Last week was so long that I decided to use my 50% off coupon at JoAnn (coupon code MARA550, through 4/28) to buy myself a little present. My new yarn swift arrived today, to Chris' befuddlement (weirdest umbrella he ever saw) and it took approx. 3 minutes for me to get started on trying it out.
A while back, I'd read this detailed tutorial on how to use an electric mixer to wind yarn. My own yarn-winding adventure is documented here, for your reading pleasure. Of course, you may be an intelligent person with $30, and decide to buy a yarn winder instead.
Yarn in a skein
Electric mixer (a stand mixer if ya got it, and hand mixer for people like moi)
Toilet paper roll
I started with one skein of Knitpicks Shimmer, a laceweight yarn I was not looking forward to winding by hand:
(1) Load the skein onto the swift, like so. You may want to ask your cat to inspect, to ensure you've done high-quality work on this step:
(2) Now, insert one beater into the t.p. roll. It will be a tight squeeze, but it should fit:
Note that you'll probably want to get yours higher up toward the mixer - that will make it easier later by preventing the possibility that the yarn will stray from the t.p. roll and wind around the beater.
(3) Cut a 1/2" slit in the edge of the t.p. roll and slip the end of the yarn in there, so that it catches.
(4) Now you can set up to wind. Now may be a good time to explain what you'll do. You'll set up your mixer at about the same level as your swift. While holding the mixer with one hand and with the end of the beater resting on the plate below, you will use your free hand to guide the yarn onto the t.p. roll. This is a bit tricky, and your first skein will probably not be perfect.
So... put a glove on the hand you'll use to guide the yarn. I discovered the hard way that, especially with a speedy mixer like ours, you'll get yarn-burn on your hand if you don't take prophylactic measures. Then set up as described above: beater above plate, level with swift, and free hand guiding the yarn onto the tube. Then turn your mixer on to the lowest setting. It will seem too fast, but you'll get used to it:
I wound this 440 yard skein in about three or four minutes. Here is the result:
You can see there are a couple of extra ends poking out of the top, and this is because at some point my yarn wound around the beater. Being lazy and not knowing another way to fix it, I just cut the yarn and figured I'd deal with the break later. Moral: in this world of modern technology, things move so quickly, one must be especially alert to snags and mishaps. You must pay attention to where the yarn is directed at all times!
Anyhoo, if you try this, let me know how it goes for you, and please share any tips you've got.Posted by jess at March 16, 2005 8:07 AM