Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to create gorgeous hand-blended roving from a hackle.

The is a fun tutorial on how to create gorgeous hand-blended roving from a handmade hackle.
This is my handmade blending hackle.

Begin by loading your hackle with fiber. This is an alpaca fiber I hand dyed. When loading take a handful of fiber and drop it on the hackle and draw it down and back in a fluid motion.

I added some carbonized bamboo. It's important to make sure the staple length is similar.
Some angora bunny add a nice sandwich effect in the finished fiber. Note: It's a little short on staple length so It's not ideal.

I added a nice layer of white Alpaca/Shetland mix for stretch and stability above the angora bunny. Note: I blended the Alpaca/Shetland and pulled the roving just before I started this project.
I added another later of alpaca and carbonized bamboo. I like the sandwich look! Now, it's time to diz off the fiber. I use a medium size washer as my diz. You can choose a smaller size if you prefer pencil roving.
The motion is this: pull/draft your roving, then push the diz forward towards the hackle and pull/draft the roving. As you draft you will find that the roving will easily move across the entire length of the hackle.
I'm about half way through the diz process. It's looking pretty nice!
Wrap it around your fingers into a nice bump!
Here is the finished roving along with an aqua roving a did earlier.
Happy Blending!


  1. Das passt zeitlich gut (siehe in meinen Blog). Mein Ehemann baut mir auch gerade ein hackle selber. Nur haben wir keine Nägel, sondern Stricknadeln genommen, die noch eingeklebt werden müssen. Ein diz habe ich aus Fimo bereits selber gemacht. In einer Woche sollte ich auch schon Bilder von meinem hackle zeigen können. Ich freue mich schon total ;-)))
    Liebe Grüße von Ate

  2. Very Cool.. what brand is your Hackle? What are you using for a Diz?

  3. Thanks Jude! My diz is a washer I got from the hardware store. I use a few different sizes. I've also made them by using a hole punch on the center of a milk carton lid. :P

    I construct my own hackle and comb sets. I have a post on this blog that outlines how I did it. I also sell them if people want to buy them outright or don't the tools to do it themselves.

  4. This is so interesting! I loved reading. I am going to follow you to see what you are doing next. If you would like to take a peek at my blog it's at I would love your comment and would appreciate you following me.

  5. Thank you for the tutorial, I'm going to try putting a hackle together. It looks like a useful tool for making beautiful blends. :)

  6. Beth, Please post a link to your creation here so we can all see what you came up with!!

  7. If I try and construct one myself, how far apart are the nails placed?

  8. I placed the nails a 1/2 inch apart. That seems to work well for most fiber types.

  9. I am a spinner who demonstrates the whole process from washing to spinning fleeces at a historic site(1840). I noticed how brightly your dyes are on your wool. do You use natural dyes and how do you get them so bright. I'd like to add dying to my demonstration.

  10. We didn't use natural dyes. We used "Greener shades" it's non-metallic. We have tried a few natural dyes, but haven't achieved the same vibrancy as with the prepared dyes.