In Review: The Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate

I think most folks in the spinning world are familiar with the name Akerworks for their bright colored 3-D printed flat pack bobbins and their super fun spindles.  This spring, however, they ventured into new territory — a Lazy Kate.

Officially named the Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate, this item went into a testing phase during the month of May and I was lucky enough to get to be one of the testers. It’s something unique and awesome about Akerworks — they actually run product testing with their customers to fine-tune their products before they hit the market. This test is the reason I spent most of April and May spinning loads of singles on all my available bobbins and then plying them all up in different set-ups to really put the Kate through its paces. There were a lot of people who signed-up to be testers and I wanted to really do my part to give as much feedback as I could.

The testing process was a fantastic back and forth between different customers as well as with the Akerworks team. Troubleshooting, brainstorming, talking through pros and cons of the design were all part of the process. In the end, while the big picture of the Kate remained the same, there were a few minor changes that were implemented after testing. I finished the test confident that their final Kate would be a really great addition to any spinner’s tool kit and really happy and humbled that I was able to contribute to that outcome.

I was stunned and so incredibly thankful when I got an email saying I could send my Kate in to get an ‘upgrade’ to incorporate the changes made thanks to the test. I was sad to let my ‘AkerKate’ go, but I knew it would come back even better than before. So true to the Akerworks’ awesome customer service, I got it back just last week — only a little over a week after sending it in. And today, I’m going to share it with you!

caseIt arrives in this simple, smart case. It’s a slim fit, so the tabs at the top help you slide it on and off easily.

Inside, of course, is the Kate itself.

full viewIt packs totally flat, a fact that I love. The diciest part of traveling with spinning or even just having a Kate  in the house are those posts sticking up — it makes them hard to pack or store, vulnerable to being broken, and just not the best in a small house full of activity. The AkerKate, everything folds up nice and sleek, no pointy bits whatsoever.

detailTo open the Kate up, you just depress that little ‘pivot assembly’…

popLift the shaft and then close the assembly.

legs upThat’s it! Voila! A Lazy Kate capable of plying anything from a 2-ply to a 4-ply yarn using any of my bobbins.

regular bobbinsOh, and did I mention that those little do-dads nestled in the oval cut-outs are individual bobbin tensioners called, “Tension Tamers” — yeah, they are awesome (and I’m sorry they don’t show up too well here — check out the Akerworks site for better photos!). They also double as a yarn guide if you have an open shaft.

The AkerKate even handles my Jumbo/Plying bobbins…

2 bobbinsIncluding the Akerworks Super Jumbo bobbin for my Lendrum. Have I told you about them? They are huge.

bobbinsThis is the SuperJumbo Akerworks bobbin next to my Lendrum issue Jumbo bobbin. It’s bananas how big this thing is. I love it!

So why exactly was I so ecstatic when my AkerKate made its way back to my house? Well, there are a lot of reasons. I really like the feel of it — that I can individually tension my bobbins and that it feeds very smoothly. I think it’s great that it has little rubber feet on the bottom (not pictured here) that hold it in place. I like that I have 4 shafts to work with so I can configure my plying differently based on what feels best to me for each yarn. I dig that I have the option of spinning 4-ply yarns.  I LOVE that it folds down so neatly. I live in a small space and don’t have a studio or any special place for my spinning equipment. It all goes on just a couple shelves in my living room where I have kids and a dog traipsing through regularly. Having a Kate that not only can be stowed in a very small space, but that’s self-contained with no shafts sticking straight in the air is huge for me. This is true both for my house as well as traveling. Dual purposes? Perfect! This spinner is one happy camper!

As I mentioned, the Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate is now available for sale on their website and actually ships free in the US. They’re estimating about a 4week turnaround time from when you order from when it arrives at your door. Personally, I think they’re worth the wait. Whether you’re looking for lazy kate to take on your travels or just a great, easy to store kate for everyday, the Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate can certainly fit the bill.