Yarn bowls are typically made of pottery or wood, and they are shaped like a bowl but tend to have a hole toward the bottom or a groove toward the top that you can thread your yarn through to hold it in place while you work. Sometimes these bowls come with lids to further protect the yarn.
Of course there are lots of different options to use as a yarn holder if you need one. Let’s look at why you might want to use something to hold your yarn and what some of your options are to do it.
Why Use a Yarn Holder?
The simplest reason to use a yarn holder is that you want to keep your yarn clean. If you have animals that shed hair, for example, you might want something to keep your yarn in so that it won’t get hair on it while you knit.
Some people prefer to use yarn rolled into balls, which can literally get away from you, again picking up dirt or hair or just being a target of pouncing animals.
A yarn bowl allows the yarn to roll around in a confined place, which keeps the ease of working from a ball without the danger of it running wild through your house.
There are other options you can buy or make that have more than one hole for yarn to come out of, which can be handy when you are doing colorwork. This keeps the yarns separated a bit and can limit tangling.
What Kind of Yarn Holder Do You Need?
There are lots of options when it comes to managing yarn with devices, from purchased pottery or wooden yarn bowls to a plastic bag with a hole in it.
What you need depends on where and how you knit and what you need to protect your yarn from.
Purchased yarn bowls and boxes are durable and pretty but they can be heavy and are not very portable. If you use a bowl that has a hole instead of a groove (or a DIY version made from a binder clip clamped to the side of a bowl) your yarn will be stuck in the bowl until you cut it.
Another option is a peg on a swivel base. This holds the yarn in place, and the swivel aspect helps the yarn feed more easily. This option allows you to remove the yarn from the base while you work for portability, but you do have to work with a cake of yarn, which allows you to stick the yarn on the peg from the center.
If you need your yarn to be covered completely, you can purchase a bag that has one or several grommets that yarn can be threaded through. If there are several holes that’s ideal for colorwork projects. These bags are meant to be portable and may include storage for extra knitting tools and your project in progress or just the yarn itself.
The pictured tote is from our store and has two grommets for easy threading of yarn.
A DIY version of this would be to use a project bag you already own and just keep the yarn in the bag and thread it out through the top. This is what I do most often because my cats try to steal my yarn and knitting projects when I’m not working them.
You can also try using a zip-top bag and either thread the yarn out through the top of the bag that is otherwise sealed, or poke a hole in the bottom of the bag large enough for the yarn to thread through. You could also put a couple of balls inside, threaded through different holes, to help manage your yarn for colorwork.
How Do You Put Yarn in a Yarn Holder?
However you decide to manage your yarn, you will either be threading your yarn through an aperture like a grommet, a hole in a bowl or a slit in a bag, or sliding the yarn through a slice in a side of a bowl.
In the case of a peglike tool, you just stab the ball in the center with the peg. Pull the yarn ball off when you don’t want to use it.
If yarn is threaded through a hole you won’t be able to remove it until you are finished with the project or cut the yarn for another reason.
Using yarn management devices isn’t always necessary but it can be helpful if your yarn needs protection. How do you manage your yarn when you knit?