Stanwood Umbrella Yarn Swift Review (with Video & Buying Guide)

Article by Emma Lane
The Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift is great in theory. I love its price and functionality, and it does make winding yarn easy and fast. But I do have some concerns that I’ll cover in my review.
Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift
  • Made of solid wood with a smooth finish
  • Attaches to a flat surface allowing it be used indoors or outside
  • Easily collapses for storage

Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift Review

Overall rating: 

Rating Breakdown




Look & Feel:  

What We Like

  • Easily collapses for storage
  • Maintains tension on yarn hank
  • Spins quickly
  • Eco-friendly natural wood parts
  • Large wooden screws are easier to grip when turning

What We Don't Like

  • Not all sizes work with large hanks
  • Natural wood can dry out or collect moisture
  • Wooden screws may break over time
  • Can be noisy
  • Cotton cord tying ribs together can wear out
  • Must be reclamped to use in a vertical position

Focusing on product quality, Stanwood Imports is fairly new to needlecraft. Since 2006, it has manufactured its own products, including yarn swifts.

The medium-sized Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift holds small to medium sized hanks up to 60 inches in diameter. The large size holds large hanks up to 8.5 feet in circumference. Both are so compact when collapsed that some knitters leave their swift tucked out of the way, but still clamped into position. 

This umbrella swift does a great job winding yarn. The unvarnished wood has a similar feel and appearance to wooden knitting needles.

But I have three concerns with this swift:

  • The wood can be noisy when winding yarn.
  • Swifts aren’t one-size-fits-all-yarn-hanks.
  • Uncertain durability

These are flaws, but not dealbreakers.

If you want an all wood swift that assembles and collapses easily, give this one a spin. It is beautiful and sturdy. However, you probably need to spend more time on routine maintenance to make sure it holds up over time, and even then its longevity is doubtful.  

If you ever want to use the Stanwood Umbrella Swift for large hanks, make sure you get the large size.

Key Features

  • Medium swift holds hanks up to 5 feet in circumference; large swift expands for hanks 8.5 feet in circumference
  • Its medium size takes up less space when in use
  • Large wooden screws for easier tightening
  • Natural wood without paint, varnish, or oil
  • Clamps to table top with wooden screw
  • Quickly collapses for storage

How Well Does the Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift Work?

Material: 3.5/5

The Stanwood Umbrella Yarn Swift is made of wood, even the screws to hold the umbrella ribs in place and to clamp the swift to a surface. Metal rods hold the ribs to the wooden central rod. Cotton thread holds the ribs together.

Due to its all-wood construction and because it has no external coating like varnish, this swift can become noisy when spinning. A bit of beeswax rubbed onto the central rod appears to take the noise away. You may have to reapply the beeswax as a part of routine maintenance.

The cotton thread holding the ribbing together helps prevent yarn snagging when you put a hank on the or when the last few yards spin off. However, the thread can wear out over time.

Size: 3/5

The Stanwood Umbrella Swift comes in two sizes: medium and large.

The medium size holds yarn hanks up to 5 feet in circumference. The large holds hanks up to 8.5 feet in circumference.

The medium size is cheaper, but if you think you will wind large hanks, it’s more economical to buy the large size. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a large hank and a need for a bigger swift.

Storage space: Both sizes of this yarn swift collapse quickly and neatly into a tidy bundle, like an umbrella. Simply loosen the screw holding the ribs in place on the central rod. Pull the bottom knob downwards and watch as this swift goes from taking up space to taking no space.

Yarns: 3/5

This swift works great on all yarn weights from the finest spun mohair to super chunky roving.

With no metal hooks on the ribs to catch or snag yarn, even the finest gossamer strands wind off easily from start to finish.

Remember to stop the swift from spinning if you must stop while winding especially when using a ball winder. Otherwise, the swift will keep rotating and yarn will continue to stream off.

Also, make sure you buy the right size yarn swift for your needs, as the medium size of the Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift does not expand enough to be used with large yarn hanks.

Durability: 3/5

This yarn swift is sturdy and holds up well under repeated use. Once clamped on a surface, it stays in place without moving or pulling back and forth as it spins.

Although the wood can take a lot of punishment, it can break if dropped, stepped on, or bent.

The Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift does require regular maintenance.

It is all natural and unfinished, without paint, varnish or oil. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to rub oil or beeswax into some of the swift’s parts to keep the wood from drying out and cracking. Vulnerable areas in dry climates include the screws, screw holes, and the central rod.

For climates with high humidity or moisture, applying beeswax or oil on the screws and screw holes, and the central rod helps keep moisture out of the wood and helps retain the perfect fit.

The cotton thread holding the ribs together can wear out with use. 

Look & Feel: 3.5/5

I really like how the Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift collapses to a small size. It’s great for taking anywhere, even knitting clubs, family barbecues and retreats – indoors or outside. 

This yarn swift is nice and sturdy. The all wood construction eliminates the swift moving or wobbling when in use, unlike swifts with a thin metal central rod.

The all-natural wood of this swift makes it eco-friendly. However, the friction of the wooden ribs spinning around the wooden central rod sometimes makes a high-pitched squeaking noise. Not the zen of knitting sound anyone wants to hear…

Many knitters use beeswax or other solid type wax or oil to eliminate the friction between the ribs and the central rod. All’s well that zen’s well. So to speak. 

The Competition

Cutehill Umbrella Yarn Swift
1. Knitters on a budget might find this swift does the job.

2. Like other umbrella style swifts, this model collapses for easy storing.
Schacht Goko Metal Swift - It's Back
1. Knitters find this swift works best for hanks of lighter weight yarns with small to medium circumference.

2. The vertical turning of the wheel makes this swift a great tool for reskeining yarns.
Stanwood Needlecraft Tabletop Amish Style Wooden Yarn Swift 2.5-6 feet
1. Knitters appreciate how simple this swift is to use, but dislike that it moves across tables while in use.

2. Needs to be disassembled for storage.
Schacht Swift with Counter
1. Compares favorably to the Stanwood Wooden Umbrella Yarn Swift for all aspects, with great durability.

2. Additional features include vertical spinning, yardage counter, and hand crank for turning.