Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Let There Be (Yarn) Cakes! (DIY Swift)

HOW TO MAKE A SWIFT – by Suzanne Ress
2 pieces of ¼” x 1-1/2” wood cut to 37-1/2 inches long, plus the end pieces that are left after the cut.
2 pieces of ¼” x 5” pegboard cut to 37-1/2 inches long
1 fencepost cap (to use as base)
1 piece of 3/8” threaded rod (it was precut, about 12 or 18 inches long)
At least 2 3/8”-spacer hex nuts (about 1-1/2” long, or longer), you can get more.
2 hex nuts for the top and bottom of the threaded rod (3/8”), one of them could be a wing nut.
A packet of washers (1/2”)
One nylon or plastic 5/8” spacer that is ½” to 5/8” long and has a ½” hole
Wood glue
3/8” doweling, cut into 3” pieces
C-clamp to hold swift to table

Drill with 3/8” and5/8” bits.
Staple gun with heavy-duty staples, at least 3/8”
Miter saw
T-square angle ruler

Drill a 3/8” hole in the center of the fencepost cap.
Screw the threaded rod into the fencepost cap. Make sure it goes all the way through. If there is enough clearance underneath, add one of the hex nuts to the bottom of the rod.
Screw one of the long spacer hex nuts all the way down the threaded rod so that it snugs up to the fencepost cap and keeps the rod steady.
Screw the other spacer hex nut so that it is a couple of inches down from the top of the threaded rod (Note: I could only find two spacer hex nuts at Lowes, but if you want to add more to fill in the space from bottom to near the top on the threaded rod, you can).

Glue the pegboard onto the wood, making sure that the ends are even, and positioning the pegboard holes to be clear of the wood on either side.
Staple through the wood to hold the pegboard and wood together
Mark the center of each arm, measuring from end-to-end and across.
Drill a 5/8” hole at the center mark for each arm
To make braces to hold the swift arms at a 90° angle, use the miter saw assembly to cut a 45° angle at each end of the two leftover pieces of wood. IMPORTANT: make sure the angles are cut along the SAME long side of the piece of wood, so they both lean towards the center and towards each other.
Place one arm on top of the other, aligning the center holes. Put the nylon spacer in the hole to keep the arms lined up. Use the T-square on the bottom arm to square up the top arm.
Take one of the wooden braces and slide it against the wood, under the pegboard, with the short side of the brace towards the center of the swift. Since the pieces of wood for the arms are not even with each other, this has to be fiddled a bit. Mark the point on the arm and on the brace when the brace is set to hold both arms squarely. Put some glue on the brace and slide it back into place. Staple it on one arm of the two.
Repeat this on the “other” side of the swift arms, so the two braces are opposite each other.
Turn the arms over, and secure the brace to the “unsecured” arm.
To make life easier, I numbered the pegboard holes with indelible magic marker, to assist in even spacing of yarn hanks.

Put a washer on top of the spacer hex nut (you can add a nylon spacer on top of the hex nut, as I did) on the threaded rod.
Add the swift arms.
Fit the second nylon spacer over the threaded rod and through the center hole on the swift arms.
Add another washer on top of the swift arms.
Add the second hex nut or winged nut to the top. Screw it down to the swift arms, but DO NOT screw it down tightly. The arms should move freely.

Using the miter saw, cut the dowel into 3-inch pieces.
Use the pencil sharpener to sharpen one end of the dowel.
Push the dowel gently, using a twisting motion, into the holes in the pegboard to hold your skein of yarn. As I wound the skein, I found it loosened a little, so I kept readjusting the tension on the skein by moving the dowels.

As I wound yarn, the spacer nuts would loosen or move a little, so stop every once in a while and make sure that everything is secure.

Look, now I have yarn cakes!!

Guarded by Dickens.


z's momma said...

What a great idea using peg board! My diy swift stalled out at the drilling various holes for the pegs to hold the yarn.

Prestefruen said...

You are really a handywoman! Nice work.

secret said...

that's a fantastic how to! i tried to get my sweetie to make me one then he realized he could just buy one online. hahah. talk about lazy. i guess i am too though. i've been bad about getting to the post office. soon though i promise :)

MezzoDiva said...

very impressive! thanks for coming over to visit and drawing my attention to this terrific diy solution!

Regenia said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! I've always wanted a swift,but didn't want to pay so much. now I will have one and I can say I made it myself. thank you again.

Regenia said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! I've always wanted a swift,but didn't want to pay so much. now I will have one and I can say I made it myself. thank you again.