Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Needle case

 I've been wanting to make a Viking-style needle case that would suspend from one of my apron brooches for a very long time.  A number of these things have been found, most of which are just little tubs of metal with bits of wool shoved inside.  To hold needles, all you need to do is poke the needle into the wool.  Sometimes the needle case has nothing more than a small hole with a wire loop to suspend it from something, others have elaborate wire wrappings to make suspension loops.  There is a great write-up on needle cases here - http://www.stringpage.com/viking/needlecase.html and another even better and longer one that I now cannot find but will link to when I track it down again.

Anyway, what I've come up with isn't quite right but it will get the job done and is a reasonable approximation of what it should be.  I used a bit of metal tubing from the local hardware store and some jewelry wire to make thing, plus a bit of solder to keep the wire from sliding off the tube.  My wrapping is just not that great.  Instead of using a plain chain to suspend the case, I made a beaded chain with some beautiful lamp worked beads made by a local lamp-worker who was selling them at KASF this weekend.

What I find most entertaining about this particular needle case is that when suspended from my brooch, it ends up in exactly the place where I usually stick needles in my shirt.  I did not plan this but it's terribly convenient.  Also, you don't have the un-thread the needle when you put it away, you can just sort of wrap the thread around the end of the case, which actually makes it easier to get the needle out should you somehow shove it too far into the wool.  Some of the extant cases have a little cuff of wire around the end of the tube, which is pretty and decorative but also make doing this little bit of thread wrapping much easier.

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