A yarn bowl is a smallish bowl often made of pottery or ceramic or even sometimes wood. It is large enough to comfortable hold a ball of yarn and will have some kind of angled notch on one side where the yarn can be pulled through. Yarn bowls are a very practical way to keep your ball of yarn from scampering all over the place or jumping off the sofa while knitting, and tidily away in a charming little vessel.
It's the charm of the yarn bowl that is usually what captivates me. The best yarn/wool shows or shops that I've tended to enjoy the most are filled with incredibly talented artisans and their wares. Indie yarn dyers, spinners, wood turners. And knowing that crafters appreciate other craft, they often share their space with other artists, which is often how I luck out finding lovely yarn bowls. It only makes sense that they be found with lovely hand dyed yarns!
Over my short career as a knitter I've somehow acquired a collection of yarn bowls. I don't always use them for yarn - often they look lovely sitting prettily on a shelf, with or without a different project's yarn tucked into them temptingly. And each one is special in it's own way.
There's the pale, yellow ceramic bowl - my first. It's simple and serviceable but the colour is so sunny that I always feel happy when I use it.
At two separate shows where I ran into Kim from Indigodragonfly I came home a yarn bowl each time by the talented Haliburton potter Susanne James. Both are completely different yet equally stunning.
I have a honey-pot shaped one that was acquired at The Purple Purl from a local artist. It's taller, narrower shape holds the yarn well so that it doesn't pop out if I pull too hard on it.
And last year in honour of Knitty's 10th anniversary I treated myself to a limited edition yarn bowl by Jennie the Potter. It is even more special to me because I'd sought out one of her bowls at Rhinebeck the year before and was sad to find out they were all sold out before I even made it to her booth!
So no, I didn't really need another yarn bowl. But faced with the beautiful spalted beech wood, turned by hand by artist Keith Leonard, as it sat amidst the hand dyed beauties of Shearer Girl Yarns, I knew it was going to be my last purchase of the day.