I prefer the term “no-cost alternatives” :P
Sure, investing in an actual yarn swift and ball winder could make my knitterly life a little easier, but who needs those when one can find other ways to turn those pesky hanks into balls?
In the beginning I used only my own self to wind up balls. Stuck the hank around my knees and fumbled around like a fool trying to wind a center-pull ball on my fingers. Not cool.
Next came enlisting the help of another human to lend their arms to the cause. Still too much fumbling with twisted yarn. Combined with your winding-mate’s tired arms. No thanks.
And then I discovered the wooden spoon. *Hallelujah!* Suddenly I found myself winding balls that would actually be center-pullable. What a notion. Ingenious! Except my poor winding-mate continued to suffer, seemingly endlessly holding up their arms until all the yarn was wound.
In 2006 we purchased a Poang chair from IKEA (long story short: while in Minneapolis, feeling very sick, toughed it out to have my first IKEA experience; sought temporary relief in demo Poang chair, and knew chair must come home with us). This chair was a lifesaver then, and is still proving it’s worth today. Yesterday I decided to wind some Cascade 220 into a ball – in preparation for his sweater. All of a sudden, through the rain and the clouds, a light shone into the living room right onto the Poang chair. And then I knew. Why I hadn’t thought of it before I’ll never know. But I sure know now. The Poang chair would make the perfect make-shift yarn swift.
Winding balls has never been more fun!