I had never heard of shepards knitting before I came across it at the Norsk Folkemuseum.
In Norwegian it is called pjoning and the I picked up this little instruction pamphlet at the museum as well as the hook in brass. Here's a better look at the hook:
I like how shiny and pretty it looks. Shepherd's knitting is also known as panting, gobelinstitch, or Bosnian crochet. I sure want to make these mittens. They look so unusal and very warm with the rather thick stitches that the hook makes.
These mittens are super cool looking.
Drops has a free mitten pattern in Norwegian here, but if English would be better here it is for you! Drops is a paradise of free patterns for knitters and crocheters alike. Here are all the free patterns for the fall and winter season 2009/2010.
If you are interested in reading more about pjoning, this is a wonderful resource!
I hope you have a great weekend! After writing this post I am going to sit down with a cup of tea and my pjoning hook.