Umbrella Swift – Your Guide to the Best Models Available

Sick of using chairs to hold your yarn hank while winding it into a ball?

There’s a solution! Umbrella yarn swifts

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I reviewed and updated this post on July 13, 2022.

I cover what one of these is, how to use it, and the best ones available on the market.

Table Of Contents

Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift

Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Check Price On Amazon

Manufactured with premium polished birch wood and a lovely texture.


  • Accommodates yarn hank circumferences up to 6 feet 
  • Rotates without grinding
  • Clamps onto surface edges
  • Looks nice
  • Base clamp sits onto surfaces up to 1 3/4″ thick
  • Solid
  • Collapses for storage


  • Wooden screws may be hard to tighten and unscrew
  • After a few years, parts of the swift become damaged

Knit Picks Onyx Yarn Swift

Knit Picks Onyx Yarn Swift

This is the same as the other model in this post from Knit Picks. Except it’s polished with a black surface. Stylish and functional.

Note: They sell a case to put it in. Available in teal, silver and rose gold.


  • Gold brass screws with a plastic stopper on the end
  • Clamps onto tables up to 1 1/2″ thick


  • Fast, quiet, winding
  • Elegant black looks attractive
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Sturdy


  • The screws may be damaged/broken

Schacht Swift

Schacht Swift

This swift is versatile. Winding from bobbins, vertically, and other angles. It has many useful features.


  • Changes from horizontal to vertical and back using a release pin
  • Durable
  • Solid wood
  • Easy winding


  • Expensive
  • Complicated assembly

Knit Picks Birch Yarn Swift

Knit Picks Birch Yarn Swift

This is the classic yarn swift from Knit Picks.

They have a lovely natural color showcasing the varied woodgrains of the birch. This swift features effortless spinning. 

Note: They sell a case to put it in. Available in teal, silver and rose gold.


  • Smooth birch wood
  • Wooden clamp


  • Spins quietly
  • High quality
  • Sturdy
  • Collapsible
  • Easy to set up
  • Excellent customer service
  • If the swift breaks, Knit Picks replaces it
  • Looks pretty


  • Sometimes parts are damaged

Knitters Pride Yarn Swift

Knitters Pride Yarn Swift Check Price On Amazon

This swift combines dyed, laminated birch strips with natural birch wood. It has a smooth rotation.


  • Laminated and natural birch wood
  • 28″ high
  • Skein winds
  • Winding handle at the top


  • Quick spinning
  • Smooth wood
  • Pretty stripes


  • Snags yarn

Nagina International Umbrella Yarn Swift

Nagina International Umbrella Yarn Swift Check Price On Amazon

Available in beech and rosewood. An excellent tool to hold the yarn.

Sturdy and withstands lots of winding.


  • Tabletop style
  • Natural beechwood or rosewood
  • Four arms (collapsible and extendable)


  • Attractive
  • Rotates quickly
  • Quick replacements if yarn swift is damaged


  • The swift moves (put non-stick pads on the bottom)

What Is An Umbrella Swift?

These have expandable ‘ribs.’ This is where you wrap the yarn. It has a center rod with a screw which slides up and down.

When collapsed, the screw is loose and at the bottom. When expanded, the screw is tight and around the middle.

The base has a wooden clamp to a bench, a table, or any flat surface.

What Makes Umbrella Swifts Different From Other Swifts?

An umbrella swift has a rack like a wine rack. Amish swifts have arms. 

What is the easiest yarn to crochet with? You’ll be an expert in no time with my guide.

Why Are Umbrella Swifts Called Umbrella Swifts? 

It expands and collapses like an umbrella.

How Do You Use An Umbrella Swift?

Here is the Schacht swift demonstration.

Here is how to use a Knitpicks umbrella swift with a ball winder.

These instructions are for the Stanwood Needlecraft umbrella swift. 

Step 1 – Fastening

  • Slide the notch onto the edge of a sturdy surface
  • Push the swift until the table sits inside, and there are no gaps 
  • Tighten the screw on the bottom until the swift doesn’t wobble

Step 2 – Placing The Hank On The Swift

  • Untwist your hank
  • Drape it over the closed swift
  • Expand the rack with the hank looped over it by pushing upwards below the start of the ribs
  • Do this until the yarn is wrapped tight around the swift.
  • Push the tightening screw until it sits below the base of the ribs
  • Holding the position in one hand, tighten the screw with the other

Step 3: Start winding!

  • Winding by hand? You’re ready to go
  • Using a ball winder? here is a video tutorial by VeryPink Knits

Although wooden ones last a lifetime, cheaper metal and plastic ones are good too. Which do you prefer? Let me know.

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Umbrella Swift Pin

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan - (Founder)

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Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother, she fell in love with crocheting after her first child was born. When she’s not crocheting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online crochet community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on socials.

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