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  1. #1
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    Need Swift Advice

    I know nothing about knitting, but my 11 year old daughter has really taken to it. She's stuck with it for more than a year now, and I wanted to get her a Swift and some accessories for the substantial amount of gear that she has collected. (Her original knitting bag was one that she knitted and "felted", but it is too small at this point.)

    I have a few questions:

    1. The non-cork swift comes in two materials: cordura and ballistic nylon. I'm inclined toward the latter, as I understand that it is stiffer, but what do folks who actually knit prefer?

    2. What other accessories would be helpful for a basic set up?

    3. Wow, it seems this is a popular item. So many color combos are out of stock! Does anyone have a sense for whether the March 3 ship date is real? I'd love to get it for her sooner, and the colors she likes are out of stock.

    Thanks,
    Brian

    PS
    Geaux Saints!!

  2. #2
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    Ballistic, no question. (I have and love the cork, but it costs more.) Cordura is rougher to the touch and picks up lint and cat hair. Or maybe you have a cleaner house than I, and no pets.

    By "accessories," you don't mean knitting accessories, right? Because she would know what she needs. If she doesn't, I'll be happy to go into my notions bag.

    Which brings me to notions bags. I expect people to chime in with enthusiastic recommendations of various clear-front pouches. For me, it's the Kit—so elegant.

    She's a lucky girl. You're a good daddy.
    Last edited by gmanedit; 02-07-2010 at 06:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Check out my Size Fit Tool for TB's Laptop Bags (H/V Brain Cell and Cache), extensible to other bags in general

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    Ballistic, no question. (I have and love the cork, but it costs more.) Cordura is rougher to the touch and picks up lint and cat hair. Or maybe you have a cleaner house than I, and no pets.

    By "accessories," you don't mean knitting accessories, right? Because she would know what she needs. If she doesn't, I'll be happy to go into my notions bag.
    Accessories: I guess I mean yarn bags (how many) and any other types of cases folks have found helpful.

    Thanks.
    B

  5. #5
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    Each Swift comes with a Yarn Stuff Sack, I prefer the Clear Bottom Yarn Stuff Sack(s) because this way I can house my yarn by color and find it easily.

    The Yarn Stuff Sack can house a couple of small to medium skeins and cones of yarns.

    If your daughter buys big cones, big skeins or home spunk yarn, you will be better off buying an extra Tall Yarn Stuff Sack.


    I use my Swifts to house needlework, so I cannot speak about housing for knitting accessories but...

    I use Kits and Clear Organizer Pouches to house multiple needlework accessories.
    3D Clear Organizer Cubes and a Clear Quarter Packing Cubes could also work, depending of the knitting accessories she uses.


    When I am out and about, I place a Packing Cube Shoulder bag inside the Swift main compartment, it gives me two extra zippered pocket and my things are protected from the elements.
    I seem to be the only Swift owner who does that.


    All my Swifts are in Cordura because I love the colors offered in this fabric.

    If your daughter falls in love with a color, order it right away to make sure it doesn't go out of stock and you have to wait for the next batch of Swifts to be made.


    Every Tom Bihn bag is made at the Seattle factory, it is a small operation and I think that bags are made in batches of the same products, then it is the turn of another bag or accessory to be made.

    Check the Blog to see what bags are just new in stock, are flying off the shelves and are getting low in stock.
    Darcy is very good at updating the status of Tom Bihn Bags stock.

    Sorry for the long post, hope it helps!
    Last edited by backpack; 02-07-2010 at 11:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    backpack makes a good point about coned yarn and large stuff sacks. I have a lot of coned yarn from School Products in New York (http://www.schoolproducts.com/), which sells leftovers from knitwear production runs as well as branded commercial yarns. You can save a lot of money this way, though some yarn may have to be wound off into skeins (by hand or using a swift or a knitty-noddy) and washed before use because of factory treatment (oiling) for knitting machines. (Always work a swatch and wash it to see how the fabric will turn out.) This is the cheapest way to buy good silk. Probably your daughter won't want to carry a cone around; I wind it off into balls (by hand) or cakes (yarn winder).

    All a knitter really needs is a nice bag to carry everything in (until I bought the Swift, I didn't have a proper knitting bag), a large plastic bag to hold the project (you don't want something with knitting needles in it on the loose), something to keep the yarn from rolling around,* a small bag for the notions (ring markers, small safety pins [row markers], thread snips, cable needle, Chibi needle (to work in yarn ends), needle gauge, tape measure), a notebook or pad for sketching schematics and writing down the steps, graph paper for charting stitch patterns, a pen or pencil, and a calculator. In brief, big bag, small bag, paper. If I'm just working a sock, I don't need the big bag; it goes into a small bag or a plastic bag, which goes into whatever I'm carrying.

    *This is what the stuff sack is for. I was very lucky—somebody in my building threw out a set of lightweight round aluminum canisters with rolled edges. I use the smallest one to hold the ball of yarn. Also, winding center-pull balls, so the yarn feeds from the inside, will help keep them from rolling around; determine whether the yarn has a nap (run it through your fingers in both directions), and wind it so the knitting will work with the nap, not fight against it.

    PS: I have a feeling ("the colors she likes are out of stock") that she likes the Cordura colors, but let me tell you, the Indigo and Crimson ballistic nylon are gorgeous. Surely she likes red and blue. (I don't think anything beats black, but I'm not eleven.)
    Last edited by gmanedit; 02-08-2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Added PS.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Additional uses

    Quote Originally Posted by bnett View Post
    snip ...3. Wow, it seems this is a popular item. So many color combos are out of stock! Does anyone have a sense for whether the March 3 ship date is real? I'd love to get it for her sooner, and the colors she likes are out of stock. ...snip
    I had to return a small cafe bag I got my wife for her birthday last month. She wanted a different color that was out of stock. They mentioned the end of Feb before they were available.

    I was notified last Friday that my order had shipped. I had a few additional items on the order plus some things I emailed to be added. I had indicated to wait and sent everything in one package. So I assume the small cafe bags became avaialble sooner that the projected ship date.

    I'm assuming the March 3 date is a target date and probably will ship sooner.

    Your daughter will love the bag.

    I use mine as a utility tote. It is used mainly for carrying my insulated lunch bag, water bottle and umbrella when it rains.

    Great for byob parties.

    I attached a extra strap I had to the two eyelets on the top. The handles can be used as a strap, but I wanted something longer.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  8. #8
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    I just got my Swift in Indigo/Black on Thursday, and I love it, love it, LOVE it. I wasn't sure how I'd like the color, but no photographs does it justice. I think it's a fantastic color for a near-teen girl if she leans towards blue/purple as a favorite color.

    The bag is a little more square than I expected it to be, but it holds a ton of stuff. In the main compartment, I have two regular-sized yarn stuff sacks, a completed scarf and a book of sock patterns. One interior plastic pocket has a KnitKit, a crochet hook, a small packet of knitting markers and some double-pointed needles; and the other pocket has some papers for a friend, my fountain pen and my iPhone. I have a clear organizer wallet and a mini organizer pouch containing my iPod attached to the O-rings. I'll hunt up some camera batteries for photos. I currently take this bag to work since I like to knit on my lunch break.

    Personally, if I was to add anything to the Swift, it would be a pencil/pen organizer pouch for double-pointed needles, but each knitter sets up his/her stuff differently.
    Meg
    -----
    Proud owner of a conifer/steel Synapse, indigo/black Swift, a linen/olive Small Cafe Bag, a couple of yarn stuff sacks, a clear organizer wallet and various organizer pouches

  9. #9
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    I love my swift.

    If she makes smaller projects, the stuff sack it comes with should be fine.

    If she makes larger projects, I'd get her the tall stuff sack. I can fit four skeins of Lamb's Pride into it along with the pattern for the slippers I make as gifts.

    My notions pouch is a mini with the clear front. I have a tape measure (not a fancy one, just a round one), my blunt tip needles, finger nail clippers (for cutting), a nail file (for my nails) and stitch markers in it. My needle gauges are attached to the zipper.

    I would get her a few extra key straps. It is VERY easy to loose a pouch in the bottom of the swift.

    The other pouch you could get is the pen/pencil one. She'll be able to store extra needles/crochet hooks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DQBunny View Post
    I just got my Swift in Indigo/Black on Thursday, and I love it, love it, LOVE it. I wasn't sure how I'd like the color, but no photographs does it justice. I think it's a fantastic color for a near-teen girl if she leans towards blue/purple as a favorite color.

    Personally, if I was to add anything to the Swift, it would be a pencil/pen organizer pouch for double-pointed needles, but each knitter sets up his/her stuff differently.
    Agree with the color evaluation and the pencil/pen pouch recommendation. I don't have a Swift in Indigo because my purchases predate this color release, and I have both the Lux (the predecessor of the current Swift design) and the Swift (in both cordura and ballistic nylon). But I have the Tri-Star in Indigo ballistic nylon, and I think that either Indigo/Black or Indigo/Indigo make fantastic color combinations for the Swift. If the bag is primarily being used for knitting, then I think either the Cordura or the Ballistic nylon will work, and many prefer Cordura just for the range of color combinations. However, if you like Indigo, the Ballistic nylon makes a terrific combination for more general use.

    I notice that on the Swift product pages there's no longer a picture of the bag in Indigo, because they've removed the Indigo/Indigo color combination that was shown there. Take a look, instead, at the Switft Flickr links for alternate pictures. Here's the link to ZaniShani's Knitting Misc Flickr slide sequence for the Swift in Indigo/Black ballistic nylon seen from different angles along with the yarn sack and needles. It also shows the current design for the base of the bag with the black extending up around the bottom as in the pictures of the Swift in Cork. My guess is that this design change was made so that the Cordura model Swifts extra structural support to stand up better when empty or when asymmetrically loaded.

    Indigo really doesn't photograph well on web sites -- in person, the color has more of a "royal purple" tinge that's closer to what you think of from the name "indigo". On the web pictures it's difficult to distinguish the indigo color from sapphire, but the indigo hue is deeper and richer. (And yes, I also have a Buzz in sapphire, so I can make this color comparion!)

    moriond

  11. #11
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    (Slightly drunk.) Get the ballistic! It feels good! Seriously. I was sitting in the restaurant, drinking dark beer, with my Cordura Synapse and ballistic Kit, and it's the Kit I kept touching. If she likes the feel of the yarn running through her fingers, she'll like the ballistic.

  12. #12
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    Overwhelmed

    I'm overwhelmed by the tremendous volume of helpful feedback. I'm digesting it this evening. I think courtesy dictates that I let you guys know the final decision, so I'll try to post details of the ultimate order.

    Thanks again,

    Brian

    PS
    I'm the proud owner of an EB, Aeronaut, and Brain Bag, and we have two cafe bags, too. There was never any question where I was going to find a knitting bag for my girl!

  13. #13
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    bnett, if you haven't ordered yet, check out Yarn Harlot's black Swift (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archiv...5/packing.html), which Darcy linked to on the blog. It's a beauty!

    Update: Actually, it seems to be black and steel; mostly what's showing is the black.
    Last edited by gmanedit; 02-13-2010 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Update

  14. #14
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    free shawl pattern

    Here's a ridiculously easy garter stitch square shawl, the epitome of mindless knitting.

    I like garter stitch. For one thing, it’s stretchy and bouncy.

    Everyone in my knitting group at work made one of these after seeing how easy it is. You don’t even have to swatch. No blocking needed. Depending on size, you can wear it as a shawl, use it as a bed jacket, and sleep under it as an afghan. Sometimes I put it on under a jacket instead of wearing the down coat; doubled, it’s like two sweaters.

    Supplies:
    sport weight wool (or preferred weight). Somebody gave me some yarn, and I just kept knitting till the yarn ran out.
    21- or 24-inch circular needle of a suitable diameter (double the yarn and hold it behind the holes of a needle gauge to see which hole it fills)
    ring marker
    safety pin

    Accessory:
    penannular (http://images.google.com/images?gbv=...pell=1&start=0) to keep it closed

    Setup row: Cast on three stitches. Set the marker before the middle stitch. Turn.
    Return row: Knit across.

    Row 1 (right side): Knit across to marker. Make 1, slip the marker onto the right-hand needle, knit the center stitch, make 1, knit to end (see below for self-finished border, a simple refinement).
    Row 2 (wrong side): Knit across.

    Work till it’s big enough (transfer some stitches to another needle or a piece of string, or bind off temporarily, to spread it out) or you run out of yarn.

    Technical points:
    Use the safety pin to mark the right side.
    Make 1: I used a yarn-over to get that nice lacy detail.
    Self-finished border: At the end of each row, purl the last stitch, turn, and slip the first stitch as if to knit (or knit, turn, slip as if to purl—same effect). If you purl at the end, start it on the return row, before Row 1.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by gmanedit; 02-14-2010 at 12:36 PM.

  15. #15
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    Erratum: On self-finished border, should read:

    purl the last stitch, turn, and slip the first stitch with yarn in back (or knit, turn, slip with yarn in front

    Sorry.

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