I've been a bit obsessed with fabric bowls this week. What a useful concept! They are washable, portable, and nearly unbreakable (perhaps the most useful feature for a stay at home mom.) I saw a picture on pinterest of a tutorial on how to crochet a sturdy bowl using multiple threads. When I clicked the link of course they wanted $4.99 for the "pattern" so as a seamstress/artist/creative type I stared at the picture for a moment and then set about making myself a bowl. I've since moved on to making nesting bowls for my husband and I's fifth wheel as these proved so nice.
First I would like to cover the various types of Cloth Bowls I saw. There are wrapped and sewn bowls, pattern sewn bowls (I call them petal bowls because of how the pattern looks before sewn), woven bowls, glue hardened bowls, and crocheted bowls. Of these types of handmade bowls the ones hardened with glue or fabric stiffener are the least portable. A soft bowl can be folded so that it fits in a small flat area and takes up less space - something I appreciate very much for storage space in the camper.
I decided to try the crocheted bowl since I had the materials readily available. Since there are two threads involved it makes the bowls a little stronger and more able to retain shape. The outer thread that is seen is plain yarn while the inner thread is an old t-shirt I cut into strips. The t-shirt yarn is thicker than the regular yarn so it gives the bowls the stability the standard yarn lacks. As you can see in the photo I used a single crochet and simply worked my stitch around the t-shirt yarn. When I've completed 10-15 stitches I gently tug the t-shirt yarn and it tightens everything. I repeat this the whole way through giving the bowl a more finished look. Don't tug too hard on the t-shirt yarn though or it will cause the prior stitches to buckle.
I don't really have a formula or pattern I follow. I increase stitches and do my best to keep the first few rows flat and even because these become the base of the bowl. When I have the base 10% larger than looks needed I stop increasing so the sides will start to come in. I like to pull the sides of the bowl in at the top as an extra stability feature. I do this by decreasing stitches on the top 2 rows only. I do the top 2 rows with a contrasting standard yarn and no t-shirt yarn filler.
You can cut the t-shirt yarn and simply leave it loose in the stitches over it or you can pull it out and use it as a decorative stabilizer. I pulled my white t-shirt yarn out when the main bowl color ended and stitched it in swirls around the exterior of the bowl. This seemed to pull the various rows together even more and added a look I liked.
|The first bowl I made. It contains my husbands lighters on the counter.|
There are no limits to these bowls except your ability and creativity. Crochet stitches come out so try something new. If you don't like it just pull it out!
To see other things I've made that are for sale or to request custom items and art visit my Etsy Page.