The purpose of a knitting bowl, or yarn bowl, is to keep those unwieldy balls of yarn from running of while you knit. The bowl is also a stylish place to keep your knitting project while you are not working on it.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
First of all, you need a suitable piece of wood.
If you want a simpler project, you can buy a wood bowl from a store like Ikea, and just modify it.
For this project I used:
- Angle grinder
- Auger bit
- Coping saw
- Round file
- Sand paper
- Ear protection
- Face shield
- Dust mask.
Instead of a coping saw, you can use a dremel or router to shape the yarn groove.
Step 2: Carv It Out
While tidying in the basement, I found this piece of wood my grandfather prepared for turning deccades ago. The piece had some ugly cracks and a very uneven bottom. This was probably the reason it was never used, and ended in the firewood pile. If I was to turn this, there would hardly be anything left, so I decided to freeform it using a grinder.
I was positively surprised that the wood was cherry, with the nice red-brown colour that only time can give it.
I used a clamp on the piece, as shown in the pictures, to keep it stable while I worked. The wood isn't actually clamped to anything, but the protruding clamp gives it extra stability. The grinding is really messy work, so doing it outside is advisable if you don't overly enjoy sweeping and vacuuming.
Normally I just use the grinder alone, but this piece was so hard I had to help it along a bit by drilling holes first. The auger bit was a lot more efficient at removing wood than the carbide disc, so I took out as much as possible with that.
I hollowed out the inside before I flipped the piece and shaped the outside.
I left this bowl quite thick, as I wanted it to be heavy. This way it doesn't move when you pull the yarn.
Step 3: Saw and Sand
Now it is time for sanding.
The outside is easy enough to sand by hand or with a random orbital sander (my weapon of choice), but unless it is a very large bowl, that won't work for the inside.
I used round sanding attachments for my drill to do this. A set of scrapers can also be useful here.
Sand the inside first, so you can use the rough outside to give you a firm grip on the bowl. Holding a smooth, round bowl stable is a nightmare.
After sanding the bowl, I sawed out the groove for the yarn by extending the largest crack. I shaped it further using a round file and sand paper.
I thought of filling the smaller crack with a wedge, but decided to just sand it smooth and leave it.
Step 4: Varnish
This is the best part. Finally you get to bring out the colour and patterns in your wood.
Use your surface treatment of choice I varnished this bowl as I didn't want there to be oil or wax that could wear of on the yarn.
To varnish the outside, I placed the bowl upside down on a piece of wood. This way I Could rotate it, and the varnished surface could not touch anything. Let the outside dry and do the inside afterwards. Apply as many coats as you deem necessary.
Step 5: Done
Your bowl is now ready to keep the yarn from running of, and you are ready to start knitting (or like me, give it to a knitter).