DIY: Yarn Swift

April 30, 2008 § 15 Comments

My knitting “hobby” is slowly becoming a full time activity. What that means is a box full of overflowing yarns, needles in all possible shapes and sizes. What it also means is sore wrists from winding all those yards and yards of yarns into balls. When I can’t order yarn from US, ordering a yarn swift is totally out of the question. The yarn winding pain is felt more by my husband because he volunteers (no, really he does) to do it. I bought a bag full of yarn and also received RAK packages, so more winding for him. He anticipated how will wrists will feel in the coming days and set out to make a yarn swift for himself.

He looked at pictures of the actual swift, the DIY ideas and then he knew what to do.

What you need:

Two aluminium cloth hangers
Adhesive/Insulation tape
An empty bottle
That’s it!

What to do:

Straighten out the hangers so that they turn into straight rods. Each rod will be around 37 inches long. Approximately at the center you bend each rod so that there is a circle at the center and two end of the rods at 90 degrees. Each arm should be 13.5 inches. Now you have two pieces which look like this:

You place both the pieces so that the circles coincide and you have the four arms meet at right angles. Secure with adhesive tape. Your basic structure is ready.

You bend each arm in a Z shape. At 5 inches from the end, bend the rod until the angle is 50 degrees. At 2.5 inches from the end, you bend the arm again in the opposite direction to get a Z shape. Like this:

You mount this on a bottle (filled with water) and it is all ready to use. See it being used here:

The result:

I thought the swift will be wobbly, but it is surprisingly stable and the rotation is smooth. My husband is mighty happy with this one. His eyes are set on a niddy noddy which he agrees is more complicated than a swift.

Disclaimer: No, the yarn swift is not capable of turning a pink yarn into a grey one.

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§ 15 Responses to DIY: Yarn Swift

  • Rima says:

    This is sooo cool. I have been thinking of buying a swift for the longest time. I am sending this blogpost to my home-improvement boyfriend RIGHT NOW!
    PS: Love the disclaimer.

  • Preeti says:

    So nifty, love how the yarn cake turned out:)

  • Yasmin says:

    Woweee!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. Gotta get this one done!

  • flaknitter says:

    The niddy noddy is so not more complicated than a swift! Get a piece of pvc pipe, two “t” connectors that fit it, and 4 caps to fit the PVC pipe. Cut the PVC pipe into 4 small pieces (all about equal length) and one long. Put the “t” pieces on either end of the long one, and put the short pieces in either side of the “t” pieces, to make the capital letter “I”. Cap the ends, and measure how much yarn goes around it once. :-) That’s it! Google PVC Niddy Noddy for specifics on how long to make each piece to make a 1 or 2 yard one if you want. Thanks for sharing how to make the swift–I’m heading to Lowes! :-)

  • iaminchennai says:

    Its a wonderful idea and most important thing is it works…
    I will definitely try it after my yarn stash grows

  • […] A more sophisticated coat hanger swift […]

  • PJ says:

    That is soooo clever!

  • […] in getting a swift made too >w> I've heard of people building them out of lego and coat hangers and stuff, and there are probably places online that sell them, but I'd prefer a wooden one that […]

  • Els Onslow says:

    Via a friend I got your blog with this absolutely splendid solution for the problem I have been struggling with (and thus bothering others to hold up their arms etc.) for ages. ! So thanks a lot for this. Am going to try to make this one asap !
    my blog is http://www.elsesmaze.wordpress.com
    I am much in labyrinths but knitting as well. Take care !

  • […] swift to feel the ease of winding. I found clever people on the internet. Check out these bad boys: If you have a plastic bottle, some wire hangers, and tape If you have a beer bottle and some wire hangers If you have plastic hangers, a little box, a lazy […]

  • Anonymous says:

    wowza!!!
    I searched all over for DIY swift and yes! this is it!!!
    I definately will try this.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Mine didn’t turn out quite as straight and level as yours but it did the trick! Much faster and easier than putting the skein over my knees, that’s for sure ;)

  • Anonymous says:

    Just to say THANK YOU for this! I made a very crap version of one tonight and it totally worked! I’m now in a yarn-winding frenzy. :)

  • emma says:

    Your disclaimer cracked me up! LOL great swift idea- Thank you for posting

  • […] It’s a little wonky, but it got the job done. Instructions on how to make it can be found here: diy yarn swift. […]

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