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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yarn Bowl Troubleshooting

Okay, so I may be a liiiiittle bit biased, but I think my yarn bowls are the best ones out there. Others are too top heavy over their small rounded feet, falling over when you give a tug on your yarn, and if they aren't dodging that bullet, the cut to wind your yarn through is not sufficient. It's generally too straight or too short to really hold the yarn in place. All of these flaws and you could almost forget the main function of a yarn bowl is to contain your yarn! Not to worry though! This potter turned knitter/crocheter is here to save the creative day!

Function, function function!! I make my yarn bowls short and wide for maximum stability. Knitters rarely sit at a table to work, so the bowl really needs to be able to hold on for a bumpy ride. The lower the center of gravity, the more stable it is, hence the unique form. The height is tall enough to tame your skein and keep it from falling over the sides. Since the sides are straight, things inside the bowl stay better contained than other bowls that are rounded, making it an easy escape route. The body is wide enough to stay put on your lap or the arm of your couch. The cutout is windy enough and lengthy enough to keep your escapee strands from their getaway. The multiple hole cutouts also offer options, depending on your personal preferences, numbers of yarn being used, and types of yarn being used. All cut areas are checked for smoothness, because no one needs a snag on that luscious skein you picked up on your travels. Group all these considerations with the fact that the bowls are textured with rope that has the same twist as yarn, and are made by a potter that actually knits and crochets, and yeah, I think they're the most awesome out there.

But even the best tools of the trade can have some troubleshooting tips for users. If you find that your yarn bowl isn't quite creating the working flow that it ought to, scan this list for an adjustment that will fix the problem. Once you're on the right track with using your bowl, I promise you will be amazed and in love with the assistance on your project that a nice yarn bowl can give. When creating something that is as time consuming as fiber projects can be, not having to chase, unwind, adjust, or untangle, and trading it all in for the gliding flow given from a small tug, can feel downright magical.

1. Make sure your yarn is wound into a ball
As creative people, we are a fickle bunch. For us, we do things how we do them, there is no other way, and other approaches can boggle our minds. This is a great thing!! It gives us options and individuality! the world of yarn bowls, there is little room for this flexibility in how your yarn is wound together. If your yarn is not in a ball form, it will not work with the yarn bowl. The traditional skein form will not feed through a yarn bowl, as it unwinds back and forth as well as around. When the yarn needs to be pulled at from so many directions to unwind it, it trips on itself and gets stuck in the bowl. If you roll up your skein into a ball it will work beautifully! The ball form allows the yarn to always feed from one spot, and the round shape allows that spot to adjust accordingly. It can take a bit of time to roll up a ball if it's something you're not used to, but you will gain that back and more through the project.

2. Adjust the position of the bowl
I'm fully confident that these babies are capable of being on the go, and ready to work in your environment, be it waiting in line at the store, on the train, or on the couch. I toss my bowl in my project bag, letting the fiber protect the fragile cutout area,and take it with me places where I can sneak a few stitches in. On your own travels, or at home, you may find that things may not feel 'right' with the bowl. If things just aren't flowing stitch by stitch like they should, try resting the bowl in a different spot. It's height, distance, and angle relative to your working space (the area above your lap where your hands are moving and your project is resting) play a large part in the feel of how the yarn flows. Too far or close, high or low, left or right and things can feel more like trudging along than the beautiful glide that it should have. Some small adjustments will have things back on track.

3. Consider your amount of yarn
My yarn bowls come in three sizes, 6", 8", and 10". The larger the bowl the more yarn you can fit and work with at once. Most knitters find that the small and medium sizes suit them just fine, fitting large amounts in both, but some really need the jumbo size for their needs, with the multiple cutout areas for the yarn to feed through. The smaller sizes can accommodate more than one ball just fine, as long as your yarn choices allow it. If the balls are too large and fit snugly together in the bowl, they won't be able to spin on themselves and unwind to feed through. Make sure that your yarn has enough wiggle room to freely move on its own inside the bowl.

If you can sort through these tips and find what works for you, you will be the happiest creator on the block. A decent yarn bowl will truly spoil you, being a pleasure to work with, and a missed treasure when not being used on your project. Lots of happy makers agree:

"The person I purchased this for loved the yarn bowl. She's constantly working with multiple yarns as she knits and this is perfect for keeping them organized. The final product was beautiful and exceptionally well made."

"You can tell seller knits/understands knitters! LOVE my yarn bowl!"

"GREAT!! Beautiful work,you can tell from the design that she actually uses yarn
and knows what we crafters need!"

"I love it and use it almost daily!"