Flirting with the HSF – Tops and toes under $10

Next items to show off from my flirtation with the HSF challenges this year are needlebinded socks, going for the challenges Tops and toes (due in April) and Under 10 USD (due in July). The socks go on my feet, and since it’s stash wool yarn and the yarn itself cost 23 or 33 SEK/100 g, and I didn’t use 100 g in this project, it is actually very cheap. The US dollar is today around 7,60 SEK, so the whole project is less than $4. They are also very cosy when you’re at home with a cold…

The finished socks together with sweatpants (don't judge me)

The finished socks together with sweatpants (don’t judge me)

They were originally thought to be new socks for work, but I think I might make another pair in a quicker needlebinding technique for work (since the work socks are subject to a lot of wear and tear…) This technique is as far as I know the technique of the Åsle mitten, which was at first thought to be a 4th/5th century mitten, but then carbon dated to the 16th/17th century. If you understand Swedish you can read more about that here. As far as my information and memory serves, the mitten was turned when finished (which is a tradition that can also be seen in some twined knitting objects from Norway). I like the outside (or the 16/17th century inside) side better, however, so these socks will stay unturned.

One sock turned (left), one left unturned (right). The turned side shows how small each row is in this technique.

One sock turned (left), one unturned (right). The turned side shows how small each row is in this technique.

Since the rows are so small, it took a very long time to make these socks, but it’s also a very thick technique. I used a thin two-ply woollen yarn and the socks can still stand of their own accord. One of the things I like best about needlebindning is that there are SO many techniques, so as long as what you’re doing works, you’re doing it right!

I’m actually not sure about when needlebindning started. As far as I know now, there are some finds from the 10th century, but if any of you know of earlier finds, please let me know! The shape of my socks are loosely based on a medieval find in Upplands Museum, which you can see an image of in Digital Museum And if you understand Swedish, you’ll be able to get some more information about the find as well.

The colour choice is due to the fact that I had so little left of the purple yarn, so I made the socks simultaneously to make the colour shift appear in the same place on both socks…

The Challenge: #7 Tops and toes and #13 Under $ 10

Fabric: Woollen yarn, thin 2-ply

Pattern: My own, based on my feet

Year: Historically possible generic medieval….

Notions: Does the needle count here?

How historically accurate is it? Accurate: no. Possible: yes. So 50 %, both the technique and the shape are known historically, but not together in one find.

Hours to complete: So many… I started some time in late February and finished some time early September (though I didn’t work on them every day…)

First worn: In the house on cold days

Total cost: Two stash yarns, 22 and 33 SEK/100 g. Needle made by me from scrap piece of wood. Not using 100 g for both socks + 1 USD=7.60 SEK = under $4.


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Filed under Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge


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