Had enough Hedeby bags yet? Me, either. Here's one that's a bit different:
This one is woven of yarn. I saw one made of naalbinding a couple of months ago, and decided I needed one. I do not naalbind - I've tried multiple times, but I just CANNOT get the trick of it. It's infuriating.
I do, however, crochet. After looking into the various naalbinding stitches that have been identified from extant finds, I found that a herringbone/chevron crochet stitch (a modified half-double stitch) approximates the Mammen stitch from Finland fairly well - you can find more info about that stitch, and lots of other info about naalbinding here: https://www.en.neulakintaat.fi/30
The crochet herringbone stitch was a bit tricky to learn; I learned from watching this YouTube video. Here's a closeup of what my herringbone stitch looks like, for comparison to the above picture of naalbinding. It's very similar, I think enough to pass:
|crochet herringbone stitch|
I made a rectangle of about 20", and folded it in half and sewed the sides closed to make a square-ish bag about 9.5-10". (I used a single chain stitch on the inside/wrong side to sew up the sides from the inside, then turned it right-side out).
The bag was made from bright green acrylic yarn (Caron Simply Soft in "Pistachio"), because that's what I had on hand at the time I decided to try this project. After the basic rectangle was made, I over-dyed the whole thing with a dark blue Rit dye made for synthetic materials, because the original green was a bit too loud and bright for me. The resulting color is a darker, more muted green, and I really like it.
I did not line the bag with fabric or anything, because the weave of the herringbone stitch was so thick and close that I didn't feel it needed a lining.
I made the handles out of a very thin scrap oak plank. This time, rather than a curvy Hedeby design, I used the pointy Birka handle design - because I wanted something a bit different, but also because I thought the zigzag shape of the handles would look neat with the zigzag-looking herringbone stitch. After cutting, shaping, and sanding, I finished the handles by applying a thin dark brown Minwax stain ("Special Walnut") and a coat of Polycrylic to seal the handles.
I am NOT happy with the handles at all. I have so far cut out my handles with my jigsaw, but this oak plank was too thin to support the stress of being worked with such a heavy tool, so I used only hand tools - namely, an old, rusted, dull coping saw and hacksaw, neither of which did a good job. I messed up cutting one end of one handle so badly that I had to cut the other handle to match it so the error wouldn't be quite as obvious, but this meant I didn't have room on the handles to drill holes for a carrying strap. So we'll call this my Hedeby Clutch, LOL.
Why a woven yarn bag? Why not? No actual bags like this have survived; all we have are the wooden handles, and contemporary/earlier Sami bags of a similar design to guide our guesses as to what the bags may have looked like. They could have been fabric, yarn, leather, who knows? This was just a fun little experiment for me.
Mistakes in the handles aside, I like the way this project came out overall, and I'll definitely do it again. Coronation is this weekend; now I have a new thing to show my friends when I go. :)