SpinOlution Lazy Kate

I felt the need to post a little overview of how awesome the SpinOlution lazy kate is now that I’ve gotten a chance to give it a test run.  I have the Mach 1 spinning wheel and LOVE the look of it as well as how effortless it is to treadle and spin.  While the wheel is relatively new to the spinning world, it’s a fast favorite for those of us that have one.  I bought mine with two bobbins and finally got around to ordering four more along with the lazy kate from Jessica at Midnight Designs.  Jessica was AWESOME through the whole ordering process and was so quick to get back to me – I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transaction.  So, if you’re looking for a wheel, fiber, yarn, accessories, check out her store!

Anyway, back to the object of the post – the Lazy Kate from SpinOlution.  There are four spots for bobbins and it can either lay flat on the floor or stand up to display what you’ve spun.  

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To remove a bobbin, push the pegs through to the outside of the kate ‘wall’ and follow the groove in the wood to pull the bobbin up and out.

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Those pegs help tension the bobbins and keep them from spinning when they’re not being actively pulled for plying.  There is a rod that holds the bobbin with a washer at each end and a plastic spacer to fit into the bobbin end that has the ‘key’ space for fitting in the wheel.

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It works like a charm and I couldn’t be happier.  Now I just have to finish this spinning project and post that up.. next week, I swear!

Thorped

There’s this great thread on Ravelry that shows a project from roving to spun yarn and the finished object.  It’s without question my favorite thread on Ravelry and is really inspiring for a spinner to see what people spin with what fiber and what patterns they’ve adapted to their handspun.  REALLY creative people  there. 

Sometimes, you get a batch of fiber and you just know what it’s going to be – like Michelangelo said about his sculpture, “I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set him free.”  This may sound a bit strange (if it does, then Michelangelo was strange and that’s a club I don’t mind being a part of), but you knitters know what I’m talking about.. The times when the yarn speaks to you and tells you precisely what it wants to be.  It’s just like that with roving and spinning fibers.  The finished article is in there somewhere, waiting to be let out.  Sometimes it just wants to be yarn.  Sometimes it wants to be a finished object and you just KNOW it the second you lay eyes on the colorway and the texture of the fiber.

So, here’s my most recent Spun-to-Finished entry and the first one for the blog.

Fiber:
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Superwash Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) from dkKnits – January installment of the fiber club.
Colorway: Burnt Blueberry Baa’Hill (baa’hill.. baaagggellll.. get it? :-P)

Yarn:
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8wpi, Heavy Worsted, 167 yards, navajo plied, spun on my Spinolution Mach 1 wheel.

Finished Object:
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Pattern: Thorpe
Needles: US #8 (5mm)
Trimmed with a bit of leftover Cascade 220 Superwash.  I have NO idea of how to crochet, so I used a helpful video on YouTube.

In other news, a family friend sold her sheep farm and moved recently, bringing with her A LOT of fleece.  I graciously offered to take some off her hands and came home with just about five pounds of raw wool from Border Leicester mix sheep.  There was about 1.5 lbs of black fleece and about 3.5 lbs was white.  I decided to mix them together to save on processing and shipped it off to Zeilinger’s for cleaning and to be drawn into roving.  I hadn’t heard anything back in a few weeks, but sure enough, today, a box showed up on the doorstep containing my roving.  Dog for scale, but there’s a ton of it.  I believe this roving is begging to be a sweater.  It hasn’t decided on a color yet though, but I’m sure it will let me know once it’s ready. (The dogs are North American Standard Mutts by the way, weighing in at about 50 lbs each)
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Bound by Nothing

I went out last night to see a friend and his band, Bound by Nothing, play at The Trocadero in Philadelphia, PA.  I hadn’t been out to a rock concert in a LONG time.  Back in high school, a group of local kids had bands and would play at an American Legion hall at least once a month.  I remember going and LOVING having my hearing destroyed every time.  Not sure what it was about it.. but I know it kept a lot of us from getting into trouble and allowed the kids in the bands a fun creative outlet and a little bit of local fame.  These bands were all heavy metal or goth or something along those lines – back in high school I had dyed my hair green and wore an old green army jacket and black combat boots with ripped jeans, so they all really fit in with what I was into at the time.

So, last night.  Ahhh I need to go out and do that more often!  Tickets were $15 and totally reasonable.. some of the bands were great, some not so great, but honestly, it didn’t matter.. it was just about being there.  Oh, and going to support my friend and his band.  They rocked the house and had everyone cheering at the end of their set – it was the first time I had seen them and I was pretty blown away.  It was also great to see a bunch of friends that I don’t get to see very often and kick back at the bar upstairs with them.  One quick photo from the night..

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I love winter

It’s just SO pretty that even though I just spent an hour shovelling, I’m still in love. The weather people said we got just about 8 inches for this snowfall which is pretty unusual for our area outside of Philadelphia. I spent last night spinning since I just haven’t been in the mood to really knit, and hopefully the UPS man will bring me extra bobbins and a lazy kate so that I can get some serious work done. Looks like today I’m going to be sitting at home and spinning away too – not complaining 🙂

Oh and on Superbowl Sunday, AtomicKnits and I went out to Woolbearers in NJ to meet Carol Sulcoski and check out the store too. It’s an AWESOME store with a really huge selection of sock yarn and other yarns. The day before, the town had this Fire and Ice festival with ice sculptures being made – the store had one of a lamb outside. Too cute. Carol is really great and it was fun to meet her, get the book signed, and see the socks in her book, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, all laid out.

And now, a few photos of the snow, because it’s pretty..

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Okay and one of my boy – the best model a photographer could ever want  😉
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Project updates

January end-of-month update:
The knitting resolutions haven’t all been met (already, I know!).
1. Clear the WIP queue from last year by the end of the month.
Didn’t happen!  I did clear out a bunch of things, but there are still two open WIPs from last year.  Not bad though..

3. Knit one pair of socks per month
Got that one!  One pair of socks per month is definitely manageable and I still have time to knit other things.
Pattern: Little Child’s Sock
Designer: Nancy Bush
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination
 in colorway “Wicked Witch”
Ravelry Project Link– 
 

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Nancy Bush can write a pattern like nobody’s business.  It was so well written out, line by line, you just can’t but help be in awe of the time that must’ve been spent writing it out.  The book, Knitting Vintage Socks,  is becoming a fast favorite.  The yarn is super soft and fun to knit with although the variegation obscures the pattern mostly.  And see all that color pooling?  I know it’s something knitters strive to fight against, but I just love it.  It almost looks like tye dye on the stockinette part of the leg.

4. Spin four ounces of roving per month.
Didn’t quite make this one either.  I got about an ounce of this superwash merion from Crown Mountain Farms (colorway “Sunshine of your Love”) done for the spin and knit along at Ply by Night on Ravelry.  I’ve really gotta spend more time with the wheel in the evenings and maybe alternate nights between knitting and spinning.  Plus, there’s a fun project coming up for next month with roving from dkKnits that I’m pretty antsy to get started on!

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