Lots to show, much to tell

I could just show the new stash that arrived during the last week…

Oiled yarn, on the cone

I was so enamoured of the Geelong Lambswool fingering that I made the Lorien hat from that I swiftly shopped for some more in sweater quantity. This is the colour that I chose, it’s a bit more purple in real life.

Want to see what I have been doing with it? No, not knitting; I’m not ready for that yet, quite.

The first thing needed was to wash the yarn. I often don’t bother, but if the yarn is to change character much in the washing process, I’d like it to happen before I make my sweater. In order to wash the yarn, it needs to be skeined off. This is how I manage to do that…

I don’t use a niddy noddy – it’s too tiring for my sore arm.

I have this gorgeous Sunflower swift, hand crafted in wood.

No good

But I don’t use that… it is actually no good for winding skeins on to, as the skein gets tighter and tighter and the arms begin to rise up as the swift fills. It also lacks any easy winding handle.

I had to get an umbrella swift. In order to use it effectively for this process, it gets clamped horizontally onto the only suitable edge that I have – the door.


The umbrella swift isn’t a sturdy thing, but it does sport a winding handle…

The yarn, on its cone, goes here:

It's the best solution that I have found to date

It sits on the leg of a stool, which is propped at an angle in a skip of fleece!

A little tension may be added by correct deployment of the stool and its angle to the swift…

Oh, the tension!

Tension is important. The whole process is fraught, in fact. The yarn needs to hit the swift at the correct angle in order to wrap around the centre and not make loops in the wrong place – which it frequently does, in practice. The door is anchored to keep it still – I push it back as far as it will go (secured behind by a pile of blocking mats!) and then use a door stop.

A weighty dish

In this case I used a bowl of felted pebbles that I have been making.

The swift itself has to be set to a short skein length, to maximise the depth (catching area) of the winder.

...and off we go!

A pretty Heath Robinson set up!

Things do go wrong from time to time – the cone jumps off the stool and rolls around on the floor, for instance, or the yarn wraps around the outside of the skein winder – but this methid gets me themost action for the least investment of time and temper.

How do you do yours?


I have six skeins – washed and dry and ready to wind off the Sunflower into cakes on the ballwinder. They are going to make one of these – sooner or later. Sooner, if the Snowbird looks like it won’t be finished by 20th July, later if the Snowbird goes well.

I shan’t be winding cakes today as the table is dedicated to blocking my Merope shawl for the time being. FO post on that this Friday.