Lazy Kates lend themselves to do-it-yourself projects. Form and dimensions are not critical, and buying them can be pretty costly.
An upright lazy kate is very simple to make: You just need a slab of wood (fairly heavy it will stop the kate from tipping over) for the base, two pieces of wood for the uprights and a crosspiece (a bit longer than your bobbins) for the top. And as many metal rods (I used bicycle spokes I had lying around) or thin dowels as you want to put bobbins into the kate.
With bicyle spokes the construction is dead simple: At one end the spoke's bend will stop it from sliding through the upright, at the other end the nipple. So all I had to do was drill the holes (bigger than the spoke, smaller than the nipple) into the uprights, fasten them to the base and connect them on top with the crosspiece. The bobbins slide around on the spokes, but it's much better than no lazy kate!
And I'll admit: I built this kate before I had spinning wheels. I used it with pieces of electrician's PVC tubing which I used as storage bobbins for spindle-spun yarn.
Just adapt the idea to the bits and pieces you have lying around.
I have to thank Alden Amos for the idea to this lazy kate (in his "Big Book of Handspinning" on page 180 is the drawing). Again the construction is dead simple: A base, an upright, a screw-in ring to hold the spindle more or less vertical and a fairly deep indentation in the base to hold the spindle's tip (if the indentation in the base is not deep enough, the spindle will come loose if the yarn doesn't unwind freely and you pull upwards).
The only difficulty is that there needs to be space for the spindle's whorl (or the yarn stopper disk - the spindle in the picture comes from a charkha) and the yarn cone. As I only had very short rings, but a power jig saw, I decided to cut a curve into the upright. But you could also put a crosspiece on top (resulting in a T-shape) and screw the rings into the ends of the crosspiece.
Page updated: 07 April 2007