Naalbinding is a very old method of weaving similar to but predating knitting and crocheting. It is sometimes called Viking knitting and is spelled a number of ways ranging from nailbinding to nålebinding, though that Danish name was introduced in the 1970's. This method, sometimes simply referred to as needle knitting, has been around for a better than 2000 years in Europe, Scandinavia as well as the Middle East and Andean South America. 

Unlike modern knitting naalbinding requires only a single needle. Typically between 2.5 and 5.5 inches, though other sizes are used and many people simply use commonly available, blunt tapestry needles. 

This Instructable shows how I made one of bone, similar to a number of examples from archeological sites from Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Mine is definitely on the small side. Though, I haven't developed a preference for one size or another, it should not be taken as "correct" or even preferred but rather, just an example of one you might make. Either way it certainly does the job. 

It does seem that most modern naalbinding needles tend to be on the longer side of the range with 5 or more inches being common and I have seen at least one stitch where a longer needle would probably be an advantage. 

To do the knitting itself please see these excellent Instructables
Knit like a Viking

On to making the needle...

Step 1: Materials and Tools

You'll need a scrap of bone. I realize not everyone has a bowl of bones sitting around so you might consider simply saving a long slender bone from a meal, purchasing one at natural history shop or even using a piece of a dog bone. This time I used a rib bone from a lamb. There are lots of sources of bone and it's easy to come by once you are looking for it. You can often gather it on beaches or walking in the woods if you keep a look out. 

I used
A rotary tool with a cutoff wheel and sanding attachment. 
A pocket knife
A drill with a small bit
A sanding block 
Beeswax for the finish

You might want gloves and a dust mask is more than a good idea any time you are working with bone. The dust tends to be very bad for your lungs. 

bone marrow is my new enemy
I used pork rib bones and I have to deal with nasty bone marrow did the lamb bone have marrow and how did you get around that
<p>Did you use a raw bone or a cooked bone?</p>
I bleached a raw bone but I think a cooked bone might have been easier.
do you know how they used to carve the eyelet back when when we didnt have rotary tools?
There are a number of ways. You can carve it with a metal or stone tool, any pointed knife will do. A thing called a bow drill has been used in a number of cultures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_drill
bow drill huh, im gonna have to look that up thanks
A good simple project thanks! <br>
its a great ible, but you should and one to teach us naalbinding , cause otherwise i just get a cool looking guitar pick
There are some on the site. You can find the links in step one!
lol, i missed them the first time around
Gotta love an Opinel knife!

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