Swift – Amish Style
Great for measuring yarn:
This yarn is the lovely sparkly gray I am using to knit Ellen’s hat and mitts.
Here I have it wound out so that I could measure the amount left on the skein to let her know how much I used while knitting her hat. I will do the same thing again once I finish her mitts to let her know how much yarn I used on the mitts.
After knitting the hat I wound the yarn and counted the amount of wraps I had, then multiplied it by 72 (I was using the last hole which is marked 72 inches). Then I divided the total by 36 to find out how many yards I had left, subtracted that amount from what the skein originally held and I have my yardage used amount.
Sounds like a ton of math, I know, but it is really easy.. Especially with a calculator! 😉
– Mine has measurements written on each hole on one of the pieces, this helps me determine how much yarn I am working with. Wind the yarn and then count the number of full wraps you make around the dowels, then multiply that by your marked measurement. For example, if I have wrapped my yarn around the dowels set at 63in for a total of 20 times, then I multiply 63×20 to get 1260 inches left. Divide that by 36 to get your total yardage left. 1260/36=35 So for this example I have 35 yards left.
– You can add measurements if you don’t have them on yours, simply wrap your yarn around the pegs in each hole and then measure that length of yarn to determine your measurements. Be sure not to pull the yarn too tight or have it too loose, for better accuracy.
– I have wrapped a piece of yarn around mine to test the measurements.
– Here is a picture of the measurements. I did not have the best lighting so I added the measurements onto the picture as well.
I love the simplicity of these Amish style swifts.. They fit together like a puzzle, no tools needed! It’s not complicated, just a few pieces connecting to make an awesomely useful gadget. Each piece is notched to work only one way, so no guessing if you have it together correctly either.
Easy to use:
It is very easy to use, put it together, tie a slip knot at one end of your yarn and loop it around the center dowel, then holding yarn level with the dowels, start spinning. Just be sure to keep the yarn from going over the top or under the bottoms of the dowels, easy to fix if this happens, but even better if you prevent it by holding with slight tension at an equal height to about center of the dowels.
Packs up nicely:
– Each piece lifts off the other, making this as easy to take apart and pack up as it is to put together. You may want to have a ziplock bag or other small bag for the dowels to be kept in.
– Note to self: future project, make a bag for storing the pieces in, there are only a few pieces, but a pretty bag would be nice.
Great for making hanks, or turning hanks into balls:
– Some people prefer to store their yarn in hanks, for multiple reasons. Having a swift makes it easy to do so. Just wrap the yarn around the dowels and then using several pieces of scrap yarn tie it in intervals to keep it together before twisting into a hank. Then you are able to hang or stack them til ready to use.
– When you are ready to use your hank (or just bought new ones), then get out your swift, untwist the hank and loop around the dowels. You are then ready to wind your yarn into a ball ready for knitting. You can wind by hand or use a ball winder. I do have a ball winder, but more often than not I do it by hand.
If you don’t want to spin it around, just pull it out while kids are around or one of your knitting friends who doesn’t have one yet.. They will be more than happy to spin the swift for you!