Use this guide to find the right yarn bowl for you and your projects. Learn about the advantages of using a yarn bowl and the differences between plastic, ceramic, and wooden yarn bowls.
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What is a Yarn Bowl?
A yarn bowl is a bowl that keeps your yarn contained while you knit or crochet. They’re sometimes referred to as “knitting bowls” or “yarn holders.”
If you’re into knitting or crocheting, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of dealing with a rebellious ball of yarn. It loves to roll around, fall off the table, and unravel at the most inconvenient times. Managing the yarn while working on your project can be a real challenge. But fear not! That’s where a yarn bowl comes to the rescue. It’s a handy tool that keeps your yarn neat and in one place, saving you from all the hassle and worries. Say goodbye to yarn chaos and hello to stress-free crafting!
I was gifted this ceramic yarn bowl a few years ago and have never not used one since. I cannot recommend them enough so if you work with yarn, definitely get one (or multiple!). I also recommend them in best craft gifts and best gifts for crocheters and knitters.
What's the Difference Between a Yarn Bowl and a Regular Bowl?
Yarn bowls have this neat little swirl at the top that goes along the side. It’s there to hold your yarn while you’re working on your project. Some yarn bowls even have a hole or two for extra security. You can use either option to keep your yarn in place, but this is the main difference between a yarn bowl and a regular bowl.
If you were to put your yarn in a regular bowl, the ball of yarn would just bounce around and probably fall out. That’s because the yarn gets pulled along the top of the bowl. But with a yarn bowl, the yarn comes out through the side, keeping the ball of yarn nice and contained.
Furthermore, the bowl is typically wider at the bottom than it is at the top to help keep the yarn towards the bottom of the bowl.
How to Choose a Yarn Bowl
While it may seem as though all yarn bowls are the same, there are actually a few factors you’ll still want to consider:
Difference in Sizes of Yarn Bowls
Yarn bowls come in all sorts of sizes, so the first thing to consider is how big of a bowl you actually need. The larger ones can hold more yarn, but they also take up more space. On the flip side, small knitting bowls don’t require as much room, but they won’t hold as much yarn either. It’s all about finding the right balance for your knitting needs.
Therefore you want to consider the yarn you’re using for a project – is it a very large skein? Then you’ll need a larger bowl. Do you need to use multiple balls of yarn at once like I did while making the reversible beanie? Then you again need a larger bowl to allow for all of the balls of yarn to move around.
However, if you are using a single average-sized ball of yarn at a time for your projects, you can get away with having a smaller yarn bowl (like I did with my loom knit hat and while making pom poms).
Yarn Bowl Weight
The weight of a yarn holder is important for two reasons: portability and keeping your yarn in place while you work. The lighter the bowl, the easier it is to carry around. However, this also means the bowl is more likely to move while you’re working. If you’re an average knitter or crocheter, this might not be a big concern since the yarn won’t bounce around as much. So, when choosing a yarn holder, consider the balance between portability and stability based on your own preferences and needs.
However, if you’re knitting with a knitting machine, for example, then your yarn will bounce around a lot and actually push your bowl with it. Therefore if you’re going to use a machine to knit, then you’ll want a heavier bowl (such as a ceramic yarn bowl).
Yarn Bowl Portability
When choosing a yarn bowl, it’s important to consider how portable you need it to be. Are you someone who knits on the go, or do you mostly knit at home? If you’re a frequent traveler, there are yarn holders specifically designed for travel that would be a great fit for you. On the other hand, if you’re often on the move, I wouldn’t recommend getting a heavy ceramic bowl. While they can be beautiful, they can also be quite cumbersome to carry around.
Yarn Bowl Features
When it comes to features, you’ll need to decide if you want a hole in the bowl and maybe even multiple holes if you plan on using multiple yarns at once. Some knitting bowls even come with lids for that extra bit of security.
Don’t forget to pin it so you can come back to it later!
Best Yarn Bowl in Each Category
To make it easy to choose the right yarn bowl for you, I’ve created this list of the best yarn bowls in each category. Or you can continue scrolling to read more about each one.
You’ll notice none of the bowls I recommend do not have a spiral opening. This is because I simply can’t recommend a knitting bowl that requires you to keep the yarn in it and only use a hole to feed the yarn through.