I was fairly certain I was going to give both my mom and Beth a piece of pottery for Christmas this year. I had a few ideas for each of them rolling around in my head, and then I got an e-mail from my friend Ange, who had just made some yarn bowls. I wasn’t sure what exactly a yarn bowl was – my first thought was a giant bowl that you would put on a table or the ground to hold your stash of skeins. She sent me a picture though and, intrigued, I did a Google image search and found hundreds of variations on a simple idea: a bowl with some sort of cut-out, allowing your yarn to be threaded through. The benefit being that the yarn then tumbles around in the bowl as you unwind it for knitting, instead of rolling on to the floor or away from you, as they are prone to do.
Although the idea is very simple, the getting-the-finished-product wasn’t quite that, even though I realize lessons learned will help with that in the future. The more complex you make the cut-out, the more likely it is to break or warp, as I found out early on. I also found out that this lovely new clay shrinks considerably more than the one I was previously using, and if the bowl can’t hold an entire skein, it becomes only semi-useful. But practice makes a better product and I really practiced a lot (some became cereal bowls when I realized the size wasn’t right) – enough that I came away with two pretty bowls for my two favorite knitters.