Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Goodies in the Mail

A box arrived today from Heather with a full hank and a already wound "cake" of the most beautiful dark grey / brown worsted weight wool that she sent so I can replace DH's Smurf toed Fuzzy Feet. (Thanks, Heather!) This is the first time I've been faced with a hank in years, but it gave me the opportunity to finally try out the antique swift that Mom & Dad found in the attic of the farm house where I grew up. The house was built in the mid 1800's and when they moved in back in 1941, there was a shoulder high spinning wheel (no spindle hardware, unfortunately), a yarn skeiner with a hand carved toothed gear to measure 40 turns of the cross bars, and this other thing with cross bars top & bottom, resting on a upright dowel in a stand so it spins and adjustable dowels between the bars. After wandering around the web for a bit a couple years ago after we moved it from the farm to the new house, I discovered that it was probably a yarn swift designed to hold a hank of yarn while it was being wound into a ball. Here it is after I cleaned it up some tonight with Murphy's Oil Soap.

And here it is with the hank on it. I wasn't sure how the yarn would fit, so I slanted the outer dowels out as far as they would go. The swift has to be over 100 years old and it looks to be hand made out of oak.

It worked great. Despite being on a bit of a tilt because of the angle of the main dowel as it goes into the stand, it turned easily and I was able to wind the skein into a ball in no time. The Fuzzy Feet are now cast on and I'm working on the cuff. This is the first I've worked with wool that wasn't Red Heart and I'm amazed at how thick & soft it is.

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Blogger freddyknits said...

Wow - what a cool swift. You lucky girl.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

That is a VERY neat swift! I'm glad you like the wool, and I'm sorry I didn't wind the hank for you! I was a wee lazy I guess. But all is well now that you can use your spiffy swift!
Happy knitting!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Jane, I have a swift almost exactly like yours! We bought it at an auction about 20 years ago when I had an antiques and collectibles store but it never went in the shop. I used it for decoration until last year when I started buying yarn in hanks. I have a picture on my blog. It's in the archives somewhere around Christmas. I love mine, too!

10:59 PM  

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