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


  1. Glad you enjoyed the challenge mate, sorry about the finger though

  2. Enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks so much for the challenge and the tutorial. Watch this space for the final thing and an idea I've got. More blogs to come once I get my finger out (all puns intended).