I broke all my nails when we moved and they still haven't forgiven me.
You should have seen their former glory.
And he's a little bit "special." The yarn has to be fed in at a very specific angle for it to move the little wheel inside, so I need to use one hand to keep tension on the yarn and guide it in. And I need to use another hand to spin my ball winder, and unfortunately lack the necessary third hand to spin my swift (holding the enormous kilo skein) to keep it from catching.
It's also supposed to secure to your work surface with these little suction cup things:
That sketchbook is where the magic happens. ALL OF IT.
Which are a joke. They don't suction, no matter what kind of surface I try them on. So I have to hold it to keep it from moving. My hand hurts from being in this twisted claw formation for 6+ hours yesterday winding yarn, holding the feeder strand with my ring and pinky fingers and the counter in place with the rest of my fingers. I was basically Spocking for most of the day.
I also suspect that it doesn't keep very accurate yardage, based on the fact that when I reached the count that was supposed to be 100 grams according to the yarn manufacturer, I would weigh it to find it only at 80 grams. WTF? So I'd take it off the ball winder (still attached to the giant skein) and run it through again, to find it 30+ yards short the second time! After I wound up on those 30 yards the weight was more like 97 grams, which was much better, but I'm still very confused as to how that's happening.
Anyway, after many hours of winding, I have 8 enormous balls of yarn off the big skein, ready to be turned into cute little skeins of their own. Yay!
This really is my "yay dance." For reals.
I found a table-top swift with a built-in counter that measures based on turns of the swift rather than yarn passed over a wheel, but it's pretty expensive so... tell your friends to buy yarn :) Still 15 slots left for July!