Yep, I'm still waiting on a Blending Hackle...Eric is a busy man! In the mean time, I thought I'd post about how the 2 Pitch Stationary Hackle that comes with the 2 Pitch Comb and Hackle Set (and can be purchased separate) can be used as a Mini Blending Hackle. Gotta love versatile tools! I'm going to save the "how to" of blending fibers for the Blending Hackle tutorial and instead cover some information concerning dizzing.
In this tutorial I also want to show the difference between working with mill combed top and working with hand combed top which applies when working with any hackle. The difference is mainly in the amount of waste one will get depending on how much you pack the hackle and how you diz. For the first set of fibers I've chosen to work with I have faux cashmere, superwash merino, bamboo, firestar, and tencel.
The first step is to load the hackle. Again, make sure you do not load more than half full when packed down gently as stated in previous tutorials. After loading, fluff the fiber up to within about 1/2" of the top of the tines. To diz across the entire face of the hackle, I gather up the fibers on one side of the hackle from top to bottom and twist the end together to feed through the diz. My lovely diz and threader set is made by Yarndemon Designs! I gently pull the fibers and push the diz up working in a rythmic motion from right to left across the hackle face. As you can see, dizzing across the entire face when using mill combed top leaves a fair amount of waste due to the various fiber lengths within the mill combed top leaving the shorter fibers behind. I was able to diz off 0.43 oz of spinning fiber and was left with 0.23 oz in waste.
To diz from the bottom corner we're loading exactly the same as we did before. In the bottom right hand corner gather up some of the fiber and put it through your diz. Begin the rythmic pulling of the fiber and pushing of the diz working your way slowly to the left. I find the the fibers up top will migrate down to where I'm dizzing though not all so once I've gotten over to the left hand side I slide the diz up and continue dizzing to the right. As you can see there is not as much waste when dizzing from the corner to start as there is in trying to diz across the whole face of the hackle. I ended up with 0.47 oz of spinning fiber and 0.12 oz of waste.
Again, same process of loading and dizzing as above only this time for the bulk of the fiber I used some hand combed BFL/Romney X fleece. I was able to diz off 0.50 oz of spinning fiber and had 0.05 oz of waste fiber when I was done. Granted, I did not load the hackle with the exact same amount of fiber weight wise with each example, I was "eye balling" it, BUT you can still see the diffence your dizzing method makes in combination with the fibers you choose to work with and how much you pack on the hackle.
NECESSARY WARNING: The tines are blunted on the ends but still sharp and will cause injury unless all due caution and care are employed in their use and storage. Please do not use these in close proximity to others or pets. Do not allow others unfamiliar with combing to use these without direct and constant supervision. Do not allow children of any age, convicted felons, former presidents of the U.S. or other questionable individuals to use or have access to these. Please store them immediately after use to prevent inadvertent injury to yourself or others.