Virtual yarn winding

I’ve been too busy this week to make any progress on my yarn swift. Even if I had found a spare hour or two all in one chunk, the weather has been too wet and cold to work outside. Instead, in spare moments I’ve been developing my 3-D modelling skills in Fusion 360.

Not only do I have a working model of a swift that both stretches in and out and rotates …

Model of a yarn swiftModel of a yarn swift





Model of a yarn winder… but I’ve also made a start on a virtual version of the ball winder I’m planning to make. This still needs some gears and a handle to drive it, and I have a nasty feeling that gears are going to prove difficult.

I only wish I had managed to complete the swift, because I had to wind another of my Dundaga skeins into a ball by hand using nothing more sophisticated than the traditional aid of a chair back. When I say “had to”, what I mean is that it was necessary to use the plain pink yarn for swatching purposes. I tried knitting a little Fair Isle swatch in the round using two balls of the same gradient yarn but starting each at a different point in the colour cycle. Unfortunately, the colour contrast just isn’t good enough even though I had put some thought into how far along the gradient sequence the colour displacement should be. It would be awful to start knitting a garment with this long colour-change yarn and then find after many hours of labour that the colourwork pattern was indistinct in large sections because the two yarns were too similar in colour at those points.

Plan B is using plain pink with the gradient yarn.

tension swatch in Dundaga 6/1I don’t know yet which yarn should be the motif and which the background, I will knit a larger swatch than this tiny tube before deciding. The tube will need to be washed and blocked to see how big it ends up, but I’ll pull out the larger swatch to save on yarn. I’ve knitted the tube on 3.5mm needles which seems about right, albeit much bigger than would be usual for a supposedly laceweight yarn, even when stranding two colours. I think the yarn will fill out and “bloom” when it’s washed as it clearly still has plenty of lanolin in it. And it doesn’t look like a laceweight to me anyway, more like a 3-ply or even a skinny 4-ply – I’ve measured it as 17 wraps per inch.


About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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