Yarn Winder And Swift – The Best Combinations For Winding Yarn!

A yarn winder and swift make winding yarn easier. The swift keeps the yarn from getting tangled, and the winder makes quick work of winding yarn. Here is a selection of the best yarn winder and swift reviews.

KLG Yarn Winder And Swift Feat Img

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Table Of Contents

Knit Picks Winding Station

Knit Picks Yarn Winding tools - Onyx Yarn Swift folder up, yarn winder and yarn bowl

It’s a brilliant choice for those who want an all-in-one solution for winding yarn. It includes a yarn ball winder and an umbrella swift.

This yarn swift is made of smooth birch wood, so your yarn won’t snag.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Quality Materials? – Yes, they both are! However the winder is metal and plastic, so it’s not as sturdy as wood
  • Are There Instructions? – Yes, they’re included, and everything comes almost fully assembled, so you’ll transform yarn hanks int a neat center pull ball in no time!
  • Size – The yarn swifts hold a yarn hank up to 66″ in circumference, and the yarn baller winds balls of up to 3.5 oz and the clamp fits most tables

Product Design

The swift has a sleek design and is collapsible for easy storage. This site also sells yarn, so you can purchase a yarn skein to try with your new tools!

Product Evolution

This handy kit includes a beautiful mango wood yarn bowl.


  • The best yarn ball winder and swift for those on a budget
  • This sort of tool makes winding hanks easy
  • No need to untangle yarn with this setup of plastic winders and wooden swifts
  • The swift includes a metal table clamp to secure it to any surface
  • The winder helps the yarn balls pull directly onto the spindle
  • Secure when clamped to the surface
  • Ships to the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada & Australia
  • One significant feature is the smooth cranking
  • The hand-operated winder is incredibly easy to wind
  • The shape is compact, and the styles are pleasing
  • The smooth sanding on the swift prevents scratches
  • Makes winding a good experience
  • These items suit yarn weights like fingering weights
  • Mount the winder on a flat surface using the clamp and screws
  • The swift has a plastic stopper to prevent damage while spinning


  • They ship separately, so may arrive on different dates
  • Some found the swift had weak points, but that’s a defect and is easily replaced
  • You need an account to purchase this
  • Doesn’t come with a storage bag, but you can keep it in its box

Stanwood Medium Yarn Winder And Yarn Swift

Stanwood Umbrella Yarn Swift and Yarn Winder

The Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Swift is made of smooth birch and metal, so your yarn won’t snag. The yarn ball winder is metal and ABS plastic.

This combination is excellent for those who want a medium yarn ball winder with an umbrella swift.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Quality Materials? – Yes, because the umbrella-style swift is made of solid wood with sturdy metal parts, and the winder is made of durable plastic and metal
  • Are There Instructions? – Yes, and it comes almost totally assembled so there isn’t much to do before you can create your center pull balls
  • Size – The ball winder holds a yarn cake up to 4 oz, and the swift holds skein dimensions up to 6 ft in circumference

Product Design

Stanwood is a well-known brand in the fiber arts world, and they’re renowned for their quality materials and attention to detail.

Product Evolution

Both the yarn winder and yarn swift clamps to a table edge up to a 1 3/4″ thickness.


  • They’re often used in craft stores for a good reason!
  • Easily create a center pull yarn ball with the umbrella style yarn swift
  • This business offers fast shipping to your country
  • These categories of tools have great value
  • Ships to the USA
  • The yarn purchased doesn’t get stuck on the bobbin
  • The yarn winder gives the working yarn even tension and grip
  • The table clamps are sturdy
  • Doesn’t make a mess
  • The swift folds down easily for storage in your home
  • These sellers ensure the features are easy to assemble


  • Not suitable for bulky weight yarns or larger skeins
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories
  • Some might not like the hemp ties holding the swift ribs together

Maple Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder & Swift

Fiber Artist Supply Maple Yarn Winder
Fiber Artist Supply Table Top Yarn Swift

For the best in quality, long-lasting features and amount of yarn it winds, look no further than this excellent handmade combination of machines.

Note: You have to buy these separately, but do them in the same order and it won’t be much trouble.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Quality Materials? – Yes! The heavy-duty, strong materials used in the machine and screw construction (Metal, hard and plywood maple wood and plastic)
  • Are There Instructions? – Yes, and it’s easy to put together as it’s almost fully assembled when it arrives
  • Size – The tabletop swift sits flat on a work surface in your craft room. Because the winder is a jumbo version, you need lots of space for it to stand on a surface

Product Design

Perfect for large skeins and bulky yarns, though you can’t wind too much. Up to one pound for a fingering weight ball of yarn, ten ounces for worsted weight and other smaller cakes.

Is this yarn winder worth it? Yes, if you’re someone who does lots of winding and wants something to last you years of crocheting or knitting. It creates wonderful results.

Product Evolution

It’s made by a company called Fiber Artist Supplies Co who is known for their quality fiber arts tools and attention to detail.

Their Etsy shop gives great customer service for knitting and crochet lovers.


  • This combination makes it effortless to make center pull yarn cakes. No longer is the task tedious!
  • The varnish color on both tools prevents scratches and wear and tear
  • The manufacturer ensures it has a one-year warranty
  • The parts for this great tool are replaceable
  • The pegs on the Amish tabletop swifts are adjustable to fit many hank sizes
  • The strand of yarn winds at an even tension
  • Practically silent when you crank it, so no annoying sound
  • This type of winder suits nearly any weight yarn
  • Doesn’t catch the hank of yarn
  • Crocheters, crafters, and knitters love these options
  • Many reviews with five stars from happy customers
  • Both tools have a smooth rotation and are in excellent condition


  • Expensive prices but worth it for the quality make
  • A variety of parts need regular cleaning, and maintenance is time-consuming. But if you take care of it, it lasts a long time
  • The manufacturers don’t deliver to the United Kingdom
  • These types of model aren’t lightweight

What To Look For In The Best Winder And Swift

Here are some key decision-making factors and most important things to consider when choosing the best yarn winders and swifts.

Is It Sturdy?

You don’t want something that’s going to break with the first use. Look for a winder and swift made with high-quality material, like wood.

For the most part, wooden ones are sturdier than plastic and metal.

Is It Made Of Quality, Smooth Materials?

You don’t want the yarn to snag on anything while you’re winding it. It’ll be a hassle otherwise! No one needs tangles. The best winders and swifts have quality materials that’ll hold the yarn without damaging it.

If you want something to do the winding of yarn hanks for you, get an electric yarn winder. They’re suitable for people with wrist problems or if you want to wind lots of yarn, and they run on electricity.

However, I couldn’t find a combination of an electric yarn baller machine and swift to buy. Purchase them separately.

Are There Instructions?

You need to know how to use your winder and swift before you wind yarn! Some products come with detailed instructions, while others don’t.

Is It In Your Price Range?

Yarn ball winders and swifts range in price from around $30 to over $100. Choose the one to fit your budget.

Is There A Good Return Policy?

In case you don’t like your winder or swift, or it arrives damaged, ensure the company has a good return policy.

How Big Is It?

Some winders and swifts fold down, while others don’t. Consider how much space you have for storing yarn winders and your metal, plastic, or wooden yarn swift.

Sometimes you’ll find vertical models rather than the usual ones that spin on their side. The former takes up less room than the latter.

Ensure the diameter of the hanks you buy fits the swift you’re looking at. Consider whether the yarn weight will fit on the cone of the winder too.

Which Is Best For You?

Can’t decide which yarn winder and swift combo to get? Here’s a comparison.

  • Knit Picks Winding Station – A great budget choice for beginners or for those who want to wind a small amount of yarn
  • Stanwood Medium Yarn Winder And Yarn Swift – This is a brilliant choice for those who want an medium-sized yarn winder and swift
  • Maple Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder & Swift – The ultimate combination for serious yarn lovers, knitters, store owners, weavers, spinners or people who create big projects from hanks


How Do You Wind Yarn With A Ball Winder And A Swift?

A ball winder is a device that winds yarn into a center-pull ball. A swift is a device that holds the skein of yarn open so it can be easily wound.

The two devices are used together to create perfectly wound balls of yarn in minutes. Here’s how to do that.

  • Use a sturdy bench or table
  • Cover the counter or surface with a piece of cloth to prevent damage
  • Make a place for your tools
  • Keep your ball winder and yarn swift 12-18″ apart
  • Secure each with the clamps at the base
  • Tighten the bolts

How Do You Put A Skein Of Yarn In A Swift?

  • Unwind the hank or skein and remove the ties. Be careful with scissors. Avoid cutting the yarn! Ensure the yarn is in a big circle loop
  • Locate the ends. They should be free of the skein
  • Swifts resemble umbrellas, so they’re called umbrella swifts
  • Push the knob at the bottom of the pole, and the arms spread out
  • Ensure your yarn loop fits around the arm-span. Make adjustments as necessary
  • See if the swift spins freely when you tug on the yarn end

How Does A Swift Yarn Winder Work?

  • Find the end of the skein of yarn.
  • Attach this to the winder
  • Slide the end through the metal yarn guide arm and into the slit/notch at the top of the winder spindle
  • Using this end, you access your working yarn
  • Wind yarn slowly at first with the handle
  • As you work, and the yarn pulls, control tension with your other hand
  • Speed up a little more
  • Check the yarn moves freely through the ball winder and yarn guide arm
  • Important note: Some models have two metal swing arms. One is for the yarn to pull through, the other is to control the tension
  • Keep going. It’s easy to make a yarn muffin!

Taking The Yarn Cake Out Of The Winder

  • Pinch the thread at the top of the winder
  • Slide the yarn muffin off the ball winder with your other hand
  • You hold the center pull end in your pincher fingers
  • Unwind a few feet of yarn from the outside
  • Wrap it a few times around the middle and tuck it in
  • You won’t notice until you reach the end
  • The cake is ready!

It might be difficult at first to wind the yarn, but you’ll get the hang of it!

Your friends and family will be relieved when they find out they don’t have to assist you anymore! And because the station isn’t on the floor, it’s on a tabletop, it should be safe from your dog or cat.

For easy identification, place the yarn label inside the center of the cake.

Need a video tutorial? See the one below and start winding to get back to creating your masterpiece.

YouTube video

What Is The Difference Between A Swift And A Yarn Winder?

The difference is a swift holds the yarn, and a yarn winder winds it into a ball.

Use them in tandem with each other for the ultimate convenience.

Do You Need A Swift With A Yarn Winder? – Can You Use A Yarn Winder Without A Swift?

No, you can use the back of a chair or someone’s outstretched arms, but a yarn winder and swift set make winding skeins of yarn much easier!

Does Winding Yarn Save Space?

Yes, winding your yarn into balls or cakes can save a lot of space. It also keeps your yarn tidy, and makes it less likely to become tangled.

What Is Yarn Winding?

Yarn winding is turning a hank or skein of yarn into a ball or cake. This can be done by hand or with a yarn winder.

Almost all swifts spin horizontally, but some models accommodate a vertical position. The Schacht swift, for example, winds vertically and is adjustable to almost any angle.

Why Is A Yarn Swift A Good Investment?

A yarn swift is an excellent investment because it prevents your yarn from becoming tangled, saving you time and frustration. It also helps to keep your leftover yarn organized and easy to access.

If you purchase yarn in skeins, which yarn from big stores is typically sold in, winding isn’t necessary. But if you want to look for knots, this is a great way.

The larger ones have a big capacity, so you can buy yarn in bulk for a large project, and start right away! You’ll be on track and finish much faster.

Why Is My Yarn Winder Not Working?

Probably because the yarn is caught in the teeth of the winder. Use the included guide to ensure the yarn is going onto the spindle properly.

Another reason might be is you’re winding too fast or too slow. An idea is to adjust your speed to see if that makes a difference to the yarn winder.

Something to keep in mind is you can always ask customer service!

Watch these videos for more help on the matter.

YouTube video
YouTube video

Read Next – Want yarn to go with your new setup? My guide to the best here.

Winding yarn is a necessary evil. It’s time-consuming and frustrating if done by hand. These tools are worth it to have neatly wound balls of yarn. Hope you found a winder and swift to suit!

What is your favorite yarn ball winder and yarn swift? Let me know below in the comments! (Your email address is never published.)

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About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan - (Author and Founder)

Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on Ravelry.

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