I own neither a swift nor a ball winder. I’m not (yet) a prolific knitter, so this hasn’t been a huge issue for me so far. Mostly I buy my yarn at shops where they will wind the wool for you, which is an incredibly generous service for a small and often bustling shop to offer. For a couple of bigger projects, though, I bought my wool at a larger shop, and they do not offer a winding service.
I thought of all those “hold my skein” jokes and then wondered how long it would take me to wind, say, the 1200 yards of fingering weight yarn I needed for my sweater. Or, indeed, the three skeins of Cascade 220 I need for my most recent endeavour. I did a little mental math, decided that I value my relationship too much to put L through that much skein holding and decided to figure out another way. My solution: an office chair. It isn’t quite ideal, but it does spin and hold a skein nicely, and I can wheel it over to where I want to sit while winding the wool by hand.
This system has been working quite well, and then one day Ganymede walked into the room while I was happily winding away (and watching the Season 2 finale of Fringe because, Pacey Witter!, and also, winding wool is not very exciting). Naturally, if you’re a little cat and there is wool moving around, you want in on it.
I fought her off as best I could, but man, she is so cute that even when she’s bad it’s hard to really be mad. At least she didn’t chase the balls the couple of times that I dropped them, right?
In the end, her interference didn’t cost me too much time or pain (her claws are quite sharp), and I went from this
in not too much time at all. If I start needing to wind more yarn than this per project, though, I might just have to invest in a proper system. Ganymede’s reaction alone would be worth it.