Do you know how to crochet? Or, are you thinking of learning the art of crocheting? Of course, when you start on any crocheting project, you would like to produce neat and beautiful work.
Two items can help you improve your crocheting and produce beautiful projects; a ball winder and a yarn swift. But, just what is a yarn swift and a ball winder? Read on to find out more about these two must-have products in crocheting and knitting.
What is a Ball Winder?
Simply put, a ball winder is a device that makes it possible for avid knitters and crocheters to make beautiful and neat ‘cakes.’ in crocheting, a ‘cake’ refers to a neat yarn ball that can be pulled from the center. Therefore, ball winders’ primary purpose is to change hanks of yarn into neat center-pull yarn balls.
Ball winders for yarn are the better alternative to hand-winding yarns. The balls of yarn made from a ball winder are usually easy to knit and rarely tangle. These winders can be used either with or without a yarn swift.
What is a Yarn Swift?
A yarn swift refers to a tool used for holding hanks of yarn as they are being wound off. Yarn swifts are usually designed with an adjustable diameter, making it possible to hold hanks of different sizes. The diameter makes several rotations around a central rod.
Yarn swifts are mostly made out of metal or wood. However, these swifts can also be made using other materials, such as ivory and antiques. They make the balling of yarns much more comfortable and prevent them from getting knotted and tangled.
Best Yarn Swift Reviews
The following are five best yarn swift in the market:
1.) Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Wooden Yarn Swift.
- Super Smooth Finish by Fine Sanding
- Tabletop Style
- Made of Solid Wood
- Easy to Assemble
- Compact Once Disassembled
The Stanwood tabletop yarn swift is built using solid wood. It has a unique finishing of extra-fine sanding, which gives it a modern and classic style. The extra-fine sanding lacks any toxic varnish fume, making it very environmental-friendly and safe for users.
2.) Yarn Swift & Winder With Holder.
- WHY CHOOSE this yarn swifter - metal parts are thicker, sturdier than green ones. Dimensions: 21" x 19" x 17". The storage case is 17.5" x 2" x 2" (prevents it damaging by delivery and keeps it clean)
- WHAT'S THE ADVANTAGE - can be set up either horizontally or vertically! Better shaped, much lighter than the Wood Swift. Can be kept mounted on a table easily.
- The table clamp or clip is 1.75" (use it on a table thinner than 1.75"/4.5cm), which holds the swift in place and spins freely as you wind skeins. The clamp doesn't love rounded edged table. It stays...
- The metal construction means this knitting yarn swift folds up more compact than the wood ones. It's very light and easy to work with. The end is designed so you can put the swift at any angle you...
- The yarn swift tabletop is a workhorse. We have used the yarn swifts with different yarn weights from lace to Aran, and wound scads of skeins of everything from crochet cotton size 10 to a heavy...
As compared to other yarn swift and winders, this particular swift is thicker and sturdier metal parts. The package usually comes enclosed in a safe storage case, which keeps it clean and prevents any damages caused by transit.
3.) Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder.
- Knitting Yarn Swift: Made With natural birch wood, this wooden yarn swift is machined to a high standard so that the wood will stand the test of time.
- Erganomic Design Yarn Winder Swift: Knitting Umbrella Swift is designed so it is easy to set up and allows you to have both hands free to wind the yarn into a ball.
- Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder: The highly sanded wooden swift is safe for your family with no added chemicals. The smooth finish also prevents the yarn from snagging.
- Yarn winder: Swift winder has a smooth and easy rotation so that it provides a squeak free experience. It also allows the yarn to be wound into a ball in the quickest time possible.
- Premium Quality Yarn Swift: Size: 28.34x24.80inch; 1pcs Knitting Umbrella for hanks/skeins.
This one is built using birch wood material. The natural birch wood makes the yarn winder highly durable so that it stands the test of time. Each of these best yarn swifts weighs approximately 1.32 pounds and has dimensions of 28.34 x 24.8 inches.
4.) Umbrella Table Top Yarn Swift.
- HIGH QUALITY: Made With 100% natural solid maple wood, this wooden yarn swift is machined to a high standard so that the wood will stand the test of time.
- EASY ROTATION: The yarn swift winder has a smooth and easy rotation so that it provides a squeak free experience. It also allows the yarn to be wound into a ball in the quickest time possible.
- PROFESSIONAL FINISH: The highly sanded wooden swift is safe for your family with no added chemicals. The smooth finish also prevents the yarn from snagging.
- MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: We back up our yarn winder with a money back guarantee. If you have a problem we will replace your yarn swift or give you your money back.
- Imported Wood From Germany | Brand New - Manufactured By Nagina International
The Umbrella Table Top Swift has a very sturdy construction. It is built using solid maple wood, which makes it very long-lasting and durable. The swift package comes with a money-back guarantee if you receive a faulty or damaged tabletop yarn swift.
5.) Knit Picks Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift (Onyx).
- GREAT FOR CRAFTING: This Knit Picks Yarn Swift holds your hanks or skeins of yarn as you wind them into balls and folds down for compact and convenient storage
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: Simple clamp holds swift in place easily on any table or surface up to 1 1/2'' thick, and umbrella opens up to fit most standard-sized yarn hanks
- BEAUTIFUL WOOD: A smooth, black satin finish brings class and sophistication to natural Birch wood
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Metal hardware adds durability and polish, with plastic stopper to prevent scratches and damage when clamping swift to a table
- KNIT PICKS EXCLUSIVE: For best results, use with the Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder to make tidy, convenience center pull cakes
The Knit Picks Wooden Umbrella is the best yarn swift available in the market due to its durability. It not only holds the pounds of yarn during winding but also folds down, making it compact and easy to store. For more neat and convenient center-pull yarns, it is the best used Yarn Ball Winder.
Best Yarn Ball Winder Reviews
The following are five best ball winders in the market:
6.) Yarn swift and Ball Winder Combo.
- ✅ IMPROVED DESIGN - Our new version of the Yarn Winder and Yarn Swift got rid of several issues that our users were having previously (loose yarn guide, weak clamp etc).
- ✅ EASY TO SET UP AND TAKE DOWN - Both the Yarn Winder and Yarn Swift can be set up and taken down in less than a minute. Both attaches to any table edge or surface up to 1 3/4 inches easily.
- ✅ GOOD CAPACITY - The Yarn Winder transform skeins of yarn into yarn cakes (ball of yarn) easily and winds up to 4 ounces of yarn each time.
- ✅ EASY STORAGE - Both of our Yarn Winder and Swift are collapsible to a compact size for easy storage.
- ✅ GREAT COMBINATION - Our Yarn Winder and Yarn Swift are carefully picked from several manufacturers to ensure that they are of the highest quality and compatible together.
The Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift is a newer version available in the market. This ball winder and swift combo have a robust and firmer clamp and a transparent yarn guide. The knitting swift and winder can be attached to a table surface or edge of up to 1.75 inches.
7.) Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn/Fiber/Wool/String Winder.
- CENTER-PULL YARN BALL, our yarn winder creates yarn balls with the string that can be pull from the center, making your knitting sessions convenient and neat.
- ULTRA HEAVY DUTY, our yarn winder is constructed from 3-millimeter-thick steel with rust-resistant powder coating to ensure it will stay in place so you can organize your yarns quickly and safely.
- REINFORCED NYLON GEAR, our specific gears are designed to be both durable and flexible. Tough enough to handle high-speed winding, soft enough to ensure the gear noise is at an absolute minimum.
- 10 OUNCE CAPACITY, our winder can handle more than 2 times the yarn a conventional winder can handle, which can reduce your workload by half.
- TOOL-LESS SETUP, trying to find a wrench to set up to wind is annoying, so we designed our winder to be set up without any hassle, so you can wind faster.
Among all other best yarn winders, Stanwood Needlecraft creates one of the best center-pull yarn balls. It also creates elegant and convenient yarn balls. The yarn balls and winder can have a capacity of 10 ounces. It can, therefore, handle more than double the yarn that other conventional winders can manage.
8.) Knitter’s Pride Wool Winder.
- Wool Winder-
- The product is manufactured in India
- All circular needles are sold separately
The Knitter’s Pride Wool Winder is hand operated. There yarn fiber winder is used to make neat pull thread balls. One of the critical features of this particular will winder is that it makes winding of yarn ounces very easy.
9.) Knit Picks Yarn Winder.
- WINDS YARN: This Knit Picks Ball Winder lets you transform yarn hanks and skeins into compact center-pull cakes that sit nicely while you knit and crochet.
- SIMPLE TO USE: Easily winds up to 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of yarn, from lace and fingering weights to worsted and bulky weights.
- QUICK ASSEMBLY: To use just attach to any table edge or surface up to 1-1/2" thick, twist on the spindle, position the guide arm and start winding!
- EASY STORAGE: Removable spindle and a yarn guide arm that folds make for compact storage while still allowing quick and easy assembly.
- GREAT FOR CRAFTING: Lets you organize all types of wound yarn into usable cakes; use with Knit Picks Yarn Swifts for best results.
The Winder weight is only 0.71 pounds. It transforms hanks of skeins and yarns into neat and compact yarn cakes that can bring pulled from the center. More so, the knit picks yarn winder for large skeins sits nicely on the surface during crocheting and knitting.
10.) Hand Operated Premium Crafted Knitting & Crochet Ball Winder.
- Length-36 cm | Depth-12 cm | Height-25 cm | Weighs-5 Lbs | Thread Holding Tower For Improved Consistency & Great Center Pull Balls
- Makes Center Pull Ball Of Upto 3 Ounces | Waxed Polished Surface With Deep Wood Grains | Centered Weight For Perfect Alignment
- Table Clamp Supplied | Non-Slippery Base With Sticky Adherence | Belt Operated Mechanism Provides Much More Space
- Minimal Assembly Required - Instruction Video Attached In Gallery | 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed With Prepaid Returns
- Brand New (Factory Direct) | Exclusive Nautical Kitchen Home Decor Gifts & Collectibles By Nagina International
As the name suggests, the Premium Crafted Knitting and Crochet Winder are operated by hand. Among its key features, it has a rotating disc that functions to rotate the winder and transform the wool into a ball cake.
What Features to Look for in A Yarn Swift & Ball Winder?
There are different types of yarn swifts found in the market. More so, ball winders and yarn swifts come in different sizes, material makes, and designs. Therefore, it does not surprise that most people do not know what to look for when buying yarn swifts and ball winders.
The following are the key features that can help you choose the best yarn swifts and ball winders:
1.) Type of Yarn
As discussed above, a yarn swift is a device that holds pounds of yarn down to allow them to be transformed into center-pull cakes. However, not all yarns require a yarn swift to be wound into cake balls.
The yarns that require a yarn swift are those that only come in hank form. On the other hand, yarns that do not come in hank form do not require a yarn swift, as they lack loops and are easy to knit. Therefore, before you can settle on which yarn swift and ball winder to buy, it would be best to consider the type of yarn you will be using.
2.) Quality and Material
The best yarn swift and ball winder are those that are built using highly durable material. One of the best materials you can opt for is wood, such as high-quality birch wood. Yarn swifts made of wood are highly durable and lightweight, making them easier to store.
Another product specification that you need to consider when purchasing a yarn swift and winder is the device’s space. While the machine may take up little space when folded, it can occupy too much space when fully opened.
Therefore, compare the available space in your knitting and crocheting area, and select only the ball winder and yarn swift that fits perfectly into your allocated area.
How to Use a Yarn Swift and Ball Winder
Before you can use a hank of yarn, you must first wound them into neat balls or cakes. While you can still wound the Hanks of yarn by hand, the easiest and fastest way of doing so is by using a yarn swift and ball winder. These two essential knitting tools wind pounds of yarn into perfect center-pull balls.
However, most knitters and crocheters, especially beginners, do not know how to use these devices. There following is a simple guide on how to use a yarn swift and ball winder:
A. How to Use a Yarn Swift
A yarn swift is a device that holds opened hanks of yarn during the winding process. Before you start using a yarn swift, you have to clamp it to a counter surface or a tabletop. Alternatively, you can simply place your yarn swift firmly on a sturdy surface. Also, ensure that you leave enough room for the yarn swift to rotate freely without disturbing or hitting anything.
If the yarn hank is already opened out, first untuck the end tucked inside the twisted skein. When you untuck this end, you will notice that the skein untwists to form a neat circle. More so, if there are two or more yarn pieces tied to the gigantic hank, ensure that you do not cut these. After all, these yarn pieces are what keep all the strands in place.
You can now place the yarn circle onto your yarn swift. Then, adjust the yarn swift such that it accommodates the diameter of the circle of yarn. Also, note that while the yarn must be held in a secure position, it should not be stretched at all.
B. How to Use a Ball Winder
Yarn ball winders are the devices that wind Hanks of yarn into center-pull balls. The winders are usually designed with a center spool for holding the yarn. As a knitter or crocheter, thread the yarn of yarn through one or several yarn guides. The yarn guides’ primary purpose is to place the hanks of yarn in the right position, such that they roll nicely onto the spool.
Also, if your ball winder is hand-cranked, you can manually control the speed. Remember to leave enough space (between 18-24 inches) between the outer edge of your yarn swift and the ball winder.
How to Wind Yarn with Ball Winder
Winding yarn using a ball winder is not that a difficult task. Using tools such as a yarn swift and ball winder makes this process much more manageable. To wind yarn successfully, you will need the following tools:
- Yarn swift
- Ball winder
- Skein of yarn
After gathering all the above essential tools, the first step is to set up the ball winder and yarn swift. This step involves clamping both devices into a firm surface. Then, place the hank of yarn into the yarn swift.
After placing the yarn into the swift, connect it to the ball winder. However, do not connect the entire yarn hank onto the winder. Instead, attach only one end of the yarn to the winder. Pass the yarn through the yarn guide into the notch located at the top of the winder, specifically in the plastic disk. Now, you can begin your winding.
When winding the yarn cake, first turn the winder’s crank to follow the direction indicated on the winder manual. The crank is located at the back of the yarn. Upon turning the crank, the ball of yarn should begin forming on the winder. Using your other hand, guide the yarn carefully between the ball winder and the yarn swift. Doing so will help to prevent the yarn from getting caught up on either of the swift arms.
Do not stop turning the ball winder’s crank and passing the yarn through the swift. Keep this up until you get a finished, neat yarn ball. The good thing about the yarn swift is that it turns automatically with the ball winder’s turning, ensuring that the yarn is fed into the winder smoothly and quickly.
Note that when too much pressure just put on the ball winder parts, it could result in its breakage. Therefore, whenever you wind yarn using a ball winder, ensure that you keep it gentle and slow, especially when beginning your project.
Can You Use a Yarn Winder Without a Swift?
A yarn winder doesn’t need always to be used with a swift. And, especially when winding center-pull skeins into yarn balls, you do not require a swift. Yarn swifts are only required when working with yarns that come in hank form. In this case, the yarn swift holds the end of the yarn such that it can be easily pulled from the center without entangling.
How to Choose a Yarn Winder
Are you contemplating purchasing a yarn winder? Well, before you can invest in any of these tools, there are several considerations that you need to consider, as discussed below:
1.) Manual or Electric?
While some people prefer manual yarn winders, others prefer electric ones. Hence, this can be said to be a matter of personal preference and taste. However, before you can settle on a manual or electric yarn winder, it would be best first to analyze each type of yarn winder’s pros and cons.
2.) Hank of Yarn or Skein of Yarn?
Before you can purchase a yarn winder, consider what type of yarn you will be winding. Will it be a skein of yarn or a hank of yarn? Hanks of yarn requires that you wind it before you can start using it. On the other hand, skeins of yarn can be used either way.
3.) Is there a Need for a Yarn Swift?
If you regularly use hanks of yarn in your projects, you will undoubtedly need to invest in a high-quality yarn swift. In such a case, you will then need to go for a yarn winder that comfortably accommodates your preferred yarn swift.
4.) Your Budget
Of course, you would only want to go for a yarn winder that goes for a price within your budget. There are still some high quality yet budget-friendly yarn winders found in the market. However, regardless of how much you are willing to spend on a yarn winder, ensure that you always go for the high-quality devices.
5.) Materials Used
Most of the yarn winders are built using either wood or plastic. It is essential to consider the materials used to build a yarn winder, as they determine its durability and sturdiness. Therefore, look for the most durable materials and winders with the most robust gears in their system.
How Do You Thread a Yarn Winder?
The following are easy steps on how you can quickly and effectively thread a yarn winder:
When you find the end part of the yarn, attach it to the notch of your winder.
Begin your winding. When starting the winding activity, begin at a slower pace until you get used to your yarn’s winding activity.
Continue winding slowly, following the same direction. Avoid winding too fast, causing the yarn to get entangled in the yarn winder gears.
After winding the yarn, choose if you will go for an outside-pull yarn cake or a center-pull ball.
If you prefer a center-pull yarn cake, hold on to the end of the yarn (the one coming from the middle) using one hand, then gently ease off the ball.
For an outer-pull yarn cake, put your thumb at the top part of the yarn (the one coming from the center), then ease off the ball gently.
You can now put your yarn winder away, as you have successfully finished threading and winding.
What is the Purpose of a Yarn Winder?
As compared to skeins of yarn and hanks of yarn, yarn cakes are usually more docile. Their docile aspect makes it even more important to use a yarn winder, which ensures that the yarn cakes sit still during knitting and crocheting.
Why You Want a Yarn Ball Winder?
First and foremost, yarn ball winders make the best yarn cakes than those made manually or using other tools. Yarn cakes that are made using ball winders are neat and beautiful and more comfortable to pull.
With a yarn ball winder, you won’t be forced to keep pausing to tug additional yarn from the ball. The fewer times you pause, the lesser the fatigue you will experience on your tension hand.
How to Use a Wool Winder
Wool winders are some of the most crucial fiber craft tools for people who love spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving, and even hand-drying. Most of the wool yarns are sold in the form of skeins.
Knitting or crocheting directly from a skein of yarn is usually disastrous. Therefore, before you can begin your project, you must first wound the skein into a yarn cake. This neat wounding is precisely what a wool winder does.
The winding yarn process using a wool winder is no different from that of using other yarn winders. The yarn cakes made using wool winders do not move around or entangle. More so, these yarns can be crocheted or knitted from the center-pull, which further reduces any possibility for entanglement. Our recommended tools required for knitting and crocheting can help you if you are looking to buy.
Is a Yarn Winder Worth it?
Yes, having a yarn winder is indeed worth it! Yarn winders make knitting and crocheting projects much more comfortable and help to save a lot of time. More so, yarn winders ensure that you engage in neat and beautiful projects using well-organized yarn cakes.
Do you love knitting or crocheting? If so, then you undoubtedly want to produce neat, tidy, and beautiful projects to either stash at your home or show off in your business. All this is made possible by two simple devices: a yarn swift and a ball winder. Get yourself one of the best yarn swift and ball winder discussed above, and take your crocheting or knitting skills a notch higher!