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 Do you need both a Swift *and* a ball roller?
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KromGal
Gabber Extraordinaire

594 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  2:51:43 PM  Show Profile Send KromGal a Private Message
A word about the tension thing with these ball winders, since several have mentioned it. These things are designed to wind off yarn from a commercial cone, not a swift, so they do put a bit more tension on knitting yarn than is really desirable. I don't think it is an issue if you are using the yarn right away. It is an issue with handspun, and that is why I usually take the ball off the winder and immediately rewind. Problem solved! You won't believe the difference in the ball, either.
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adalton124
Seriously Hooked

659 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  3:56:35 PM  Show Profile Send adalton124 a Private Message
I know what a swift is and also a ball winder. I've used both at the LYS, but I've never heard of a nostepinne... Could someone enlighten me?

As for the usual method of winding my yarn - I use my knees as a swift and my thumb to make the center-pull balls. It takes a little while, but it gives my fingers a break in the middle of marathon knitting sessions. The tangles are a nuisance though.
Angela
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cknits
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
464 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  5:35:07 PM  Show Profile Send cknits a Private Message
My DH has promised to make me a swift. I've shown him the Mama Bear model and he says "no problem". We just need the weather to warm so that he can work comfortably in his wood shop. He also found a blog that demos a hand-mixer to use as a ball winder?! I'll have to find it and post the link. I would be concerned about tension problems though.

I'd like to know what a nostepinne is too. Sounds better than my hand-mixer!

Carrie
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sachis2112
Warming Up

54 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  5:45:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit sachis2112's Homepage Send sachis2112 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Anweknit

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 woulnd't say that it's a need in most instances. So many skeins are already center-pull but I always liked to wind balls on my own and then I'd put them in a small bowl while I was working so that they didn't escape across the floor.

For me, I developed tendonitis in my right wrist and the ball-winder saved me from having to wind for 2 minutes and then stop for 3 days to let my wrist recover. The winder does it so increadibly quickly that it makes it soooo easy to just wind up and cast on.

Besides that, my stash is very tidy because of the shape the winder creates. I've been a happy camper since I bought my winder.

-Sachi
http://sachis2112.blogspot.com
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eggshel344
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
391 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  9:07:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit eggshel344's Homepage  Send eggshel344 a Yahoo! Message Send eggshel344 a Private Message
Like Chelleknits, I went for the swift first- for the same reasons, I don't mind handwinding a ball so much, but trying to do it from a hank that's just sitting there is a nightmare. The swift solved that for me. The swift also allowed me to re-wrap nice little hanks after dying.

But not long after having the swift, I couldn't help but say to myself, "a ball winder would be so handy" and then I got one of those, and then I was content for a while, until I just had to have a yarn meter, but that's a whole other story, lol.

But I would say if you can only afford one, go swift, (yarnmama on here sells great ones made by her husband) but eventually I am guessing you will go for both :)

*updated blog* http://www.samanthainstitches.blogspot.com/

"Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intellegently."
When Henry Ford said that I doubt he had knitting in mind, but if the sweater fits...
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stpauliegirl
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  9:39:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit stpauliegirl's Homepage Send stpauliegirl a Private Message
i managed to live with just my ball winder for quite a while. it wasn't until i found a good deal that i asked my swift (my wonderful hubby) if he minded if i bought a real swift. he was thrilled!

one thing though once i DID get my swift was how much i got out of it. i was surprised, i found alot more uses for it than i could have even imagined. ripping out items you can easily reskein things, so many other things.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

cori w

my knitting blog - http://www.coriknits.blogspot.com

my knitting pics - http://www.flickr.com/photos/cori_w/tags/knitting/
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lizknit
Permanent Resident

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  11:58:40 PM  Show Profile Send lizknit a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by adalton124

I know what a swift is and also a ball winder. I've used both at the LYS, but I've never heard of a nostepinne... Could someone enlighten me?


A nostepinne is an old Scandinavian device for hand winding yarn. There are instructions and illustrations here and here.

The cat, the only self-cleaning appliance in the house
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Anweknit
Warming Up

United Kingdom
63 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2006 :  05:24:43 AM  Show Profile Send Anweknit a Private Message
Thank you for saying what a nostepinne was. I had never heard of one before.I doubt very much if most UK knitters have either. Swifts are rarely seen in our normal wool shops(LYS) although a wool winder might be seen in a shop that sold coned yarns for machine knitting.As I said before, most of our wools are sold in pre-wound balls, or a doughnut shape.Neither of which really roll about. Most of my problems with balls of wool wandering about have been when there has been a small child, puppy or kitten attached to the end of them.This forum is educational, I've learnt something new again.
Never too old too learn.

Anwen
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Laura Ver
Seriously Hooked

656 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2006 :  3:29:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Laura Ver's Homepage Send Laura Ver a Private Message
I went on for many, many years without either swift or ball-winder. My favorite alternative to a swift was placing two chairs back to back, with a variable amount of space in between the two depending on the length of the skein.

I hardly ever use the end at the center of the ball, because I find it too problematic when I frog and need to rewind, which happens frequently. On the other hand I love the squat balls of yarn produced by the winder as they stay put and don't disappear under the couch as often!

I am sometimes concerned about tension. I too have the Mama Bear swift, and I make sure to place it fairly close to the ball-winder and to find a regular, not too fast rhythm to work with. It is one of my favorite activities, truth be told.

Laura
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2trees
Seriously Hooked

749 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2006 :  5:07:08 PM  Show Profile Send 2trees a Private Message
I bought a ball winder first, thinking that surely I could find someone or something to hold the yarn in place of a swift. All of the people in my household were unwilling or incompetent or both, so I bought a mama bear swift asap. :D I could never get the chair or lampshade trick to work well either.

If I were kind to myself, I wouldn't have to wait for kindness from others
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yarnmama
Seriously Hooked

880 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2006 :  08:26:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit yarnmama's Homepage Send yarnmama a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by eggshel344

Like Chelleknits, I went for the swift first- for the same reasons, I don't mind handwinding a ball so much, but trying to do it from a hank that's just sitting there is a nightmare. The swift solved that for me. The swift also allowed me to re-wrap nice little hanks after dying.

But not long after having the swift, I couldn't help but say to myself, "a ball winder would be so handy" and then I got one of those, and then I was content for a while, until I just had to have a yarn meter, but that's a whole other story, lol.

But I would say if you can only afford one, go swift, (yarnmama on here sells great ones made by her husband) but eventually I am guessing you will go for both :)

*updated blog* http://www.samanthainstitches.blogspot.com/





Thanks for the plug Samantha. We starting making and selling ours because I was sick of using my knees or forcing an unwilling child to act as a swift. I pestered my husband until he made me one. Then of course I had to have a ball winder. He's currently working on a design for those as well . We do stock some of the plastic ball winders for now.

Catherine Harrison
owner of Knitting Notions:Hand Dyed yarns, Hardwood yarn swifts and more
http://www.knittingnotionsonline.com
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blackramfarm
Warming Up

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2006 :  2:57:45 PM  Show Profile Send blackramfarm a Private Message
I have both a swift and a ball winder. I never use the ball winder and only use the swift when the hank is tangled. You can ball yarn by and and still pull the yarn out of the middle if you take a film canister and put the tail in, then put the top lid on and begin wrapping. Then after you have established the ball, remove the canister and continue wrapping, making sure you have the tail sticking out the middle. I generally wrap my yarn into balls by opening the skein and placing around my knees then wrapping the balls by hand. My friends all laugh at me, but that is the way I like to do it. I like the balls working from the outside to the inside.

Anwen, I am confused about your commment about the twisting of the yarn being differnt if you start the yarn at different ends? Yarns are spun either with a Z or S twist. With either way, it does not matter which end of the skein that you start from, the twist is the same. Maybe I am missing something?
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