How To’s-day: Make your own Yarn Swift!

howtosday-icon.jpgOk. I admit it.. I really didn’ think my schedule through when promising a tutorial on the flower loom with videos and everything for this How to’s-day, so I need to table it for a week.. this is VBS week and things are a bit more crazy than I expected! Summer is the busy time of year around our house.. so I give you and oldie but goodie this week! I recently had someone use this little idea I thought up two anda half years ago (how can it be that long!!) and so I thought it was perfect to dredge up, make a little more easy to find; and share with anyone who missed it the first time around!! So without further ado.. how to make your own home made yarn swift!

Who wants to spend big bucks on a yarn swift? ME.. but I dont have it! Not if I want some skeins of yarn to put on it that is! So I was trying my darndest to use my WONDERFUL yarn ball winder that I got from my birth Mother for Christmas and failing miserably! The yarn was getting tangled, the baby was getting into it, and I was STRESSED! I had to do something! I had to get the job done! But what could I do! Well my brain went into over time, I scanned Ebay but the swifts are few and far between, expensive and the bidding is furious! So that was a wash!
Then my eyes fell upon the objects in the house. What could I use? The back of a chair? NO. The legs of the chair? NO. What could I use.. Then I saw it! The holy grail! The object that would save me from my stress! A computer chair! Look at those spinning legs thought I. They look like they could work.
But what about the wheels? The yarn wouldnt go round them, it got tangled in the. So I lost the wheels. Now what? I would have to find something to do for pegs! I didnt have any dowels that we thick enough to fit in the holes left by the wheel pegs. UGH!
Then again my eyes fell upon the object of my desire! I spotted a crayola marker lying on the floor! Eureka! I grabbed it and it was a perfect fit!
home made yarn swift

Just stick those markers in the spots where the wheels normally go and voila! You have a swift! You can even adjust it by stitcking the markers in those triangular parts (if you have them) in the cross beams of the legs..

I can just see it now.. knitters carefully examining computer chairs for certain swift making attributes before they buy! (boy and we thought we just had to search for hand knit sock enhancing shoes!!)


  1. Anny says:

    Hilarious, ingenious (is that how you spell that?) and just plain brilliant! Hats off to you for thinking of it.

    Now excuse me while I go check out our chairs for swiftness ;0)

  2. pat says:

    you are a genius. my son and I were searching the how to sites and got great laughs from your design and great ideas. too clever!! thanks for the entertainment and the idea. he can’t wait to make me his own take on this .

  3. Jordan says:

    I have another tab open right now to order a $50 swift, but before hitting “buy,” in desperation I searched and found your GENIUS idea! After all how many times will I really need a swift? Never, that’s how many. Thanks for saving me the money and the storage space. Sorry, Knit Picks!

  4. Lori says:

    You are a genius! What a fantastic idea. I bought some yarn from another knitter who didn’t need it, but I did NOT want to spend $100 on a swift and a ball winder to get it ready to use. Your idea was perfect. I didn’t have the right size pens, so I used three popsicle sticks in each hole — worked great! I also used a hand mixer and a paper towel tube as a ball winder. I can now wind a ball of yarn in less than 3 minutes! Thank you so much.

  5. PH says:

    GENIUS. I LOVEEEEEEEEE THIS! Thank you so, SO much! Just for those who want a tip for doing this and they DON’T want to take the wheels off of the chair: With the flipped over chair next to (probably resting on top of a table), stand on a chair NEXT to your “swift”. By being elevated and winding the ball at an even pace, you won’t have a problem with the wheels at all!

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It definitely makes winding balls by hand more pleasurable, considering I don’t have the money to invest in a swift and a yarn ball winder at this time!

  6. Heather says:

    This is the best idea I’ve seen. People like you make life easier. And of course, the “I should have thought of that”. comes into my head. Have a blessed day.

  7. Sunny says:

    OMG! I read this and grabbed the office chair from upstairs and ribbed off the wheels! Works like a charm! Even my husband is impressed! Thank you!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Totally brilliant! I was looking to go buy materials and spend today making something..that I was sitting on as I browsed the internet! Thank you!

  9. Jessica-Jean says:

    Now I know why I’m always studying discarded office-type chairs at curbside! I always wonder if there’s not some way to use some part of them, even if they’re not fit for sitting on anymore. NOW, I know! Thank you so much!

  10. PurpleJ3nn says:

    Oh my goodness! I am SO doing this RIGHT NOW! (those caps are excitement, not anger, ha ha)…
    My neighbor gave me a cheap computer chair that I really didn’t need, but couldn’t see thrown out. This is beyond perfect!
    Thank you!

  11. Pauline says:

    Wow! Am I glad to find this page! I baulked at paying £40+ for a yarn swift and was looking for instructions to make one, but I’d never have thought of using the old computer chair out there in my utility room, just waiting to go to the recycling centre. Perfect. Thank you so much. 😀

  12. Sandy says:

    Super Idea! I am getting right up from this chair to give it a whirl… thanks!

  13. sandy says:

    Just another thought….Won’t have to search every inch of the house to find either!

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  15. Kelly M says:

    Absolutely brilliant! I’ll have to scavenge an old chair somewhere. I used to have an old office chair from work that was missing the back and arms. It would have been perfect!

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