Thursday, December 26, 2013

The One Were I Admit I Am Not So Clever...

My DH is awesome.  He made me a warping board & large swifts back when I was dyeing yarns.  He is pretty nifty.  And he really tries to get me presents I really want.

But since the Littles came into the picture, half the time we have skipped presents for each other.  The kids come first.

This year, it happened he was able to splurge this Christmas.  And he knew what a headache I had been having with ball winders.  I have three since I started knitting.  Frustrating.  Mind you, none were over $25, but still. 

The first one I snapped the piece off because the yarn caught & when I tried to pull it, the piece pulled off, snapping part of the base where it attaches.  Then I tried a Knit Picks one.  Again, just seemed to wrap super tight.  I had the center piece pop off.  Also, the loop for the yarn moved all over the place.  I complained to Knit Picks and they were super & sent me a new one.

However, I had similar issues.  I was so fed up with it.  I tried unwinding the yarn from the swift.  Tried to get it to behave.  But I nearly always ended up with wonky balls with threads on the top & bottom.  I just figured it was something I was doing.

So when DH offered to get them the Strauch wooden ball winder, I was beyond thrilled.  They are pricey, but built to last longer than I am!  *grin*  So I opened it on Christmas Day.  Such a happy camper.

So I pulled some yarn from the stash & went to winding it.  It is some beautiful String Theory on their discounted SW wool/bamboo base.  So yummy.

And what should happen?  It was pulling.  It was snagging around the top and bottom.  The usual issues.  With a high end ball winder.

So I figured the issue was something I was doing with my winding.  I really thought the ball winder was just supposed to do all the work.  So clearly, there must be more to it.

Hit YouTube.  Multiple videos later, I realized that in fact I was doing things right.  So what was the issue?

The swift!

It is a good, solid wood swift.  I paid about $50 for it which is a good deal for a wooden swift.  But clearly it wasn't spinning with the ease it should be.  When a video is showing a plastic one that is working beautifully with a plastic ball winder...there is an issue.

I love the internet.  After some searching I found this:

Clearly I was not alone with my swift issue.  And luckily others had figured out a solution.

A can of Liquid Gold later, so somewhere around $2-3 later, I have a swift that moves without sticking much.  There is still a bit of grab in it, but the difference is stunning.  Two beautifully wound balls later, I am feeling both very happy and very silly. 

I really thought that the turning being stiff was normal for the swift.  Not like I had a lot of experience.  But I am feeling very sheepish after destroying multiple ball winders.  *sigh*

On the happy side, I should now be able to wind nearly any yarn without resorting to language that could make a sailor blush.  So I shouldn't have to resort to waiting til night and the kids are asleep to attempt winding yarn.  *laugh*

I am posting this now.  Wanted to talk about the sock challenge.  But I figure if I start, I won't get this posted in the next week.  *grin*

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