December 29, 2009

End of the Year Recap and an Improvised Swift

I seem to have been lazy about posting again this year, but I have been silently knitting like a fiend the entire time. I have had a good year in the knitting, with lots of new projects and yarns and things learned. There has been a great discovery of local yarn stores. Especially the wonderful new Cast Away.

As usual, there was a flurry of Christmas knitting this past week and each of my family members has or will receive a gift. Mom got replacement knucks, Bret will get full-fingered gloves, and Dad got a scarf. And in the shuffle of visiting relatives, I finished another scarf for me or perhaps a gift to someone eventually.

I have a flurry of projects in mind and several good yarns just sitting around waiting. This is what spurred me to new heights of crafty inspiration this afternoon. I was contemplating the horror of trying to hand wind two skeins of alpaca. I know myself and I know the knots that I inevitably end up untangling. A simple task of winding usually takes me hours and I end up never even getting to the project that day. So I longingly looked up ball winders and swifts and then, in my usual cheap, crafty way, I looked up ways to make my own.

Surprisingly, there were several handy ways to make a swift. I opted for the most simple one I found. The tutorial and pictures here was the base model. I threw in some clothes pins to keep things in place, and ta da!

I am very pleased with maybe 10 minutes work and no money spent. I still wish I had a ball winder to go with it, but I can suffer through using a piece of pvc pipe and a hair band as a nostapinne. It's not the greatest system, but it works and I have yet to have a single snarl!

I am going to try and post more about my projects. I always regret not keeping track as much as I would like to. It would be helpful when I want to knit another of the same project and could read about all the problems I encountered. Anyway, I count today as successful in both knitting and craftiness.

Now back to winding so I can start knitting this alpaca into a shawl or scarf. I am undecided as to which.

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