A yarn swift is a handy tool to have in your home if you buy a lot of skeins of yarn you need to wind. These tools are also known as umbrella swifts because of the shape of the mechanism, which looks like the inside of an umbrella when it is open.
Yarn swifts can be made of metal, plastic or wood, but the wooden ones are the most durable and and lovely to look at even when not in use. They also range in sizes that will hold a range of diameters of yarn skeins.
To use a yarn swift, clamp it to a table and push up on the bolt mechanism at the bottom of the shaft to extend the arms. Place the skein onto the swift and adjust the arms so that it holds the skein in place, then twist the bolt to hold the arms in that position.
Used along with a ball winder, you can wind center-pull balls quickly and easily.