As you well know, Branden is fond of playing enabler when it comes to fibery things.

Of course, this means that he gets reciprocal enabling where appropriate. (Though I must say that I have the easier job…enabling him mostly involves not saying “no” and telling him to go play in the basement on occasion. Not exactly challenging work.)

In the past few months, he and our neighbor have been building a milling machine in the basement so that they can cut parts for whatever nefarious purposes arise.

A few weeks ago, I was at the spinning guild meeting, and one of the members was using English wool combs to prepare a fleece.  It was a funny coincidence, because I’d just bought a fleece and had been wondering how I was going to make a semi-worsted roving out of it.


Once I’d seen the combs in action, I had my answer. The next day, we went to the (somewhat) local fiber shop that sells spinning supplies, and looked at what they had. Wool combs are pretty expensive (I think the cheapest pair was $79), and the ones I liked were on the more expensive side.

Branden got that look in his eye that says “I could make these.” It was promptly followed by the grin that means he wants enabling.

So, he went to a hardware store, disappeared into the basement, and in a day or two I had these:

They’re not quite perfect yet, but I’ve been told that version 2.0 will be appearing soon, with pointier tips, closer-spaced tines, and possibly a nicer handle (if he manages to construct his new wood lathe in time, you see…).

In the meantime, I’ve been pre-combing the wool and preparing to use the new combs when they arrive. Turning this:

into this:

I love the roving that I’m getting; the combs clean out the nupps and vegetable matter so much better than my hand cards, and even this early version leaves the fibers nicely aligned for worsted spinning.

Synergy is a beautiful thing.