dinsdag 20 oktober 2015

Bone needle

Naalbinding – an ancient craft of the Viking era – can of course only be done with one kind of needle: a viking bone needle! In the days of old the viking tradesmen and women travelled the world to vend their wares. Some of them still do, so bone needles are relatively easy to come by. During recent expeditions, we saw vendors offering bone needles in Bork Havn, Ribe and Hedeby/ Haithabu. And more recent we found them at Viking invasion of Teylingen.


So they’re not that hard to find. That said: I am Dutch. And Dutch people don’t easily part with their money. Do you know they ask a whopping € 10 for a bone needle? For a tiny piece of the metatarsus of a cow? It's robbery! Then again, they are Vikings after all... So instead, we bought a piece of bone for a mere € 2. And it's got multiple needles inside! All we need to do is free the needle from excess material.


Here is me, freeing the needle from the bone fragment. I cut a piece of 2-3 mm thick from the bone fragment and cut that diagonally with the jigsaw. The process of sawing in a piece of dead cow produces a very specific and recognizable smell.


I now have to strips of bone that are kind-of needle shaped. There is still some excess material that needs to be removed.


I Flatten the needle with a file.


Drill a hole and elongate it.


Finally some sandpaper to make it smooth.


Now all I need to do is to learn how to bind yarn with the needle.



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