February 27, 2008

Tension can be desireable

No tension here:

This is Pepper who you've met before, but not upside down like this! And here's the hat I knit from my second skein of my very own handspun.

Just a simple top-down stockinette cap with rolled brim, knit on size 9 US dpns with five increases every other row starting from a very short 3-stitch I-cord.

I've completed the 2 spools of singles of the drum-carded wool/mohair fiber that came with my wheel. My treadling speed is still pretty variable, so I found an online metronome to help me steady my pace.

I decided to be a little more careful plying it, and after finding this article about plying, wound the singles onto TP cores using my ball winder, stretching out the overspun kinks as I went. TP cores fit perfectly on my ball winder and should help keep the kinks from reforming why plying.

Then I assembled the first of two tensioned lazy kates, shown here with the aforementioned singles:

This first version uses a long rubber band to gently stop the ball from unwinding, but because the TP core is hollow, it tends to flop a bit on the axle. The trimmed pipe insulation (at left in this next pic) stops the flopping, and causes tension when it's pulled out of the core just far enough to make the insulation and core rub just a little bit against the plastic box. To make two lengths of the pipe insulation fit in the core, I cut about a half inch lengthwise off each piece. The pipe insulation is very inexpensive (free if it's already in the garage!) and cuts with ordinary scissors. The neat thing about this version is the insulation holds the axle in place so I don't need to add "nuts." Here's version two with my second ball of singles:

Next I'll convert the first kate into one like the second and onward to the actual plying. TTFN!

PS: Here's another blogger who made a tensioned lazy kate not unlike mine. And another. And the third one.

PPS: This one is wooden. This one started life as a wicker basket.


Rosa said...

I just found your blog through my site meter. This is a great post. Thanks for linking to me. My philosophy of spinning and knitting is to use what you have around the home, make it yourself with inexpensive materials, and don't get caught up in what isn't aesthetically perfect. Your spinning is lovely.

Anonymous said...

thanks for linking to my basket kate!