Lazy kate


Isn’t it a great name for something that makes your plying much easier.  But what is its origin? I have looked on line and can’t find an answer, so if you have any information let me know.

The other day someone was bemoaning the fact that they couldn’t afford  a lazy kate. Plying is much easier with a lazy Kate, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Even if you have a proper lazy Kate there often comes a time where you need another;   then I resort to a shoe box and a knitting needle or kebab skewer. I tend to place a plastic milk bottle top over the end to hold it in place.

Once on holiday I had to improvise a lazy kate. Two wicker baskets were remarkably effective.

Tensioning a lazy kate

Last night again I remembered why it helps to tension a kate. I was rewinding my lovely fine cotton. Now and then I had ‘bobbin backlash’ and my yarn snapped.  Bobbin backlash is when the yarn keeps coming off the bobbin and tangling back on itself meaning it jerks the yarn (frequently snapping it, especially with fine high twist yarn.   Anything that acts as a brake on the bobbin will help stop this.  I have read about using hair elastic to add tension but haven’t managed that very successfully myself. I found a cotton thread, loosely tied, added just enough tension.An alternative is a scrunched up plastic bag, adding a little friction.

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