I should be packing, but instead I got out the Tinkertoys this morning and built a somewhat more robust Japanese-style vertical swift. (Instructions for making the swift are here.)
This works very nicely! It is made from about twenty 3/8″ O-rings and a 104-piece Fiddlestix set that I bought on Amazon for about $25. I’m not going to go into details on the construction because it’s fairly obvious – get the set and play with it! It’s not hard to do and I made mine in less than twenty minutes. (The O-rings are to help keep the wheel and the orange yarn-holding extensions in place.) It’s shown holding a 1.5-yard skein, and isn’t at full extension yet, so you could put a larger skein on it and still be OK. And, of course, it could easily hold an even bigger skein if you used long dowels in place of the red arms.
I’m totally psyched about this swift. It’s lightweight, durable enough to use (likely quite durable if glued!), easy to assemble, and more adjustable than the Goko swift sold by Schacht. Not to mention cheaper! The Schacht swift is $130 and this one can be built for only $30 ($25 for the toys and $5 for two 10-packs of o-rings). I’m going to do a few more experiments (and possibly glue down some of the pieces for greater durability), but I really think I’ve found my Perfect Swift. I’ve been winding off the 140/2 yellow skein shown in the picture, and it works like a dream. Hooray!
(I may post a video later if I can convince Mike to do the videotaping.)
Meanwhile, I’m starting to get serious about moving. The movers are arriving in just two weeks – time to start packing in earnest! Fortunately the the delicate equipment like the swifts, the Thermofax, the sewing machine, etc. have already been carefully toted over to the new place, unpacked, and put away. Equally fortunately, my yarn stash is already in boxes, so doesn’t need to be packed. But of course the books, the miscellaneous weaving tools, and oh yes, the rest of the house – need a lot of attention. I don’t expect to get a whole lot more fiber stuff done before the move, though I might sneak another skein or two into the dyepots. There is a lot of prosaic work to be done, unfortunately, and I have a hard deadline in two weeks.