Monday, September 18, 2006

Swift Story

I've been yearning for a swift for gee, I don't know how long. I have been making do with the 70's style floor lamp and aging non-matching shade as my swift. Here's a picture of it. (Please disregard the quikrete bag in our basement.)

How funny is that?! I've had on more than one occasion been so enthusiastic with my winding that the finial went flying off. Oh, and the shade does not match the lamp, the original shade was cylindrical in shape (and that just won't do). Also, please note the clips literally holding the shade onto the metal shade cage. Classy, I know.

Aside: You probably already know how using a lamp/shade as a swift works, BUT...For using a lamp/shade as swift, you find a nicely shaped lamp and shade (unplugged, of course), and place hank of yarn over the shade. Then loosen the finial (nobby thing on top that holds shade to lamp) and you are set to wind. Words of caution: try not to get too enthusiastic in your winding because 1) the finial can fall off and the lamp shade may derail, 2) you may end up with a tangled mess around the lamp base or harp, 3) the hank of yarn can slip off the shade since the only thing stopping that are those lovely clips. Guess how I know these things.

As I said, I've been craving swifts. I've been checking and rechecking the Joann site, looking at Mama Bear's swift, and even downloaded,printed out AND purchased items to make a swift myself. But I got hung up on the make it yourself model. I didn't have a drill bit to drill the holes for the dowels (how lame is that?!).

So, I thought I'd think about purchasing a swift. I had the wooden swift in my basket at Skein Lane when it was 20% off. Nope, too expensive, back it went. Then, I had the Japanese metal/plastic one in my hands (50% off) when I was at Skein Lane a little while ago. I checked it out, and couldn't pull the trigger on it --it would have been very close to the price of the Joann swift(also at a 50% discount). It just looked too rickety, and the metal clamp? Don't even go there. Instead, I did the enabler thing, I found a woman in the shop who I overheard had wanted to purchase a swift (she was looking at me with envy as I had the only swift left in the store in my shopping basket) ...And I gave it to her. Then I had non-buyer's remorse for about a week...shoulda...shoulda...but didn't. Not only that but later at another yarn store, I realized that this is what they use for winding yarn?! Can't be THAT rickety. Drats!

Then I went to Lacis and looked at their wooden swifts. Very pretty, like furniture. But it takes up room, but very pretty...hmm...oh, and they had the metal one also, at full price. Drats!

I read up on swifts some more and I read about the Schact GOKO swift. And how this swift is the perfect swift for lace, and you all know how I'm crazy for lace now. It's got a flywheel and gravity isn't an issue with this swift since it's ferris-wheel like.

Back to my story, yes, I thought what a wonderful swift, and didn't I see some metal bits that looked like the swift in a box under a table at Skein Lane? Naw, that was a spindle for spinning...

I ended up stopping by the shop as it's now been several days at 75% off original prices and I thought a few patterns would be good. I walked into the shop and looked under the table where I thought I'd seen the box, and was a little disappointed when it wasn't there. Oh, well...then I looked AT the table and a shopper moved a box off the buttons so that she could look at the selection., it can't be...why, there's a sale tag on the box saying spindle on sale. I nonchalantly went up to the box and peered inside and took out the manual. It was indeed the swift and they had 2 of them! I asked about the adjustability of the swift and I apparently couldn't read, because the shop owner looked at the instructions and said yes.

I promptly bought the swift (at 75% off). I told her how surprised I was that this wasn't snapped up and she thought that folks didn't know what it was. Seriously, this is what she was selling. And really, would you have purchased this box? And it said spindle. And it's mine!

Took it home and have set it up and finally got around to winding the Koigu for A's socks. It is wonderful. And it's mine. And it was very inexpensive. And did I mention it was mine? Ends up the swift is a little limited as to size of hanks for winding (57"-63"), but it's very very nice.

1 comment:

Stefaneener said...

How nice to find the kind you want. I wonder if you could DIY a sort of adjustable thingy for different size skeins? But you still have the lamp! Did you know Yarn! in Alameda is going out of business and having a sale too? I'm watching the Kid Silk Haze.