Nalbinding HatNALBINDING

Noro Nalbinding Hat

Noro Naalbinding Hat Pattern

This nalbound hat is stitched with the Finnish 2+2 stitch. I have used the Japanese Noro Yarns Ito for this project.

Pattern Sizes

In all Nalbinding patterns, the number of stitches required vary. This is because the stitches are formed around the maker’s thumb, and all thumb sizes and the tension used by the maker are different. Therefore, it is always important to try the hat or garment on during the stitching process to ensure the correct fit.

The Yarn

I am using Noro Yarns – Ito. I find that the Noro Ito yarns are a bit softer than the Noro Kureyon yarns. All of the Noro yarns are Singles spun using the woollen method of spinning. Woolen creates a soft and airy type of yarn, as the fibres are carded and not combed, so the fibres arranged in different directions and interlock with each other. The wool yarn does not come apart easily once it has been nalbound as the stitches also interlock with each other while the nalbinding loops are formed. Nalbinding does not unravel, like knitting or crochet. If a hole develops in the garment, it does not fall apart but just leaves a small hole, that can easily be patched or left as is.

Garments made of nalbinding have been made for thousands of years, with the simple tools of a wooden needle and a bit of handspun wool, most likely spun on a simple wooden drop spindle.

Noro Yarns

You will need approx 100 grams of Noro wool yarn or any wool yarn of similar weight
Worsted 200 m/100 gram
Noro Yarns may be purchased from Lovecrafts or from many other yarn shops.

The Noro Yarns characteristically create variegated stripes as the carding and blending process of the yarn is carefully measured during carding and spinning. If you aren’t fond of the stripey look of Noro, the nalbinding technique can help to break up the uniform coloured stripes. In Naldbinding, you will work with short lengths of yarn usually 1-3 meters in length depending on your preference. To break up the colour, when I pull of the next length of yarn to join, I turn the new length of yarn around and start with the opposite end, so that the same colour shade is not directly joining onto the previous length.

The Pattern

This hat is worked from the bottom up, in the round. To begin, form a nalbinding chain that is the circumference of the head, plus a few more stitches to allow for shrinkage. For this hat, I used 135 stitches. This size fits my head comfortably. It is very important that you measure the starting row to ensure that it fits properly as each maker’s thumb is a different size. I suggest that you make the beginning chain a bit longer than needed, as it is fairly easy to remove extra stitches from the end of the chain if needed – rather than having to rework the chain. If you plan on making several hats in different sizes, I recommend that you purchase a few millinery hat blocks in different sizes.

After working the chain, join the working end to the beginning of the chain and continue stitching around the chain using the Finnish 2plus2 stitch. In the Finnish 2+2 F2: 2 stitches are picked up from the previous row (1 old stitch plus 1 new stitch – similar to crochet. Then 2 stitches old stitches are picked up from behind the thumb, the needle is rotated counter-clockwise and then 2 stitches are picked up on the thumb. Then the yarn is pulled through all of the stitches. This method is demonstrated in the video below.

Continue working rows of Finnish2+2 until you reach the crown of the head, where you will need to decrease.

For this hat I worked 8 rows of Nalbinding stitches then began to decrease.
Try the hat on at this point to check whether the hat is long enough. You may wish to make the hat longer to fully cover your ears or to roll up the brim. If so, then add another row or 2 before beginning the decrease. Added:

Count the number of stitches that you have per row and divide this by 8, (132/8 = 16) so that you will be making a decrease every 16 stitches.
Work the 16 stitches, then to decrease a stitch, skip over one stitch as you pick up the new stitch. This is similar to the decrease method in crochet. Work another 16 stitches and decrease. Repeat until the end of the row.

On the following row, count the number of stitches that you have worked.
Divide this number by 8 and make the decreases.
Continue to work in the round, decreasing evenly across each row by 8 stitches.
In Nalbinding, the length of each row is dependent on your thumb size and how large the nalbinding loops are that you are working, so the number of rows required to complete the hat will vary. I find that it generally takes about 6 – 8 rows of decreasing to form the crown of the hat.
To finish, tighten up the tension on the last few stitches, to make them smaller. Then stitch together then end of the hat, bring the wool to the reverse side of the hat and run it through a few stitches to secure the end and cut it off.

You Tube Tutorial

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