Amish Swift Vs Umbrella Swift – A Complete Rundown Of Both

These are the two most popular styles of yarn swift, but which is the best? In this post, I give a complete rundown of both styles and the best models.

Amish Vs Umbrella Feat Img

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The Amish style is a tabletop one, and the umbrella swift clamps to a surface.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Swift for Yarn?

A swift for yarn is a helpful tool, most commonly used in conjunction with a yarn winder to help wind yarn from a hank or skein into a neat yarn cake.

Yarn cakes are easier to knit with, and is much less prone to becoming a tangled mess of a yarn monster when you try to knit from it!

Wood Vs Metal Umbrella Swift


  • The obvious one has got to be the material, metal ones are usually made of aluminum, and wood ones made of hardwoods like birch or maple
  • Metal ones are generally cheaper
  • Though wooden ones typically last longer and are more hard-wearing
  • They’re also a bit more expensive to maintain, but they look lovely
  • Metal ones usually combine metal and plastic


  • They can be any style of the yarn swift
  • They’re all available in varying price ranges and sizes

Looking to crochet something new? Read my post on the best yarn for socks.

Amish Swift Vs Umbrella Swift – The Differences & Similarities

Here is a quick rundown of the similar and different qualities of these two styles.

The Differences

  • The amish sits flat on a tabletop, while the other clamps to a surface
  • Generally, an umbrella swift is more comfortable to assemble and less bulky
  • It’s also usually easier to storage
  • The umbrella expands out to fit any size of yarn, while the Amish have adjustable pegs to suit different sizes
  • The Amish don’t require a clamp, less likely to damage a surface
  • Some find an umbrella one more comfortable to use
  • Amishes can generally hold larger hanks than the other option

The Similarities

  • They’re both designed to hold the skein or hank while you wind it
  • They both spin on a flat axis
  • They’re available in a wide variety of materials, from plastic and metal to a hardwood
  • All sorts of price ranges to suit every budget

Kristine Kelly from Ewe University gives an in-depth rundown of the two styles plus the vertical yarn swift, which you can watch by clicking here.

What yarn do you use to crochet? See my post.

The Best Amish Swift

Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Amish Style Swift

Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Amish Style Swift

Thought Stanwood is predominantly known for its umbrella style swifts, this model is made with the same quality, attention to detail, and made of the same hardwood. An excellent tabletop yarn swift.


  • Made of solid wood
  • Smooth surface, sanded and polished
  • Holds skeins between 2 1/2 – 6 ft of the circumference


  • Non-slip pads to stop it moving accidentally
  • Easy assembly and disassembly
  • Convenient storage
  • Spins very smoothly


  • Has a bit of friction when spinning
  • Squeaks occasionally, but not enough to be annoying
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

CHIAOGOO Amish Design Wooden Yarn Swift

Chiaogoo Amish Swift

Made by Chiaogoo, the company known for their excellent range of needles, also make this superb quality swift made with solid wood. One of the many excellent choices available on the market for wooden yarn swifts.


  • Made completely of wood
  • Designed to last for years
  • Suitable for a permanent or temporary home setup


  • Four adjustable pegs to hold a wide variety of hank sizes
  • Has non-skid pads to prevent accidental slipping
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Spins smoothly and quietly
  • On the cheaper end
  • Lightweight


  • Not sturdy
  • Makes a squeaking noise occasionally

The Best Umbrella Swift

Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift

Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift

This Stanwood umbrella is one of the most popular models of yarn swift and is considered by many to be one of the best yarn swifts. Entirely made of solid birch, this is a smooth, quiet workhorse.


  • Made of finely sanded and polished birch
  • Holds a skein of up to 6 ft in circumference
  • Medium-sized
  • Clamp fits surfaces of up to 1 3/4 inches thick


  • Excellent quality materials and craftmanship
  • Requires hardly any assembly
  • Efficient and timesaving
  • Lasts a long time


  • A little expensive
  • Limited capacity of thickness it can clamp to
  • Sometimes the screw is faulty, but Stanwood will promptly replace it
  • Sometimes the umbrella can slip if you don’t secure it tightly enough
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Knitter’s Pride Swift

Knitter's Pride Swift

Made with quality materials and attention to detail, this is smooth and quiet.


  • Made with wood
  • Holds a yarn hank of up to 60″ in circumference


  • The adjustable clamp should fit most surfaces
  • Stable and super sturdy
  • Super smooth when winding yarn
  • Quiet


  • A little expensive
Check Price On Amazon

Hopefully, this comparison of these two styles of yarn swifts helped you decide which one is best for you. In the end, it’s up to what suits you best. I hope you find the right one perfect for your needs.

Which one do you prefer, and why?

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Crochet Penguin. (Yes, I’m real :) )

Thanks for being here. I started Crochet Penguin to show 1,000,000 people the joys of crochet & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

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