Monday, June 28, 2010

One Day Bowl

Naturgarn Since you know that nothing is simple with me you will not be surprised that this little bowl that took me around two hours to make has a very long back story.

We had a staff member at the store named Trudy. (Hi, Trudy!) She was not with us for very long when her husband retired and they moved south.

Before she left she gave each of us a little gift of yummy chocolates and one of her favorite books, "Everyday Sacred" by Sue Bender.

It's one of those quiet, meditative books. Not really a self-help book, but still about looking at the world around you and shifting your perspective on what you see.

This was actually my second attempt at reading it. I had started at one point, but guess I wasn't ready for the message. This time I stuck with it and enjoyed it. I might even troop over to the library to find her first book.

What does this have to do with yarn?
The main image and central theme of the book is a bowl and accepting what is placed in that bowl. Which is all explained quickly in the first few pages, so I haven't spoiled anything for you there.

Turns out I'm fairly suggestible, which is something I already knew about myself, because after spending all that time reading about bowls and looking at bowl drawings I had a sudden desire to make a bowl.

Here, fishy fishy
This is not the first time a book has caused me to create something with yarn, and I'm not talking about patterns or stitch dictionaries.

After college I read "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One of the characters was obsessed with goldfish and spent a considerable amount of time making little metal ones.

That was a much longer book than Everyday Sacred so it might have been more understandable that after finishing it (or maybe while I was still reading it?) I designed a crocheted goldfish. I still have him. I'll have to take a picture for you. He's adorable.

Back to the BowlCrocheted bowl
Of course, I've seen patterns for felted bowls. And I made those felted wine cozies a few years ago. So I had the concept.

It made sense to make a bowl out of yarn, since it's my medium of choice.

I cast through my mental stash for feltable yarn. I just wanted to whip out a little bowl to satisfy the urge, so I didn't want anything complicated like making a striped bowl from scraps or something. I also didn't want it to be massive or take forever to make.

The single skein of green Naturgarn by Viking of Norway fit the bill. It even says "for knitting and felting" right there on the label.

[Ah-ha. I see on the website it is labeled "new." This is one of the yarns I received for my freelance project. You should check with your LYS, but it might not be in stock in the USA until the fall. I should check on that.]

Pattern Recap
Naturgarn is 100% wool. 50 meter/55 yard skein. At a suggested gauge of 12 sts to 4 inches. The recommended knitting needle is a 8mm/US 11. It has just a wee halo and is what I believe is called "singles" as the structure is just one fluffy, loosely twisted strand. My color, Lime #632.

I was planning to crochet my bowl, since it is faster and more structural than knitting.

Although I'm not a big felter, I understand that working at a looser gauge is desirable. I guess so the water can really get it between the stitches.

My crochet hooks jumped from a 6.5mm/K to big, plastic, mystery ones aren't imprinted with a size.

I went with one of the mystery ones. Perhaps a P. I'm really not sure.

I started the bowl with six single crochet in the starting loop. After working the bottom in single crochet I suddenly got bored and switched to double crochet.

I fiddled around a bit with working a back-post dc to turn the corner, but the sides were curving up naturally, so I ended up ripping that out and just working plain dc.

Felted bowlReally, this bowl took just over 2 hours to crochet. Let's see, we watched an episode of Dr. Who on-demand, two episodes of Jeopardy! off the DVR, and an episode of Justified off the DVR. So, taking out commercials, but I did fold a load of call it 2 hours.

How is that for a fast project?

After I finished it I thought it looked a little more open than I anticipated.

This was not an issue because we were all getting together at Pam's house for a knit night, so I dragged it along.

She figured it would be fine with a few runs through the washer. I said I was going to hand felt it. Margaret and Laura both cried, "Are you insane?!" or something to that effect with the point Felted bowl intbeing that's why washing machines were invented.

Machine felting it seemed like a waste of resources to me, since it was just one little bowl, but by the time I got home I had come around.

Two quick trips through the agitation cycle and viola! A bowl.

I stretched it over the bottom of a big canister of Quaker Oatmeal to shape it.

I forgot to measure the dimensions of the pre-felted bowl, but the finished one is about 3.25" tall, 5" across, and 17.5" around.

The light does shine through in places, which I think is a combination of the overly big hook and the double crochet stitch. The bottom, in single crochet, is much less, um, translucent?

Still, I think that adds to the charm of the bowl. I mean, it's not like I'm going to eat soup out of it. Of course, part of my attitude might be in the spirit of Everyday Sacred's message of accepting things as they are.

More bowls! More Bowls!
This bowl was so quick and satisfying that I have a desire to make a second one. This urge can be satisfied because I have a second skein of Naturgarn in color 670, which is a blue/purple multi.

This time I think I'll go with the K hook. Still might stick with the dc though. If I switch to a smaller hook AND a shorter stitch the second bowl might end up too small.

Can't wait to see how the variegate looks felted.


  1. Love the bowl! I have some yarn that is just screaming to be felted--maybe this is the kick in the butt I need.

    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is one of my favorite books. I just might read it again. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. Very philosophical. I like the tie in with the book, the bowl and back again.

    So, did you used the machine after all?

    How about dc shells?