Friday, May 7, 2010

homemade yarn swift

A short while ago, I mentioned to my knitting buddies that I don't own a yarn swift. Whenever I need to wind yarn, I ask my agreeable husband to hold out his hands and tilt this way and that until I have a ball.

But real knitters use a swift, it seems, and my friends urged me to get one. I did consider it until I realized that there are too many styles and prices to easily choose a single model. As I was googling, however, I came across many versions of homemade swifts:

from a broken patio umbrella

from a lazy susan

from tinkertoys

and this one, made from scrap wood and widely copied.

I mentioned to my husband that a homemade yarn swift would be a nice thing to have and not surprisingly, he jumped at the chance to be freed of having to stand like a statue every time I begin a new knitting project.

A few hours in the garage, and he had a finished swift. He used the latter pattern, adding a few curves and some rubber feet. It's beautiful, and it spins like a dream.

I especially love the fact that it breaks down into a few simple pieces for easy storage.

At the moment it's tucked in an old pillowcase, which will eventually be modified for a better fit.

My husband recently started his own blog to chronicle a robot he is making from an electric wheelchair. If you're of a geeky bent, take a look at it here.


  1. How awesome this is! Great that your hubby hand made it too.

  2. Thanks, Sam! We're both on the cheap side, so the fact that it cost only a few dollars as opposed to $35 or more was a huge plus--but I also prefer this design to the commercial umbrella swifts.

  3. Oh, I think I might have or have seen Mom's. But this really looks superior (prettier, too)! Kudos to D!

  4. What did your husband use to connect the arms to the base. I see a wing nut but what did he use as a spacer?

    1. He used a combination of metal and teflon washers. It's presently broken down and stashed away, so I can't give a precise answer; but if you would like more detail, please feel free to email me directly and I will get back to you.

  5. Hi -
    I don't seem to be able to find the link to how to make the homemade yarn swift your husband made for you.
    Could you please redirect me? Much appreciated, SureenM

  6. Hi Sureen,

    My apologies for taking so long to get to this. This blog is now so old that some of the links are no longer viable. Here are some instructions I found for swifts like my husband made--I hope they are of some help:

  7. Thank you very much for coming back to me re the swift. Will check out the links. :)


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