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hey spinners, do any of you use a 'diz'?  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
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I'm carding and spinning a woolen yarn from roving just fine but in the heat I've been watching too many fiber videos and ended up fascinated with combs and using a diz...
It looks like the diz can be made of anything from wood, to ceramic, to plastic. Does anyone use one for spinning worsted?

The second video shows how to pull it from one of the cards (not combs), so I'm thinking of trying that with a homemade diz just to see before investing in some combs....I like the sound of the word too



 
kadence blevins
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hmm I hadn't seen videos on dizzing from hand cards.

when you use a diz you are making a roving. it will be just like spinning any roving or a batt separated into strips.

personally I tried it once from a drum carder and said to hell with it. I can spin just fine from separating the batt into smaller sections with a lot less hassle.
 
Judith Browning
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kadence blevins wrote:hmm I hadn't seen videos on dizzing from hand cards.

when you use a diz you are making a roving. it will be just like spinning any roving or a batt separated into strips.

personally I tried it once from a drum carder and said to hell with it. I can spin just fine from separating the batt into smaller sections with a lot less hassle.


thanks kadence....I think the important difference for me, is that it arranges the fibers all in one direction for spinning worsted, rather than a carded 'rolag' where the fibers are every which way.
I ended up trying this with a button for a 'diz' and I like it I was able to get a nice long 'sliver' from one hand cards worth of fiber and it was just right for spinning the fine yarn I'm going for. I'm trying to spin a lace weight out of these jacob fleeces and it's taken me most of the first fleece to practice...I've ended up with small amounts of different weights, slubs, overspun bits, etc....and finally am able to spin the size yarn I want with some consistency.
Haven't gotten good at a long draw though so I'm inching my way along while drafting.

I watched a video of dizzing from a drum carder and it did look difficult.





 
r ranson
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I like dizing when making sewing thread or sock yarn. It organizes the fibres and makes them far more parallel than carding can do alone. And of course, it's necessary if we are making true worsted yarn (as opposed to worsted style, which is also lovely).


For these socks, I was working with a Jacob base (which has a strong crimp so is usually spun woolen style) and all sorts of little odds and sods left over. The fibres are different lengths. The llama almost 8 inches long, some other bits under an inch. If I were to spin this from the batt, the natural tendency would be for a slightly textured yarn. From the batt, it would make a good single for socks. However, I wanted a three-ply sock yarn. When spinning that fine, I don't like to struggle with the fibre. I want the fibre to naturally match the yarn, so I dized it off the drum carder in lovely long rovings and it spun up like a dream, to very consistent and smooth singles. Once plied, the springy nature of the Jacob showed through in the final yarn, but it was like working with combed Corriedale.







Here's another batch of yarn I did with different fibres.




Like any spining tool, a diz has its uses. I like it for combed fibre, colour blending, spinning fibres of different lengths into a smooth yarn, and for stretching the range of yarn that a specific fibre can make. It's not for everyone or every yarn, but if you can learn to use it, it can expand the kinds of yarns one can make.

 
Judith Browning
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Beautiful! thank you R. Ranson....I don't have other fleeces to compare with the jacob but I think I see what you mean about being 'springy'. I didn't do a great job of sorting this fleece so am doing some extra teasing and sorting as I go to get out the second cuts and shorter bits...the diz is kind of a magical thing to me as I don't see exactly how the fibers are pulling through that small hole so straight and even but I love the way it spins. I'm seriously thinking of combs...might have to check with local spinners and see if anyone has a set for sale used.
 
Larisa Walk
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I use a diz on all my homegrown wool which I comb. I like the smoother yarn from this preparation and the durability over that of carded yarn. My diz is made of a plastic lens from an old pair of sunglasses - really classy. I had one made from a shell until it broke. The wool combs I have are handmade by my husband. They are 2 row, with sharpened stainless steel spikes. The "base" comb does not have a handle but it does clamp to a sturdy table. Before I had the combs I used a dog comb, working on a leather pad on my leg. I would just comb out a lock at a time, holding the base and combing from the tip until I could turn the lock around and do the other end. I did a whole fleece that way. I still use that method when doing demos or teaching as it's safer than the combs in public or around kids.
 
Judith Browning
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Larisa Walk wrote:I use a diz on all my homegrown wool which I comb. I like the smoother yarn from this preparation and the durability over that of carded yarn. My diz is made of a plastic lens from an old pair of sunglasses - really classy. I had one made from a shell until it broke. The wool combs I have are handmade by my husband. They are 2 row, with sharpened stainless steel spikes. The "base" comb does not have a handle but it does clamp to a sturdy table. Before I had the combs I used a dog comb, working on a leather pad on my leg. I would just comb out a lock at a time, holding the base and combing from the tip until I could turn the lock around and do the other end. I did a whole fleece that way. I still use that method when doing demos or teaching as it's safer than the combs in public or around kids.


Thanks Larisa...I'm glad to know that homemade combs will work...I think I'll try to find some plans and maybe my husband will attempt, he's the woodworker in the family. Stainless steel spikes are nails? I've seen long spikes at the hardware store but not thin and in stainless.
I hunted all over my house for something to try for a diz and never thought about my old sunglasses...I love that I'm using wooden disc that I think was a button but it has only one hole and was with some very old buttons of my mom's. I even wondered if it was originally a diz as it works so great and didn't look like it was ever used as a button.

 
Larisa Walk
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The stainless steel spikes were cut from 1/8" s.s. rod and sharpened to points with a bench grinder. I think you could make combs from regular steel which would probably be easier to source at a local hardware store. The stainless steel was just what we had. Nails that are long enough are too big in diameter. With all the oil in lightly washed fleece, I think the steel would probably stay rust-free. Regular steel is probably less prone to bending as well. I think the more important part of the comb is the wood. Mine is oak but maple would most likely serve well too. A drill press to get the holes lined up perpendicular is easier than a hand drill for the project. Our design was basically a copy of a set of combs that I saw. No need to reinvent the wheel entirely.
 
Michael Bushman
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Cool, more beautiful wooden things to make!
 
Consider Paul's rocket stove mass heater.
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