Yarn Bowls

Potter's picture

Hello Gentlemen,

I'm a potter who makes yarn bowls. I've been selling them to women but haven't yet to a male.
This makes me wonder if I need to market them differently.

So I have a few questions, that if you guys feel like answering, that would be of tremendous help.

1. Have you heard of yarn bowls before now?
2. Have you ever used a yarn bowl?
3. Does the yarn bowl in the image look feminine, gender neutral, or masculine?
4. If you could have an image on the bowl, what image would interest you?
For example, I currently put sheep and occasionally, cats, on them.
5. What offline, or online, magazine do you read for knitting news?
6. Any additional advice on how I could market these bowls is also appreciated.

Thank you!

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michaelpthompson's picture

Nice! I do have a yarn bowl

Nice! I do have a yarn bowl and I use it when I'm sitting at home, rather than taking a project along somewhere. I like to knit while watching TV or something, and the bowl keeps my yarn in one place so the ball doesn't go skittering around when I pull out yarn. It's also aesthetically pleasing to have one art complement another that way. I would recommend yarn bowls to anyone who sits and knits at home or in one place for a while; or as gifts for knitters.

Potter's picture

Thank you Michael for the

Thank you Michael for the recommendation on yarn bowl usage. I understand that not everyone uses yarn bowls, but it is heartening for me when I hear that you greatly enjoy the use of them. It makes me feel that my skills are put to use for a good cause. Helping to bring greater enjoyment to knitters and crocheters is a pretty good life purpose. :)

I find it interesting that you noted the complementary nature between hand crafted knitting projects and hand crafted yarn bowls. I wholeheartedly agree! It does seem like an excellent pairing.

rmbm612's picture

I have two yarn bowls, one

I have two yarn bowls, one ceramic and the other wooden. They are more decorative than functional and not particularly handy when you carry a project around with you. They sit on a shelf more than used to contain a cake of yarn.

Potter's picture

That is an interesting view

That is an interesting view point, rmbm612. It's a good thing that not everyone thinks alike. LOL! I'd be working my hind end off making these bowls for no reason at all.

CLABBERS's picture

Cindy, your bowls are really

Cindy, your bowls are really quite beautiful. I like the ones with just the glaze sans animals etc. One of these days, I'm going to invest in a medium-sized bowl. For now, I continue to tuck the ball or skein between my leg and arm of a chair and start knitting away. I don't like any tension at all on the yarn as I knit, so I usually pull out about a yard at a time, knit that, then repeat. I really do like your bowls and will probably add one to my Christmas wish list. My wife and son are always hounding me to make such a list. Keep making the bowls. I have seen some at the Midwest Fiber Fair in Grayslake, IL and I was very tempted to get one or two. http://www.fiberandfolk.com/ The price keeps me from investing just now. I'm heading into retirement in a year, so we are being financially very prudent so we don't have to worry. But one of your bowls would make for a nice gift. Thanks for the inspiration! I now have one thing on my wish list. I'm very simple in my needs.


Potter's picture

Thank you, Mark, for your

Thank you, Mark, for your kind compliment on my work. That Fiber Fair looks like it is a lot of fun. I wish I were close enough to attend.
Am happy to help you on that wish list. I'm sure your family will be pleased to be able to get you something you'd enjoy this Christmas. :)
By the way, those look like some seriously comfortable socks. I like them.

CLABBERS's picture

I'm assuming you mean what I

I'm assuming you mean what I am wearing in my profile. The are actually slippers. I got that pattern from The Knitting Man(ual) by Kristin Spurkland. She's a neat lady and always eager to help when you have questions. I actually made them several times to get them correct. I made a pair for me after after a few tries, as well as a pair for my son. His came out better. You can see the brown ones for me and the blue for my son on Ravelry. They were the first footwear I made. Oh, what I time I had trying to figure things out. I was a very, very new knitter at the time.


I'll make sure my wife and son get a link to your site.


Potter's picture

I've looked at that link.

I've looked at that link. Both sets of slippers look comfy and warm. I'm amazed at how well they came out, especially being the first footwear you've ever made. Impressive!

Potter's picture

Mark, thank you again for

Mark, thank you again for that Fiber Fair link.

CLABBERS's picture

You mean you don't want to

You mean you don't want to drive 10 or 11 hours to be stuck in a huge field in an exhibit hall with nothing around but one mall? Hmmm. I can't imagine. It does get a good crowd of people, although the last time I was there, I didn't see many people walking out with bags of merchandise. Perhaps the economy is hindering sales. While your prices are in line with what I saw there, the yarns that are sold there are mostly hand spun and/or dyed, so they tend to be a bit pricey. Still, it's a fun little jaunt for an afternoon and I usually walk away with a little goody or two.

Good luck with the bowls.


New York Built's picture

I must compliment you Cindy,

I must compliment you Cindy, for reaching out to the people on this site. I have been a crafts administrator for many years, and I have seen many types of containers and vessels used for this purpose. The glaze, shape, surface decoration looks...well, Cindy, what's good is good. I could imagine it in my workshop, home or gift to anyone...male or female, young or old. I dislike cutsey...an acquired taste, no doubt, but I move away from graphic symbols that have an Awwwwwww...factor greater than 3.5 on a scale of ten. The beautiful curl of the cut inspires me...perhaps you as well?

I scan everything I see at the news rack, hunting for techniques and tools that will aid my passion. However, since I usually don't work in wool, I find a tool such as the one you make unhelpful. A wound tube of silk or linen turns into chaos with one pull out of allignment and cannot be wound into a ball without devine intervention. That said, one thing I can suggest as benefit for a knitter is that a bowl, fed off the outside, adds no additional twist to the yarn as you knit. With some yarns, this can become a game changer in gauge, tension and outcome. Just a thought. That is the weaver/spinner in me speaking...LOL.

If the Ravelry's stats are correct, with a membership of 3 million, and 14% of the membership are men, increasing your sales by 10% by doing your research is...smart - 420,000 possible positive impressions smart.

Good luck!

Potter's picture

Thank you New York. I just

Thank you New York. I just might have an idea to solve that wound tube issue: a spindle design.
To be clear, though, is the wound tube of silk or linen on a spool? I'm looking at images on Google, and am pulling up several different configurations and apparent sizes. I'd need some clarification and description of what you are using to be sure I'm on the right track.

twistknit's picture

I have my working project in

I have my working project in a bag or basket with the yarn. I wouldn't want another separate container to contend with for the yarn. I do buy a lot of pottery. I have soap dishes, pie pans, vases, mugs, bowls, and candle holders all from hand thrown potters. I would but other clay items related to knitting and crocheting. Needle vases for example.

Potter's picture

Thank you for that great

Thank you for that great idea, Twistknit.

Bill's picture

Cindy, I looked at your

Cindy, I looked at your profile, and you have a facebook page...but that's no help to those of us that don't do facebook.
Is there some other place to see pics and prices?

Potter's picture

Hi Bill, Yes, I not sure if

Hi Bill,

Yes, I not sure if I'm allowed to post that here, but you asked so I'll risk censorship for the sake of courtesy :) And thank you for asking!


I don't have a good selection right now of the extra large, but will start some this week just so you have something nice to look at on my site in about 3 weeks..

Bill's picture

Love your work! I'd like to

Love your work!
I'd like to order an Extra large yarn bowl in Jaded Blue variations.
I don't think right or left matters, because I can rotate the bowl...but I would use it on my right side.
No sheep or animals...just the wonderful textured glaze.

Potter's picture

Thank you Bill, I'll make one

Thank you Bill,
I'll make one up for you (Extra large, jaded blue, with glaze alone.) and will post here when it is finished and ready for your viewing.

Nehkhasi's picture



Potter's picture

Hi Nehkhasi, Thank you for

Hi Nehkhasi,

Thank you for posting. I'm assuming from the layout of the conversation you might also like to see an extra large, jade blue yarn bowl? I usually make several at a time, so I can do that.

Nehkhasi's picture



Potter's picture

LOL! Ok! Thank you, Nehkhasi.

LOL! Ok! Thank you, Nehkhasi. I have your request and will make you the extra large yarn bowl, right handed, in jaded blue.

Bill's picture

Thank you, Cindy, I don't

Thank you, Cindy,
I don't think there's any problem posting your web site for your own art here on Men Who Knit.
We like to support our members if we can...

Bill's picture

I love the idea of yarn

I love the idea of yarn bowls. Many of the ones I've seen advertised, are too small. My brother has turned two for me, of tiger maple wood,... and they'll be in the mail shortly.
The one you posted a picture of...looks beautiful. How big is it?

Potter's picture

Hi Bill, I make these bowls

Hi Bill,
I make these bowls in three sizes.

REGULAR size fits 50 grams / 1.76 oz skeins of yarn.
LARGE size fits 198 grams / 7 oz / Super Saver skeins of yarn.
EXTRA LARGE size fits 453.6 grams / 16 oz / 1 lb skeins of yarn.

Bill's picture

How many inches across? How

How many inches across?
How man inches tall?

I'm afraid I don't think in grams or skeins....although the EXTRA LARGE is probably the kind of size I want.

Do you have a web site?

AKQGuy's picture

I have seen them and if I

I have seen them and if I were a more sedentary knitter I would probably own one but I'm on the go, and my knitting is often with me so the idea of a bowl that I bought for it's beautiful functionality being broken worries me. Add that to the menagerie of animals and they simply don't fit into either me knit or life style

Potter's picture

Thank you AKQ guy for your

Thank you AKQ guy for your input. I hear you. "On the go" would make it a bit tough to carry around a yarn bowl.

But pets? AKQ guy, you know your own pets and lifestyle. I'm not arguing that. But I have to point out to other readers that pet ownership is NOT an automatic deterrent to owning a yarn bowl. In fact, it shouldn't really be a much of an issue at all.

The yarn bowls I make are pretty sturdy with wide, heavy bases. I designed them that way so that they don't tip over easily in case you hit a snag in the yarn. Those same features would make the bowl fairly safe from toppling over if accidentally nudged.

Also, yarn bowls can sit to the side of you on a sofa or chair (I make both left handed and right handed models), so wagging tails, rough housing critters, and curious kitties aren't likely to run afoul of your yarn bowl. Lastly, when you aren't using the bowl, it can easily be put in a cupboard safely away from rowdy fur babies.

AKQGuy's picture

Haha... Nudged. I wish the

Haha... Nudged. I wish the tails of the 120 pound Great Dane and 85 pound Akbash mix only nudged things from coffee and side tables when they are goofing off or just plain happy to be breathing. Nope, I've lost enough items to the combination of them and the hardwood floors.

Potter's picture

Ooh! Big babies! I used to

Ooh! Big babies! I used to have a couple of big furbabies some years back. Their hearts are as big as their bodies. :)