For months now I've been thinking about (and fiercely resisting, why?) buying a swift.
I was just about to break down and order an umbrella one (even though I hate the thought of a clamp) when a friend directed my attention to Hornshaw Wood Works - or more specifically, to the beautiful tabletop swifts one can buy there.
I placed my order within about ten minutes of seeing the page at the link. Apart from the fact that they fold down to almost nothing for storage, they're gorgeous:
and even cuter when dressed up to go out:
Never mind looks though - this design is also very practical.
You can use it to wind a skein into a ball, but also to take a ball back to a skein, for example if you want to overdye some wool you already have, like another friend did last week. This is not something I aspire to, but it so happened that this very weekend I did have to take three balls of yarn back into skeins, and - amazingly - this swift is even more fun to use for that than it is for winding yarn out of them.
And that is saying something. No more chair backs for me! From now on, I'll be winding balls of yarn from the comfort of the sofa, just giving a little tug to the wool as it spins off the swift. Bliss.