Fiber Fridays: DIY Yarn Bowl

If you knit, you’ve undoubtedly experienced that “geez, there should be a kitten in here” moment when your ball of yarn goes flying across the room. It’s frustrating, right? Center pull balls are usually more well behaved, but so often you buy some great ball of yarn from your local craft store only to discover it is not center pull. What’s a knitter to do? Perhaps you’ve got some extra “fun” money laying around and can invest in this gorgeous yarn bowl (that i am so majorly lusting and would not complain if one of my lovely readers purchased and sent it to me as an early Christmas present):

But probably you’re like me and have blown any fun money you had on that lovely yarn or the roving to spin some handspun and can’t afford such a beautiful piece of functional furniture. If so – i have the solution for you! All you need is a pyrex or other heavy (pottery or glass or steel) receptacle bigger than your ball of yarn and one of those rad paperclips with the little metal arms. You could also use a clothespin and rubber band, but the paperclip works best and there are some cute paperclips out there to have even more fun with! Check it out:

Pretty cool right? Are you squealing in delight? Are you rushing around your house RIGHT now searching for the perfect paperclip and bowl to use? Go for it! I was pretty stoked when i figured this out last night and can’t wait to nestle down on the couch tonight and keep working on my nephew’s leg warmies and easy booties (both are free patterns!) without having to leave the warmth of my down blanket (and warm corgi) to chase down an escaped ball of yarn.

I will admit, the pyrex bowls are not heavy enough to not slide around on their own. I could set them into a larger, heavier bowl but my couch/futon has these handly flip-out side tables that are just lower than the arms which stops them from sliding towards me as i knit. This system really does work perfectly! Woo hoo! (I still won’t turn down the gift of that gorgeous yarn bowl, though!)

The binder clips could easily be used on regular, large bowls as well (i’m eying my old kitchenaid mixer bowls!) Some other great receptacles for traveling are old (clean) ice cream tubs or big yogurt tubs with a hole punched in the side or top or even a big travel mug (big gulp!) would work for smaller balls of yarn. I can’t wait for you to try this out and let me know what you think. I hope you’ll share with me if you do. :)


This week’s featured Fiber Friends come from a few of my favorite mobiles. You can read all about ordering your own custom mobile (for yourself or as a baby shower gift) at this recent post. I just love combining custom pet portraits with zero gravity – cuteness overload!

Happy weekend! What are you casting on or crafting for the holidays this year?


Filed under Felting, Fiber Fridays, Knitting

47 Responses to Fiber Fridays: DIY Yarn Bowl

  1. Yeah! That is a good idea! I like it!
    Christine @ these light footsteps recently posted…Herbal Ice Cubes

  2. Heidi

    What a great idea. Absolute genius.
    Heidi recently posted…slow living – October

  3. Chris

    I love this idea! If the bowl slides, there are always those non-slip mats you can buy in the kitchen aisle at any store, usually near the Contact paper. They come in different colors and you can trim them to the size you need. (I use them to keep the cat bowls in place.) And with all the “designer” paper clips out there now, these bowls could be a fashion statement, too! :)

  4. Genial y economico!!!
    Mavivi recently posted…Mi deseo…

  5. Frances

    Thank you so much for this great idea for I am going to make one right now. I pinned it if you don’t mind but if you do, let me know and I will remove it.

  6. Pingback: DIY Yarn Bowl « Craft Mommy

  7. Paula Few

    I love your idea of DIY yarn bowl. It’s very creative and practical for someone who can’t afford to buy one.

  8. Oma

    Thank you so much! I took a beautiful handmade pottery bowl & a beautiful flowered binder clip & it is fabulous! Some people are so creative!

  9. Pingback: Idee per angolo studio

  10. Great idea! Sometimes those center-pull skeins come out in one great glob of snarled yarn and I have to make balls of yarn in order to work. When I was a girl, before the invention of pull-skeins, my mom shopped at a yarn store where they had this 4-armed spinning thing that took the hank of yarn and spread it around the arms. Then you could make it into a ball. Ah, good times!

  11. Kathy

    What a great idea. I immediately started looking through my binder clips and found this cool decorative binder clip that has a little donut hole that is rubberized and perfect to hold yarn. They can be found at Office Depot and are called i.e.™ Fashion Binder Clips, 1 1/4″ and come in a pack of 8 for about $6.

  12. Judi Roberts

    If you cannot find one on these bowls, what I have found that works very well for me is a plastic gallon ice cream pail, I cut a hole in the top to thread the yarn thru ( I warm all of the cut edges with a lighter to make it smooth), put the yarn in the pail, thread it thru the hole, yarn stays neat and clean inside and pulls thru very easily.

    • Kathy Simkins

      Another thing you can use the ice cream bucket for is a nifty garbage bin for the car. Just cut a big smile in one side of the lid. Ours has a smile that takes out half of the lid. The beauty of it is you can capture nearly any type of trash, it does not tip over very easily and if you need a barf bucket you have one that does not leak! We have had one in our car for over 8 years. Wouldn’t be without it!

  13. Zan

    I like all above ideas, I used a empty tissue box and it also worked for me, but will rather try the paperclip one.

  14. Suzanne

    Fantastic idea. To prevent the pyrex bowl from sliding there are little plastic adhesive discs that can be stuck to the bottom and it will not slide. Going to have to buy a few larger bowls so I can have a great time. You deserve a 10+ for your invention.

  15. bev

    I purchased a bowk at the Dollar Tree and had my husband drill a hole in it. Works great.

  16. Kathy Simkins

    I use the containers that blank CDs and DVDs are packaged in for my knitting bowls. You can use it sitting upside down like a bowl or my favorites are the ones that screw on to a base. I remove the spindle that comes up through the bottom if I am using a ball of yarn and then I have a sealed vessel. Or you can feed the yarn through the hole in the bottom where the spindle was. My favorite use for these is to leave the spindle and use it for a ball of crochet thread. If you heat the tip if a metal skewer or an ice pick and touch it to a spot on the lid it will make a nice hole that you can thread your thread end into and then no more run away balls of white thread running away from you. I LOVE THESE ! And they transport so nicely when traveling!

  17. Jacki Clear

    What a great idea. Where can I buy one of the pottery bowls for my Mother as a present (she has taken up knitting again after loosing my Father earlier in the year)? I am in the UK (you always seem to have the best stuff in the US)!

    • jocelyn whysall

      I recently bought one a pottery one at a craft fair in Buxton Derbyshire UK and I love it! It has a sheep’s head on the side and really works well.There are lots of fairs this time of year so you may be lucky.
      I live in the US and always think the stuff in the UK is better :-) “grass is greener …..” syndrome.

  18. Kathleen

    Hi, I use a beautiful mosaiced vase that is very heavy and pretty and sits just where i want it to take big/small balls of yarn – this was a great gift from one of my grandaughters she was surprised I use it as a yarn holder instead of for flowers.

  19. Paddy

    Your idea for the pyrex yarn bowl was great, found if I took the yarn end from the middle of ball it did not bounce around so much, so the bowl was perfect.

  20. jo

    cool may work better than the old 2 liter bottles

  21. Pingback: Keeping Your Yarn Safe While You Knit · Knitting |

  22. Jacqueline

    Thank you for the wonderful idea!
    I have been using a small plastic trashcan ( for yarn only! LOL) for a ‘floor’ yarn bowl, but you are terrific!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. It’s really frustrating when your bowl of yarn goes flying around the room! It is like if a kitten were playing with it! The problem is that you finally waste your time trying to untangle the huge knot. I always have the same problem because of my cats, and also because I am a little bit disordered to knit, but now you gave the most useful idea ever! I have got a lot of binder clips and I never thought to use them as you did! When I read your post I quickly took one with a pyrex bowl and started to knit and my knitting went perfect! And well, as you can see, here I am, I tried this out and voilà! No more knots in my knittings! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing idea. It is really good when knitters share thoughts, patterns, ideas, etc., to others just for help. That’s why I follow you web site, it’s really helpful! Now I have to find a way to control my cat, she loves bowl of yarns, so she is the only one which makes knots or cut my yarn, but well, this is another problem that at least is not that frustrating, for now I have your idea to be happy! Thank you!
    Dominique Yáñez Muñoz recently posted…Instagram

    • Irene

      If you have cats, you will quickly discover that the uncovered bowl is not a good idea at all. With cats, you need something which is safely lidded. Unless your cats are real ascetics (mine aren’t).
      Therefore, I suggest that you go with the ziplock bags or the pierced plastic lidded containers.They are more portable as well. If you bring your knitting to another room, or outside the house, do you really want to be carrying heavy pyrex bowls as well?

  24. Kelly

    I store my yarn in plastic baggies so I usually just knit out of those with the seal partially closed. I’ve also used a baby wipe container, which works perfectly!

  25. Pingback: When you’re forced to be simple | quote closet

  26. Pingback: Monday’s Tips, Tricks, and Why Didn’t I Think of That! | Jenny Lynn's Crafts

  27. Dagi

    I’ve used the reusable elastic plastic bonnets for bowls/plates, that you use for left over dishes and punch a hole into it large enough for the yarn. To keep the hole from wearing out over time if you use it often, reinforce it with a piece of tape on both sides and punch the hole again. These bonnets come in different sizes, so you should be able to find one that fits whatever bowl or other container you’ll be using.

  28. Curi

    This idea is THE BEST! I have three puppies who get into my yarn all the time (and I store it well, they are just finding it magically) and now I can crochet with them around! Thanks so much for your brilliant idea!

  29. Linda

    I have a few different yarn bowls in use. One is a large 34.5 oz coffee tub, the heavy plastic with the sturdy snap on lid. Also cookie tubs from grocery stores, clear but lightweight and can shift. Snap close fruit boxes work for small balls, and fit the needles too for carrying.

    I also have a set of Husky tool bags that are big enough for afghans in progress as knitting bags.

    all close well, and are “kitty safe”. I have a clever hunter gatherer.

  30. Nina

    I have yarn bowls and a fabulous YARNIT, but they only hold smaller balls. Thanks to your great idea, I put a clip on a larger plastic container and now I can work with large balls – full skeins, without them rolling all over.

  31. I see you don’t monetize your page, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional cash every month because you’ve got high
    quality content. If you want to know how to make extra money, search for: best
    adsense alternative Wrastain’s tools
    86Adolph recently posted…86Adolph

  32. Pingback: 13 Ways to Organize with Binder Clips | Tip Junkie

  33. Pingback: 毛糸が転がらない!編み物をする時の毛糸の収納方法13選 | コカキコ

  34. Pingback: Yarn Bowl – unikatissima's

  35. Pingback: Garnschale – unikatissimas

  36. Pingback: 20 Insanely Clever Yarn Hacks That Will Make Your Next Project Easier! - Heart Handmade uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge