Monday, September 19, 2005

Swift of all Swifts

My new swift from Bluster Bay Woodworks arrived on Saturday, and I'm in love - with the gift and the giver. Thank you, dahlinks!

I first saw the Bluster Bay swifts at Stitches West in February. I was not able to convince myself I should buy one, but I was rescued by a New Interpretation of Anniversary Gifts. We haven't yet worked out all the upcoming years, but my spouse-o and I have established that annivesary 13 should be celebrated by exchanging "ridiculously expensive hobby accoutrements". Who needs store-bought lace, anyway?

So for our thirteenth - August 29, 2005 - he got a Canon 500mm f4/L lens for photographing birds and I got a pair of Gingher embroidery scissors and a swift from Bluster Bay Woodworks, in black walnut. Or rather.. I got the promise that one was coming in the mail. We had regular updates from Terry at Bluster Bay for two weeks until he mailed the swift out last Monday.

And Saturday morning it came! Minutes after it arrived, we were making enormous hanks of Plymouth Fingerpaints into enormous center-pull balls. PLEASE click on these small images so you can see the Glory That Is a Bluster Bay Swift.

img_4111  img_4116

The key to this swift is the metal center pole. Instead of wood turning against wood, the metal center pole rotates inside a metal collar, surrounded by the wood of the base. Metal on metal allows the swift to turn much more easily. At Stitches, you could see the swifts turning in the breeze of a (small!) fan pointed at them. The mechanism that attaches the swift to the table is also based on this metal pole and screw. You twirl the bottom handle gently to attach the swift to your table quite firmly. Very, very nice device. Too bad I didn't have more yarn to wind!

Sunday I used the Fingerpaints to cast on for the allegedly 1-skein "quick 2 knit" toddler jacket that both Mel and I have made before. Despite having already knit this pattern twice, it's not going well so far. I've screwed up the increases about 16 ways to Sunday, primarily because a) I didn't have any stitch markers. b) I knit the first 20 rows about 3 times before I saw the words "increasing on BOTH sides of the markers" in the pattern. No wonder if wasn't getting big fast enough! and c) I was trying to knit in the dark at the final performance of Nicholas Nickelby at the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda. This dramatization of this Dickens' novel by David Edgar brings Dickens' stylized characters to life. Run, don't walk, to get your hands on the DVDs of the 1981's Royal Shakespeare Company production.

Perhaps knitting in the quiet of my own home, alternately gazing at my new swift and my dahlink spouse-o, I will make better progress!


Anonymous jeni said...

Now that is one purty swift! Congrats.

September 19, 2005 7:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Walker said...

Huzzah the Wife! Huzzah the Swift!

xoxox, WFW

September 20, 2005 12:00 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

So much for your yard sale find swift eh? ;)

September 20, 2005 2:06 PM  
Blogger spinnity said...

Well.. I still have the Famous 50 cent Yard Sale Swift.. haven't been able to let it go. I guess it's now more of a story than a swift. :)

September 20, 2005 2:31 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Happy (belated) anniversary! Bill sure knows the way to a knitters heart. :)

~ Christina

September 23, 2005 11:22 AM  
Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

*makes mental note* 13TH anniversary, huh? Hmmmm... I wonder if maybe the first or second anniversary would justify the purchase of something that beautiful.

I may appear on your doorstep regularly with large hanks of unwound yarn.

September 23, 2005 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Gale said...

I know this comment is way, way late, but your swift is fabulous. I am in the middle of negotiating one right now...

January 18, 2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger spinnity said...

Hey, Gale,

I was really hoping that people would find my swift blog post, since Bluster Bay has zero online presence. This swift is such a dreamy addition to my knitting equipment. I hope you love yours as much as I love mine! Good luck.


January 18, 2006 2:24 PM  

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