DIY Four Bobbin Tensioned Lazy Kate

Having just made a set of five 3D printed bobbins for my antique spinning wheel, the next thing I needed was a lazy Kate to hold them while I ply. Most lazy Kate designs seem to hold three bobbins at max, but I wanted one that holds four so I can make four-ply yarns. It was a fun morning project.

My tensioned lazy Kate and some yarn I plied with it

I cut a 12 in. section of an oak 1×8, then drilled four holes near the corners for the bobbin spindles. Next, I added a pilot hole for the tension band's hook, and a hole the same size as a dowel to hold the tension knob. That knob was fashioned from a drawer handle and a short piece of dowel glued together. The tension band is tied around with enough friction that it stays in place. I made a tension band from a long extension spring and the same string I use as my spinning wheel's drive band.

To make a yarn guide, I used some heavy gauge copper wire. I cut three pieces of roughly equal length, bent two loops in the ends of one, and one loop each in the end of the other two. The two with one loop are the legs, and the one with two loops is the crossbar. All pieces solder together, wires bent around each other for improved strength.

All assembled, it works well! I plied the skein seen at bottom of the image above with it, and knitted a hat from the yarn. I then waxed the lazy Kate to protect the wood. The only thing I might want to do next is take it to my dad's shop so I can easily round the edges on a belt sander, then re-apply wax.