Back in the day (look at the pretty yarn bowl pictures), my grandma--the one who taught me to knit--would just take an old cardboard oatmeal container, poke a hole in its top, and use it as a yarn "tamer," if you will. I think some of her versions had contact paper covering them. She'd just place them between her feet on the floor.
Then, Girlfriend brought up some Liberty London (30 bucks a yard) and some imported Japanese double gauze (cha-ching!) and asked if she could use it. And I said, "uhm, no . . ."
Nowadays, they have all sorts of yarn bowls that function the same as the re-purposed oatmeal containers, but many of them are made by artisans. (See how cute the bird is on mine?)
Girlfriend settled on some leftover squares, set up her Janome Hello Kitty machine and got rolling. I started making dinner in the adjacent room. She's been in kids' sewing club for about a year and, as I sauteed onions in the pan, I remembered how she used to sit on my lap to sew with her machine. Now, I mused, she's on her own! Look at how she's laying out those squares and the batting! So grown up! (Keep looking at the pretty pictures.) Listen to that machine go! Vroom vroom!
When I was approached by the company, Uncommon Goods, about accepting a Birdie Yarn Bowl for review, I thought it would be fun. After all, I seem to be the last knitter to try such a thing (I guess I thought that is what leftover oatmeal containers were used for), so I may as well see what they're all about and how they work.
It took me a few tries before I got it to work for me. My first instinct was to place my yarn cake in the bowl and put it on the floor at my feet much like my grandmother did, but it didn't seem right. Then I placed it next to me on the couch. Still, it didn't seem quite right. The third try, I put it on the ottoman across from me with one of the slots turned away and wow, it sure tamed that yarn. Usually, I place the cake next to me on the chair and I can't tell you how many times that thing will pop up off the chair and fly across the room.
While I stirred and watched basketball I heard a noise. A mewing of sorts. A definite mewing. Hmmm. I wonder what that is, that mewing. And then I thought I heard a tiny sob.
Uncommon Goods doesn't just have yarn bowls like these. It's a website that has an interesting mix of useful, artisan items like this, but also an array of funky gifts. By the way, this yarn bowl came with a note explaining the artist's story about how she makes these yarn bowls and why she features birds on her unique bowls (keep examining the pretty pictures; you'll thank me later).
Back in the kitchen. The mewing. The tiny sob. I realized it was Girlfriend! I ran to her. There she was, eyes wide open. Mouth wide open. Barely breathing. And then I stepped closer.
She sewed her finger, friends.
All the way through.
Right through the fingernail, all the way to the other side.
We had to remove the needle from the machine and extricate her finger from under the foot.
I cut the thread (which had been drawn through her finger along with the needle).
I covered her eyes.
Then, we counted to three.
Keep looking at the pretty yarn bowl pictures above.
BTW: The picture here is only a re-enactment. All of us in the household are still shuddering.
Yes, she saw a doctor.
Yes, she got a tetanus shot.
Yes, she will sew again and very soon, but . . .
. . . not until she cleans her fingernails.