DIY Rainbow Roving

Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Fiber, Projects, Tutorials | 9 comments


I thought it was about time I posted a little project, and I am currently preparing some rainbow roving for the Colour Blending Workshop I will be teaching at the end of the month, so thought it was appropriate to share it here too! This is an extension of the Colour Blending Course that we have available online from our website, so if you are interested in extending your fiber and colour experimenting you might like to check that out too!

I have been making this for a while (since I got my hackle!) and when I was preparing this workshop a couple of months ago I made some specifically to spin this:


and I also used some to spin this: rainbowcore (3)

and in a little while there will be a Part Two of the Colour Blending course that will cover spinning techniques for making the most of your colour blended fibers!

So here we go with the Rainbow Roving!

You will need:    A Hackle, a Diz, some sparkles, and fiber in the rainbow colours of your choice.

Here is one of my secrets, don’t just use plain old dyed fiber for this, do what I do, take some extra time, dye (or buy) only the three primary colours red, yellow, and blue, and then blend those with your combs or drum carder to make the gorgeous rich tones that are only possible when blending coloured fiber, trust me, its so much more complex and subtle than a simple dyed colour, once you get blending you will see! Use your primaries to make the secondary colours, orange, green, and purple. Add in some sparkle as you blend.

If you are going to use dyed rather than blended, you can also add in the sparkle as you load the hackle, or (also cool) just give each colour a quick blend with the sparkle before you load onto the hackle, it will give you a more delicate and subtle mix.


1. Start loading the hackle with your first colour, make one not too thick layer all the way across the hackle. I used blue first:


2. Load on the next layer, try to make it about the same thickness as the previous one. My second colour was purple, and I added some extra bling to this layer:


3. Follow this with a new layer, again, all the way across the hackle and about the same thickness as previous colours. The reason for taking the colour all the way across the hackle is so that your stripes run the full length of the roving.

rainbowrovingred4. You can see we are building the rainbow horizontally across the hackle now! The red layer is followed with orange:

rainbowrovingorange5. And then we add the Yellow, along with a bit of extra gold angelina, just because.. 🙂

rainbowrovingyellow6. And finally the green, also with some extra sparkles in a matching angelina

rainbowrovinggreen7. Ok that was the fun and easy bit 🙂 The diz comes next, and this can be a bit tricky to start with, but the more practice you get the easier it becomes. Take a small amount of fiber into a point at one side of the hackle, slot that through the largest hole in the diz.


8. It is important to make sure you are getting the full height of the fibers on the hackle into the bunch ready to go through the diz, because you want to make sure you consistently get all the colours into your roving. Push you diz up the fiber until you feel some resistance, don’t push it beyond that point or the fibers will bunch up behind it and won’t draft through nicely. Draft your fibers back through the diz, your roving is started! For a quick demo of dizzing fiber off the hackle check out my colour blending video on youtube


9. One trick you can use to help with the dizzing, is to pull/draft slightly side to side as you draft the fiber through the diz, this just makes it easier to draft with less resistance. Keep drafting off the roving in one area until you have quite a lot of it off, then move across to the next section, make sure you are getting a consistent thickness of colours through the diz. Once you have gone all the way across the hackle in one direction, you can turn and come back again if there is enough fiber left on the hackle to give you all the colours and a thick enough roving. Any leftovers on the hackle I put straight onto my drum carder, these bits make the prettiest batts! Later I will share how to spin those 😉


My hackle gets pretty full with all the layers needed for a rainbow roving, but it has a cool ‘lid’ that helps to keep the fibers on the tines as I use the diz, if you have a different hackle without the lid you just need to make your layers suitable for the height of the hackle and dont fill it more than about three quarters full.

All going well, this should be your result!

rainbowroving5 rainbowrovinghackleHappy blending everyone! I hope your world also fills up with rainbows 🙂









  1. Hey Suz. I dont have a hackle. Could I do it on my drum carder and diz off that??

    • Hi Jodie! Well you can make rainbow roving on your drum carder by laying your colours on in stripes across the carder, but I cant think of an easy way to turn that into a striped roving, you could try narrow strips just in the middle of the carder and bring them together through the diz.. if I can think of anything else I will come back with it 🙂

  2. Really beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  3. I love this method! Thank you,Suzy!

  4. Fabulius tutorial:-) thanks Suzy. Time to get a dye bath on and get blending.

  5. Fantástico!

  6. I love it. Saving up money for a hackle 🙂

  7. Thank you, this is beautiful.

  8. Just lovely!! I recently purchased a hackle and comb and this is probably the right time to start using them!!

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