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Fun With Spikes! Colour Management on a Hackle with Suzy Brown

Fun With Spikes! Colour Management on a Hackle with Suzy Brown

I would like to share with you something I have developed that I think is new and exciting, this is my super duper colour management system for use with the Hackle – one of my favourite Majacraft tools!

I started developing this system in mid 2019 as a workshop I could teach at Majacraft Camp 2020. With the goal of making something repeatable for larger projects, beyond my usual ‘stripes and blocks’,  I was hit by a lightening bolt of an idea – HACKLE PATTERNS!

Yes – drawing a template of the hackle and designing my colour placement! Much experimentation ensued, I made and spun samples, knitted them up into swatches to see how they would transfer from design to fabric, and discovered that YES! These patterns can be ‘READ’ easily and the pattern created could be directly translated into the knitted fabric! And not only that, there is apparently no end to the designs that can be created this way!

This is a simple system in which the pattern is drawn into the template as a guide for how to load the hackle. The pattern can be symmetric or asymmetric, it can be simple or complex, it creates the shapes, placements, and proportions of each colour in the design  –  I give each colour a number, and then it is simply colour by numbers!.

The pattern is read from end to end of the hackle, the width of the hackle becomes the length of the combed top dizzed off it.

The yarn spun from it can be done as a two ply, by creating two matching hackle loads and spinning them together, or as a three ply chain, spun from end to end of the top. I sampled both two and three ply yarns from each of my patterns, and you will see the result in the Workbook!

By following the links on the page here you can access all the material I shared in the 3 hour workshop, which I have condensed into a half hour tutorial video, which includes:

  • an overview of the system,
  • a hackle loading demonstration showing how to use the pattern, a diz demonstration,
  • a mini tutorial on how to create your own patterns,
  • and a short spin demo with a couple of useful tips for spinning this kind of fiber colour prep.

Please go ahead and DOWNLOAD the PDF of your free 50 page Workbook, which contains the overview of the system, the ‘rules’ and principles it contains, and all the patterns, samples, and notes and variations I have made so far.

Click the cover below for the .PDF (for all devices) or follow THIS LINK for the .EPUB for Apple Books app.

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Please also settle in and watch the Video in which I explain the content of the Workbook and demonstrate all the techniques you need to successfully create you own, unique and repeatable colour designs to get exactly the yarn you want!

You can watch the video right here, or travel on to YOUTUBE and watch from there, I would like to strongly encourage you to SHARE this blogpost, the Workbook, and the video on Youtube with your groups and spin families!  I would LOVE to revolutionise the use of hackles, a much undervalued tool, and to bring people new ideas for taking control of their colours and yarns in this way!

I would also love it if you enjoy this so much that you do wish to share it, if you would give me a wee credit and/or a link back to Majacraft, who make what I consider the best hackles on the market, and also tinyStudio ( so I can continue to share the love for all things fiber by reaching new audiences through tinyStudio Creative Life magazine!

Happy Hackling!


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