Needles of wood, copper, silver and bones.

Needles of wood, copper, silver and bones.

Craftsman Karin Öhnell introduced to me the ancient craft of nålbindning, or single needle knitting. The technique has been around in Sweden since at least a thousand years ago and was popular during the Viking age until other methods arose in the middle age.

Then the technique was revived in the 1970’s to encourage woodsmen’s wives to earn extra family income in Sweden.

It is a rare technique, especially in Stockholm.

The technique is also used in South America, the Balkans and other Scandinavian countries.

I met her for an interview for our newspaper.

Karin Öhnell is one of the leading craftsmen in nålbinding. She is one of three craftsmen in the entire country to be handpicked to create some mittens for the Swedish film “Arn – tempelriddaren”.

I will remember her as the lady who showed me needles made of copper, silver, bones and wood. And the lady who taught me about merino wool, the finest wool – so soft it doesn’t itch against the skin.

There are no merino sheep in Sweden. Such can be found in New Zealand, Australia and South America.

One day I will get me a nice merino wool scarf.

She makes lovely birch-inspired merino wool scarves worth 600 crowns a piece.