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FIBER ARTS => Spinning: Discussion and Questions => Topic started by: Lufah on July 25, 2006 05:29:56 PM



Title: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on July 25, 2006 05:29:56 PM
I'd never heard of a hackle before reading Deb Menz' "Color in Spinning," but as soon as I saw the picture in her book of one, I wanted one.  In case you're like me, and have no clue, a hackle is basically a really big comb that clamps to a table where you can layer roving onto it and blend colors.  Then you remove the roving through a diz, and you get a really long strip of blended roving.  It's pretty cool.  But hackles are really expensive (they start at around $100), so my husband and I were trying to think of other ways to make one.

Anyway, I tried using a hair pick and a clamp, and it came out really well.  You can read (and see all the pictures) about it in detail on my blog, http://cidermoon.com/WordPress/?p=74 (http://cidermoon.com/WordPress/?p=74), but here's the short attention span version:

Swoosh the fiber on the pick, thread it through a diz, and start pulling your roving into a strip:



Here's the strip you get!



After everything has been pulled through the diz:



And here's the knitted up swatch from the roving strips:



Like I said, there's a lot more detail on the blog, but I was all 'Woo Hoo!  I learned how to do a new thing!  And I didn't have to spend $100!"  :)


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Avian Flight on July 25, 2006 05:47:11 PM
Wow that is really neat!! Perhaps I will try some.. nice blog!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: bixby2 on July 25, 2006 05:47:35 PM
I adore the photo of the ball of plyed yarn!  it is beautiful.  I can't wait to get my own wheel and start spinning too!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: uknowuluvit on July 25, 2006 05:59:22 PM
that is just TOO COOL i looked at your blog, looked a little confusing but I want to try it sometime.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Faerietail on July 25, 2006 06:30:00 PM
I was literally JUST thinking about how I could create one of these. Brilliant!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: keston on July 25, 2006 08:00:55 PM
yay! i've been drooling over hackles but cringing at the price.  thank you so much for sharing!   ;D


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Faerietail on July 25, 2006 08:10:32 PM
I just want to add a little addendum here to demonstrate that this also works brilliantly for turning uncarded fleece in to roving!

Alpaca fleece (uncarded):




Alpaca roving:




Yarn and Swatch:






Thanks so much for posting these instructions! I'm excited to try using this method to blend fibers as well. I feel considerably more cheerful about not owning a drum carder now :)


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on July 25, 2006 09:21:23 PM
Wow, the alpaca really turned out nice.  I have a bag of alpaca that I've been hand carding for the past few days, but I hadn't thought to try it with the pick.  The Color in Spinning book says that the hackle is pretty much for blending colors only, not for processing - shows how much she knows.  ;)  I'll have to try some of my alpaca through there tomorrow.  I don't mind carding, but I have a really hard time spinning rolags without getting a bunch of slubby areas in it.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Faerietail on July 25, 2006 09:34:59 PM
I have a spinning book from the 70's that shows a brush similar to a hackle being used to card/turn wool in to roving with a diz (I can't remember what the brush is called). They're probably just two different things that serve a similar function!

I have hand carders and I'm not crazy about making alpaca rolags. I have found my carders better for working with longer stapled fibers - the shorter ones get slubby because it's harder to align all of the fibers. I usually just spin it from the lock. I'm really excited to have a new way of dealing with alpaca!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: misshawklet on July 26, 2006 09:15:04 AM
cool!  I've been wondering how I could fanangle one myself.  thank you for posting!!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: annalou on July 26, 2006 06:18:22 PM
The Color in Spinning book says that the hackle is pretty much for blending colors only, not for processing - shows how much she knows.  ;)

Hackles, like combs, can also be used to de-hair a multi-coat fleece.

I'm more familiar with them from discussion of flax processsing.

P.S.  Others have made hackles from nails: http://lox.powerblogs.com/posts/1147125661.shtml


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on July 27, 2006 04:10:06 PM
Damn!  Those combs look like they could kill someone!  But yeah, when we were looking up hackles on the web, I found a few pics of early 20th century hackles made from, well, a board and nails.  So apparently, that's how it used to be done.  I bought my nails today, and hope to have a working hackle sometime this weekend.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: pansymouse on July 28, 2006 02:12:29 AM
This really is a top tip, I'm off to Sally later to get myself an afro comb - I've already got g-clamps.  I've got a drum carder but some how think this will be a better method for blending colours.  I'm also going to give it a go for raw fibre - carding is such a pain.  BTW I never bother to make rolags from carded fibre, I just use as the loose fluff that you pick off the carder, I find it much easier to spin that way.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on July 28, 2006 05:10:48 AM
I'll have to try that - I truly suck at spinning rolags.  Of course, I'm new to the whole carding thing too, so I'm sure I'm also overloading the hand carder and probably overcarding, too.  :)


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: pansymouse on July 31, 2006 02:18:47 AM
I got myself an afro comb on Friday and spent the weekend happily teasing out raw fibre and blending colours, 99p very well spent  ;D


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on August 01, 2006 08:32:22 AM
Here are my two latest hackle endeavors:





The row of picks works really well for all purpose blending and dealing with some problem fibers (those that aren't processed fully, or have a tendency to clump together).  The board and nails, which Travis built for me yesterday, is longer (27") and I can load more fiber onto it, but it doesn't comb apart clumps as well as the picks do.  It works better for combing colors of highly processed fiber.  The next one we build we're going to try and use heavy gauge wire for the tines and space them closer together.  I also need to try using a smaller-holed button with the board-and-nail hackle - I'm not sure if that will help with clumps at all or not.  If you don't include buying the 4 C-clamps (which we can use for other purposes besides holding picks), we've spent probably about $7 on the hackle quest so far, and now I've got two pretty nice set-ups I can use.  Yay!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Faerietail on August 01, 2006 05:20:11 PM
I'm excited to see your hackle adventures! I just wanted to mention that for my DIY diz, I just used a piece of heavy card with a little hole punched in it - I just threaded the wool through the hole with a needle threader!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: bixby2 on August 04, 2006 05:40:51 PM
Majacraft has a tutorial for using a dog comb

http://www.majacraft.co.nz/access/ins1.html


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: AgentAlmost on August 07, 2006 03:30:46 PM
It has been a trick of mine for about two weeks or so now to lash the wool locks I've flicked onto a pick so I could pull it out into a roving.

I've found that metal teeth picks work the best but they're not that easy to find. The best one so far has been a metal tooth "black power" motif afro pick that I picked up at sally's (pansymouse, we may be using the same comb).


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: sulicat on August 22, 2006 04:38:29 PM
Dog combs (as bixby2 mentioned) work well too, and they're metal. Pretty cheap, only  5-10 bucks. They end to have shorter tines than afro pics though.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Ginamonster on August 24, 2006 02:02:13 PM
Oh my goodness, thank you for this. I have a huge trash bag full of unwashed alpaca. Processing it is taking me um...years.  :-[


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufahsman on January 24, 2008 05:32:26 PM
Just a bit of an update on this topic.  I've made another hackle.  This one is a bit larger than the others we have made.  It's 42/5 inches long ;D  Made from plastic hair picks and a board and then clamped to a table.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/trvance/2207501110/)

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/trvance/2207502688/)

Basically you just screw the hair picks to a board and cut the handles off.  I then use a button for a diz and pull the fiber through to make a nice roving strip.

Here are some strips from the hackle that are wound into balls.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/trvance/2199787347/)

If you want more info I have a page with a step by step tutorial and pictures.  Also video of the hackle in use.
http://yarnzombie.net/Travis/?page_id=87


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: ultimate_sacrifice on January 24, 2008 08:15:52 PM
Let me start off by saying I don't want to sound stupid. I saw all those picks on your desk and was thinking "What in the world...." What is a hackle?!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: pmpknpunk on January 25, 2008 05:44:05 AM
Why would you need one so long? I'm confused, I guess I need to go go some research on "Hackles." Looks super neat though...


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufah on January 25, 2008 07:02:18 AM
It's pretty awesome, because now we can comb roving balls that are over an ounce in weight.  The longer the hackle, the more fiber you can put on it, and the longer the strip of roving you get after you comb it.  It makes the combing process go a lot quicker, and for someone like me, that prefers not to have to join roving strips every two seconds when spinning (mainly because my joins always look kind of sloppy :)), it makes the actual spinning process smoother as well.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: SensiblyTacky on January 25, 2008 09:14:32 AM
guys!! the hackle is so great! i love the video. I just emailed this to myself so i can try and make one over the weekend!

You guys are awesome


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Weddy_in_Paris on January 27, 2008 02:27:16 PM
Thanks a lot for the tutorial ! It's so helpful ! I'm going to make one right now.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Ginamonster on January 27, 2008 10:22:18 PM
Thanks for the tutorial! It looks difficult to pull the roving through, but if it will save me from the cost of the drum carder, I think I would do well to go for it!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Lufahsman on January 28, 2008 01:21:44 AM
Thanks for the tutorial! It looks difficult to pull the roving through, but if it will save me from the cost of the drum carder, I think I would do well to go for it!

I think some of that is that I was trying to hurry/nervous with a camera on me.  Also you can put less fiber onto the hackle and that will make it easier to pull through.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: naturalcreation on January 30, 2008 07:00:13 AM
Lufah and FaerieTail - awesomeness, thank you for the ideas.
I am going to try this with my quiviut.
I need to make rovings, and I already teased some of the colors. I have no idea if it's possible to get a roving from quiviut. This would be a good test.
* So I need a small open circular object, a hair pick-comb, a table edge to clamp to, and a large C-clamp?
Thanks so much for the tips!


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: Flowers and Lemons on February 08, 2008 02:00:43 AM
Thank you for your tutorial!  :D I tried it and it worked very well. Mine was just too small, so I had to make a few loose strips instead of one long strip.


Title: Re: DIY Hackle
Post by: javastain on February 19, 2008 12:00:35 PM
Ahhhhhh!!! (those are the angels singing!)

Thank you thank you thank you, for sharing this! I am new. I have had my wheel for a week and 3 days and a neighbor with a double car garage full of fiber! She has shared some of her 'junk' fiber with me... stuff that the dye didn't cooperate, or stuff she's had and moved on from... So, I got some silk/mohair that was a dye screw up... didn't know how to get them together since the staple length is soooo different...

You have opened a new door for me! God Bless you!!!!
:)