Where to Find A Yarn Bowl or Yarn Holder for Your Knitting Wool

by KathleenDuffy

Knitting wool can get out of control - but the latest knitting gadget is not only practical, it's beautiful too. A ceramic yarn bowl can often be mistaken for a piece of artwork!

If you love knitting but get fed up with your ball of wool rolling all over the floor, or the cat chasing it, or having to put it in an unattractive carrier bag - the answer is a yarn bowl. These beautiful objects make wonderful presents for the knitaholic in your family or a reward for yourself for all those sweaters you've turned out over the years!

I'm old enough to remember yarn holders made of plastic, and they are still around in varying styles. This simple concept is a must-have for knitters on-the-go!

If you really love the vintage feel of knitting as it used to be, there are still plenty of quirky, vintage wool holders to choose from.

In these days of austerity, knitting is once again all the rage - it's a beautiful craft with some lovely, practical accessories that will make your knitting experience even more meaningful.

What is a Yarn Bowl?

How do I use a Yarn Bowl?

Yarn BowlA yarn bowl can be made out of various materials - hand thrown pottery, wood, etc., as long as it's solid. The function of a yarn bowl is to keep the wool you are knitting with under control.

Hand-thrown and glazed  pottery yarn bowls seem to be the 'new kid' on the knitting block!  And considering that knitting is such a gentle, ancient, handicraft these two crafts - pottery and knitting -  go really well together. The coloured glazes of the yarn bowls seem to reflect the richness of the wool.

                   This is a Yarn Bowl

How to Use a Yarn Bowl

Video Yarn Bowl Demonstration

Pottery Yarn Bowls make Beautiful Presents

Or why not treat yourself?

You can see how gorgeous these ceramic yarn bowls are.  If you ever - God forbid - got tired of knitting, then they could definitely double as an ornament in the home.

And naturally, yarn bowls are just as useful for those who love to crochet.

You might find that the rectangular skeins of wool are rather cumbersome in the yarn bowl, as compared to the round or 'cake' variety.  So make sure your yarn bowl is large enough to take your particular ball of wool.

 On the other hand, you could always use a wool winder and turn those big balls of wool into smaller ones that will fit your yarn bowl just perfectly.


Cat-Proof Yarn Bowls



These lovely ceramic yarn bowls are great for when you’re snuggling up in front of the fire with your knitting - but they’re not very practical when you have a cat that is absolutely fascinated with the moving ball of wool! 

Fortunately, some designers have had the bright idea to create yarn bowls with cat-proof lids!

Yarn Bowl with cat-proof lid
Yarn Bowl with cat-proof lid

Things to Consider when Buying a Yarn Bowl

Here are a few pointers to remember when choosing a yarn bowl:

  • Make sure it isn't lightweight - you don't want it to fall onto the floor if you have it on the table next to you.
  • Ensure it has a piece of cork, felt, or suchlike on the base so that it won't scratch the furniture.
  • Would you prefer a yarn bowl with a lid to prevent the cat pouncing on your wool?
  • Perhaps you like to move around the house with your knitting - if so, a yarn bowl with a handle could be handy.
  • Bear in mind that some of these hand-thrown pottery yarn bowls are made to order, so if you want one as a present make sure to allow about three to four weeks for delivery.

Plastic Yarn Holders for Knitting on the Go!

Lightweight Portable Yarn Holders

There are a few  ceramic yarn bowls available with handles which can be useful if you want to move from room to room with your knitting.  But if you are travelling about and enjoy knitting as you go, on the bus or subway for instance, then a ceramic yarn bowl isn't really practical.

This is where the old-fashioned plastic yarn holder comes in.  A simple idea, but genius all the same!  These carry a ball or two of wool, the wool comes through a hole in the lid and it's kept nice and clean whilst you, knitting away expertly,  draw admiring glances from the other people on the subway.

Here's some examples of 'On the Go' Yarn Holders.

Available from Amazon
Snapware Yarn Tainer Small Storage Container, Small

Snapware Yarn-Tainers Small Yarn Storage Container Established in 1994, the majority of Snapware products are produced in the brand's birthplace of Mira Loma, California. Snapwa...

View on Amazon

Snapware Yarn Tainer Storage Container, Medium

Snapware Yarn-Tainers Large Medium Yarn Storage Container Established in 1994, the majority of Snapware products are produced in the brand's birthplace of Mira Loma, California....

View on Amazon

Now if you really wish you were sitting in front of the coal fire, listening to The Bing Crosby Hour on the radio, the room lit by the light of the old oak standard lamp, cat purring at your feet, knitting socks for the troops - then you are definitely ready for a Vintage Yarn or String Holder!   

Don't be put off by the words "string holder".  I know - it sounds like something found in the garden shed - but I am sure some enterprising woman years ago retrieved it for herself and used it for her knitting! 

From this humble, vintage beginning we have reached the beautiful ceramic yarn bowls of today.

Some Vintage Yarn Holders & Similar Items

Available from E-Bay

For the Desperate Knitter Who's Really Broke!

Here's the Perfect Solution

Works every time!

An Improvised Yarn Holder
An Improvised Yarn Holder
K Duffy

Happy Knitting!


c. K. Duffy

Updated: 07/09/2014, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 07/29/2013

That's a really good point Cindy. Thanks for the input. Glad you enjoyed the article. :)

Cindy on 07/28/2013

Love the article. I might add that when shopping for a yarn bowl, consider where it will sit when you knit. The angle of the yarn channel keyhole (where the yarn comes out) is important to your yarn bowl sits to you.
Here's why: http://www.stardustpottery.com/blog/w...

KathleenDuffy on 04/26/2013

You're really welcome! Glad to be of service! :)

KathleenDuffy on 04/14/2013

There's lots of lovely ones on Etsy too - So glad you've taken up knitting and crochet. It's such a relaxing pastime. I agree with you that the jar type holders could be a bit more imaginative. :)

katiem2 on 04/14/2013

These are so very cool. I've just taken up knitting and crochet, which I find very relaxing. I love afghans and so will be trying my hand at them. The yarn bowl is a wonderful tool and so pretty. I like the jar type as well. It would be really cool if they came in a mason type jar with an old fashioned look but none the less I like them all.

KathleenDuffy on 04/14/2013

Here's a link to Pinterest where they suggest a teapot instead of a yarn bowl. Apparently it's quite a popular substitute: http://pinterest.com/mariaelvia/yarn-...

KathleenDuffy on 04/14/2013

Dusty toes - my mum did a lot of knitting and she used to use a brown earthenware teapot for this purpose. We always had cats so it helped discourage them from playing with the ball of wool .

dustytoes on 04/14/2013

Did you come up with that teapot idea? Very clever! I do need a cat-proof yarn holder for sure. I love the one with the pretty lid.

KathleenDuffy on 04/14/2013

2uesday, I like the idea too. And this was a very cheap teapot which makes it even more satisfying!

KathleenDuffy on 04/13/2013

Ha ! I can picture that scenario! Mel boy is going to be very bored quite soon! :)

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