Monday, August 15, 2005

004.ball winders and swifts

okay - so i bought a cascade 220 yarn... okay okay... i bought 5 skiens of cascade 220... they look like a twisted pastry.

when untwisted it's probably a 1-2 foot diameter loop... this is very different from the balls or rolls that i'm used to working with. please note that cascade 220 mean 220 yards which is about 100 grams or so and a gram is about 1 oz or so right?

after doing much research i've found the following

  • you have to be VERY careful if you decide to knit with a 2 foot long loop
  • a ball winder is probably a good investment*
  • a swift (a weird umbrella looking device) is probably a good investment**
  • winding by electric drill or mixer is scary looking (god you should see some online pictures) - fortunately for me, i own neither
  • winding 220 yards by hand does NOT look like fun
  • there's line one winder to choose from that makes 4oz balls
  • there's like one cone winder to choose from that makes 4oz balls

here are some websites for you about everything winding...


* while the ball winder is cool and practically a godsent, it makes crappy dinky 4oz balls... i don't like having to cut yarn and make ties and weave in the tails... i like the long beautiful uninterupted pieces of yarn... it could be from my asian heritage since cutting noodles is bad luck... but i like those huge log looking this you get from buying lions brand yarn from michaels... why can't they make ball winders like that?

** it seems like metal swifts are cheap as hell so the consensus is to get a wooden one... or you can use the back of the chair, or if someone loves you a lot - you can use an extra person and have them hole up the 2 foot long loop. the way the swift works is that you have someone (or you if you're coordinated enough) open up the swift to a circumference smaller than your loop, and insert the loop and open it.

now, if you choose to wind, swift or both, please not the following - tightness seems to be an issue with yarn. if you stretch the yarn too much it will lose the elasticity. if you wind it too much it will lose elasticity... get the picture?

so what am i choosing to do? that's right... lay out the 2 foot long loop on the couch, slightly open, and be VERY VERY careful not to tangle the yarn as i unwind it one round at a time.


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