Have you ever caught yourself doing that classic (and extremely silly-looking) chasing-after-tumbled-yarn move while knitting away?
Rest assured, you’re not alone. But do you know what can help? A yarn bowl!
A good yarn bowl can work wonders and is an excellent accessory to make life easy without breaking the bank. Yarn bowls come in all sizes and capacities and enable yarn balls to unravel naturally and effortlessly with just the right amount of tension.
To get an idea of what’s available, check out some of our favorite yarn bowls in our guide below; we’re confident you’ll find the one for you!
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Best yarn bowls: Quick picks
Loveknitting Large Yarn Bowl
- Capacity for multiple balls of yarn
- Smooth wood finish
- Easily accommodates WIPs
Neo Marble Resin Yarn Bowl
- Modern design
- Lightweight and durable
- Great value
Yarn Valet Yarn Bowl
- Very affordable
- Ideal for beginners
- Can be used with multiple yarn types
What is a yarn bowl? Do I need one?
Using a yarn bowl is pretty straightforward but will significantly impact your workflow!
All you have to do is place your skein into the bowl and pull out the end of your thread through the carved openings. As you knit or crochet, your yarn will be secured within the bowl and unravel organically without requiring any yanking or pulling.
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Besides this purpose, yarn bowls are also popular among needlecraft hobbyists for being sturdy, convenient containers to store all kinds of knitting/crochet accessories and works in progress (WIP).
Most avid knitters and crocheters cannot go without a yarn bowl because of how helpful they are in avoiding messiness, knotted thread piles, and of course, the likelihood of comical yarn-ball-chasing scenarios from happening!
Here are a few reasons why we think you should consider a knitting yarn bowl:
- Keeps multiple color strands separate
- Tangle-free and knot-free
- Adds to home décor
- Keeps yarn clean and sheltered at all times
- Assists with yarn winding
- Allows you to knit anywhere
- Avoids yarn from tumbling on the floor
How to choose the best yarn bowl for you
Whenever choosing the best yarn bowl for you, keep in mind that one size does not always fit all.
Yarn types and projects may call for specific bowls, so consider these factors before investing in this item.
Yarn weight and size
What yarn weights do you prefer?
Do you knit fair-isle patterns and use two skeins at the same time?
If you regularly use bulky yarn or knit with multiple colors at once, buying a larger option with swirly cutouts is the way to go.
Design and features
These pieces can also act as lovely centerpieces to adorn nooks and crannies in your home! They’re also practical to transport your projects and WIP wherever you go.
Let your personal preferences shine when you make your pick. Do you want a funny yarn bowl or a ceramic yarn bowl? A chic and modern design or an organic, wooden look?
Be sure to opt for a deep bowl to keep materials from falling out. You can also find bowls with tapered tops, which are helpful to keep contents from popping out.
Bowls made of wood and plastic are the most resistant, and therefore, the most popular and easy to find.
Besides these, there are models available in all kinds of materials and styles, such as porcelain, ceramics, and metal.
No matter the material, the most crucial aspect to consider is the inside of your bowl: holes should be ultra-smooth to prevent yarn from snagging and fraying.
Sure, you can always sand or file your bowl after purchase, but we advise going for a already prepped, quality option from the get-go.
Best yarn bowls
Yarn stores and online craft marketplaces are great places to buy yarn bowls in all dimensions and designs — and for all pocket sizes.
Read through our picks below and find your favorite soon-to-be yarn bowl!
Yarn Valet Yarn Bowl
If you’re all about convenience, this plastic this bowl will be right up your alley!
While ceramics and porcelain yarn bowls are gorgeous to look at, they may cause uneasiness due to their fragile nature. And there’s nothing worse than spending a fortune on a cool yarn bowl only to have it knocked down by your pet!
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If this resonates with you, this minimal model is a great option to consider if you’re looking for durability and affordability. This item roughly 5 inches wide, has a beautiful scalloped edge, and is open on top vs. tapered.
You can find an enclosed ring along the upper rim of the bowl that serves as a guide for thicker yarn and two smaller holes to accommodate thinner fibers.
Jumbo Darn Good Yarn Bowl
Quilt crocheters and winter gear knitters will appreciate the generous dimension of this stunning, jumbo-sized Sheesham wood (AKA Indian Rosewood), handmade bowl.
Each Jumbo Darn Good Yarn bowl is one-of-a-kind and can hold multiple balls of yarn, or one ball and a WIP with needles/crochet hooks.
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Besides a unique, practical piece that will benefit your work (and will look great in your home!), by purchasing this project you’ll be supporting employment for over 50 highly experienced artisans who craft these products individually.
However, it is one of the priciest options on the list. That said, needlecraft beginners might want to consider something a little cheaper at first — we have plenty of great alternatives on our guide, so keep reading!
Rooster Yarn Bowl
Who said you couldn’t have fun with your yarn bowl?
While modern designs are always popular, this retro-inspired, rustic-themed rooster ceramic yarn bowl has a lateral spiral carving vs. holes.
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This model has a sizeable opening, making it suitable for all types of yarn, whether multicolored skeins or balls of bulky weight yarn.
The slit allows yarn to be easily dispensed even from center pull-skeins, without snags or tangles.
Whether you like to knit, crochet, or do both, this is an adorable and practical pick.
Cat Yarn Bowl
Another adorable animal-inspired piece is this ceramic cat yarn bowl with the capacity to hold two small skeins or one large skein of various fiber weights.
Minimal in design, this super cute item presents the features of a cat, having the mouth doubling as a decorative element and the hole the yarn feeds through.
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The opening is big enough for thicker weight yarn and can also easily support multiple strands at once. Note that this particular ceramic yarn bowl does not have a spiral cut-out.
While this piece does support your knitting/crocheting activities, it’s valued at a slightly higher price primarily for its unique design. This makes an excellent gift for needlecraft lovers of all skill sets — especially if they love cats!
Neo Marble Resin Yarn Bowl
Stronger than ceramic and more fashionable than plastic, this neo marble yarn bowl features a faux marble effect crafted with resin.
The cool thing about this product is that you can enjoy the perks of showcasing a beautiful, authentic-looking stone bowl minus the concerns one typically has regarding genuine stone-built bowls, like weight and fragility.
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The top of the bowl has an open 5-inch diameter that tapers out to a medium-sized bowl. This means that this yarn holder accommodates small to medium-sized skeins.
Although this is one of the most expensive suggestions on our list, we think its original design and compact dimension are certainly worth the buy.
Black Mango Wood Yarn Bowl
Keeping your yarn bowl on display means finding one that fits into your décor.
If you’re into chic settings and decorations, this sophisticated black mango wood yarn bowl is an option that might be what you’re looking for!
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This bowl consists of multiple holes and openings to accommodate different kinds of yarn, including a swirly carving and smaller holes to control numerous strands at once.
The bowl is tapered and best for smaller skeins; whether lightweight or chunkier yarn, it doesn’t matter as long as thread is wound into petite cakes.
Two Tone Black Maplewood Yarn Bowl
For knitters or crocheters that use medium-sized to large skeins, this two-tone black Maplewood piece has a large opening that guarantees the stability of a variety of yarn types and weights.
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The outside is painted with a glossy finish, giving it a nice color contrast of black and natural wood. It’s wide spiral cut-out is especially convenient for thick, chunky yarn.
This two-tone yarn bowl will not only give any room a nice decorative touch but is also a particularly robust and affordable pick for all levels of knitters or crocheters.
Loveknitting Large Bowl
The wood-sculpted Loveknitting Large bowl is ideal for super-bulky weight thread and big-texture yarn.
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This bowl’s sturdiness avoids easy breakage and has an especially smooth cut-out that lets yarn flow effortlessly.
The cut-out’s gentle slope also helps thread move swiftly without requiring yanking or untangling your fibers. It’s a bit pricey, but the materials and finish are pretty superb.
Loveknitting Small Bowl
Loveknitting also makes a smaller bowl with the same lightly stained natural wood.
With shorter sides and the same large 6-inch opening, this bowl is perfect for holding and controlling lightweight threads or small balls of thicker yarn.
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Because of its compact dimension, this is a great suggestion for crocheters and knitters who are working on less complex pieces. Its neutral design is also a plus for discerning crafters who love to add new items to their craft station.
Although more high-end in terms of value, its top quality, design, and sturdy built will be worth every penny. It’s also significantly cheaper than the large yarn bowl if you love the look but want to save a few bucks!
Large Wooden Yarn Box
Alternatives like this large wooden yarn box are great for projects that require large amounts of weightier yarn.
This substantial wooden model is different from the others in our guide because of its square shape. You’ll find two separate compartments within the box, which have been crafted to offer individual placements for tools and WIPs.
The box also features two conveniently carved-out handles to comfortably transport your work wherever you desire.
This item is available in two different colors, so don’t forget to pick your favorite at purchase. This item ships from Ukraine; be sure to confirm delivery options and shipping fees.
The Silly Sheep Yarn Bowl
Sometimes, all you want is something cute to look at while you’re crafting away — this Silly Sheep funny yarn bowl totally fulfills that purpose!
Along with its quirky, cartoonish design, this hand-painted ceramic yarn bowl has small control holes made to hold two strands at once.
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While more costly than other suggestions on our list, this piece is more of a whimsical buy than anything else as it pretty much offers the same basic features as most standard bowls.
This is the ideal gift fellow knitters and crocheters with great senses of humor will love! You can also purchase this item in the form of other fun-looking animals.
Ceramic Yarn Bowl for Crochet and Knitting Accessories
This ceramic yarn bowl is a total knock-out and totally groovy!
Showcasing unique, iridescent rainbow-colored hues, this bowl is not only fun to look at but very convenient.
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With a deep spiral cut out on the side, this bowl easily accommodates a sizeable bulky-weight ball of yarn or up to six petite skeins.
Its especially wide spiral cut-out and smaller holes help feed yarn quickly and smoothly, regardless of the size or texture of your yarn/thread making it a suitable choice for knitters and crocheters alike.
How do you use a yarn bowl?
- Put a skein or cake of yarn directly into the bowl
- Feed the end of your thread through the lateral spiral cut-out or holes
- Pull the yarn as you work, without yanking (a good vessel will not let yarn get tangled or stuck as you pull)
You can also use this item to store your WIP’s or needlecraft accessories such as needles, extra yarn, and crochet hooks.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out these helpful online tutorials:
- How to Use Your Yarn Bowl by Darn Good Yarn
- How to Use a Yarn Bowl Demonstration by Yarn & Fiber
- How To Use a Yarn Bowl – Yarn Holder Demonstration by BambooMN
How do I make my own yarn bowl?
Making a DIY yarn bowl can be fun! There are numerous everyday items you can use to create a custom-made bowl — all you need is a little imagination!
Check out these online tutorials/guides for inspiration:
Can I use a pull skein with a yarn bowl?
Pull skeins or center pull-skeins can be used with a yarn bowl, but they may not work as well as they would with a ball or cake. You can wind a skein into a ball for smoother use, with fewer snags and bumps. Using a yarn winder can be really helpful for this process!
What size yarn bowl do I need?
Select a vessel that is larger than the skeins you tend to craft with and that features big enough holes to hold the weight of your yarn without affecting tension. A yarn box is best if you work with bulkier fibers, while small bowls are ideal for small knitting projects and crocheting.
Where can I buy yarn bowls?
Visit local potters, craft markets, and farmers’ markets for hand-designed yarn bowls. You can also easily find these easily on most online knitting and textile stores:
That’s it for this quick guide to yarn bowls! Have any tips or tricks to share with other budding crafters? Share them in the comments below!