Monday, 5 March 2012

Netting Needle Challenge

So there I was, just flicking through the Bushcraft UK forum, when I spot this Challenge thread. Having a read it would seem that the idea was you pop your name on a list and the next person to join would set you a challenge. This could be anything Bushcrafty, anything at all, which did worry me as my skill level is that of a toddler. But on the list I went and set a challenge for the guy above me, that was to carve a leaf from the wood of that tree. So an oak leaf from oak for example.

Quaking I waited for the PM to come through, what would it be. Forge my own knife, carve a wood spirit, light a fire with flint and steel. Then it came through, my personal challenge from a faceless person somewhere out there in cyber space. Someone who has never met me, seen my total lack of technical ability or tool handling skills. there it was, carve a netting needle.

A netting needle, What on earth is that? I thought. Well off to the internet I went and found what I was looking for. Now with some idea of what is required, off to the woods I went to find a suitable piece of wood. And so began quite a challenge, for me.

Attempt 1
Split a small log and penned out a rough outline. Started whittling and then disaster, wood twisted and unusable.

Attempt 2
Much the same as 1

Attempt 3
Actually got somewhere with this one, but made it far to thin and snapped.

Attempt 4
Looking good, but carving out the eye of the needle managed to split it in two

Attempt 5
Made it, didn't like it, burnt it

Attempt 6
This one almost finished me off and nearly took my finger. Managed to slice it to the bone, even today I still don't have all the feeling back in it. But carried on and finished and ended up with something that I thought would do the job. It was at this point, by a strange quirk of fate, my tormentor turned out to be quite local to me and a member of my local meet up. He kindly offered to show me how to use it.

Having had a fantastic tutorial on how to use it, it quickly became apparent that it wasn't quite the right proportions.

Attempt 7
Success is a word banned around these day with little meaning, but for me, this one was a winner. I've even started to make a net with it. But that will be another blog.

Honourable mentions

Kepis for the great lesson and the hellish challenge

Monkey Boy for setting up the whole thing