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Friday, August 26, 2011

Make your own yarn swift

I'm sure most of you reading this blog will be asking yourselves, "what is a yarn swift?" Well, if you know someone who knits, it's a really handy tool to wind yarn.

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to shoot a video of this because it is a project that appeals to a very specialized audience. After listening to feedback on Twitter and Facebook, I realized that quite a few people knew about yarn swifts.

A few months ago my wife asked me to make a yarn swift. I looked online and discovered plenty of designs; some I liked, and some I didn't. Kathy didn't want it to take up a lot of space; it's not something she uses every day, and by its nature a yarn swift has a fairly large footprint. So I got to work figuring out ways I could make it both functional and collapsible.

This project was as an exercise in problem solving. One morning I spent over an hour at the hardware store just looking at all sorts of parts, gizmos and gadgets trying to figure out an efficient method to get something to spin on an axis and yet have a hole through that axis that would allow for a tightening mechanism. As always, the solution was simple.

The answer lay in the plumbing department.


  1. That's a nice Yaaarnnnswift, now a tutorial to knit a 100% pure wool T-shirt ;-)
    Tip: make a couple grooves on the inside of the base legs for dowel storage.

  2. So where do you store the pegs?
    Maybe cut a blind dado in the base legs that the dowels can sit in but it will be contained once the legs are swung closed.

  3. Hi Dave - I watched this video many times trying to figure out 2 24" pieces and 2 30" pieces. At the end it appears the base is one of each but the top is 2 30" pieces. Anyway, I shut off the computer and built my own. Thanks for the idea. Gary

  4. Would you be able to provide a more detailed parts list or plans?