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Readers Respond: Reasons to Love Your Umbrella Swift and Ball Winder

Responses: 10


An umbrella swift and yarn ball winder are far from essential knitting tools, but once you've used them it's hard to go back to winding balls of yarn by hand.

Do you use and love your umbrella swift and yarn winder? Share your reasons and encourage other knitters to invest in these time-saving tools.


Both tools are essential for a person addicted to knitting.
—Guest karenb92

Craigslist Find

I love yarn swift because I found it on craigslist.org for a great price. It is a beautiful wooden one, and it looks like a piece of art.
—Guest kim

My Favorite Ball Winder Use

When I am ripping out a project to use the yarn again, I use the ball winder. I just lay it on the table and start winding. With the balls in such nice shape and tightness it seems to put the yarn back in its original shape.

I Love To Unwind

I use my ball winder to frog swatches, projects I have decided not to finish and older sweaters that I want to recycle. The ball winder frogs faster than I can by hand and maintains an even tension. To recycle yarn if the yarn has "memory" (has not relaxed back to smooth yarn-from the ball winder) I attach the yarn to the swift and make hanks. I tie the hanks together to keep it neat, and dampen it. Then I hang it to dry with a little weight attached to it. When it has dried smooth, I can reballl and knit without fighting the memory.
—Guest momone92

Quick and Useful

I love how quick it makes a hank into a very usable ball to knit up.
—Guest karenb92

Umbrella Swift and Ball Winder

I love mine because there is seldom anyone around that will or even wants to hold the yarn while I hand wind up the hank. These gizmos are also faster.
—Guest Joan

No Surprise Knots

I rewind all my yarns, commercial and handspun. Why? Several years ago I had a two bags of some rather expensive, short yardage balls of yarn. Every ball had a minimum of two knots in it, always at an inexpedient point in a row, which ended up wasting a lot of yarn. I was not happy about it, since it meant I needed another two balls of the yarn, having gone through what I had for the jacket I was making. I'd rather know where the knots are and take them out before I start. The swift also replaces the family member or other contrivance I needed to hold open hanks of yarn while I wind. I just finished Jared Flood's Girasole shawl pattern. I was going through a hank of Koigu a day for several days with that one, and no one had the patience to hold the yarn for me. .

So Much Fun!

The swift makes lovely little balls that can be used right away. It makes me feel so professional and efficient as a knitter!
—Guest Deborah

Strauch Ball Winder

I finally picked up a Strauch ball winder that had been on my wish list forever. It is great! Another tool I wished I had bought a long time ago. I love the large capacity. It can hold those large skeins. I bought it at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I had a Royal ball winder for some time, but it was slowly wearing out. The wire guide was not staying in place, and it was getting fiddly. I had bought it after buying a knitting machine years ago. I bought my swift the day I picked up my Lendrum spinning wheel, another thing I was sorry I waiting so long to buy. I have yet used my swift and Strauch ball winder together, but I look forward to it.

Flex Your Knitting Muscles!

It makes for good excercise. My biceps have grown bigger since using a ball winder.
—Guest Norma

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