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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Not A Beautiful Yarn Bowl, But It Works

A few weeks ago my son-in-law asked me if I knew what a yarn bowl was.  He makes beautiful wooden bowls out of a variety of woods, and he was considering making one for yarn.  If you wonder what that is, it is a decorative bowl that holds a ball of yarn to keep it from rolling around when knitting or crocheting.  I told him I had seen them, but to keep my yarn ball from rolling across the floor, I just put it in a wastebasket.  After that conversation, I started thinking about other ways to control the yarn.  This is what I came up with.  It is super ugly, but it works so well.

This an old tupperware pitcher that I have had for many years.

I found an old Tupperware pitcher in my cupboard.  I don't use it anymore because I switched to glass measuring cups.  I do most of my knitting in the car.  Whenever we go to "the city", I like to knit.  It is one way to get at least two hours of knitting without feeling guilty that I should be doing household chores.  I recently started to knit another pair of socks.  Socks are the perfect take along project.  I just roll the yarn into a ball and place the ball in the pitcher.  I put the lid on with the yarn coming out of the pouring spout.  The ball rolls around inside the pitcher and doesn't get tangled.  In between knitting times, I can put the whole project away in the pitcher.  I grab it when I go in the car.  The yarn stays clean and I don't have to dig around in a bag for my work. 


I like sock yarn that has some washable wool in it.  The finished socks wash beautifully and are nice and warm.  I have mentioned this before, but I also buy thrift store sweaters and unravel them for the yarn to make interesting socks.

I roll the yarn in a ball rather than use it straight from the skein.

In the past, I would make socks from the top down.  Now I found that making the sock from the toe-up gives a lot more opportunity for a perfect fit, and there is no need to kitchener stitch the toe closed.  I also found that if you internet search the yarn and yarn company, you can find patterns specifically for that product.  It's easy to start from the toe.  This isn't really meant to be a tutorial for toe-up socks, but to show how to get started if you want to try.  Just cast on about 10 stitches (or whatever the pattern calls for) on a double pointed knitting needle.  Then pick up an equal number of stitches from the cast on row.  I use a crochet hook to pick up the stitches and then transfer them to the second knitting needle.

Cast on stitches on a single needle

I use a crochet hook to pick up stitches on opposite side.

Then transfer from crochet hook to second needle.

From this point follow the sock instructions to increase for the toe.  I use four needles until I have the total number of stitches needed to fit my foot.  This sock increases to 56 stitches on a size 2 needle.  If you have a thicker foot, this is the time to increase a few more stitches.  If you have a skinny foot, you can do less.

This specific pattern increases to 56 stitches.

I really like using a nine inch circular needles instead of four double pointed needles.   I have to use the double pointed needles until there are enough stitches to comfortably work in the round with the circulars.  Then it is just a manner of working around and around placing markers if needed.


Put any pattern you would like, this is the Irish Moss Stitch.

So if you knit or crochet and want to control your yarn ball from rolling around, find a pitcher.  If your not a knitter, this method would control a ball of string for tying up newspapers or magazines.