Sunday, January 18, 2009

Finished Objects

I finally finished and gave the last of this holiday's homemade gifts, so now I can write about them in the blog.

Earlier this winter I finally took the plunge and learned to knit with double pointed needles (DPN's) and made my first hat (which Mom got for Christmas.) Then I decided I should learn to make these amazing felted slippers, just like the ones super-friend Maggie made for me. Thanks to online tutorials and Maggie's guidance, I was able to get over my fear of the dreaded "turning of the heel". So Mom and Sister got Fuzzy Feet for Christmas, luckily they fit!

Mom's humongo slippers before felting

Mom's Fuzzy Feet after felting

Sister's Fuzzy Feet

Then the next challenge was to make hackles for my fiber friends. A hackle is a ferocious-looking tool used for blending fiber before spinning. It has been replaced by the more popular and much more expensive drum carder for most people. But we are not most people and I wanted a low tech, low cost tool that we could add to our fiber adventure days.

I didn't take picture of the process, but I started with a rough board of walnut harvested from our farm. My 93 year-old great uncle was kind enough to plane it down for me, which was lucky, otherwise I'd still be trying to sand it smooth. Then using pictures of various hackles I found on the web, I planned my design and went to work. Each of the hackles has 69 metal spikes, made from finished nails that I sharpened on a bench grinder. Finally after much drilling, pounding and glueing, the hackles are finished and have been gifted to their new owners.

Here's a picture of the mine, all ready to be put into service..

Generous and ambitious friend Terri has already tried her's's her picture of her loaded hackle with the fiber being pulled through a diz into roving.

Can't wait to see how it spins up!

1 comment:

girlwithasword said...

Words cannot EXPLAIN how excited I am to have this gorgeous handmade hackle to play with. You are just the most talented and amazing friend!!!