Naelbinding is the art of single needle knitting. The needles were made from antler, bone or wood. Modern needles come in metal and plastic. Handmade needles work the best, as you can make them whatever size you like. Antler needles are particularly smooth and tough.
Antler can be softened in many ways. You can soak it in water for a few days. Be sure to change the water it goes rancid. You can add vinegar to the water and that will speed up the process. Once softened, you can carve it much like wood.
Before carving split or cut the antler into smaller pieces. These nalbinding needle blanks were made using a bandsaw. You can also split antler with a small axe or knife.
A safe way to shape the antler blanks is to use a board and apply downward pressure on the knife. That way your whole body strength is used and it is difficult to cut yourself.
Keep your hands away from the blade.
You might want to use an electric drill to make the hole. It can also easily be done with the tip of a pointy knife. Scrape the needle with the edge of your blade to make it smooth.
Keep the needles wet while working on them so they carve easily.
The nalbinding needles will need a day to dry out to become hard again.
There are many sizes and shapes of needles. We like smaller ones. Some folks like really big ones. You will need to test a few before finding your niche.