Yarn Swift for My Wife

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Project by ToyMakingDad posted 04-29-2014 03:27 AM 2551 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Outside of the usual toy making realm for me but when my wife asked for a yarn swift several months ago, there was no way I was going to say no. Basically a yarn swift makes winding a ball of yarn from a skein of yarn (the sort of sausage shape they are usually sold in) a lot easier than the alternative methods of draping it across a chair back or having some doofus stand there with the yarn over his outstretched arms.

Wanted to make a vertical swift and not a horizontal one and got the general idea from IkeandBerry’s Yarn Swift for Mothers Day” on LJ. (Thanks IkeandBerry.)

Used 1 1/2” x 3/4” oak from the big orange store.
The two arms of the cross are 36” long and are interlocked with a lap joint through the center.
The arms are trimmed and planed to 3/4” x 3/4”.
Rounded over the ends using the belt sander disk.
Top of the central post is 22 1/2” from the ground.
Pegs and central axle are 1/2” oak dowels with a 1/8” dowel used as a locking pin.
Base is held together with 1/4” oak dowels.
No glue used at all so that it can be taken apart as needed.

Cut the parts on Saturday afternoon. Assembled, tweaked and applied the finish on Sunday. Completely surprised the wife on Monday.

The finish was my first try at beeswax and mineral oil. I’m a total convert now. Our 9 year old helped make it and it is an absolute joy to work with. No bad smells or fumes. In fact, it smells a little like honey when you first apply it. No need for gloves or ventilation and supper fast from start to finish. You can see the difference in the side by side central post picture.

If/when I make another – I’d keep the central hole 1/2” but sand the axle for the clearance. On this one I made the hole a little too big and there was a bit of wobble. The cross would occasionally clip the central support until I added a couple of washers. Might also add a wood block where the washers are now to replace them and to shift the weight a little farther forward.

Wife is happy. Daughter was happy to help. Cats are fascinated by a big spinning thing with yarn on it. All good.

-- Toy Making Dad, Northern Virginia,

2 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4645 days

#1 posted 04-29-2014 09:36 AM

Very cool should serve her well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View hotbyte's profile


1156 posts in 4431 days

#2 posted 04-29-2014 06:18 PM

Neat. Wife does a lot of crocheting but I’d never seen a yarn swift. That’s my “something new every day” for today :) I did Google it and found this swift and ball winder . Making a ball winder would be perfect companion to the swift you made. :)

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