Knitters have their yarn and their needles. They have gadgets and do-dads, too. And books — oh, the books. I certainly have more than my share of all these things.
There are a few knitting things that I’ve had since The Beginning. One of them is my umbrella swift, and I think of it as one of the most important tools of my knitting trade. Without it I’d have a hard time wrangling those beautiful skeins of Brooklyn Tweed LOFT, or my favorite Sundara Sock Yarn, or the delicate Spirit Trail Nona.
Mine is wooden, probably made by Glimakra, purchased some time around 1980. Its loyal companion is a ball winder, one of those simple plastic wonders that creates the perfect little yarn cake with very little effort.
If you’re a knitter and you haven’t invested in a good swift and ball winder, please do. Clara Parkes summed it up beautifully in her Knitter’s Review article “Tools for Taming Yarn: Umbrella Swifts”:
“If you love knitting, love the feeling you get when you have needles in your hands and yarn in your lap, I urge you to honor this love and start saving for a swift. If you don’t have an immediate need for it, trust me: Someday you will, and you’ll get great joy from being able to use it.”
What’s your most indispensable knitting tool?