Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Today I made my own hackle! For the none-fiber-processors out there, a hackle is a device used to comb fibers. In my particular case, I am interested in using it to blend already-dyed combed tops to create a custom color blend. First, I saw an article in Spring 2007 Spin-Off about using a hackle to blend colors and different fibers. Then, over at the knittyboard, Clotho42 shared her own home-made hackle. So I went off to the dollar store and the big box craft store and I bought these ingredients:
Two sets of clamps ($2.50), four large dog combs ($5.00), one 24" shelf ($9.99), one pack of wooden disks ($0.99). The truly frugal would make their own shelf with wood scraps, but I decided the saved work was worth the extra payout. I'm a horrible woodworker, so I take shortcuts where I can find them. Total payout: $18.48. Oh yeah, the clamps and the dog combs, although purchased at the DOLLAR store, were actually $1.25 each. Yeah, my dollar store is a big rip-off.
At home, I had: a saw, sandpaper, a power drill, assorted drill bits, and eight screws that were long enough to join the combs to the shelf, but not long enough to poke out the back. I had to mix and match, because I'm not that picky. Oh, and I had some safety goggles. Safety is very important, especially when working with power tools.

First, I trimmed the combs. I stuck them in the vise and sawed the ends off, then I sanded the rough edges with the sandpaper. Next, I positioned the combs along the bottom edge of the shelf. I tried to align the comb tines as well as I could, but I didn't stress too much over it. A few pilot holes drilled, a few screws screwed in, and a couple of clamps later and I have this:

And here it is loaded with some combed Corriedale:

I drilled some different-sized holes in the wooden disks and pulled the fiber off through the diz:

This small sample yielded three little rovings and some waste. I can't spin it up for the final step yet because I have to wait for my bobbin to dry. Because the other thing I did today was paint my wheel:

Yep, a real DIY kind of day!


Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Is it right to comment before you've read the post? Is it moral? Yippity yay and cha cha cha-- a New post!

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Neato. I didn't understand the part about the diz, but that's ok. The wheel and little chair are pretty and so is the wool. But seriously, that isn't waste is it? It's for needle felting or those funny socks or mittens. Is the word,"thrummed?"

Kristy said...

What a beautiful wheel! And your version of the DIY hackle looks great too! Hope you get lots of use out of it :) ~Clotho42

Nancy said...

Dog combs! Thats brilliant too! Why didnt I think of that.

Batty said...

I'd seen the before, but I had no idea what they were called! It came out great, and obviously it works for blending fiber in wonderful ways.

The wheel paint job looks great too!

Anonymous said...

Bravo on the wheel and the hackle! I'd better hurry up and send you some things so you can put them both to use.

kirtina said...

sue, you know 1/2 of what you include here is greek to me and, honestly, who speaks greek nowadays? you know, besides people who live in greece. anyway, i'm still totally impressed- wow!