Yarn bowling

Yes, I suppose one could make a sport of slinging balls of yarn at something…

But this is about the receptacle.

I don’t use yarn bowls – the often pretty hand-thrown vessels with a curlicue cutout through which the yarn is dispensed, or fun and vintage and beehive-shaped things – my yarn balls usually nestle in my lap or at my side, and if caked, don’t usually roll away.

But I do use bowls for storing works-in-progress or the yarn waiting to be added to a project.

I’ve got a vintage wooden salad bowl that is a nice size for this purpose.

beetle-balls

As well as an array of old ceramic and glass dishes – lidded casseroles are definitely the best since they offer beast protection.

yarn bowl casserole

(I’ve yet to start this project.)

But these wooden bowls on stands have been catching my eye off and on the last few years and I finally came across one at ReStore a bit ago.

yarn bowl

Perhaps we can have the lovely Vanna White demonstrate it:

But the funny thing is no one seems to know what exactly these particular ones were made for, yet they aren’t so old as to be out of memory. Various discussions on ravelry have been humorous but disappointing, and my other attempts at identification have been futile due to being wildly unpopular in this online world.

What I know:

Mine (maybe not Vanna’s, but many others I’ve seen) isn’t that old – likely mid-centuryish up to the ’70s – and it’s not a piece of fine craftspersonship.

It’s not a standing salad bowl (too short), or dough bowl, or meant to hold food stuffs.

Nor is it a spitoon as some have suggested, though something involving sacrificial fluids isn’t ruled out…

What I’m thinking:

It could just be a colonial-revival, Americana, early American bit of semi-useless home decor – most would have stuck a plant in it or turned it into a lamp.

(It seems likely to have been an actual thing in ye olden times, probably often a married piece of an old bowl attached to a stand to hold needlework or spinning fiber or yarn but I can’t find an historic reference about them, though I haven’t looked that hard…)

Or it would work well as a fiber holder when spinning since the wheel is free-standing and often in a corner or such and you don’t want to put your fiber on the floor (I use a magazine rack) and could have actually been sold for such purpose.

What the dog thinks of it all:

yarn bowl-say ah!

What I want to know:

Was this actually made and marketed to spinners by wheel (or other spinning gear) manufacturers?

Was this made and marketed to needleworkers as a project holder?

Or was this just purposely made for early American decor?

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2 Comments

Filed under collecting, home, home decor, knitting, spinning, thrifting

2 responses to “Yarn bowling

  1. Pia

    Its’ a very wobbly shaped bowl as I noticed first time you showed it, so I vote for 70’s copy of something (I think my recent mangle purchase is the same). Some also made spinning wheels that didn’t spin, purely ornamental for plants and whatnot.

    But it would be interesting to find out what inspired it. Didn’t they have a thing for things on pedestals in victorian times?

    • Yes, there were various victorian work baskets on stands or small worktables with a hidden sort of chamber – and I’m sure more primitive things existed in early times – likely what inspired this.
      And yes, mine is very wobbly (the bowl isn’t quite as bad as it looks) but I need to give it new screws and/or lots of glue if I’m going to use it… I like your suggestion for bonbons!

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