The dyeing I have been doing for the show, is getting behind, right now I think I stand to be three weeks behind. It really doesn’t sound like a lot, but it translates to a whole lotta yarn that needs to be dyed. The dyeing isn’t what is on my mind today though; it is the reskeining. Whenever I dye anything, I reskein it so those who purchase it won’t have to fight with it… well that AND it looks much prettier after it has been reskeined.
First, I was having issues with the swifts. I had two plastic adjustable swifts, which are like magic when you go from a swift to baller, however, they were not pleased to be helping out with the reskeining. When you reskein yarn from one swift to the other, a certain amount of tension begins to accumulate. The plastic swift was being squeezed in the middle to the point where I was very afraid it was going to break.
I had finally decided to get a wooden swift that would stand up to the amount of tension I needed. Looking online, they ranged anywhere from $50 up to $200. That is not even including the really ornate ones. I didn’t need something ornate, I needed functional. Even the absolute cheapest versions I could find were not worth it because the shipping cost as much as the swift itself.
I resorted to looking up DIY swift instructions online. I will take this opportunity to explain how Paul and I are NOT handy at all. We have only lived in our house a year and thank heaven nothing serious has broken because I would have to call my father, who lives three hours away. Aside from not being able to fix a leaking tap, I wasn’t sure how we were going to make this swift, we really don’t have many power tools to speak of and buying them JUST for this project seemed absurd.
I ended up mentioning this to Liane and she volunteered her fiancé Richard for the job. He has the tools and the experience to finish this project. I sent him over one of the DIY websites and pretty much told him I wanted two and he could bill me. As impressed as he was with my request he took on the job with good grace.
The first swift was built to the specifications within the website and christened ‘The Prototype’. It wasn’t very stable though and after explaining why the person who wrote the instructions was a quack, Richard modified it a little bit.
I am pleased to say with all the hard work Liane and Richard put in, I now have two very stable and functional swifts! Liane volunteered to help me skein a little bit and I showed her the fine details within the mechanics of a swift. Not that it is rocket science. We quickly termed the second attempt at the swift as ‘Ankle Crusher’. The arms of the swift were a little long so you could use them to turn the swift itself, unfortunately this had the side effect of smashing your ankles, thighs, forearms or anything else that got too close. You also had to lean waaaaaaay over to use it. I was clearly headed to ergonomic hell.
Luckily Liane was having none of this and we took said ‘Ankle Crushers’ to her place where she promptly removed the extra length of wood. I am in awe and slightly jealous of the way she wields a skill saw.
With that modification we are onto version 2.1 and I think it is a winner. There is some catching of the forearms on the pegs that hold the yarn, but I will see what feedback Paul has for me. He is, after all, the head skeiner of Stitch Please.