Monday, November 30, 2009


I just thought I'd put it out there, now.  At some point in the (possibly near) future there will be some blogging about my kitties (yeah, they're grown.  so?).  There, it's out.

My cats will not be blogging themselves.  And  I will not be dedicating my entire blog to my cats.  Are my kitties blog-worthy?  I don't know.  But, since this is my blog, and I don't have to follow anyone's rules, and I love my kitties, I think it's okay to give them just a post or two.

So, to my two readers: I apologize sincerely in advance.

But don't worry; no kitties today.  Today I'm just sharing my newest tool of the trade, and what I've done with it.  If I haven't mentioned it before, I heart tools.  Screwdrivers, power drills, detail sanders.  I don't know how it came to be, but Home Depot is my favorite store.  The stuff they have there is great.  But all the tools at "the Depot" don't hold a candle to the tools of the fiber trade: knitting needles, crochet hooks, row counters, stitch markers, tape measures that look like sheep, spinning wheels, drop spindles, niddy noddies, skein winders, hand carders, wpi (wraps per inch) tools that look like sheep . . . and all the other tools a fiber lover might need (or not.  really, who are we kidding with some of this stuff?).  I love them all.

So, about my latest acquisition:

Up to this point the bulk of my handspun yarns have been 2-ply with a smattering of singles and Navajo-plied yarns.  I really wanted to be able to make a "regular" 3-ply yarn.  So, I purchased the Ashford Competition tensioned lazy kate. 


My first (and, 'til now, only) lazy kate was the one that came with my spinning wheel.  A simple, but serviceable tool that held two bobbins and had no tensioning.  It was not uncommon early on in my journey of learning to spin that I would get a good ply job going only to find that my yarn was spinning back on an uncontrolled bobbin, or that one single had gotten twisted around the bobbin holding the other. 

Now, I had pretty much learned to control these issues.  But, I was still after the three-ply yarn.  One solution is Navajo-plying (or chain plying).  I think this technique is brilliant, and it can be used to create beautiful yarn from one single.  It is also a wonderful method to use when you want to retain the original color changes of a spun single in the plied yarn.  But I still wanted the capability to do a "regular" 3-ply yarn.

So, I got the new lazy kate in the mail last week and started spinning singles for my first "true" 3-ply yarn.  The Ashford "Competition" is a nice little tool.  It is small with a low profile, but it's very stable - no worries about tipping while plying.  It's also very portable as it is designed to be easily dismantled and reassembled.  And the adjustable tensioning set-up works fantastically.  I'm not quite sure how I got along without this for all this time!


The roving I chose was over 5oz. of 100% BFL (Blue-faced Leicester) hand-dyed by Ceereese1.  I spun up three skinnyish singles, then plied them with wonderful ease from bobbins parked on my new lazy kate.  I think the result - about 300 yds. of DK weight 3-ply yarn - is just beautiful to behold (though my photos kinda' suck), and even more beautiful to hold, and pet, and squish!



This yarn will be posted for sale in my Etsy shop this evening.  (sniff.  sniff.  i'll miss it.)

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