> To Knit is Divine: Swifty Goodness

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Swifty Goodness

This week my new swift finally arrived. And it's fabulous. I set it up immediately and wound a ball of laceweight in minutes. But I forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger. So I dug out another skein that I'm not yet ready to use, but wound for demonstration purposes.


1 skein of Socks that Rock (Falcon's Eye colourway)

1 Swift and Ball Winder

= 1 perfectly wound centre-pull cake of yarn, ready to become a pair of socks

So let me tell you more about the swift. I bought it from Knitting Notions and all in all, it was a wonderful online shopping experience. I bought the handcrafted Oak Yarn Swift and a ball winder.

In my last incarnation as a knitter, I didn't even know that swifts existed. Yarn was always bought from a store, in a ball, usually with the name Patons or something similar. But in the past year or so, since I've discovered blogs, my eyes have been opened to how many wonderful yarns there are out there. I've dabbled with Socks that Rock and wonderful cotton/lycra yarn from Greenwood Fibreworks... I discovered the nice-quality, inexpensive yarns from Knitpicks... and there are many more that I plan to try. But then I discovered that many of these yarns come in skeins, not balls. The first skeins I bought were Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Natural, which is worsted weight. I just layed out the skein and started to hand-wind into a centre-pull ball. It worked okay - I had a few tangles, but not too bad. The next yarn I tryed doing that with was laceweight, and it's then that I discovered the need for a swift. What a mess! It took me hours to untangle the blob of yarn I ended up with. So then I used the back of two chairs as a swift. It was a bit better, but very long and labourious. I found that the two juice bottles (as in last week's post) worked even better, but still, winding 440 yards of laceweight yarn by hand is very time consuming.

So I decided I needed a swift and ball winder. I looked at the various swift options and thought that I would prefer the table top option over the clamp-to-a-table, umbrella type swift. It just seemed easier to set up and use. I also like the idea of using something that is handcrafted and buying it directly from the craftsman. I searched online and found a few sources for the type of swift I wanted. I chose Knitting Notions because they also sold ball-winders (not handcrafted, obviously), so I could buy both at the same time (gotta love one-stop shopping!). I checked out their eBay feedback and was satisfied.

Within a few hours of ordering, I had a notification from the US Postal Service that my package had been shipped. Although it took weeks for it to arrive, I know that it is the fault of the postal service, and not the fault of the vendor (I've been really annoyed lately at the postal service, both in the US and in Canada - but I'll save that rant for later).

When my swift finally arrived, I was delighted. It was expertly packaged, so it arrived in perfect condition. It is beautiful, and the craftsmanship is exquisite. It is easy to put together and take apart, it rotates smoothly and so very easy to operate. At some point I'll probably replace the ball winder with a higher end model, but the swift I'll use forever, I'm sure. And I've had some lovely email correspondence with Catherine at Knitting Notions. So if you're in the market for a swift, I highly recommend this style and this seller.


Anonymous Catherine Harrison said...

Hi Leanne, I just thought I'd pop in a say hi! Thanks again for the great feedback :)

9:26 PM  

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