Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cheating on my English Combs... Already?

Thanks to the noticing of an ad by one very nice Spinwyn on Rav, I connected with a set of used Indigo Hound 5-pitch English combs. Yet to arrive and the seller lives in Canada so it'll take a while. They happen to be the "Fine" and not the "Standard" but due to a 5-month illness, Indigo Hound is so back ordered at this point that it could be a couple of months before my LYS can get an order filled. Meanwhile, with 40 pounds of Romney fleece, I'm going to need something more than my PackFlats.

The choices of more "serious" combs have been pretty much either multi-pitch English combs (straight tines) or 2-pitch Viking combs (curved tines), both made by Indigo Hound. The Vikings started intriguing me also, but again, Indigo Hound is pretty much the only game in town for either. Well, other than Forsyth combs --$400 but oh so lustworthy!-- which have BOTH curved tines AND multi rows (4-pitch). I'd read very good things about Volkyrie in the 2-pitch curved Viking combs, but always with the parenthetical note, "no longer in production."

Well, along then, comes a new Rav poster -- none other than the maker of Valkyrie combs! He's been thinking of coming out of hybernation and going back into production. I was curious to see his Viking combs but I'd been also very intrigued with getting a hackle for blending. That's another thing that's just not out there. And in one of his posts, he mentioned still having an 18-inch hackle from 5 years ago that he'll sell.

So I connected with him yesterday because he just happens to live nearby. And I bought his 18-inch hackle. Can we say "serious, fearsome piece of equipment"? Yes, let's say that. Five-inch-tall, 2-pitch tines, but 18 inches of them. I see great possibilities for this thing in blending colors from dyed locks by lining them up in the final pass, one color next to the other, and dizzing off one or more continuous color changing slivers. With 40 pounds of Romney fleece (which will eventually be dyed for just that purpose), a hackle could be a terrific tool for that.

So here's what that tool looks like. The extra space on the ends are for C-clamps or bolting it down permanently to a work station.

Meanwhile, again still waiting for my English combs which might very well do everything I need, I just had to try his bent-tine Viking combs. And ohhhh, did they EVER feel great in my hand. Terrific grip size. Plus if those IH English combs prove to be too heavy to wield for my arthritic shoulder, the Vikings are what I'd be buying, most likely. So jumping the gun since he's not producing them yet but had a set or two left over, I bought a set.

Here's a shot of them from the side. Such a nice bend! Not overdone, just enough to avoid tine catches.

So not for casual storage, that's for sure. Time will tell if I'm going to be able to use either the Vikings or the English because of a bumb shoulder, but I've decided there's pretty much no way to know which kind I'll find works for me, if either, without just working with them more than an on-the-spot test combing.

So that's my tool stash addition, from a very expensive yesterday.