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What Is a Swift and Why You and I Want One

by Nicole Snow February 22, 2016

What Is a Swift and  Why You and I Want One

Swift? Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?

Dictionary.com has 11 different definitions for the word swift and you must get to the 10th to find the one that relates to fiber, "an adjustable device upon which a hank of yarn is placed in order to wind off skeins or balls". But does that really help us to understand what a swift is?Many of us have used fiber to knit, weave, crochet or create things but have no clue what a swift is. Do you really need to know? Haven't we been getting along fine without a swift? Who needs a  swift and isn't it just one more thing? Wikipedia offers a nice  overview of swifts including that they were once made of whale ivory!

In playing around with the idea of writing about swifts, what stands out most to me is that I have knit for decades, purchased all kinds of needles and notions that my patterns may require, and fiber, yes tons of fiber(and I have an issue with fiber but we will save that for another day's writing!!!). I consider these the tools of the trade.True to a point(needle point that is!), but why is it that I never new or cared about a swift? After years of knitting, weaving and other fiber endeavors I am ashamed to say that I have avoided the swift. Why is it that  swifts have never taken center stage on the fiber production scene?

Now Is Our Time

For a long time, I never even new what a swift was. I took out my skein or hank of fiber and rolled it into a ball. Easy, right? Well let me just say I have had many a tangle in life and have tied myself in knots at times just trying to get a ball of yarn from a skein! I have used chairs, children hands, and husband's feet to hold a yarn hank! Some of these techniques work better than others and I have had more than one opportunity to take a spaghetti-mess of yarn and toss it in the closet! Time is valuable for both you and I and now is the time for a swift.

Working with fiber is meant to be joyous, a celebration of love and creativity. I am all about making life fun! Life brings us tangles, times when we need all hands on deck, and we may feel like we lose the thread! Break free of such angst! Using a swift can make this all so much easier! This tool was invented somewhere in the 18th century to make our fiber experience go more smoothly. So yeah, a swift is just as essential as needles and yarn.

Hankering for Something

Working with a ball of yarn is definitely the easiest configuration for having your fiber tangle free and you can just go with the creative process as smoothly as watching the river flow!  Below you will see baskets of our chiffon ribbon just waiting to be swifted! Whoa...is swifted a word? No matter! It is now!

Grab your hank of fiber and snip off the threads holding it together and put it on the swift...swifts are usually adjustable which is key as you can adjust the swift to the hank you are putting on it. Once the tension is comfortable you can wind the yarn off the swift into a ball. Yes we are hankering for something...a swift to get our fiber into a ball. And remember that the DGY handmade wooden yarn bowl is the perfect matching for your nicely wound ball of yarn.

Whatever the hank, the adjustable swift puts order in the rolling process so grab your recycled silk punky chunky, your chiffon ribbon, your vegan banana fiber and get the spin on the joy of creating. Voila and you are on to your creation.

The Spin on Creating Or WOW That Was Easy

And with the swift we can leap to the creating part a lot more smoothly! Nicole's message is to start with love and the swift gets me to the part I love the most, creating a finished product. Creating brings joy and how fabulous it is that we have tools like the swift to open our hearts to the joy of creating. Be sure to watch Nicole's video below which is 2 years old but gives her explanation of the use of the DGY swift. And I love that it is made of wood! How cool is that? Just one more part of the journey of joy through creating and it just got a little easier!

xo Janis and the DGY staff


Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
-Henri Frederic Amiel
Nicole Snow
Nicole Snow

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