How to Use a Yarn Bowl (and What To Look For When Buying One)

Do you have a yarn bowl? If not, then you’re missing out on a great tool for your knitting and crochet. Many people don’t think a of this as a necessary tool. And while that’s strictly true, you might find that it adds to the ease and joy of your crafting if you get one. Let’s talk about how to use a yarn bowl. And, if you’re going to buy one, what you should look for as you do.

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Using a specialized container for your yarn

What Is a Yarn Bowl?

A yarn bowl is, as the name suggests, a vessel for your yarn. More specifically, you place a single ball of the yarn you’re working with into that container. People who don’t know how to use a yarn bowl are sometimes surprised by this. For example, they assume that the ball holds the yarn decoratively when you’re not using it. While you can certainly display the container – with or without a ball in it – as a form of decoration, that’s not it’s main purpose.

Your yarn bowl is bowl-shaped (although it might also have a slightly more creative shape, like that of a cat or a panda.) It has at least one hole in the side. The hole be a simple circle, a more organic shape, or another decorative design. Regardless of the shape, the point is to thread the yarn end through the hole. Therefore, the ball of fiber stays in the bowl, while you pull on that end to work with the yarn. It’s an easy way to keep your yarn in one place as you work.

Ceramic chicken for your yarn

How to Use a Yarn Bowl

Basically, here’s how you’re going to make use of this great tool:

  • Place the ball of fiber that you’re working with into the bowl. If you’re working with more than one ball in a project (for example, you’re doing striping), then you’ll put each ball into its own yarn ball.
  • Pull the end of the fiber through the hole in the yarn bowl. Make sure that the ball of yarn is secure in the container. You should be able to tug on the end without the ball popping out of the bowl.
  • Place the container next to you as you craft. You can play around with positions but basically it should be located close to the hand with your working yarn. You’ll be pulling gently on the yarn so that it keeps coming out through the yarn bowl’s hole.
  • If you have two or more yarn bowls, place them far enough apart so that the yarn doesn’t tangle while you work.

If you stop working mid-project, then you may set your project into the yarn bowl atop the ball of yarn. Tuck your crochet hook or knitting needles into the yarn ball. It’s a great way to keep everything organized in one place.

Handpainted from Darn Good Yarn

What Are The Benefits?

These are the main benefits you’ll discover:

  • Your yarn doesn’t get tangled as you work. This is especially helpful when working with two balls of yarn in one project.
  • The balls of yarn don’t stray away from you. How many times have you had to get up to grab the yarn that dropped off your lap?
  • Your yarn stays clean. Yarn easily picks up pet hair, lint, and other stuff when it’s in your lap or on your bed. However, putting it into a yarn bowl keeps it clean.
  • It keeps your yarn in one place when you travel. It’s great for road trips and plane rides.
  • It’s a pretty addition to your craft space. Little things like this enhance the craft experience.
Choose and use a bowl for your yarn

What Features To Look For

So, now you know how to use a yarn bowl. Moreover, you know why you might want to get a few. But how do you know what makes a good yarn bowl?

First, decide on the material that you want for your yarn bowl. They come in a variety of different materials. Many people prefer them made of wood because the yarn moves around smoothly inside. Therefore, it’s easy to pull out the yarn as you work. You’ll find yarn bowls made of different types of wood, such as beautiful teak wood and hand-painted wood. That said, there are also ones made of clay and ceramic, as well as bowls made from a variety of other materials. Test a few out to see what’s right for you.

Next, you’ll want to think about yarn bowl sizes. What size yarn balls / cakes do you typically use? Obviously, if you work with big, bulky ones then you’re going to need jumbo containers. In contrast, you might find that your yarn fits better in a smaller container.

Other than that, it really just depends on your style preferences. You might find that different sizes or shapes of holes work best for you. You might find that you like deeper or more shallow yarn bowls. After you learn how to use a yarn bowl, you can try different ones to find the one that’s truly perfect for you.

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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