Thursday, February 01, 2007

Swift Advice

Using the money I got from my grandma for Christmas, and some additional to be thrown in by my brother for a Christmas/birthday gift, I'd like to buy a swift.

If you own a swift (that can be purchased online somewhere), could you tell me what kind/style, how big it is (both what size skeins it can handle, and how small it packs down), and what you like and dislike about it?

Here's the swifts I've found:

Elann (prices listed in USD for comparison purposes, although I'm located in Canada):
metal swift, $45 USD
compact wooden swift, $59.95 USD
full size wooden swift, $69.99 USD

(If I were to order from Elann, I'd be tempted to get a ball of canapone and a set of brittany birch #5 dpns, which would cost me an additional $11.75 USD + tax, etc.)

wooden swift, $62.50 USD (on backorder)

(...and I'd get a sweater stone, $7.95 USD.)

Knitting Warehouse:
small swift, $43.99 USD
large swift, $49.99 USD
...but Knitting Warehouse doesn't ship "internationally"... I don't know if they count Canada as international or not. (Some places have a special category for Canada.)

Knitting Notions
non-umbrella swifts, $39.99 to $45.99 USD

Also, does anyone know what sort of ding at the border I'll get? (Customs, brokerage fees, etc?) I'm currently used to ordering things in the US, and have gotten spoiled. ;)

Alternately, any great recommendations on Canadian sources? (Besides Elann, of course.)


Deneen said...

wooden one from Joann

It folds down and I store it easily in the box it was shipped in. I like it a lot. Knitting Warehouse has the same one (and I think deliver to Canada)

jess said...

I have the small one from joann's (I had a 50% off coupon so I think the price was around $20!). It's a 14" spoke model for skeins up to 60".

I've had it for a couple of years now I think, and it works okay. It is starting to fall apart slightly but it's basic enough that I have no problems repairing it -- it uses twine on the arms to allow for some flex in the frame and occasionally they some untied or whatever).

I have had a couple of cases where I had a hank that was just over 60" but it still worked (it was close though) -- most of what I've wound I haven't had any problems with that.

I like that it's an umbrella type because it gives me more control over how much tension I can put on the yarn.

I love the look of the X type that have pegs (like the ones at knitting notions), but they offer much less control over the tension on the yarn. They are more sturdy though... but also easy to make yourself. ;)

jess said...

oh, and on how small it packs down: it's tall but not wide when unopened -- maybe 1.5' tall and 2x2" (sorry for the non-metric :).

I am lucky in that I can actually leave it attached to one end of my L-shaped desk with my ball winder nearby and just use it as needed.

[mine is the same one Deneen has.]

burrito said...

Hi - just a warning when ordering from the US, if the company uses UPS to ship, they (ups) will charge you a brokerage fee for going through customes. This fee is a minimum of $50, regardless of the value of your package. I avoid ordering from anywhere that uses UPS. US Post is good though.

noricum said...

Thanks for the advice so far! :)

Hmmm... Joann doesn't ship to Canada. (Unless they think we're one of the US's territories? You never know!)

I understand feet and inches. ;)

Burrito: Thanks for the UPS/USPS tip! :)

Bethany said...

I have the oak swift from knittingnotions. I just got it for Christmas so I've only used it a little while unwinding a sweater.

I can say the wood is very lovely, the finish has that nice wood-finishy smell, and my Dad was impressed with how they used the placement of the central holes to hold the swift together without any kind of hardware, just pegs.

It is very easy to assemble and dissasemble and comes with a long skinny bag to store it in while disassembled. I'd have to measure the disassembled size, but... it's the size of all the pieces disassembled. :-) As tall as the arms and 4X as thick. I'm keeping it under my sofa at the moment, but it will pretty much stash anywhere.

Advantage: you don't have to clamp it to anything.

Disadvantage: you can't clamp it to anything. Therefore, you have to have clear table space in which to put it. :-) (Actually, at home I clamped my ballwinder to the snack table and put the swift on the floor. It seemed to work fine but attracted feline attention. This will obviously not a problem you'll have.)

Dunno. For some reason I find clamping things to the edge of the table annoying, so this works for me.

Kristen said...

I do not have a swift, but I'm going to build my own (warning, pdf) when I next find myself needing one.

Still haven't ordered anything from the US that required any brokerage fees yet. I'm not looking forward to that; in fact, I think I'll have my stuff sent to my mom and have her ship things to me, but I'm still working out whether that's actually necessary.

noricum said...

I had been thinking of building my own, but I've been thinking that for over a year now, and I still don't have a swift. I wouldn't be able to start until around June anyway, because my dad's woodworking stuff is out in the garage. (The garage might have heat, but there's no space *in* the garage.)