As The Yarn Bowl Turns.
"A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working."
~ Author unknown
~ Author unknown
Recently, I was asked for the dimensions that categorize our yarn bowls. While each yarn bowl listed includes the dimensions as part of it’s description; this post should clarify the size range for the five categories offered. small, medium and large yarn bowls are all listed under the Large category, because it's rare that Bob turns small and medium yarn bowls. Bigger is better right?
The first dimension listed is the diameter of the bowl; measured (in inches) across the center of the bowl from one side to the other. Depth of the bowl is the second measurement listed, however the diameter is what actually determines the size/category of a Heckathorn Yarn Bowl.
A yarn bowl with an XXL diameter, for example, might be upgraded to an XXXL if it's extra deep. All dimensions are approximate as wood has a tendency to warp making the top diameter vary slightly depending on where it's measured across. The depth of our XL - Jumbo Yarn Bowls vary considerably. For that reason, depths aren't listed for our XL - JUMBO categories.
• SMALL: Under 5.5" Diameter x varying depths. Bob rarely makes small yarn bowls, when he does, they're great for sock and mitten projects.
• MEDIUM: 5.5 - 6.5" diameter x 4 - 5 " +/- deep.
• LARGE: 6.5 - 8" + diameter x 5"+ deep. This is our classic "workhorse" yarn bowl; perfect for any project accommodating a single 5-7oz skein of worsted yarn, rolled into a ball ready to glide like silk making all yarn projects easier.
• XL: 8 - 10" diameter (depth varies considerably depending on style of the bowl).
• XXL: 10 - 12" diameter (depth varies considerably depending on style of the bowl).
• XXXL: 12 - 14" diameter (depth varies considerably depending on style of the bowl).
• JUMBO: 14" (Plus!?) It's rare that Bob gets to turn a 14" Yarn Bowl. And, he would if more jumbo wood stock was available here. However, our XXXL yarn bowls are close in size to Jumbo, and we usually have a few in store.
Make sure you know exactly what you're buying. A great trick is to find a glass or ceramic bowl of similar diameter/depth to be sure it will suit your needs. It's important that you know what you're getting before the bowl arrives at your door!
Keep in mind that in order to show off the distinct features of each yarn bowl it’s necessary to “fill the frame” of the each photo. These close-up, tight product shots can be deceiving. When all the sizes are grouped and viewed together on our main product pages, the smaller bowls will fill more of the frame than the larger bowls because they are not as wide; thus they appear to be much taller than the larger yarn bowls.
That is why we always include one or two images of the bowls filled with yarn and tools as a reference point. We hope this helps you choose the perfect Heckathorn Yarn Bowl for your work style.
Reclaimed hardwoods are not always available here, and while Florida live oak is plentiful, premium hardwoods like cherry, pecan, cedar and camphor to name a few are a rare find. Recently, Bob found a reliable source for prime cherry hardwood; a particular favorite with minimal warping, stunning tones and a very hard durable finish that resists dents and dings.
Turning reclaimed wood into yarn bowls is a lengthy process over several months, starting with a very rough turning, shaping and hollowing of each piece. After roughing out, each bowl is set aside for a drying period of one to four months time depending on weather conditions (humidity, barometric pressure and temperature).
The drying period is the most critical stage for a piece of fresh turned wood. A stretch of dry, cool weather for example can cause the bowls to warp and crack. Some hardwoods (like cherry) are less prone to warping and cracking, other hardwoods gently warp, while many crack considerably, or warp and crack. Nature determines the condition of the bowl when it’s dry enough; as interesting wood patterns and challenges emerge. The choicest bowls are finished first.
Most wood turners reject cracked and warped bowls; discarding them to focus on more pristine specimens. Bob sets these nature challenged bowls aside until his supply of hardwood gets low, and he has the necessary hours to rescue these gifts from nature. This is when the real magic begins –with restoration techniques that result in his most artful offerings.
The larger cracks are filled with our proprietary inlay; in custom colors mixed to complement the bowl. Fine cracks are filled to match the wood tones. Bob’s process follows the ancient Japanese philosophy “Wabi-Sabi”, embracing the flawed or imperfect; highlighting the cracks and repairs to honor the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. Performing "Kintsugi" (the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery) on reclaimed wood yarn bowls results in some stunning effects! For details and photos of this work in process, check out “Wood Wabi-Sabi Trending Home Decor 2018.”
Spalted Wood Makes Beautiful Yarn Bowls; but what makes spalting in wood so special to wood enthusiasts? Spalting is the beginning of decay in wood due to natural invasion of fungal spores. These spores start colonies and grow in the wood forming interesting discolorations as the wood fibers begin to decay. If caught at the right time and stabilized, spalting can result in various stunning effects; enhancing the value of the piece.
With so many different choices and styles of yarn bowls, which one is right for you? Many potters and craftsmen offer yarn bowls that look great, but how many knit or crochet themselves to understand how to create a yarn bowl that performs the best?
Created by a Lathe Artist and tested by a Knitting & Crochet fanatic; for this husband and wife team creating Heckathorn Turned Wood Yarn Bowls isn’t a just business, it’s a passion!
India & China have recently entered the market with yarn bowls claiming to be "handcrafted". These bowls are quickly hand sanded and finished, skipping days and hours of the necessary ten sanding/finish cycles which ensure a silky smooth finish to the wood grain that won't snag, damage and pull on your yarn! Yarn shops, WalMart, even Etsy Shop owners have gotten on the band wagon offering these mass-produced versions at rock bottom prices. Yes, they're cheap, but remember the old adage; you get what you pay for!
Here’s what makes Heckathorn Hand Turned, Hand Crafted Large Yarn Bowls so special:
THE SIZE & SHAPE
Our best selling Large Yarn Bowls are taller and narrower than competing yarn bowls. The tall sides are designed to loosely hug a ball of yarn to prevent it from popping out when the yarn is tugged quickly A standard 3.5 oz. skein of 4 ply worsted yarn rolled in a ball will fit with room to spare, with most of our large bowls easily accommodating an oversized 5 oz., 8 - 9” ball (about 75% of a “Super Saver” skein).
FORM & FUNCTION
We've had a couple requests to “drill some holes in the sides of our yarn bowls for knitting needles…” While needle holes may add interest to some yarn bowls, they just don’t work with the deeper profile of our designs.
As form meets function in all of our yarn bowls, we hope to shed some light on how important the ease of use is as well as the natural beauty Bob brings out in the wood. We hope you make the right choice for your needs. If it’s a Large Yarn Bowl by Heckathorn Turned Wood, we’re confident that you’ll share our passion for these fun and functional collectibles.
SELECTION & VALUE
Every yarn bowl is made to strict gallery grade standards. Bob tries to stock a varied selection with segmented pine bowls (shown here), priced from $70-99; an incredible value considering the hours spent to elevate each piece to “Collectible” status! Each Large Yarn Bowl takes a minimum of fifteen hours of work. After shaping and turning the bowl on the lathe, the bowls are painstakingly hand finished with over ten individual rounds of sanding, buffing, coating and drying. Under optimum weather conditions this process alone takes up to five days. A final coat of museum wax is applied and buffed to resist fingerprints and stains.
NOTE: You'll find our best-selling Large Yarn Bowls in our Shop Section as well as our ETSY Shop!
On rare occasions Bob finds some fresh “green” hardwood (Cherry, Pecan and Maple to name a few) from a fallen tree or local tree trimmer. And, although turning green wood bowls on a lathe is easier because it’s in a soft state, the necessary drying process that ensues is risky!
After a fresh wood yarn bowl is turned, it is set aside to dry. Depending on the current weather conditions (like relative humidity, barometric pressure and temperature to name a few) the drying process takes one to three months. As the hardwood dries, it has a tendency to warp and crack. Warping usually adds nice character to the yarn bowls; however, Bob feels that cracking; which is easily repaired in the finishing process, is an undesirable feature in some of his collectible art bowls. As his partner, I try to respect those high standards while at the same time viewing the cracks that ensue as the final word from nature!
Too often, I’ve watched Bob throw a beautiful yarn bowl into the recycling bin and felt that his lack of control over a few small cracks deprived a fellow yarn crafter of a unique and naturally beautiful piece. After some whining on my part, Finally, Bob acquiesced and started finishing these natural wonders when the occasion arises. Now, I’m able to offer a distinctive piece at deeply discounted price.
There’s a lot of value in our “Perfectly Imperfect” Yarn Bowls. Each one takes ten to twenty hours (at the least) to make –the same amount of time it takes to create a first quality bowl. For those who may not be able to invest in our first quality yarn bowls, I consider these pieces to be a special offering from Heckathorn Turned Wood as they are all authentic gifts of nature!
You'll find that select YARN BOWLS in our Etsy shop feature our proprietary "Inlay" or "Sparkle Inlay" enhancing a knot or set into the rim of the bowl for added appeal. We have developed a special process of mixing custom colors and textures to match the style and color tones of each individual bowl Bob adds Inlay to.
This eye-catching element raises the bowl value and collector status. So, be on the lookout for yarn bowls that mention "Inlay" in the title... the detail of the inlay doesn't often show on the main product thumbnail. However, when inlay is added to a yarn bowl, close up photos are usually provided to show this beautiful added feature.