PVC Swift/Skeiner tutorial

Note (Dec 2011) – I’ve been told by many that the cost to build the swift has increased since 2008.  When I built this, I lived in a part of the country with pretty low cost of living, so between that and inflation, the costs are now reportedly much higher.  I’ve heard about $20-25 is average now, depending on the tools you need or have on hand.  YMMV.

UPDATED! 7/6/2009

Many, many, wonderful knitters have told me that there’s a mistake in my tutorial for a while now, but I’ve been so busy with life that I haven’t had a chance to correct it.  It’s a minor one – the swift requires 4 2″ pieces instead of 3 as noted.  Anyway, it’s finally been corrected!

I finally did it! Remember the PVC Swift/SkeinerI talked about around a month ago?


The tutorial (pdf) is done!


  • Acts both as a yarn swift and skeiner
  • Holds up to a 2-yard skein
  • Collapsible so it can be stored flat
  • Has optional yarn guide to make winding on easier
  • Cost roughly ~$10 of supplies from a home improvement store (plus some tools)

OK, so I know that I’ve been super slow about it, but exam procrastination got me so I wrote this up (I would rather do anything but study… as you can see).

I tried to be real thorough about where all the parts go and to give detailed pictures and directions. Please let me know if you use it and find any mistakes or confusions. I would love to improve them. Send me an email at beatawih AT gmail DOT com (replace AT and DOT, obviously).

Also, if you build one of your own, let me know. I would love to see what yours look like!

OK, here comes the PDF of the tutorial. Enjoy!


April 29, 2008. Knitting, Spinning, Tools, Tutorial, Yarn. 28 comments.

Spinning Guild

On Saturday, I went to my local spinning guild for the first time. I was so pleasantly surprised at how large the guild was. There were probably about 20 people there. Wow – that many spinners live near me? One lady even told me she had the same wheel I did. Yay – someone to ask if my wheel is acting wonky. The ladies were all so nice at the guild, and super knowledgeable too. I learned so much just from sitting there and listening. It’s definitely going to be a great resource for any spinning questions.

Of course, it was super fun as well. Everyone goes around in a circle to do a show and tell. Some people have some awesome stuff spun and knitted up. One lady made this really long and amazing shawl out of linen. The drape was incredible, plus it looked great and cozy on her. Two ladies had hand dyed wool with easter egg dyes and food coloring. Such beautiful colors. Some showed their finished spinning. There was definitely some yummy stuff there.

I also found some yummy stuff to buy there. Check this out. It’s a wool silk blend (exactly percentage not sure). The blue is the wool and the silver is the silk.


There’s a really nice shimmer in person. It’s not as soft as merino (yeah, I’ve been spoiled), but it’s pretty soft. I bought 20 oz from a lady at the guild who owns her own farm and sells her fiber. I’m hoping to get enough yardage to make at least a tank top with it. Dare I say a sweater? I guess we’ll just have to see.

April 6, 2008. Spinning. 1 comment.

Red Merino Love

So I apparently like to forget to blog about spinning.  Here is my latest finished yarn, actually finished a couple of weeks ago.

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It’s 253 yds of sport-dk weight super-soft merino (~4 oz).  When I spun the singles, they were as soft as Malabrigo lace.  I think the finished yarn is pretty close in softness too.  I’m totally in love with this Merino. 

I spun it up to make a stag bag (link to pdf pattern), although now it looks like I’m a little short on yardage.  I think I’m going to try it anyway.  If I run out… well, I’ll just have to spin some more.  I guess I better go get more of this roving soon.

I’m currently spinning this to use along with the red merino for the stag bag.


Same super-softness.  I love merino!

March 28, 2008. Spinning. Leave a comment.

More Spinning

I finished spinning my orange alpaca a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know how I forgot to blog about it!

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It’s 8 oz, 250 yds of super soft 100% baby alpaca. It’s 3-ply and approximately DK to worsted weight (varies by section). There are some bulky spots too, and spots where the plying because a little boucle-ish. For my first yarn, it turned out pretty even.

This is what I’m spinning right now:

4 oz of “Cinnabar” Merino. It’s going to be a 3-ply DK as well (the orange alpaca was actually practice for this). I have another 4 oz of this in the color “Patina” – a beige-ish color. Combined, I’m hoping to make the stag bag in Harry Potter-ish colors (warning: pdf link).

February 17, 2008. Tags: , , , . Spinning, Yarn. 1 comment.