now i'm feeling so fly ... like a yarn swift / by jen geigley

This past Christmas, I asked for a yarn swift. Not an exciting thing for some people, I realize, but I love this thing. Life changing, I tell you. I had been looking at swifts for awhile, and decided on a wooden Amish swift instead of the umbrella type. This one is super simple to take apart and store, and the pegs are easy and fast to adjust. Love it.
So I've been winding all of those abandoned hanks lying in my yarn bins into pretty little cakes like these! Hooray!
So yeah, if you're not a fiber enthusiast and you're like ... 'what?' ... right now, lots of yarn actually comes in these twisted skeins, called hanks. And you cannot knit or crochet straight from a hank. Or you'll end up with a huge tangled pile of endless knots that you may never be able to untangle. Ever. Been there. It has the potential to make a girl cry. So when you purchase yarn in a hank, you usually have to gently untwist it into a loop and throw it over the back of a chair.
And then wind it, by hand, into a ball. You can knit from a ball, like these, or a cake wound from a swift (like the green and blue in the pics at the beginning of this post) without making a huge tangled mess. Understandably, this can take a very, very long time, especially if you're working with a thinner yarn. Even worsted weight stuff takes forever to wind by hand. So yes, I'll take the yarn swift. So much more fun.  :)

e.t.a. My yarn swift is the Chiao Goo Amish Design Wooden Yarn Swift from JoAnn Fabrics. They don't carry these in the stores, but for $40 it's a good deal and it works great.  (They're actually on sale right now for only $27.99!! So grab one!) They also sell handmade swifts on Etsy, so be sure to check there as well.