Let's start this off with the good. I found a wonderful blog that tells how to make your own yarn swift! You know, those spindly-spinny things that help you move yarn between hanks, cones and balls. So if you'd like to get more into hand dyeing wool, or just a better way to wind hank or cone yarn into balls, here it is! I made one in a few hours with a miter box and power drill, spending around $2 on parts - the long bolt and some washers. I had the rest sitting in the garage.
Here it is: http://www.craftydiversions.com/patterns/homemade_yarn_swift.htm - THANK YOU Anne Kuo Lukito! You can buy a .pdf of the directions from her for just $2 on her site.
The only thing I'd like to add is, be sure to drill straight down when you make the hole in the center for the main bolt that holds it all together. Mine's off so one part of the swift is higher than the other now. Live and learn!
The Bad and Ugly
Sigh. Someone had written to me when I posted about charity knitting that on a certain reservation in the USA where handknit items were donated, a lot were just thrown away. So it was no little surprise to see this blog entry about the outcomes of some handmade afghans being sent to Afghanistan. Yes, being a people of rich artistic traditions in textiles, they don't seem to appreciate our handmade blankets of cheap acrylic.