Are Yarn Bowls Helpful? The Complete Guide to Yarn Bowls

What is a yarn bowl and why you need one if you are a knitter or crocheter. Check out the Complete Guide to Yarn Bowls.

If you are a fiber lover, yarn bowls are a very helpful tool to own. In fact, you may even want to have more than one!

In this blog post, I’ll tell you what a yarn bowl is, how it works, why you want one, explain the various sizes, and where to buy yarn bowls.

So let’s get started!

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What is a yarn bowl?

A yarn bowl is a round or oval shaped vessel to hold your yarn in place. It has a swirl on the side and sometimes holes as well.

Has your yarn ever rolled across the floor, under the couch, and out of reach?

When this happens, chances are good the yarn can pick up dust balls, pet hair, or become tangled. Pets (or children) may think the yarn is a toy and tangle it into an un-knitable mess.

A yarn bowl keeps these knitting menaces from happening.

Why use a yarn bowl?

As I mentioned above, a yarn bowl holds your yarn to keep it from rolling away but there are more benefits to using a yarn bowl than that!

If you have pets, yarn bowls are handy for keeping yarn contained (so that your dog or cat doesn’t decide to “knit” with it) as well as keeps pet hair off your yarn.

What else does a yarn bowl do? It keeps yarn clean and tangle free. It also allows the yarn ball to unwind smoothly so that you can get an even tension on your yarn.

Yarn bowls are portable for knitting in various places around the house. Simply pick up your knitting project along with your yarn bowl and easily move it from the living room, to bedroom, to family room, or even outside to the patio.

Yarn bowl dimensions

Yarn bowls come in a wide variety of sizes to accommodate varying yarn ball or skein sizes. Most medium size yarn bowls are approximately 5-6” in diameter and 3” high. Small bowls are approximately 4” across and 2-3” high while large bowls are 6-8” across and 4-5” high.

What size yarn bowl is the best?

What size yarn bowl is best? Find out now!

To choose the right size yarn bowl, take a look at the most commonly used yarns in your stash and measure them at the widest point. You’ll want to buy a yarn bowl slightly larger in diameter than the largest yarn ball so that the skein can move freely in the bowl.

PRO TIP: Most yarn bowls are round so ideally, a yarn ball fits better than a skein. You can hand wind your skeins into balls OR you can purchase a yarn winder to wind your yarn into perfect little cakes.

Also consider how many skeins of yarn you will be placing in the yarn bowl. If you are knitting with two strands held together at the same time, you may want to purchase a large yarn bowl to accommodate both of them.

How does a yarn bowl work?

You simply place the yarn in the yarn bowl and then feed it through the main swirl. Some yarn bowls also come with holes in addition to the swirl. The holes are there so that you can knit or crochet with multiple strands of yarn at the same time.

  • Working with Multiple Strands - To set this up, feed one yarn through the main swirl and the other yarn (s) through the holes. This will keep them tangle free as you knit.

  • Colorwork or Fair Isle Knitting - You can use the holes for knitting colorwork such as Fair Isle. Feed the main yarn color through the swirl and each additional color(s) through the holes.

Can you use a yarn bowl for crocheting?

Yarn bowls may be used for knitting or crochet. There is no difference in how they are used for either hobby. Just place your yarn in the bowl, feed it through the swirl and get started.

Where can I buy a yarn bowl?

Check with your LYS as well as all online retailers such as Knit Picks, Amazon, and Etsy. Below is a list of my 10 favorite yarn bowls and they’re all available on Amazon.

#1. Handmade Pottery Yarn Bowl

This handmade pottery yarn bowl looks beautiful on the inside and out. When not in use, it will look like a decorator piece in your home. This wheel-thrown bowl was crafted in the USA by Marilyn Wilkinson and features hand painted leaf motifs on the inside and out. The bowl measures 8” wide by 3.2” deep.

#2. Bamboo Yarn Bowl with Lid

Keep your yarn clean and in place as you knit with a beautiful Bamboo yarn bowl. This bowl is available in a 6” or 9” size.

#3. Sheep Parts Knitting Yarn Bowl

This funny yarn bowl is made of stoneware clay and kiln fired to over 1900 degrees. It features the choices parts of the lamb including hat, scarf, poncho, sweater, mittens, leg warmers, socks, and belt. Made in the USA.

The bowl measures 5.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches high and features a wool release hook.

#4. Handmade Wooden Yarn Bowl

This gorgeous wood yarn bowl is made of Rosewood (also known as Sheesham wood) a sustainable resource. The bowl features a swirl to feed main yarn and two holes to feed additional yarns. This 6” diameter x 3” high bowl comfortably fits a 3.5 oz/100gram ball of bulky yarn.

It has a sweet and pleasant Rosewood scent and the wood is heavy enough to keep yarn bowl from slipping on surfaces.

#5. Handmade Pottery Bowl

The Potters Handmade pottery bowl is available in 3 gorgeous colors/finishes Stony, Vintage Denim, and Soft Green. It features a curved slot to feed yarn with a star cutout accent on back. Measures approximately 6.5”diameter x 5” high. Made in the USA.

#6. Knitty Cats Yarn Bowl

Knitting and cats go together like peanut butter and jelly so, of course, I had to include a cat yarn bowl in this collection.

This yarn bowl says “knitty cats” and features two silhouettes of cats on the outside. It’s made in the USA using stoneware clay and kiln fired. Bowl measures 5.5” diameter x 3.5” high.

#7. Wildflower Yarn Bowl

Here’s a gorgeous gift for yourself or your favorite yarn crafter. This handmade yarn bowl has been wheel-thrown in Plano, Texas maker Tony Holman. Each bowl is signed by the potter.

Yarn bowl measures 5.75” diameter x 4” high.

#8. Dr. Who Yarn Bowl

Doctor Who Yarn Bowl, Tardis, Bigger on the Inside, large yarn bowl Because Yarn Bowls are cool. Just saying. DON'T BLINK or your yarn might roll right off your lap! But fear not- this yarn bowl will keep you good company and help your yarn stay in one place while you enjoy The Doctor.

This bowl is glazed a bright turquoise blue on the interior and features the image of TARDIS with the text "It's Bigger on The Inside" Glazed and kiln fired. Has a yarn release hook. Measures 6 x 3.5.

#9. Yarn Valet

Rubberized, non-slip base to keep bowl from slipping as your yarn flows through the scalloped yarn loop. Use the lower hole for bulkier yarns or skeins. The Yarn Valet is made of study and lightweight ABS plastic. Made in the USA and measures 6” diameter x 3” high.

#10. The Yarn Caddy

Is it a project bag? A yarn bowl? It's both!

  • Closed, your yarn and hook or needles are protected, secure and tidy, ready to be tucked away in a bag, a briefcase, or conveniently looped over your wrist.

  • Open, it becomes a sturdy bowl to keep your yarns from twisting or rolling away as you work.

  • Made of ultra-lightweight, flexible silicon, there is nothing to snag or damage your project.

  • Available in a choice of three jewel shades, with a whimsical design of knitting stitches, this innovative project caddy takes your knit and crochet experience to the next level.

  • Measures 10 wide x 5” high

Do you use a yarn bowl? Which type is your favorite? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!