The Top 8 Best Yarn Swift to Step up your Knitting Game With

When knitting, there are a lot of tools that can make this form of crafting a lot easier. Yes, easier! You have probably stumbled across the term yarn swifts: nowadays there are many available to us – but of course, only the best make it to the test! Are you on the lookout for the best yarn swift? We have researched for you and will present to you the top 8 best yarn swift to step up your knitting game with. Listed below, you will find our top picks and buyers guide to find everything you need to know on the different types, features, materials, and sizes.


What is a Yarn Swift?

A yarn swift is a very useful tool for winding up your balls and hanks of yarn. Using a yarn swift, you can make “yarn cakes” in a super-easy, smooth way – and combined with a ball winder, it tames the skeins of fiber while you wind them. They allow you to knit faster and a lot more efficient (a big plus, if you ask us)! This nifty device is often made out of wood, metal or plastic, or a combination of these materials.

It is a perfect solution to keep your wool or other type of yarn in place and let it remain its elasticity when you’re not using every bit of it right away and wish to store your leftovers. A yarn swift is a great problem solver for big messes of yarn strands, tangles, and webs of yarn when knitting directly from a hank. This way, you are able to determine how firm to wind the fiber.

The most famous, or common type of yarn swift is the umbrella swift. This easy-to-manage tool holds your skeins under tension and allows you to unravel them easily, wrapping your yarn into cakes. But before we get into the different types and their specs: let’s kick off with the list of our top picks! When you need a little more background information on how to use it, scroll down below to discover our buyers’ guide.


Our Top Choices on The Best Yarn Swift

1. Best Overall: Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder (Medium)

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Made out of finely finished birch wood, this umbrella-type swift is a feast for the eyes, and without a doubt our favorite item on the list. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, this yarn swift is suitable for you because of its convenience in use. It holds up to a 6 feet circumference skein and is easy to clamp down to the surface of your choice tightly, and has a sturdy quality.

This type is convenient to use both with and without a ball winder and the ribs collapse easily in case you would like to store it away. Time to unravel that yarn mess!

Specs:

Brand: Stanwood Needlecraft

Dimensions: 23.5 x 3.25 x 3.25 inches

Weight: 1.98 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella

Size: Medium

Material: Wood

Pros:

  • Spins smoothly and quickly
  • Beautifully sand-finished, natural wood
  • Easy to use, also for beginners
  • Collapses to allow for storage
  • Durable, sturdy design

Cons:

  • The wood of the base on the wood of the swift may cause friction
  • The clamp-on base doesn’t always hold well

2. Best Umbrella Yarn Swift: Nagina International Tabletop Umbrella Yarn Swift

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When you are not a big fan of clamping your yarn winder onto a table, this Nagina International Tabletop might be your go-to choice. The heavy base out of which the yarn swift is made is ideal to swift and wind your fiber without shakiness. And you can use it anywhere! The appealing design allows you to leave this beautiful piece of design in plain sight, it is simple to assemble, and thus ready to use within minutes. Need we say more?

Specs:

Brand: Nagina International

Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches

Weight: 2 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella, tabletop

Size: Large

Material: rose and maple wood

Pros:

  • Has a stable, tabletop base
  • Smooth and quick rotation
  • Admirable wood quality
  • Easy to adjust for different sized skeins
  • Collapsable arms – easy to store

Cons:

  • Can only be spun in one direction
  • May move around on the table when using

3. Best Amish Style: Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Amish Style Wooden Yarn Swift

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As you can tell from the name, this minimalistic style, appealing tabletop yarn swift is used on a table. It spins smoothly and comes with four pegs that allow you to adjust the measurements of your yarn rings in seconds. This solid-wooden mechanism comes without any screws, which makes it easier to construct it quickly and – more important – without hassle. For a nice finishing touch, the wood has been finished by extra fine sanding, without toxic varnish fumes.

Specs:

Brand: Stanwood Needlecraft

Dimensions: 29 x 5 x 1.1 inches

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Style/type: Amish style / tabletop

Size: Medium

Material: Wood

Pros:

  • Has 4 non-slip pads to avoid moving around
  • Spins smoothly
  • Can be easily taken apart for storage or carrying around
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Has removable pegs for smaller yarn hanks

Cons:

  • Needs to either be completely taken apart or left out when not in use
  • May move around on the table while using

4. Runner up on Best Amish Style: CHIAOGOO 1098 Amish Design Wooden Yarn Swift

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When you’re a fan of sturdy, solid wood and simple, easy to work with tools, Chiaogoo might just have the right thing for you. Where the Stanwood Needlecraft has a more budget-friendly price, this product is worth its price either way. The stable tabletop design allows you to work with up to a 62 inches in circumference skein of yarn and doesn’t spin or move around when in use – not even at higher spin speeds.

Chiaogoo’s swift is friendly to use for beginners and keeps the tension of the yarn stable and even.

Specs:

Brand: Chiaogoo

Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.4 x 25.5 inches

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Style/type: Amish style / tabletop

Size: Large

Material: Wood

Pros:

  • Simple and minimalist design
  • Sturdy wooden frame
  • Spins smoothly, not noisy
  • Easily adjusted in size
  • Comes with non-slip pads on the bottom to avoid moving around

Cons:

  • Quite big, so takes up more space.
  • May lack of stability

5. Best Budget Choice: Favordrory Knitting Hand Operated Umbrella Yarn Swift

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If you’re on the hunt for a bargain, there is a high chance Favordrory’s design will meet your needs. For a modest price, this blue colored umbrella-type yarn swift is all yours and comes with a handy storage cage to prevent damaging. It takes little effort while setting it up, and the use is simple. The yarn swift can be used for numerous winding processes.

To add one of our favorite features: whether you are looking to use your yarn swift vertically or horizontally, both are possible, as the end is designed to install the swift in any desired angle.

Specs:

Brand: Favordrory

Dimensions: 21″ x 19″ x 17″ inches

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella

Size: Medium

Material: Metal and plastic

Pros:

  • Lightweight but sturdy, colorful design
  • Spins smooth and is easy in use
  • Can be used both horizontally and vertically
  • Easily adjusted in size
  • Comes with a nice storage case

Cons:

  • The clamp may leave marks on a wood table
  • Not suitable for a round-edged table

6. Easiest to Use: Knit Picks Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift (Onyx)

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As if the design of this beautiful yarn swift isn’t a big enough benefit: Knit Picks has also knocked it out of the park with an outstanding rate of user-friendliness. The high-quality wood is easy in use and allows the yarn swift to rotate free and smoothly. Next to that, the clamp holds the swift in place on any table or surface up to 1 ½ inch thick, so you can install it on different types of surfaces. And who wouldn’t want such eye-candy to knit with?

Specs:

Brand: Knit Picks

Dimensions: 27 x 4 x 4 inches

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella

Size: Medium

Material: Birch wood combined with metal hardware

Pros:

  • Sophisticated and elegant design, matte black finish
  • Metal hardware for more durability
  • Easily clamped onto the table
  • Spins smoothly and quick
  • Suitable for the most divergent fiber weights

Cons:

  • The wood may be a little stiff, but this seems easy to fix with polish or wax

7. Best Design: Yarniss Medium Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift Winder

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Number five on the list isn’t the only one that scores well on department design – but this minimalistic yarn swift by Yarniss wins the grand prize. This product is made of natural birch wood with a smooth finish, and its joints are tied by a solid rope made out of hemp. To take it up a notch, this yarn winder comes with an extra screw, is easy to use – loved by many – and runs extremely smooth.

Specs:

Brand: Yarniss

Dimensions: 27 x 4 x 4 inches

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella

Size: Medium

Material: Birch wood combined with metal hardware

Pros:

  • Minimalistic and elegant design
  • Effortless to use for both beginners and more experienced knitters
  • Collapses to allow storage
  • High quality, and comes with an extra screw
  • Assembled quickly

Cons:

  • The screw doesn’t always seem to hold well
  • May lose quality after intense using

8. Best Combo of Yarn Swift and Ball Winder: Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift

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Last and definitely not least: if you thought that the yarn swift itself was already a huge time saver, we’ve got a surprise for you. Using a yarn swift in combination with a ball winder will change the knitting game even more. While the yarn swift is spinning in a circle, you are winding the fiber into a yarn ball or cake, using the ball winder at the same time. The design is simplistic and sturdy, extremely easy in use, and more important: easily stored away, and you can use the umbrella swift in any angle desired.

Specs:

Brand: Olikraft

Dimensions: 17 x 7.5 x 4 inches

Weight: 2.1 pounds

Style/type: Umbrella

Size: Large

Material: Metal and plastic

Pros:

  • Improved design
  • A very budget-friendly combo option
  • Easy to set up and store
  • The combination of both allows you to wind yarn very quick
  • Convenient and easy in use

Cons:

  • The yarn swift works best on a squared surface – can’t be clamped to rounded edges
  • Open metal loops in the swift may catch the yarn when you are putting on a hank

Our Verdict on the Best Yarn Swift

Out of all the products reviewed above, to us, the umbrella type yarn swift seems easiest in use. That’s why the Stanwood Needlecraft wooden umbrella swift yarn winder is our favorite. It is a great value for the money, it is effortlessly clamped down and the sturdy quality is exactly what you need when using a nifty device like this. The smoothness of spinning and the feature to collapse and be stored easily does the trick and outweighs its competitors.

Top tip: if the medium size is not big enough for you, Stanwood Needlecraft offers even a larger size option.


Buyers Guide on Yarn Swifts

If terms such as yarn swift, Amish style, and yarn winder still bring up a lot of questions – there is no need to worry! Read on below for our complete buyers’ guide on yarn swifts and final advice before purchasing one.

Do I need a yarn swift?

Depending on the shape in which you are purchasing your fibers, the answer is, in this case, both yes and no. No goes up for the scenario when you buy a fiber ball – as they don’t need to be looped. But, when strands are bought in the form of a skein or hank, a yarn swift does indeed come in handy. Self-winding a hank is well known to be a quite difficult job, as it is likely that you will end up with a big pile of knotted threads. Look at the yarn swift as an extra pair of hands – it will save you time and a lot of frustration.

What is a ball winder?

A yarn, or ball winder – as you can tell by its name – is a great tool to partner up your yarn swift with, if you want to work quickly. It’s used for winding a ball from a skein or hank of yarn. Where the yarn swift just holds the fiber in place, the ball winder forms it into a ball. Combined, they turn your yarns into something to directly knit from.

Just as most umbrella-style yarn swifts, they are clamped onto a table or other flat shaped surface. They include a handle which you can turn, to create the force that you need to rotate, a cylinder-shaped roll around which the yarn wraps, and a wire arm for extra tension.

How to use a yarn swift and ball winder?

The first step is: find a spacious workplace and set up both the yarn swift and ball winder, preferably with enough space in between them, diagonally facing each other (with a distance from approx 18-24” in between, if possible). Start placing your yank of yarn on the yarn swift properly and determine tension. Remove the small ties around the yank.

Then, thread the yarn’s end through the feeder’s eyes on the ball winder and place it into the little slot on top of the spool. Starting to turn the handle of the yarn winder, it begins to wrap slowly around the spool. To make sure you start well, assist the yarn between the devices with your hands to keep everything in place. Once the fiber is smoothly being distributed between the swift and spool, you can change the cranking speed to a pace that suits you. Continue until you have created a nice yarn ball!

How do you use an Amish yarn swift?

As Amish style yarn swifts need to be used on a flat surface, it’s first necessary to find a table or other flat surface to work from. This type of yarn swift is known for its simple design – it is easily assembled, without the use of screws, bolts, or ties. With pegs that easily interlock to similar-sized holes, the yarn swift is set up in minutes. A big benefit to a tabletop yarn swift is that you can adjust it in size within seconds, by simply adjusting the pegs on all four arms.

The pegs keep tension on your yarn, while you wind!

What is a yarn swift used for?

Simply said: to make knitting easier! It is a tool used to hold a hank of yarn while it is being wound off. Since it is adjustable, they can hold hanks of different sizes. It rotates while you knit.

Do you pull yarn from the center?

When using a yarn swift and ball winder, you indeed pull yarn from the center. In this way, it will keep your yarn ball a lot neater and easier to re-use again later.


Final tips on choosing the right yarn swift

Yarn Swift Style

Before you start, it is key to first determine what yarn swift style suits you and your projects best. Out of all types, the two most common ones are umbrella and tabletop (or, Amish style). These all-rounders are suitable for most types of yarn weights and thus very appropriate for both beginners as more experienced knitters.

Each of them has its own benefits. For example, umbrella yarn swifts are easy to store, because – just like an umbrella – they can be collapsed, taking up less space. On the other hand, an Amish style needs to be fully unassembled before you can store them.

You can look at an Amish style yarn swift as a more minimal design, given the fact that it sits on a table, they only work horizontally and have fewer parts compared to the umbrella type. But, the umbrella swift can often be used both horizontally and vertically and is in most cases clamped to a surface of your choice, like a table or stool.


Material and quality

As you may have noticed from our above reviews list, materials like wood and metal often occur. And that’s for a reason: materials like these are likely to last longer, have a more sturdy feel, and are easy in use. There are also many swifts on the market made out of plastic, or plastic combined with one of the above materials – this results in a more budget-friendly option.

Of course, next to the budget many factors play a role in choosing the right material, like usage, design, and personal taste.

Top tip: given the fact that umbrella yarn swifts and ball winders are clamped on to a table, make sure to find out or test if the screw may damage the surface you wish to attach it to.


Size

Not only are there many variations available when it comes to style, material, and quality: measurements may also be a feature to think about. It’s key to determine what size of hanks you are wishing to turn into a ball. But not only, but also the size of the yarn swift (and possible, ball winder) is something to take into consideration. Yarn swifts come in different sizes and may require to be used in a working area with a lot of space. Next to that, each style has its own way to be stored away.


Hopefully, we have given you a helping hand on finding the best yarn swift. If not, do not hesitate to let us know or ask a question. Also, if we missed out on a swift that you find works well and isn’t listed, please comment below. Have fun knitting!

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