Felted Knit Nesting Bowls

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I love nesting bowls. There’s a lovely simplicity to them, the way they fit together, the way they belong to each other. Perhaps they remind me of my husband, my daughter and myself. I’ve been collecting vintage English ironstone for years and for this project, I decided to try to replicate a set of ironstone nesting bowls in felt. These felted bowls come in handy for holding paper clips, staples, rubber bands, or jewelry and other odds and ends. I keep some on a table in the entryway for keys and meter change. But honestly, I think they’re just pretty sitting all on their own.

Step 1

Gauge
6 stitches = 2 in/5 cm, with yarn held double, before felting. Don’t go crazy trying to obtain the exact gauge, though; it does not have to be precise. This rule may also be applied to life in general.

Step 2

You Will Need
Patons Classic Wool Yarn (100% wool, 223 yd/205 m per 100 g):
1 skein in Winter White (MC) and 1 skein in Natural (CC) or substitute any worsted weight (#4) 100% wool
1 set US size 9/5.5 mm DPNs
US size 9/5.5 mm circular needle 16 in/40 cm long, or size to obtain guage
Stitch marker
Yarn needle
 
Before You Begin
Divide each skein of yarn into 2 separate balls so that you can double your yarn.

Step 3

Small Bowl
With yarn held double and leaving a tail approximately 10 in/25 cm long, cast on 16 stitches with MC to one of your DPNs. Divide the stitches evenly onto 3 needles (5, 5, 6).
 
For the bottom of the bowl
Place a marker between last 2 stitches. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.
Round 1 *Kfb, k1, repeat from * to end of round. 24 stitches.
Round 2 (and all even rounds): Knit.
Round 3 *Kfb, k2, repeat from * to end of round. 32 stitches.
Round 5 *Kfb, k3, repeat from * to end of round. 40 stitches.
Round 6 Knit.
Bind off loosely.
 
For the sides of the bowl
Using your circular needle, pick up and knit 40 stitches around the bound-off edge; pm after the last stitch.
 
Join and knit in the round until the side of your bowl measures 3 in/7.5 cm.
 
Bind off loosely.
 
Using your yarn needle, weave in ends. Use the tail from your original cast-on to sew over and close the hole in the bottom of the bowl.

Step 4

Medium Bowl
For the bottom of the bowl
Rounds 1–6 With CC, follow instructions for small bowl.
Round 7 *Kfb, k4, repeat from * to end of round. 48 stitches.
Round 8 Knit.
Bind off loosely.
 
For the sides of the bowl
Using your circular needle, pick up and knit 48 stitches around the bound-off edge; pm after the last stitch.
 
Join and knit in the round until the sides of your bowl measure 4 in/10 cm.
 
Bind off loosely.
 
Using your yarn needle, weave in ends. Use the tail from your original cast-on to sew over and close the hole in the bottom of the bowl.

Step 5

Large Bowl
For the bottom of the bowl
Rounds 1–8 With MC, follow instructions for Medium Bowl.
Round 9 *Kfb, k5 repeat from * to end of round. 56 stitches.
Round 10 Knit.
Bind off loosely.
 
For the sides of the bowl
Using your circular needle, pick up and knit 56 stitches around the bound-off edge; pm after the last stitch.
 
Join and knit in the round until the sides of your bowl measure 5 in/12.5 cm.
 
Bind off loosely.
 
Using your yarn needle, weave in ends. Use the tail from your original cast-on to sew over and close the hole in the bottom of the bowl.

Step 6

Felting
Felt your bowls with the video how-to from Chronicle. If felting by machine, place each bowl into a separate lingerie bag. Check frequently to avoid any curling around the edges.

Step 7

Shaping
Once your bowls are felted, it’s time to place them on molds. Now don’t go all bananas trying to find the perfect mold. I promise you have stuff around the house you can use. I use vintage mason jars in 3 different sizes, but you can use any type of jar, can, vase, and so on. You just need 3 molds in similar shapes and graduated sizes to stretch your bowls over until they dry. Bowls should fit snugly against whatever molds you choose, so that the sides and bottom dry straight.
 
Allow bowls to air dry, remove from molds, and voila! Your nesting bowls are complete.

Step 8



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