Impractical Innovations: The Feline Swift

24 Jan

Warning: Many, many photos to follow, most of them silly and taken in very poor lighting.


Well, my Leda isn’t going to be done in time for Grandma’s surgery (never mind that it’ll take a few days to mail to PA anyway), but I am chugging along, and having far too much fun doing so. The pattern is still a tad boring, but it makes good TV knitting. Or, today, sitting-around-at-work-since-none-of-my-students-seem-to-want-my-help-so-I’m-chatting-with-my-supervisor knitting.

Anyway. Leda is knit from the middle, so I’d divided my yarn into two roughly-equal balls and was using the smaller one for the first half. As I got near the end, I knew I needed to reserve 25 yds for the end ‘feathers.’ So I wrapped the end around the nearest ruler and made myself an adorable little mini-skein.

When I got down to where I had just the skein left, I was faced with a bit of a conundrum – how was I going to knit from the skein without it getting all tangled? I suppose I could have re-wound it into a ball, but that seemed needlessly tedious. What I needed, I thought, was a small swift so I could drape the skein around it and merrily knit away without worrying about snarls.

Of course, seeing as I don’t own a swift, this presented a bit of a problem. Not to mention that I was currently serving as throne to my feline overlord, which prevented my getting up and finding an appropriately-sized substitute.

So I did what any sensible knitter would do, and put the cat to good use.

And thus, the Feline Swift (TM) was born. Little did you know, when you brought that little beastling into your home, that, in addition to its talents for coating your home with fur and producing loud mewling noises at unfortunate hours of the night, it would serve as a vital part of your fibercrafting tool kit!

The following is an Owner’s Manual for the Feline Swift (TM), in case any of you should decide to take your Swift off the shelf (and how did it get up there, anyway?) and put it to use.

If you have several Swifts to choose from, we recommend selecting the most sedentary, as this will ensure that your yarn stays in one place for as long as possible. Of course, depending on the Swift’s preferred resting place, this may also ensure that you stay in one place for as long as possible.

A good Swift is self-cleaning, and the self-cleaning cycle may be initiated while the Swift is still in use. (Note: the manufacturers of Feline Swift (TM) are not responsible for any slobbery yarn resulting from the use of this feature.)

On occasion, the Swift may resort to more vigorous cleaning procedures. Do not be alarmed if the Swift appears to vibrate; this is a natural part of the cleaning process, akin to the alarming whirring sounds made by most dishwashers and CD-ROM drives.

Throughout the course of the cleaning cycle, you may notice that your yarn has shifted on the Swift. This generally presents no significant impediment to the use of the Swift, and may be ignored.

It is, however, important to remember that Swifts are migratory creatures.

In some cases, the Swift may migrate right out of your skein.

Should this happen, do not be alarmed. Simply replace the skein around the front end of the Swift and continue knitting.

Many Swifts will remain calmly in one place for hours, allowing you plenty of time to finish your crafting endeavors.

At other times, the Swift may find it necessary to depart without warning.

However, once the Swift has attended to Nature’s call, it will soon return, and you may resume crafting.

Many Swifts are very affectionate, and may choose to use you as a pillow as their labors begin to tire them out. For this reason, you may wish to wear clothes that you don’t mind coating in Swift hair while crafting.

Swifts tire easily, and when it comes time to pause for the night, it may take a little effort to remove your skein from around the sleeping Swift.

After a mere 16 hours of sleep, the Swift will be ready to resume working the following day.

To keep itself entertained, the Swift may choose to demonstrate its superior skills as a contortionist…

…or play a game of hula-hoop…

…or resort to the favorite pastime of all Swifts, and stare intently into space (or possibly the episode of TNG playing on your laptop).

In general, the Swift is quite unperturbed by its work, and may even honor you with a performance of Swift Opera (known to the uninitiated as snoring).

It behooves the educated user, however, to keep one eye on the Swift at all times, as it may choose to flee to the other side of the room for no discernible reason, and if the user isn’t fast enough (she’s trying to finish her row and keep the cat on the bed and reach for her camera all at once), the Swift may carry the skein off with it.

If you are fortunate, the Swift will not choose to make its abrupt departure until you are nearly at the end of the skein.

Finally, be kind to your Swift. Their jobs are difficult, and the kind user will permit the Swift several days of uninterrupted sleep between projects. If you take good care of your Swift, your Swift will take good care of you – and there may even be more Swift Opera in your future!


I officially decree myself silly-ed-out for the week. Not to mention I think Rosie has suffered rather enough the past few days. Though she seems to be too busy investigating the empty digestives wrapper to notice that I’m about to embarrass her on the interwebs.


Posted by on 24.1.2012 in Cats, Knitting, Writing


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Impractical Innovations: The Feline Swift

  1. mitukagome

    24.1.2012 at 10:40 pm

    Best. Post. Ever.

    • Myriad

      24.1.2012 at 11:28 pm

      I’m glad you approve 🙂


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