The umbrella-thingy is a swift, and it's great for holding the hanks as you wind them. You can hold the yarn and have someone wind or vice versa, though, it's not mandatory to use a swift.
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
IngridKH on Ravelry