I’ve been saying for a few weeks that I have some fiber that I wanted to blend on my hackle but I just never took the time to actually do it until today. I thought I’d take some pictures and share my process with you! So, here’s what I started with. The stringy looking stuff on the bottom left is natural colored Soy Silk, the blobs of purple on the bottom right and the pink and orange at the top left are some sparkle fiber, I think it’s angelina, and the big ball of roving is superwash wool that I dyed last summer, I believe. To start I split my big ball of roving in half since I want a two ply yarn and I want about the same amount of fiber in each half.
To save space I made a mosaic of these pictures. Starting at the top left, I first lashed on a fairly thin layer of the superwash wool roving and then on top of that I added a little sparkle and some Soy Silk. I actually added more of the sparkle and Soy Silk in this section of roving, just so you can see it better in the pictures. Then I added a final layer of wool. The fiber gets pretty hard to handle on the hackle if you pile it up too high so I try not to go any further than about half way up the tines. Once my fiber is all lashed on I remove it with a diz. My diz came with the hackle and it’s a little square of metal (probably steel, it’s pretty heavy) with four different sized holes at each corner. Here I’m using the second largest hole. The last picture shows the hackle after all the fiber has been pulled off. What’s left is tiny short ends of roving and some matted pieces of wool. I’ll put that waste in a separate bag and card it with my hand cards to spin later.
After I was done pulling the first half of my roving I repeated the entire process again to blend the roving even further, it makes the final roving more consistent and the fiber is more blendy then stripey. After the second pass through the hackle, I did the same thing on the second half of my roving.
I got my hackle on Etsy, from Catskill Mountain Fibers but they don’t have anything in their shop right now. I paid right at $30, including shipping, and I got the hackle, two clamps and the diz. The tines on the hackle are very sharp so when I’m not using it I keep them covered. I haven’t had a tetanus shot since I was 15, so I do get a little paranoid around it, the last thing I want is to stab myself with it.
And here is half of the roving, but I think I took this picture before I took it through the hackle a second time, I don’t remember. Now I have these little “nests” of roving that are all ready to spin, all I have to do is unroll them and get started. I’ll probably do that tomorrow because right now I want some coffee and to just knit for a little bit.