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Knitting can become easier and more fun if you use the best yarn swift. This handy knitting accessory helps you turn hanks or skeins of yarn into balls and cakes of yarn. And this eliminates the tangled mess you always experience when knitting directly from a hank.
Yarn swifts come designed from different materials, varying styles, sizes, etc. while this might sound like good news, it can make you totally confused and overwhelmed as you try to figure out which one is suitable for you.
Luckily, this article will walk you through some crucial buying advice to help you pick the right yarn swift for you. We’ll share with you all the essential things to look for before buying a yarn swift to ensure you take home the perfect model for your needs.
What are Yarn Swifts?
Yarn swifts are tools designed to make your knitting life easier by helping you easily and quickly wind yarn from hanks or skeins. They simply hold your skeins or hands as you turn them into balls or cakes of yarn, ensuring hassle-free winding and saving you time for knitting.
A typical yarn swift works by spinning round and round as your yarn streams off in a single strand (untangled). If you’ve been having hard times dealing with tangled mess when knitting, this is the tool to save yourself from that hell.
Yarn swifts come in varieties of materials, sizes, and styles—each offering you an easy, labor-saving way to wind your yarn.
The most common types include the tabletop, handheld, and umbrella-style (more details about different types coming up later).
“But I can wind the yarn on my own, using my arms or knees. Why do I need a yarn swift?”
Many knitters, especially the beginners, don’t know that winding the yarn on your own can make it lose its elasticity if you don’t use it quickly. This is because you might wind it too tight or for longer. And if it loses its natural movement, it won’t give you a good looking knitted item.
This is where the yarn swift comes in:
It lets you decide when you want to change your hanks or skeins into a ball or cake. It also allows you to determine how tight you want to wind the yarn. In simpler words, it puts you in total control over your knitting yarns.
And oh! The act of observing your hanks turn into balls and cakes is total fun!
Our Best Yarn Swift Reviews:
1. Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Amish Style Wooden Yarn Swift
Our list begins with the Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Yarn Swift. Made from solid wooden material, this yarn swift comes with a classic style which makes it the perfect general yarn swift for all knitters. Assembling and disassembling it is so simple that even the youngest knitter can do it.
The Amish yarn swift features quality wood construction for durability. On top of this, it features an extra fine sanding (100% non-toxic). This gives it a super-smooth finish—an assurance that it’ll never snag your yarn. Plus, the finish results in smooth (and FUN) yarn winding.
It features a tabletop design so that you can use it in your table or bench. Its bottom has a total of 4 non-slip slip pads to prevent it doesn’t move around once you set it on your tabletop.
Note that you can easily adjust this swift by moving pegs to enable it to hold yarn skeins of varying sizes (from 2 ½ all the way up to 6ft., in circumference). Taking apart this tool is quite easy and fast for easy storage or transportation to your desired place.
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2. Cutehill Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly, umbrella-style, medium yarn swift, the Cutehill Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder is a good choice. The handy tool allows you to hold hanks and skeins of yarn into a yarn/ball winder to hassle-freely and quickly create yarn balls.
It comes with a clamp-on base that enables you to securely clamp it on the edge of a table, bench, chair, or any other convenient tabletop for you.
The winder’s user-friendly design makes it a favorite for many knitters out there. For instance, it’s integral handle lets you use it as a winder. It also comes with a fully adjustable clamp that allows you to operate it horizontally, vertically, or in an angled manner—the choice is yours!
The exact dimensions of this winder are 17 x 19 x 21 inches; this is a truly compact size that’ll not take up much space in your home. With a clamping height of 1.69inch (4.3cm), we recommend you to clamp/clip on tables thinner this height.
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3. Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder
Also from Stanwood Needlecraft, we have another exceptionally popular swift yarn winder with umbrella style. It’s also a medium-sized swift that accommodates skeins as big as 6ft in circumference.
Like its brothers from Stanwood Needlecraft, this knitting swift also features solid wood construction for maximum longevity. The craftsmanship at the company is so perfect that their wooden swifts have no blemishes and scars that can make them easily vulnerable to breaking.
In addition to this, they feature fine sanding touch for an extra-smooth finish which ensures smooth rolling while eliminating cases of your yarn snagging. On top of all this, the finish gives the tool an aesthetically appealing look!
Just like any other umbrella style model, this winder has a clamp-on style design. This means it comes with a clamp-on base to allow you to firmly fix at the edge of a table, chair, bench, etc. It’ll fit edges as thick as 1¾ Inches. The ends of this tool’s metal tying wires are smartly hidden into holes to ensure they don’t hurt your hands or yarn.
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4. Premium Knitter Yarn Swift 24" (One Size Fits All) Umbrella Wooden Yarn Ball Winder
The Premium Knitter Yarn Swift 24" is the perfect model for holding almost any size of hank! The exceptionally lightweight umbrella yarn swift is constructed from high-quality birch wood with a highly sanded finish to ensure a smooth experience when winding your skeins or hanks.
The highly popular knitting accessory comes armed with a strong clamp (made from sturdy wooden material) to ensure a strong securing to any tabletop—chair, table, bench, etc. This ensures your yarn doesn’t easily move on the table, so you can fully concentrate on winding yarn balls.
The umbrella knitting swift is also designed to be truly ergonomic. It’s effortless to set up. And once ready for use, it provides a hands-free operation, leaving both your hands-free to wind your hand into a ball or cake. Something else that adds to its ease of use: smooth, easy rotation that provides a squeak-free and smooth yarn winding process.
When not in use, this yarn swift folds down to a compact size for easy storage or carrying around.
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5. cuteDIY Yarn Swift Yarn Winder Yarn Ball Winder
Closing our list of the top yarn swift reviews is the cuteDIY Yarn Swift Yarn Winder Yarn Ball Winder. This is another inexpensive model that comes with impressive features to ensure you enjoy the real bang for your buck.
Unlike the swifts we’ve discussed above, this swift comes with metal parts which are thicker and sturdier…ensuring even maximum durability and longevity. The metal construction also enables this knitting accessory to fold up more compactly than the wooden models—for easy storage and transportation.
The yarn swift functions like the workhorse it is! It can handle anything from a crochet cotton size 10 to heavy worsted skeins. It has been tested with yarns of different weights (from lace to Aran) and has proved its efficiency at handling all these weights.
It has a clamp-on design, so it easily clamps on the edge of your chair, table or bench. It has a clamp height of 1.75-in, so you can easily clamp it on any edge with a thickness of less than 1.75.
Like all the other models that made it to this list, this tool also feels exceptionally light, and it’s quite easy to work with. You can easily adjust its size, and it winds your yarn smoothly. You can also adjust it to work horizontally or vertically, according to your preferences.
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What To Look For Before Buying?
As we did mention earlier on, yarn swifts come in different sizes, styles, etc., which makes it a bit confusing to decide which one to buy. In this section, we’ll discuss the most important factors to look for before purchasing a yarn swift.
Different yarn swifts are made using different materials. The most popular wooden models (umbrella and Amish style swifts) are made from solid wood such as birch and maple.
Some models also construct their swifts using metal, plastic, or a combination of all these materials.
The type of material to choose for winder yarn swift should be based on your budget, intended usage, and personal preferences.
Yarn swifts also come in different styles, as you might have noticed in our top yarn swift reviews above.
The most popular types for regular knitters include the umbrella and Amish (or tabletop) as they work with all types of yarn weights.
Let’s discuss these two swift styles separately:
Umbrella yarn swift: as the name suggests, these swift come with a design similar to that of an umbrella. They can be operated vertically or horizontally. And they can be adjusted to accommodate different hank sizes. These swifts can be collapsed down to a compact size, just like the umbrella, for easy storage.
Amish/tabletop swift: unlike the umbrella model, the tabletop swift comes with fewer parts which can be easily disassembled for storage or easy carry. They sit on a flat table and operate horizontally. They can also be adjusted to work with moderate sizes of hanks.
You should also choose a yarn swift depending on the size of usage and storage space you have at your home or workstation.
Ensure you have sufficient space for using and storing the swift you plan to buy. The umbrella swifts usually take up larger space when in use but fold up to a compact size for easy storage.
If you choose any other type of swift, other than the umbrella, your storage options might be limited.
Size of hanks to be wounded
The size of hank you want to wound should also play a crucial role in helping you decide on which swift to buy.
The main challenge here is that hanks come in varying sizes as different spinners, manufacturers, dyers, choose their yarn size depending on their tools/methods.
But there’s a way to go about it…look at the yarn brands you usually buy your knitting yarns from. Their diameter should give you an idea of the perfect size of yarn swift to buy.
How To use a yarn Swift?
Using a yarn swift to wind your knitting yarn isn’t complicated. It’s something you can do without any prior experience or special training.
Follow these steps:
1. Start by removing the label from your yarn, if any, and untwist it so that it turns into a big circle. (don’t untie it at this stage!)
2. Now clamp your yarn swift (we’re using umbrella yarn swift for this guide) onto your table and make sure you tighten the bolt. If you’re worried by damaging your tabletop, you can place a tablecloth on it.
3. Place the circle (of the yarn) around your yarn swift and then open your yarn swift, just the same way you open your umbrella. Push up on the center of your swift until your hank becomes taut.
4. Secure your swift in that position using the tightening screw on its side.
5. At this point, you’ll need to untie your hank by simply cutting the small bits of yarn holding it together. Use a pair of scissors to save time.
6. Once untied, grab the end of the yarn and start winding your ball of yarn. The yarn swift will spin as you continue winding your yarn.
Quick TIP: If you want to, you can pair your yarn swift with a ball winder to make the whole process even easier (as seen in the video below):
A yarn swift should always be beside you if you want to have an easy time working on your knitting projects. This unique tool helps you turn your yarn hanks and skeins into balls and cakes of yarns. As you can all agree, these are easier to knit with as they eliminate the tangling mess.
If you’ve made up your mind to invest in this life-changing tool, you’ll need to know the different types of swifts on the market today. Our comprehensive guide above will take you through everything you need to help you take home the perfect yarn swift, whether you’re buying from your local store or online.
Get yourself the best yarn swift today and discover a whole new world of knitting: Easier, Faster, and Fun!