I have built a Tinkertoy Swift. And as the saying goes. "If you build it, they will come." I am hoping that MANY hanks of unwound wool, alpaca, silk, and assorted luxury fibers come knocking on my door from this point forward. The news will spread throughout the land... I have built a Ferris Wheel for fiber, and those hanks will have a hankerin'. Wouldn't you want to take a spin on the Tinkertoy Swift??
Swift with hank 'o yarn ready to ride.
Video filmed by Trevor; Wool pulled & untangled by yours truly.
BTW, did you notice the song playing in the background of the movie? It's "What a Girl Wants" as heard on the original Kidz Bop CD. Completely coincidental, I swear!
This is the fully built Tinkertoy Swift. The construction is pretty strightforward. If you look closely at the pictures, you can figure it out. I used a Tinkertoy Classic Construction Set "Junior Builder Set" containing 66 Pieces.
Here's the backstory of how it all happened...
At Tuesday night's knitting group at Starbucks, Karen walked in 15 min before closing with a brand new container of Tinkertoys for Betsy, along with a printout of the directions for making a Tinkertoy Swift from this website: http://www.folkcatart.com/blogs/jen/?p=742. Comparing the contents of the canister to the materials list for the swift, Betsy was short a few "wheels."
So on Wednesday, I put out an APB to Freecycle that read WANTED: Used Wooden Tinkertoy Set. Later that day, I had a reply! Thank you to Jeanne from Lexington, whose children had outgrown their Tinkertoys. (Clearly, at 42, I still haven't outgrown them!)
On Thursday, I was planning to spend some time (and money) at Wild & Wooly in Lexington, MA. After all, how could I miss the Giant Winter Inventory Clearance Sale at my LYS?? Jeanne lived conveniently close to the local yarn shop. It was a no-brainer. Pick up FREE Tinkertoy set, then spend some $$$ on yarn (unwound hanks only, of course) all in one trip!
Friday was construction day! Before passing some wheels to Betsy, I had to try and build one for myself. With the help of my 7-year-old son Trevor, who was home sick from school, I set out to build the infamous Tinkertoy Swift. My newly acquired set had plenty of parts. Only one wheel needed modification.
Nothing like a crazy knitting project as an excuse to break out the power tools!
Two wheels for comparison. The left wheel has the original hole untouched. The right wheel has been modified to spin nicely around the yellow axis of the swift. I used a 7/16" drill bit. (3/8" was too small, 15/32" was too big.) In some of the swift photos, you'll notice wheels with a black circle around the center hole. These are the ones I enlarged.
The center tower and base.
Top view of the base and arms.
To accomodate a hank of Cascade 220, I used 2 green sticks and 2 orange sticks. Trevor said, "It looks like a diamond shape."
With the spare Tinkertoy parts, Trevor added some "battle bazookas" and other enhancements to my swift -- as only a young boy could imagine. After patiently waiting for me to wind the wool, Trevor immediately took apart the swift and swiftly began contructing his arsenal of weapons to be used in an attack by his older brothers when they returned home from school.
And the spare wheels are already in my knitting bag for Betsy next Tuesday night.