the last whole stitch. On the other hand, if you don't have much yarn, or you don't want to ruin your hand-spun yarn, instead of cutting off, you can undo the stitches at the mitten top one by one, and re-use the pieces of yarn. It may be practical to cut the yarn at reasonable lengths to make the process of undoing easier and faster, and also the yarn won't wear out that much during the undoing.

If you are not sure whether you have enough yarn for your mitten project, make the mittes top down, do both mittens simultaneously, leave the thumb opening, do a couple of more rows, and then do the thumb. Divide the remaining yarn onto two balls, one ball for each mitten, and then do the thumb-cuff part lastly. If you happen to run out of yarn, that will happen on the same spot on both mittens, and you can use some other colour at the cuffs to finish your project.