I managed to finish spinning the singles for my sock yarn. I decided to fashion myself a tensioned lazy kate before I started plying. I would love a fancy shmancy Kromski lazy kate, but think the $50 they run is a bit much when a perfectly functional kate can be made pretty much for free. Here's how. You'll need a sturdy shoe box will accommodate the size and number of bobbins you want to ply from, 2 knitting needles that will fit through your bobbins, a third needle of any size, 2 binder clips, a rubber band and some twine or string. Estimate where you want the bobbins to sit in the box and punch holes to feed the knitting needles through (be sure you punch them straight across from each other and about an inch down from the top of the box). Punch another set of holes in the center of the box and slightly lower for the spare needle (this provides tension on the bobbins). Put the box lid on the bottom of the box and attach binder clips on each end where you want the tension band to be. Tie a rubber band to one binder clip. Tie the twine to the rubber band. Pass the twine over the first bobbin, under the spare needle, over the 2nd bobbin and over the side of the box to the other binder clip. Cut the twine to length and tie to the 2nd binder clip. Now you are ready to ply with a nicely controlled stream of yarn. I cut notches at both ends of the box to increase the tension slightly. This sad looking kate worked very well. Maybe someday I'll splurge on the wooden one, but this will certainly do the job in the meantime.
After finishing the lazy kate I put it to the test and plied my sock yarn. Quinn parked herself beside me for the duration. I think she finds spinning as soothing as I do. You can see my completely full bobbin there in the foreground. I need to wind off the yarn yet and figure my WPI and yardage. Pictures soon.
Speaking of pictures, here's a picture of the first project from my own handspun yarn.This is the Favorite Hat from One Skein Wonders using my corriedale handspun in Brambleberry. I really wasn't digging the thick thin yarn and didn't think I would like it knit up. Boy was I ever wrong. The hat is GORGEOUS. The yarn knit up beautifully. It's soft and cozy, perfect for the cold weather we've had this week.