felted bowls

felted bowls
when design*sponge posted the dyi felted nesting felted bowls article a week before last, i was smitten. i put felted bowls on my mental project to-do list right away. buuuuttt… the dyi post mentioned circular needles, which i am scared of and have never learned how to use. and the pattern wasn’t included in the post. poo. that squashed my plans to knit up a storm that night.

but then i decided to try to make a bowl using a hat pattern heather gave me a few years ago. after a couple of modifications and prototypes, i’ve come up with a really easy pattern for a felted bowl for beginning knitters, or those who are scared of circular needles, too!

pattern and instructions after the jump…

felted bowls
i used the same pattern for all three bowls. what makes them different sizes is the weight of the wool and needles used in each. they’re not perfect, but that’s the fun, right? bear with me, i’m not an expert on knitting!

i used the same yarn i’m using for my wrap: cascade yarns’ 100% peruvian highland wool (color 8018), weight: 250 grams/8.75 oz, size 15 needles (us)

left over from a scarf i knitted 2 years ago: lamb’s pride 85% wool/15% mohair (color, m-97 rust), weight: 113 grams/4 oz, size 10-1/2 needles (us)

i found this at the bottom of my yarn basket: skye tweed by classic elite yarns 100% wool (color, 1235), weight: 50 grams, size 7 needles (us)

overall, the cascade yarn felted the best, with the least amount of work. it also didn’t curl like the lamb’s pride did. i did consider buying more of it in different colors just for this post, but decided to try using the other 2 colors that were already in my basket. i’m showing restraint and not overbuying supplies. yay, me!

the pattern:

- cast on 40 stitches
- knit 1 row
- then work in stockinette : knit 1 row, purl the next
- repeat k, p until you have about 2-1/2 to 3 inches
- knit 3, knit 2 together (decrease)
- purl row
- knit 2, knit 2 together
- purl
- knit 1, knit 2 together
- purl
- bind off
- leave about a 6 inch tail. thread the tail through a yarn needle and pass the needle through the bind off stitches and tighten
- sew up the seam


i felted in my washing machine. i read that heat and agitation are key in felting, so i let my washer fill with hot water, and go into the “wash” cycle. before the washer drains and goes into spin, i’d set it back to wash/agitate. i had to do this quite a few times, and i really felt like i was wasting water/energy. i couldn’t get my little green bowl to felt completely, and i finally gave up because i just couldn’t put my washer through the abuse anymore. i do know that the type of wool yarn you chose can make a difference, but i don’t have much more info than that! if anyone has some great tips on felting, please share!

update! since writing this post, i have felted more bowls with success. anna suggested throwing a few clean/new tennis balls into the wash with the items that need to felt. and i also tossed in an old terry cloth hand towel. now, just one cycle felts my bowls! lamb’s pride bulky felts beautifully, and there are many colors to chose from…

18 responses to “felted bowls”

  1. jenn says:

    so cute! where, oh where, do you find the time?

  2. Anna says:

    Look at that – you designed a knitting pattern!!! Yeah! They look great. I’m very impressed. But I’m still going to get you to try circular needles sometime.

  3. annieb says:

    OOOH – lovely – I am going to try this, but on circulars and with different yarn, so who knows what will happen! they are beautiful…

  4. Sarah says:

    Wow! They are adorable! I’ve been wanting to make some felt bowls too. It is a great way to use up scraps of yarn too because you can mix in a few rows of yarn that doesn’t felt as well with good felting yarn.

    Have you joined Ravelry yet? :)

  5. fish says:

    actually, they take only an hour or two to knit, and i had to make a few to get the results i was looking for. i don’t get much sleep…

    i’d love to see what everyone else makes!!!

  6. martha says:

    These are cute:) Have you seen Gwen’s (bugheart) felted bowls?

    sometimes it helps to run them through the whole cycle -the shock of a cold water rinse will help the felting process. i’ve also found that putting them through a hot dryer when they are wet helps too.
    The right kind of detergent also makes a difference.
    I don’t actually know what that is though….you could google it. I think there is a difference between soap and detergent…
    oh-and front loaders don’t felt well.

  7. helen:) says:

    These look really cute! I know nothing of the process, but I sure like the results!

  8. kristin says:

    oh, circular needles aren’t as scary as they appear :)

  9. kristin says:

    i’ve been wanting to make the felted bowls for a while now too (i have the oneSkein book version) i like your use of the hat pattern…very clever. and i love your bowls.

  10. Evalynn. says:

    Those felted bowls show the best image I have seen all day! I am in love with your blog by the way. It is my favorite thus far…

  11. Alison says:

    Yay! A knitter after my own heart! Despite the fact that I have a front-loader, I’m going to try this and see if there’s any other way of felting. Your bowls look lovely!

  12. Claire says:

    What weight were the yarns that you used?

  13. Carol says:

    Love the bowls…………..did I miss something about the needle size? Would love to try this.

  14. april says:

    Love the bowls. I gave a bigger bowl a try. I’m still waiting for it to dry. You can see it on my blog.
    Thanks for inspiration.

  15. kim says:

    Thanks for sharing. You inspired me. Here’s my result:


  16. Rebecca says:

    I love how you showed how one pattern will felt up differently. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Jill says:

    I’ve been making a ton of these,(similar pattern but on double pointed needles, I too was scared of the dpn’s but a youtube tutorial broke me in.. not as hard as I thought. I don’t have a washer, so I’ve been hand-felting them. It takes some effort, but works fine. A little detergent, hot water and a lot of rubbing, agitating then shocking in cold water in my kitchen sink has brought on some nice results.. it does take what seems like forever! But it can be done with less water than a washer. Beautiful post!!

  18. Michelle says:

    Great job!

    I just tried felted bowls myself. I put each of mine in their own pillow case and tied it. I then threw them in when I washed my towels in hot water. The extra items in the washer help with the aggitation and I`ve never had a problem with them felting.

    Happy Felting! :)