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Old 04-25-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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How often do you use your Yarn Swift?
I'm going to be stepping into some money soon, and I dont get money that often, but I have a dilemma...sortof.

Anyway, I was wondering two things - of those of you that HAVE Yarn swifts, how often do you use them, and how often do you knit?

I ask both these questions because I go through phases of "cant live without knitting!" and "I can live without it" a few weeks (or months) at a time. Of course, my first love is drawing, and I have just stepped back into it and dont intend of backing away anytime soon. But I do many other things.

So I'm wondering will it be worth it to get a Yarn swift? I have a ball winder on my list of things to get, but a yarn swift?...I dunno. The combination of the two is quite expensive! (I'm only getting 300 bucks and my wishlist is humongous)

There's only been two times throughout the year and a half I've been knitting that a yarn swift/ball winder would have been nice. But I think a ball winder would be awesome for all the balls of yarn I have and they easily come apart themselves. (pull skeins)

so, do you think it's worth it? (this coming from someone who hasnt knit since st paddys day)

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Old 04-25-2006, 11:04 PM   #2
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If I had to pick one, I'd go with the winder. I have both, and knit every day, but I don't only knit with skeins--some are pull balls. However, if you have someone to hold the skein while you wind it, I think that's better than having the swift and winding by hand. You can improvise a swift, but not the winder.

I also just frogged a sweater directly onto the winder and it made life a lot easier!
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:10 PM   #3
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Although I don't have either a ball winder or a swift (yet), I have run this same discussion in my head. What I have come up with is that if I could only get one or the other, I think it would be easier to come up with substitute for a swift than a ball winder. If I was opperating the winder, I could slowly feed the yarn from the hank if wrapped around chairs, or some kind soul's hands. I'd review the subs for swifts that the creative types on KH have come up with to make it easier to make speedy use of the ball winder...
If you use a slow version of a swift, then perhaps a Nostepinde would be a sufficient "ball winder" ?
And if worse comes to worse, when you spend some of your 300 clams on yarn, have the shop wind it for you, if you plan to use it soon.

Just my 583 cents!

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Old 04-25-2006, 11:50 PM   #4
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thanks for the responses guys :D I was having the same thoughts myself, and I was thinking that it'd be more reasonable with my pocketbook to just get a ball winder - I know FOR SURE I want one of those. And they are on sale at :D Anyone have a recommendation for a specific kind of ball winder?

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Old 04-25-2006, 11:54 PM   #5
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I have both and I use both, but I'm a spinner, so that's why.

My swift is a cheap metal version (vintage) that I got on eBay for a few dollars. It comes apart and stores in a very small box. When I want to use it, I clamp it to a table and attach the arms.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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very reasonable wood swifts
I use both and often. My ball winder is a lacis and works fine. Under $30 at amazon. I was going to try making one of the homemade swift ideas I saw online. But then I found these amazing Amish style simple but oh so useful hard maple wood swifts for $18.95 (medium) or $21.95 (large) made by Fiber Artists in Cincinnati Ohio. Shipping is also very reasonable. They fold up and take up little space when not in use, don't need to be clamped to table and are super easy to set up. There is a video on you tube of one being set up and used. And I believe these swifts are less trouble and more effective than umbrella type swifts. at these prices, why try to make one? One of the homemade swifts was made of tinker toys. If you don't already own tinker toys, they will set you back almost as much as these finely crafted wooden swifts made by folks who really know what they're doing and do it beautifully.
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