How to wind yarn? This is a common question for those new to the fiber arts. Have you considered buying a yarn swift and/or yarn winder? Are you still winding yarn around a chair or making your kids or spouse hold the yarn around their arms while you wind or pull?
Time to step into the world of yarn swifts and winders! Once you try it, you will never go back to the days of sore arms or hanging out with the kitchen chairs!
Yarn swifts are so much help in getting your yarn in order. These tools work with hanks of yarn. You start with removing the ties from around the hank, then spread it out in a circle. Place the hank on the swift and find the end. Once you begin pulling on the end, the swift will turn and let the yarn come off without tangling or wearing out your arms!
You can adjust the width of the yarn on the swift. You don’t want it too large where it stretches out the yarn and you don’t want it too loose where it falls off either. Swifts are adjustable, so you will learn pretty quickly how to adjust it to get it just right.
There are lots of options when it comes to buying a yarn swift. There are different sizes and bases. You can buy ones that clamp on to a table or ones that sit on a base.
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Clamp style yarn swifts
Look at these if you have a table area to use and want something you can fold up as one piece and put away. These work great for heavier yarn too. These do need to clamp to something, so you have to have a table or something for them to attach to in order to use it.
Base style yarn swifts
Look at these if you need to move it around and don’t necessarily have a table to clamp it to (like if you are working on the floor, or if your table is too thick for a clamp). The only issue with these is that you have a base and top to store and sometimes they can move while you are working, however that issue is minimal usually.
Yarn winders come in different sizes too and most of them do require a table to clamp onto to hold them in place. You can buy rod-like yarn winders, but here we are focusing on hand crank types.
The main idea of a yarn winder is to pull the yarn onto the winder, which moves around and tilts to make the yarn form a ball. This saves a ton of work and creates really neat and tidy balls of yarn.
You will get a bit of a workout on your arm, or you can do what I do and entice your kids to turn the crank for you! The key is to just keep a steady rhythm and pace.
Using the Yarn Swift and Yarn Winder together
The best advice I ever got was to purchase both of these items and use them together! It really makes yarn winding very simple and easy to accomplish in a short period of time. If you work with a lot of hanks of yarn from independent dyers, then I suggest you grab one of each of these as soon as possible!
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