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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Lacing the Flyer

Someone on Ravelry mentioned that there weren’t too many results when doing a google search for “Lacing the Flyer” and I decided that it was time to start this spinning/knitting/photo/life blog with a post, FINALLY.  The site is sort of bare for the meantime, design wise, but I’m working on that, honest.

So, Lacing the Flyer.  This is a great technique to make the take-up of yarn less aggressive when spinning a fine yarn or when spinning at the core of a fresh, empty bobbin.  In effect, you lace or pull the spun wool (or leader if you’re just starting a new project) around the pegs just as if you were lacing up a shoe with only one side of a shoelace.  There are so many ways to do this, so I’m just going to show you the way that I do it and what works for me.  I’m not an expert, but I like to think that with spinning and knitting, what works for you personally is what works best and it’s fun to share techniques and see how other people do things.  The wheel pictured here is a Spinolution Mach 1.


This wheel has pegs at the front that work out perfectly for lacing up the flyer at one point.  I took the wool off the bobbin and down along the outside of the row of pegs and then around the front of the right peg and the back of the left peg, coming around to the ‘orifice’ in front.  The orifice on this wheel is a big hook instead of a more traditional tube or hole type orifice.

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Here i’ve added another set of zig-zag lacing in the middle of the flyer.  This varies wheel to wheel, so you may not have those two front pegs to zig-zag across.  For this to work – you need to have space between your laced wool and the wool on the bobbin.  Typically, for me, by the time I reach the point where the bobbin wool is touching the laced wool, I don’t need to lace that back part at all anymore.  You can zig-zag as many times as necessary in order to reduce the take-up to a manageable level. 

Naturally, this is no substitute for changing the tension (this one uses a tension knob), but when you’ve run out of tension to let up, this is a great way to ease the take up.