Thursday, 3 November 2016

Swift winding - or - How to use a Swift and Ball Winder to make a centre - or center - pull ball of yarn

Do you remember that way back in September I shared a bag/cover that I had made for something called a Swift?  No.  The post is here if you want to go and have a look.

Some of you - I am guessing non yarn folk - were mystified as to what a swift was or how you used it and I said that I would explain more in due course.  I thought that the best way was to actually show you so I have filmed a short video to explain what it is, how it works, how you use it and why.  Hopefully this will demystify the whole thing for you.

I am a great fan of these things.  In the "olden days" you would coerce someone - often a husband or small child - to sit and hold the skein of yarn on their hands while you wound up your ball.  With the use of a swift you can wind your yarn really quickly and on your own - with no complaining from anyone else!

So the reason for one of these things is speed and no complaining!!  Hee hee!!

The other really good reason for buying and then winding yarn like this is that it gives you something called a centre - or center! - pull ball.  That means that you can put your ball or cake of yarn down in a bowl, in a bag, on the floor or table and as you work the yarn will simply feed from the middle of the ball.  It doesn't roll around or run off and escape under the chair.  You don't have to tug on it as you want more yarn, it just flows naturally and easily.  Also you don't end up with a collapsed ball of yarn that ties itself in knots, it just becomes smaller and smaller and never gets into a mess.

All very good reasons for using your yarn in this way.

This will explain more.


If you want more information I have added some links in the downbar of the video - or on you tube, my channel is here - to tell you where I got my swift and ball winder from and the yarn that I was winding in the video.  You can also get this information in the Love Made My Home Ravelry Group - here.

I hope the whole process is much clearer for you now and that you found the video interesting!  I am not planning a return to Podcasting at the moment, but I might do a few more short videos as they are easier for me to film and produce and it also means that I get to share techniques and tips and other information with you.  So I hope you like them.

Thank you for watching, it would be lovely if you are a You Tube user if you could subscribe and then you will find the videos there and more information, or if you could give me a thumbs up on the video so that I know you like it!

Amy

p.s. I purchased the yarn, swift and ball winder myself.  No compensation or sponsorship was received for this post.  I made the cover myself.

31 comments:

  1. What a perfectly timed post Amy. I've just bought a swift and ball winder, I was chatting about the lamentations of my teen daughter with regards to being coerced into being the 'human swift' on my latest Youtube podcast video (Episode 2! Didn't think I would do it LOL). It was this that prompted me to 'just-do-it' and buy the instruments that I need for my craft ;) - off to watch your video, thanks for putting it together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this will be of some help to you! Enjoy your winding! Looking forward to your next episode, I spotted it this morning and am waiting to watch it later!

      Delete
  2. The mystery of the swift completely debunked - thanks Amy, it's a very useful little film. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well I had no idea so the video was an education. Like most things, there are specific tools for knitting that make a thing much easier and better. I like the term "cake" for the ball of yarn, which I had also not heard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I started with yarny things I had never heard of a cake, but I like the term too! It is a fun word to use isn't it.

      Delete
  4. I've considered both a ball winder and a swift in the past but I don't think I'd get enough use out of them, I'm afraid Mick's hands will still be needed for when I'm winding wool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are an investment, but they are very useful too if you wind enough yarn to make it worthwhile. You are lucky to have a human swift to help you, I don't have a willing one!

      Delete
  5. Wow you are so very clever! Hat's off to you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I use the same things and it makes winding absolutley easy. never do it without :)
    have a nice day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, a convert to the swift! They really do make life easy don't they.

      Delete
  7. I cannot imagine life without a ball winder or swift but surprisingly I lived without both for a very long time and managed well. The tools we have make life so much more easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did manage without either in the past too, but you are right they just make life easier don't they.

      Delete
  8. Thank you Amy for this comprehensive video. I've always used my piano stool or a willing human to help wind my wool but having seen this I'm very tempted to make the investment especially after making a tangle when winding a fine laceweight yarn recently as I can't keep all my wool winding for when my daughter is home. I am very impressed with your adroitness in juggling a camera and other moving objects. I must look at your Little Women patterns soon as it is now the weather for a cosy shawl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah. Not having a willing pair of hands - or a stool which I have to say is very inventive of you! - I find mine invaluable, but we all do things in different ways don't we. I certainly find winding laceweight or fingering weight yarn much easier this way as it seems to tangle very easily doesn't it. Enjoy your making!

      Delete
  9. Yay! Now, get back to podcasting, dear Amy! Have you watched Jan Carruthers (Urban Gypsy Crochet)? She talks about crochet a little and then just talks and I find it interesting even though I'm not a crochet person really. I like listening to British people talk.
    I miss your podcasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not ready for podcasting yet, but you are so sweet with your enthusiasm for me! Thank you! You might like Shirley of Under An English Sky blog and podcast - she was the first commenter on this post - she lives in England, but is originally from South Africa I think, she has a lovely podcast and general outlook on life.

      Delete
  10. I've seen those yarn winders in a yarn shop (big surprise). It looks like it would be a lot easier than talking someone into sitting still and holding their hands apart. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A willing pair of hands is more companionable, but the swift does complain a lot less than an unwilling pair of hands would!

      Delete
  11. Wonderful and nice video too ♥

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do have a yarn winder, I do so love those beautiful yarn cakes but have yet to buy a swift I am not sure I would get enough use from it. I have a husband and three daughters, there is of course three son-in-laws too...LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds as though you have plenty of willing and companionable human swifts to help you out and you can still make a cake of yarn with your human swift's help!

      Delete
  13. Thank you for the demonstration Amy I think I would enjoy playing with that equipment. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Enjoyed watching your video of winding yarn using a swift and a ball winder. I have used a ball winder in the past, but with a human swift! Most of the yarn that I use is in skeins that pull out from the middle but this was interesting to see. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. Not a yarn person, but your explanation made it clear to me. I'm guessing you wind the yard to keep it from getting tangled?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love my swift and ballwinder -- and wish I would have made the investment earlier than I did!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Amy! Well, I never use a yarn winder and get lots of tangles when I crochet. I do wrap my yarn up in a ball sometimes! I'm a mess! :) I'm sorry for not being around much. I've been so busy I don't know if I've been coming or going! :) Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This us so strange finding this post today as this morning I went out and purchased a Swift (before I read this post). I have had a wool winder for years and as I am buying more wool in skeins lately I thought I would invest. Made a bit of a mess winding my first skein as the end of the skein kept catching itself around the bit I was winding but the second skein went a lot better so I have hopefully got the knack now. xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a wonderful piece of equipment. I remember having to sit still while my Mum used me to hold the yarn. She always 'recycled' our old woolies, pulling them apart when they no longer fit and reusing the wool and zippers. Ah the good ol' days. I can see this being a lot quicker.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so very much for stopping by to visit and for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and I read all of your messages.

All comments are moderated, so it might take a little while for your comment to appear, but it will once I have read it!

Thank you again for visiting!

Amy xx