{knitting} An ode to my favourites

Everyone that has a hobby often finds that there are certain tools without which it wouldn't be quite as enjoyable to undertake said hobby. As a knitter, I only really need a couple of pointy sticks and some string. Although I have several different needles, measuring tapes, tension square rulers, needle gauges, tapestry needles and so on. Not to mention, of course, too many balls, skeins and hanks of wool, silk, alpaca, cotton  and more all over the house. 
If you have had cause to wind a skein into a ball or help someone do that, you will probably know what I'm talking about. Even more so, if you've ever had to untangle 100g of sock weight or finer yarn you will *definitely* know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, it's an experience not to be missed but never to be repeated. Which is why these are my favourites... TA-DA!

My ball winder and my swift. They are my favourites simply because they have both, not only saved my sanity (if there was any there in the first place), but also my relationship with the 3 people and the one dog with whom I share my life. So while I was balling up a skein this morning I thought I should snap some pictures to write a post exclusively about them.

I love my swift. It was a present from Ginner - probably from being tired of getting roped into the balling up process, which always led to high levels of stress. It folds up, too, so it's easy to put away. Mine lives on top of a cupboard in our front room.

Before the swift I had to use small chairs, coffee tables, chair bakcs, my knees, my feet and husband's or children's hands. The last one was never a success since after around 2 minutes (or what for them must have felt like 3 weeks) they got bored and wanted to go away and do something else. I don't need them anymore so look who's laughing now!
The winder in action
I couldn't live without my ball winder either. It makes neat little yarn cakes in a matter of minutes. I got it second-hand through eBay, years ago, for under a tenner. I would love to know how much time it's saved me over the years. I bet it's more than I think.
The winder is a hit with the children as well. Every time I'm using it and they're around they keep arguing over "who's going to spin the wheel..."

And there is the finished yarn cake in all its squishy malabrigo sock high-twist goodness! I could look at yarn cakes all day. They're so pretty! Click on the picture to see it bigger. Go on, I dare you. You know you want to...
The ball-winding set up
So there, those are my two favourite tools. What are yours?

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