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 Do you need both a Swift *and* a ball roller?
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Inkmama
Seriously Hooked

891 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:15:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Inkmama's Homepage Send Inkmama a Private Message
I was wondering if I need to buy both, or do you only buy the ball roller dealybob if you want center-pull balls of yarn. Is a Swift enough? (Of course my 11 year old son doesn't want me to buy one because he wants to continue doing it for 25 cents a skein....; }

Barbara

Writing blog: http://penonfire.blogspot.com

Knitting blog: http://knittingonfire.blogspot.com

MMario
Permanent Resident

2208 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:20:48 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
I wouldn't buy a ball roller if I didn't have a swift. I doubt you could feed it smoothly and evenly enough manually to make it worth while using.

The swift would of course enhance either manual ball-winding or using the ball-winder.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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Laura Ver
Seriously Hooked

656 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:36:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Laura Ver's Homepage Send Laura Ver a Private Message
The swift is the main tool but I almost never use mine without the ball-winder. A mostly plastic ball-winder is just fine, by the way, so it doesn't have to add a significant cost to your investment in a swift.

Laura
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KellyKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1608 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:44:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit KellyKnits's Homepage Send KellyKnits a Private Message
I would buy both but I just love things like that : )
you can make a swift easily if you or someone you know has woodworking skills

Kelly
http://pieceofstring.blogspot.com/
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  10:48:49 AM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Barbara: Both is what I like. That is just my opinion. I can see your son's point about "losing" his job. Industrial revolution all over again but then just think when he is up to his eyebrows in sports you will have the swift and ball winder to use. How about this, when you get it teach him to use it then when he doesn't want to you will be all set. Take care. Beverley

Bev
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Inkmama
Seriously Hooked

891 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:16:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Inkmama's Homepage Send Inkmama a Private Message
Okay, so then, you need both. I don't know why I thought a swift would be enough....

Funny, Bev...

Writing blog: http://penonfire.blogspot.com

Knitting blog: http://knittingonfire.blogspot.com
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fleurdog
Chatty Knitter

106 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:21:22 AM  Show Profile Send fleurdog a Private Message
I've actually been getting by quite well with a ball winder alone. I found one for cheap in a thriftstore, but haven't run across a swift yet! I find it requires a little more attention and goes a little slower without a swift, but the ball winder alone works just fine.

"Waddaya expect me to do, sit home and knit?"

-line from film noir classic
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carol940
Chatty Knitter

USA
142 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:35:12 AM  Show Profile Send carol940 a Private Message
I opted for the ball winder first. My rational is there are many other options for holding the skein, but nothing winds quite like a ball winder. I don't know that one could wind fast enough to make a swift worth it without a ball winder.

Carol
NoVA
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KromGal
Gabber Extraordinaire

594 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:57:06 AM  Show Profile Send KromGal a Private Message
Yeah, my husband was totally bummed out when he lost his job holding my yarn, but he got over it, and the swift works so much better! Especially if I want to wind something in the middle of the night or when he's at work. You can do without the ball winder if you learn to use a nostepinne...when I travel, that's all I take. In a pinch, you can wind a BIG center pull ball on your index finger or thumb, too!
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Kelly B
Permanent Resident

USA
2206 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  12:05:28 PM  Show Profile Send Kelly B a Private Message
The ballwinder is all I've needed so far. I'm still perfectly content using a lampshade for a swift. I use the winder frequently to rewind storebought balls when I can't find the stinkin' middle - don't need a swift for that; I also love it when ripping - don't need a swift for that, either.
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  12:23:19 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
All I have is the ball winder. I have minimal space and only occasionally end up buying wool in hanks, so the swift as of yet(17+ years knitting) isn't worth it for me.

http://greenfishoutofwater.blogspot.com
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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NaProus
Permanent Resident

1828 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  12:29:49 PM  Show Profile Send NaProus a Private Message
I had just a ball winder (I just typed wall binder by accident!) and used my husband or my knees as a swift, but hated it. Now I have both, and I'm as happy as a clam!

What's a leper bandage? http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/bandages.html
http://www.ghm.org/resources/hands-on/knittedbandage.html
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  12:36:49 PM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
Having both at our store, and obviously using it muchly; I always question the tension both generate while in use.

I am often worried about the tension as I wind for a customer-so far, no complaints. What do you all feel about the tension??? KL
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sachis2112
Warming Up

54 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  12:38:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit sachis2112's Homepage Send sachis2112 a Private Message
I personally opted for both, but not without trying just the ball winder alone. I was spending so much time untangling knots I got when winding from a hank that it was worth it to me just to shell out the money. I got the cheapest one I could find (metal and plastic) but I would recommend going for the big, wooden one if you can afford it. Mine will have trouble with larger hanks and the wooden one is simply much more sturdy. When I have a little more $ at my disposal, I'll go for the expensive wood.

-Sachi
http://sachis2112.blogspot.com
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Anweknit
Warming Up

United Kingdom
63 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  1:10:00 PM  Show Profile Send Anweknit a Private Message
Hello, At the risk of being thought "dim", could you tell me why it is really necessary to start a ball of yarn from the centre? In UK most of our yarns are pre-wound and we start on the outside. Surely if you start all the balls of yarn you have wound from a skein from the outside it won't make any difference? I know that if you mix the starting points the twist of the yarns will differ.( I have been knitting for over 50 years----I know I am a wrinkly ! )I did buy a swift on a visit to USA because I bought a lot of skeined yarns at the time.


Anwen
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cats
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
503 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  1:24:40 PM  Show Profile Send cats a Private Message
Center pull balls and skeins don't roll around really when you pull yarn from them. When you start from the outside and pull yarn, the ball rolls around a lot.
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gwtreece
Permanent Resident

USA
7254 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  1:33:06 PM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
I would be lost if I didn't both the winder and swift.

Wanda
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Inkmama
Seriously Hooked

891 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  2:15:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Inkmama's Homepage Send Inkmama a Private Message
You goils are great. Now I understand.....!

Barbara

p.s. If there are any guys here, apologies. You goils And guys....

Writing blog: http://penonfire.blogspot.com

Knitting blog: http://knittingonfire.blogspot.com
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  2:21:58 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
Goils? Thanks for reminding me of All in the Family!

http://greenfishoutofwater.blogspot.com
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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chellethinques
Permanent Resident

USA
1431 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  2:29:05 PM  Show Profile Send chellethinques a Private Message
Wow! I'm in the minority here - I'd say go for the swift first. My handy dad built me one (similar to the Mama Bear model...) that is a table top model with adjustable pegs and it comes apart if I need to store it. (I don't - it's part of a nice "tableau" on a vintage dresser with a basket of yarn and jar of wooden needles.) I opted NOT to get the ball winder for a few reasons:
1. I hate plastic.
2. I have used many, many balls wound on the winder at my LYS and they end up sort of overspun - they twist terribly and kink up constantly, which is hugely annoying. It also messed up the lay of my final fabric - in the round it developed a twist.
3. I like handwinding. It's a nice, contemplative time to get to know the yarn.
4. You can handwind a center pull ball. I am requesting that handy dad craft me a nostepinne to facilitate this.
Guess I'm weird. :)
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blwinteler
Permanent Resident

USA
3145 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  2:40:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message
I would like both. I am going to try to get in touch with my father and see if he can make me a swift for my b-day. I have been using my knees for a swift and an empty tp roll for a ball winder. It is tedious, and I am a stay-at-home mom with little me time, so a swift and ball winder would be wonderful for me to have.

Take care!
Brandy

My finished projects

[img]http://members.cox.net/blwinteler/th_TeamVegas2.jpg[/img]
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