How to use a Yarn Winder and Swift Tutorial

How to use a Yarn Winder and Swift Tutorial

I have been crocheting for years and I would buy gorgeous hand dyed yarn from local yarn shops and indie dyers online but I never had a way wind it up unless I had it winded when I was at the yarn shop and had them wind it after I purchased it.  After having a large stash of yarn hanks and after discovering the love of designing socks with hand dyed sock yarn, I decided it was time to invest in a yarn swift and yarn winder and it was the best thing ever.  Several years ago I had no idea how to take my yarn hank and turn it into a yarn ball or cake and I attempted to wind it up and let's just say it was a disaster, I tangled it up so bad that it wasn't salvageable.  If you are going to spend money on that gorgeous hand dyed yarn, trust me, you want to protect your investment, you could purchase both a simple yarn winder and swift for about $30-$35 total.

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Beanies that I Love!!

1.  Vintage Ripple Beanie   2. Morgan Beanie   3. Jelly Bean Beanie


So let's dive into how to wind your yarn from that gorgeous hank and into a gorgeous calorie free yarn cake! Once you have your swift and winder set up, you can get started.  You don't need a lot of space, but you need enough room for the swift to be able to spin. If you are able to set it up with more room between the swift and winder, it will make it a little easier to cake it up, but as long as you keep it from snagging you will have a beautiful cake! You are going to untwist your hank and place it as straight as you can onto the swift. You will then need to find all the figure 8 ties that are within the hank, there will typically be at least three.  You will have one tie that has what looks like 4 strands, that tie includes the figure 8 tie and the beginning strand and ending strand of the yarn. Then the remaining ties will look like they are two strands but they are one that is tied together that you will just need to cut out.

You will want to carefully cut the ties, and then untangle the strand from the skein and you can toss those extra ties. Once you find the two strands that are the beginning and the ending of hank of yarn, you will want the end that when you pull on it the winder will twist counter clockwise. You will then take that strand and get it set into the yarn winder, there will be a metal piece you will need to do a loop through and then a slit to secure the strand of yarn.  Once your yarn is secure, you will then slowly turn the handle to get a few rounds onto the winder to make sure that it is secure.  Once you have completed those few rounds, you can continue wind the yarn until is all off the swift and onto the yarn winder.  You don't want to wind the yarn very fast but a nice steady speed so that the yarn is even and neat on the winder.  Try not to go too fast because that will make it cake up very sloppy and we don't want that! Once you wind up your yarn cake, you will want to secure the tail into the yarn cake and then slowly remove the yarn cake from the yarn winder and you can begin crocheting!

I would love to see your yarn cakes! 

Projects that I Love!!

1.  Stained Glass Blanket   2. Heidi Blanket  3. By the Bay Tunic

Need more inspiration? A fun textured blanket to make is the Oliver Blanket!  This blanket can be customized any way you like! ~Ashley


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