Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swiftly fly the yarns....

I bought a lovely blue hank of lace yarn in anticipation of my next project.

This was the first time I bought yarn that wasn't already rolled into a skein or ball, and I knew I had to tame it into something manageable before I could start to knit with it.  Thankfully, my knitting sister had just the equipment I needed:  a ball winder and a swift.

This is the swift:
Technically, it is an "umbrella swift" because it expands and contracts with the touch of a button like an umbrella.  You fit the hank of yarn around the swift and adjust the width to keep the hank in place.  With just a gentle pull, the swift rotates around, and the yarn unwinds.

This is the ball winder:

You feed the yarn from the swift, and around the spindle of the ball winder.  Then, by turning the crank, the ball winder turns and the yarn is collected on the spindle.  The result is a tidy ball of yarn that can be pulled from the center.

I found a great video on Youtube that showed how the whole thing worked, and felt pretty comfortable about giving it a try.

Things went very smoothly until I finished the first ball of yarn, and it was time to remove it from the spindle.  What I didn't realize was that as soon as the ball comes off the spindle, the center collapse into itself.  Oops!  Forgot to be sure to keep hold of the start of the yarn, and it disappeared into the center of the ball.

Searching around in the center of the ball to find the starting yarn resulted in a mess, so I decided to start again, and rewind the whole thing.  This time I tied a small bead onto the leading edge of the yarn, and taped it to the middle of the spindle for insurance.

When I removed the finished ball from the spindle, I knew that even if I lost the starting end of the yarn, that the bead would help me find it.

Now I have two cute little balls of yarn ready and waiting.  I am determined not to start the lace project until I finish the sweater I am desparate to finish determined to finish.

Wouldn't you be inspired by these cuties?

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  1. I love the idea of putting a bead on the beginning of the yarn. (I've lost a few "beginnings".) I will do that next time. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Love that yarn! I love the bead! It sort of dresses up the yarn! I just wind mine by hand. I don't think I buy enough yarn to buy the winder. Get that sweater done!!

  3. I have both of those tools from my weaving and spinning days. They are great. Never thought of adding a bead to the beginning but that is a fabulous idea.

  4. What an abolutely brilliant idea with the bead. Oh, I just love yarn, but not working with it. We do not get along, but I love yarn and what it gets made into! Your blue is just lovely.


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