Nalbound Knot Work Cowl + Knotwork Pretzels Tutorial

Yes, yes. I should be working on my circle vest to have it done before the end of February for the Green Camel Gathering fiber arts event.  But I got distracted, you see.

A spiffy knotwork headband  post from one of the Facebook groups inspired me this week to start to learn how to do knotwork in nalbinding, beyond braids.  I’ve always loved Celtic and Viking knotwork, thus I was dragged (not unwillingly) into another project. Thankfully this one went quickly!

It’s been wicked cold out (windchill -20°F/-28°C to -30°F/-34°C) this week, so a cowl was the perfect project.

Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
Nalbound cowl with knotwork – done in Finnish 2+2 stitch. A Celtic looking clasp was the pefect closure for this, to help tighten it against my face.  I couldn’t resist putting the needle in the picture too. Hubby made it from red heart wood and gave it to me for Valentine’s Day a few years ago.
Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
The cowl with the clasp undone.
Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
I’m trying not to giggle as my son snaps the picture of me in this cowl indoors.

Working on each of the little pretzel like knots was addictive and the work went quickly. Yarn details are on the project page. I suspect this will lead to more knotwork projects…


To help my fellow nalbinders with knotwork of their own (since it took me a couple tries to be able to make them consistently), I took pictures of each step for making the little pretzel knots.  (They’re actually overhand knots – but they look so much like pretzels!) Hopefully this will also help me remember how to do the knots too.

How to Make Knotwork “Pretzels”: (Or at least it’s how I made them. There are probably several ways to make them.)

To start, I’ll recommend making a pretzeloverhand knot and measuring it against a flat row of stitches, so you can get the width in stitches of your knots and how many stitches for each section.

Attach your work to row. Make a chain of stitches.

 

Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 2
Turn your work over. Count over from your attached work half the width of your test pretzel knot.

 

Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 3
Work with F2 connection (for strength of the join) back to last joined work.

 

Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 4
Create another chain, same length as the last one.

 

Turn your work, then put your chain end (with the working yarn and needle) through the loop you created.

 

Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 6
Now you have a pretzel/overhand knot.

 

Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 7
Attach it to the previous row with the F2 connection for stitches that equal half the width of your pretzel knot.
There you have it. Go forth and make pretzel knots to your heart’s content!  (I had to do 3 rows of them before I wanted to do something different.)
Now I need to get back to my circle vest…

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