As I was reading the Yarn Harlot's latest blog post, I saw she took a cool class on combining fiber using combs and hackles. I have been busting my arse trying to combine fiber with some lovely borrowed hand carders, which is a HELL of a workout, let me tell you. AND it makes these itty bitty rolags (cigar shaped tubes of fiber) which are cute, but I think a royal pain in the butt to spin. Ok, the spinning isn't hard, it's the creating ENOUGH of the little buggars to have anything worth while spinning. If I were a laceweight spinner, that'd probably not be an issue, but I like dk weight, sport weight, worsted, chunky and UBER chunky weight yarn.
I remember distintcly learning to blend fiber with combs at yarn school. I also remember almost impaling myself and how no one would get too close when I was working the fiber through these Freddy Kruger implements of destruction. Though I loved the results, I knew that I'd kill myself of someone near me (or both) and I'm quite fond of having all four children, my husband and myself with all our fingers and various body parts intact. I must have forced myself to totally forget about the existence of these things, which are basically small pieces of wood with very long, very sharp metal implements sticking out of them that blend fiber for spinning.
After googling, I realized that a hackle is basically a giant long comb, but you attach it to a table or counter and blend enough fiber that you can then pull through a diz (thing with a hole in the middle like a button) and create actual spinnable fiber!! Click the photo below to go to a gorgeous etsy shop full of hand crafted fiber tools that I would LOVE to own....
Now, after coming to the realization that yes, I have a crap ton of fiber that's just begging me to blend it into new creations and spin into amazing artyarn but we all know that at some point I'd be impaled upon these tools I almost gave up.
God Bless YOUTUBE! After watching tons of very creative and not-at-all-clumsy people create amazing spinning fiber with these sharp metal and wood creations I hit upon the ultimate Hackle for me!
Yarn Zombie's DIY Hackle V 3.0 using plastic picks. Here's the videos that have inspired me. I know what I want the husband to make me for my birthday!!!!
More DIY Hackle Tutorials:
DIY Hackle from All things Shea
Aran Brew's homemade Hackle