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View Full Version : Swifts and ball winders


KellyK
08-04-2005, 08:08 AM
I want a NIFTY SWIFT (http://www.needletrax.com/knittingzone/nifty_swift.htm) and a ROYAL BALL WINDER (http://www.pacificwoolandfiber.com/spinning%20accessories.htm).

WHY ARE THESE THINGS SO DURNED EXPENSIVE??? :shock: (especially that swift..and, my DH is not handy enough to make one)

Does anyone have a good source?? I wanna add them to my birthday wish list!

kemp
08-04-2005, 08:27 AM
for a non-sale price, the link you listed for the ball winder is a pretty good price. Ebay has them 26-32. I got mine from Joann.com when I had the 50% off coupon.

JLC
08-04-2005, 08:37 AM
Me too! Me too!
Except I want the Large Wooden Umbrella Swift from this site (www.halcyonyarn.com/odds_ends/Swifts_ConeBall_Winders.html) and the Royal Ball Winder as well....BUT I showed the page to my dad and he said he can build me something like the one on the top, so that should hold me over until Christmas, when I'm putting the other stuff on the top of my list.

Ingrid
08-04-2005, 08:42 AM
Those are the combo that I have and I love them. www.yarnware.com has both, but the winder is a little less expensive.

Ingrid
08-04-2005, 09:01 AM
I just had a thought to add. They're expensive because you'll probably only need to buy one on your lifetime. My wooden swift will be around long after I'm gone. It's so well made and ingenious. When I bought the swift and winder, I spent about $90, which bothered me until I realized that I wouldn't hesitate to put in a yarn order that size (over and over again, I'm afraid), and this is a one-shot deal.

koolbreeze
08-04-2005, 09:34 AM
i've seen the ball winder on ebay foras low as $5.00. i like winding yarn by hand! :lol: call me weird but its very relaxing. i had to take a quilted quilt apart once...... ahhhhh stress relief! :drooling: i have to show you all when i get the pics back of how i use my baby carrier!!!

KellyK
08-04-2005, 09:36 AM
I liked winding balls by hand until I used the ball winder at the LYS in N'ville....I like the flat balls it makes...they unwind so easily with no pulling or tangling, and they dont roll around on ya! And, they are pretty. It gives the balls a "trellised" design.

koolbreeze
08-04-2005, 10:33 AM
yeah my mom has one of those. we used to roll balls all day. i like doing them on the yarn baller 2... i've been trying to get it from her but she can't seem to find it... yeah right. its not like shes ever going to use it again! :rollseyes:

Mer
08-05-2005, 01:14 PM
I just found out that Joanns does have a swift (http://www.joann.com/catalog.jhtml?CATID=24842&PRODID=80807&source=search) in addition to a ball winder (http://www.joann.com/catalog.jhtml?CATID=53007&PRODID=80806). Hmm, may have to use a 50% off code soon!

koolbreeze
08-05-2005, 03:35 PM
i only get 40% off. do you have to be special to get 50%?

brendajos
08-05-2005, 03:48 PM
if you go to www.currentcodes.com there is a code in there for 50% off any regularly priced item. there is also one for free shipping and...hrmm...i think there is another one too but you can only use one code at a time. they are also offering the "employee discount" to everybody who uses that code listed on their website this week (i think that may actually be the other code listed)

VickiIL
08-05-2005, 07:17 PM
I just bought a swift from Joann's with a coupon. It should arrive anyday. Next coupon I plan on buying a winder. I can't wait until they arrive!

KellyK
08-05-2005, 09:08 PM
Joanns only has the clampy one....

Ingrid
08-05-2005, 09:11 PM
I have the wooden "clampy" one and, yes, you can't just use it anywhere. My concern with one that sits on the table it that occasionally you get a twist or tangle in the yarn that the winder kind of 'jerks' out. I wonder if the stand-alone swift would get pulled by that, or if it would really matter.

KellyK
08-05-2005, 09:13 PM
I just used the table top one at the yarn store, one of my skeins was wound really WRONG and was all tangled...I had NO PROBLEM with it jerking around. It has a nice big base

Ingrid
08-05-2005, 09:17 PM
Allrighty, then. I still love mine. It just looks so substantial. Plus it's Swedish. When your raised by someone named Bjorn, that becomes subconsciously important. :?

VickiIL
08-06-2005, 08:00 AM
Joanns only has the clampy one....

I know. I would prefer the stand alone one over the clamp...but you can't beat 50% off. I am not THAT picky. Besides I will use it in my office where I don't care that it is clamped to a table.

They also have a ball winder. That is my next coupon purchase. I can't stand paying full price. So I am willing to make compromises.

KellyK
08-06-2005, 09:07 AM
OH MAN, I am totally with ya, Vick! That's why Im becoming obsessed with finding some sneaky-sneaky way to get that table top one for less!

(The Kool Knits lady told me that they send out coupons once in a while to folks on their email list, too!! :happydance: )

koolbreeze
08-06-2005, 06:19 PM
if you go to www.currentcodes.com there is a code in there for 50% off any regularly priced item. there is also one for free shipping and...hrmm...i think there is another one too but you can only use one code at a time. they are also offering the "employee discount" to everybody who uses that code listed on their website this week (i think that may actually be the other code listed)


thanks!! ya'll find the coolest stuff!

Ingrid
08-07-2005, 08:33 PM
http://store.knitting-warehouse.com/072845.html

They have the wooden clamp on swift for $47.39 and the winder for $26.85

I thought that was the best price I've seen.

kemp
08-08-2005, 10:52 AM
thanks for the link, Ingrid. I haven't seen that website before and it looks like they have some great prices on other stuff too.

JLC
08-11-2005, 09:32 AM
Can anybody tell me the brand of the ball winder at joann.com? It doesn't have the "Royal" name on it, so I'm thinking it may be the other brand (Lacis????? or something like that) which I have seen some not too fabulous reviews about. I couldn't find anything on joann.com that says what the brand actually is. Does anyone have the Lacis brand ball winder?

twiggyann
08-11-2005, 09:44 AM
Can anybody tell me the brand of the ball winder at joann.com? It doesn't have the "Royal" name on it, so I'm thinking it may be the other brand (Lacis????? or something like that) which I have seen some not too fabulous reviews about. I couldn't find anything on joann.com that says what the brand actually is. Does anyone have the Lacis brand ball winder?

The one from joann.com is a Royal.

KellyK
08-14-2005, 12:54 AM
Has anyone bought one of THESE SWIFTS (http://cgi.ebay.com/Hand-Crafted-Yarn-Swift-Wild-Cherry-Oak-or-Walnut_W0QQitemZ8211494537QQcategoryZ36602QQssPage NameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)? If not, whaddaya think of it?

brendajos
08-14-2005, 01:00 AM
that looks like the one someone's hubby made for them...sorry can't remember who but it looks pretty similar to me.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
08-14-2005, 01:18 AM
Here's a link I've had for a while, but haven't been brave enough to try : using an electric mixer to wind yarn balls (http://knitting.about.com/library/weekly/aa010603.htm). I, personally, like winding balls by hand... I use the around the feet method for a swift. :-) DH is *supposedly* going to make me a swift--oh I have no doubt in his ability to do so, but the actually getting started sometime before i turn 30 is the part I worry about :rollseyes:

KellyK
08-14-2005, 01:20 AM
I really did like winding balls by hand until I used the ball winder at the Nville LYS....I LOVE the way the balls just sit flat and dont roll around & the yarn just FALLS away from the ball. No tugging to screw up my tension.

twiggyann
08-14-2005, 03:12 AM
That would be my hubby, brendajos.

They are really easy to make. I will make hubby give me the directions if y'all want.

kemp
08-14-2005, 08:51 AM
Here's a link I've had for a while, but haven't been brave enough to try : using an electric mixer to wind yarn balls (http://knitting.about.com/library/weekly/aa010603.htm). I, personally, like winding balls by hand... I use the around the feet method for a swift. :-) DH is *supposedly* going to make me a swift--oh I have no doubt in his ability to do so, but the actually getting started sometime before i turn 30 is the part I worry about :rollseyes: :roflhard: :roflhard: That is a pretty creative idea.

Not 30 yet???!! Lucky you! Don't wish it here too soon :)

jaye_p
08-14-2005, 01:22 PM
OK, really stupid question - do you need a swift *and* a ball winder?

Ingrid
08-14-2005, 01:26 PM
OK, really stupid question - do you need a swift *and* a ball winder?

Most yarn that we see in the stores comes in center-pull skeins, right?
A lot of other yarn comes in 'hanks' that are not rolled into ball. A swift holds the hank of yarn, you put the end of it in the ball winder and turn the handle of the winder. The winder makes a nice center-pull ball, and the swift spins as the winder turns.

VictoiseC
08-14-2005, 02:08 PM
Oh geez, I been away awhile and what happens when I finally return??? I have Kelly stoke my long-ago I Want A Swift obsession!

I really wanted one of these this past winter and did all that looking around. Then a lady at a little yarn store in the country where they don't have them said, "oh those don't work, they just tip over"
So I thought, right save myself some money, don't need one.

But I WANT ONE! And I want the heavy jobby, the Swedish muscle job. Hm.
:thinking: how to convince Him this is important. (I don't have a job) But I agree, it's a once in a lifetime purchase so I'd rather have a really good one. going to go look at those pix again.

Thanks a lot Kelly. the other Vic

VictoiseC
08-14-2005, 05:08 PM
Vintage Wooden Wool Winder (http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-WOODEN-WOOL-WINDER-YARN-WINDER-SWIFT_W0QQitemZ8210639208QQcategoryZ1362QQssPageNa meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Looks kinda nice.

KellyK
08-14-2005, 05:15 PM
YEAH...that's the Nifty Swift...not vintage at all! That's the seller who kinda says "I dont even know what this thing is for, but Im gonna call it vintage and someone'll buy it" :rollseyes:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
08-14-2005, 05:39 PM
Nope. I would say, if you could only buy one, to get the swift. It's easy to wind balls by hand, but it's harder to coordinate a hank of yarn while winding so it doens't get tangled. Unless you MUST have flat balls, like KK, then you should get both.





kk has flat balls :roflhard: sorry i couldn't help myself. three pages of not commenting on balls at ALL was just too much.

KellyK
08-14-2005, 05:44 PM
Im gonna get a winder for my FLAT BALLS :rollseyes: before I get the swift. I like flat balls more often than I buy yarn in hanks.

Although, hopefully Ill get BOTH for my birthday in October! Ive been dropping hints already! Well, not so much hints as DEMANDS, really... :shifty:

Ingrid
08-14-2005, 06:39 PM
At this point, Kelly, if you don't get them for your birthday, we'll have to take up a collection! :balloons:

brendajos
08-14-2005, 07:06 PM
Im gonna get a winder for my FLAT BALLS :rollseyes: before I get the swift. I like flat balls more often than I buy yarn in hanks.

Although, hopefully Ill get BOTH for my birthday in October! Ive been dropping hints already! Well, not so much hints as DEMANDS, really... :shifty:


ya know there are so many bad directions one can take this post...lol


being the angelic one that i am i happen to know NONE of them! :D

ya know what i found works really well for winding hanks .....wrapping them around my laptop screen! the hands of a hot guy would be better of course but in a pinch...! ;)

KellyK
08-14-2005, 07:18 PM
At this point, Kelly, if you don't get them for your birthday, we'll have to take up a collection! :balloons:

YAYYYYYYY! :cheering:

And, yes, Bren...there are lots of things that can hold hanks....ball winder first. Definitely. ;)

JLC
08-15-2005, 10:29 AM
My dad made me a swift modeled after this one: Mama Bear (http://wood.charlestree.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=34) and I planned on buying the Royal ball winder until I saw this wooden one:
Wooden Ball Winder (http://www.woolhousetools.com/) - click on Making & Preparing Yarns on the left side, then scroll down. So, I'm thinking maybe I'll add the wooden one to my Christmas list.

Then, I saw this: Vertical Swift (http://www.yarnbarn.com/accessories/swifts.asp) and I left a copy of the page on my parents' table hoping that my father will make me one of those, too.

What do you think?

Hildegard_von_Knittin
08-15-2005, 10:39 AM
YIKES! The ball winder is 70 bucks! :shock: It is nifty looking thought. I like the vertical swift, too, I'll bet it takes up less space, easier to store, etc. I might have DH make me a swift like the mama bear one, that looks pretty easy (and quick!). Thanks for those links!

JLC
08-15-2005, 11:29 AM
Yes, it's $70, but it's so pretty......and unless it magically appears under the Christmas tree, I will most likely get the Royal one!

Mer
09-08-2005, 11:08 AM
Did you guys see this swift (http://www.turningsandshavings.com/swifts.htm) featured in Knitty (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/FEATfall05stuff.html)? Looks nice, and not too expensive!

JLC
09-08-2005, 11:55 AM
That looks almost the same as the Mama Bear - I like the jointed arms. Thanks for the link.

KellyK
09-08-2005, 03:24 PM
Ive seen those on EBay...VEYR affordable, and I may offer than as an alternative to the nifty swift on my birthday list!

KellyK
09-13-2005, 07:51 AM
OMG! I bought a BALL WINDER yesterday on Ebay for 31.15, plus 4.85 shipping!!!!! Sellers name is hiramst.
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

Ingrid
09-13-2005, 07:52 AM
But what do I do with all the money I collected for your birthday present? :thinking:

KellyK
09-13-2005, 08:05 AM
A SWIFT, Ingy.....a SWIFT!!!! (Geez! Have you not been reading??? :rollseyes: )

:roflhard:

Ingrid
09-13-2005, 08:19 AM
How do you know I didn't get that for you already? Hmmmm?

KellyK
09-13-2005, 08:22 AM
Im psychic. :rofling:

MUAH! :heart:

DrAgOnFLiZ79
09-16-2005, 02:37 PM
Anyone know where I can get a swift and Winder resonable? One place I found one it's close to $175.

Thanks

MaryS
09-16-2005, 02:46 PM
Hi,

Try looking in the general knitting forum and search "swifts". I know there were two threads here, one called "Woo Swifts" and one called "Nifty Swifts" I think. There were discussions of various types at various prices in these threads.

Good swift hunting :thumbsup:

Mary

knitonebeadtoo
09-16-2005, 07:48 PM
I purchased a swift from The Oregon Woodworker. He has a website--I like the Mama Bear Swift for the shop because I can put it away easily. He also has the baller. Hope that helps.

VictoiseC
09-17-2005, 04:12 PM
Congrats on getting the ball winder Kelly! love that ebay!

Btw, I want a swift BADLY too for my birthday (coming up like yours October 17 is me) I read that the Swedish one is superior to those say made in China or wherever. What do you think of this one?

http://www.yarnware.com/

(you have to click on swifts down in middle of page)

I want one that you don't have to clamp to the table. what about you? I think I'll have to go out to New Jersey and look at this one.
I just spent 65 bucks with them on their sale yarn, they have some very good sale prices.

wow. I could have got the swift instead but....

Knitonebeadtwo.... do you like yours? Is it sturdy? You didn't post the website but I'll look for it.

KellyK
09-17-2005, 04:52 PM
Yeah! That's the Nifty Swift! That's the one I want! I used it at the Naperville LYS...it didnt topple over, even when I had a skein that was NASTY tangled...

VictoiseC
09-18-2005, 10:08 AM
great, thanks Kelly, I like that one too!

(now to go to work on the dh)

knitonebeadtoo
09-18-2005, 12:19 PM
I definately love the swift. It lies flat on the table and I put it together and take it down in seconds. I didn't want one that clamped to my table. I t also come with a carry case and it is to easy to take places. The arms have little pegs and you can wind all different sizes of hanks. Here is the website: www.theoregonwoodworker.net You really have to see it to see how it works. I think totally I spent 90.00 for the swift, winder, and carry case.
I have used it alot in that last year at the shop and it still looks like new. Godd Luck with your choice!

KellyK
09-18-2005, 12:26 PM
I have used it alot in that last year at the shop and it still looks like new. Good Luck with your choice!
OMG! YOU OWN A YARN SHOP!!! Where's your web addy? I am SOOOO JEALOUS! :cheering:

VictoiseC
09-19-2005, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the info and website knit1bead2 !

Appreciate it. I haven't seen a flat one like that. My dream is to have a yarn shop in the future.....

KellyK
09-23-2005, 08:52 PM
WHOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Got my BALL WINDERRRR!!!!

http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/files/ball_winder.jpg