Making nalbinding needles

Last weeks shire meeting had woodwork on the schedule. We made various wood needles with pretty good results. My research in nalbinding has showed several finds of bone needles for nalbinding and I don’t think it’s to far fetched to think that the also made the needles from wood. And the good thing about wood needles is that the only get better the more you us them, it has all to do with the natural grease in the wool.

Biorns needle
Biorns needle

So, back to my woodworking. The wood I had was from a linden and I used a simple knife (morakniv) and lots of smoothing paper. That’s the trick when you aren’t that used to wood working – you just have to use the smoothing paper a lot more! 🙂 The holes are made with a modern drilling machine. All the medieval bone needles that I have seen have round holes like this one.

I ended up making two needles and I am pleased with the result. The still need some more smoothing paper with a finer grain so I’ll have to find some at home. Then I’ll use some  linseed oil and the needle will be ready to use!

Lots of sanding...
Lots of sanding...


Elsa held an excellent class at our shire meeting today about Bestiaries and animals from a medieval perspective. Did you know that to escape wolfs all you have to do is strip naked and bang two stones together… Luckily we don’t have many wolfs in this part of Sweden.

Anyway, this got me thinking about how great it would be to make a bestiary. Calligraphy, illuminate and the bind it together in a book. To bad I don’t do either calligraphy or illuminations. Or maybe I just don’t need another project…

Another thing that happened at the meeting was that we started to take a bit about weaving. Eva brought her small loom for weaving ribbons and we talked a bit about having a tablet weaving workshop. It really inspired me to find my piece of tablet weaving that I abandoned months ago, maybe I’ll give it another go.

Cooking workshop – the resume

Last  evening went really well, unfortunately Elsa and Padraig had to leave early due to an unhappy Otto (their son). Never the less – this is what happened:

  • got home late from work and last minute shopping at 5 pm
  • the plan was that everyone should be arriving at 5.30 – *panic*
  • everyone was a bit late, thankfully, so I got to sit down for a while and relax
  • I talk a bit about the feast menu at Civil War and the recipe for the meat pie
  • the cooking commence – our kitchen is to small (especially with children running around our feet) hopefully the renovations for the new kitchen will be finished soon
  • the pies are done around 8-ish and we can all sit down and eat – the pies were delicious!
  • the guest leave around 9, left in the house are me, hubby and a kitchen disaster
  • after much needed cleaning in the kitchen we can finally go to bed  – what a day!

Sound like a lot of whining – well, even though it was a lot to do on my part, I’ll definitely hold more cooking workshops (perhaps not 1½ weeks before Civil War though…). It was a lot of fun – and hopefully everyone learnt something about medieval cooking!

Cooking workshop

Tonight most of the members (hopefully) from my shire will meet at our house for a workshop about medieval cooking.
This meeting serves two purposes. The first is that it will be an opportunity to tell everyone about the plans I have for the food at Civil War. The shiremembers will mostly either be in the kitchen with me cooking or serving the feast on Saturday evening. We’ve always had the intention of making sure that everyone knows the menu before the event. It helps in the kitchen and it makes serving a little less stressful. When have never managed to take time to present the menu previos years so this is definately a time to treasure!
The second purpose is the have an intresting shire meeting where we actually do something productive instead of just socialising (which is nice but doesn’t attract new members). Cooking is a subject that has really interested me lately so it will be great to discuss cooking with another member who I rarely get to see and who’s also interested (and a good lot better) in cooking.

EDIT: The workshop went well, 9 people showed up at our house and I think everyone had a good time. And we did eat a good meatpie!

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