Felted {Crocheted} Treasure Bowls: Pattern and Tutorial

DIY felted crocheted treasure bowl - tutorial and pattern

When I read Amanda Blake Soule’s Rhythm of the Family some time last year, I was immediately and completely smitten by her felted treasure bowls. They were adorable, and perfect for holding the types of things Lydia and I love to collect from nature. There was just one major problem: they’re knitted. I don’t know how to knit. I don’t know the first thing about knitting. So I sighed and turned the page, never to create her beautiful little bowls.

At the time, I didn’t know how to crochet, either. But during the five months we spent in the hospital with Felix, I got a chance to learn. And to get reasonably good at it, too.

As soon as I learned to crochet in the round, Soule’s little felted bowls snuck out from the back of my mind. Maybe I could make a crocheted version? Didn’t it work basically the same way?

It does! I’ve tried it.

I tried to find a pattern online but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. So I made up my own pattern and figured out how to felt it by checking out a variety of other tutorials.

Here you have it!

A Few Notes

You need to use 100% wool yarn to create a felted piece. Felting is the process of the natural fibers matting together to form a dense fabric.

Felting also causes shrinkage. Your finished bowl will be smaller than the crocheted one you start with.

I’m writing this pattern with the assumption you already know how to crochet. It just uses a magic loop and single crochet stitches worked in a spiral. You need to know how to increase and decrease.

I started with this pattern for inspiration and tweaked it to suit what I had in mind.

 Step One: Crochet

Materials:

  • Size G hook
  • 100% wool, worsted weight (One skein will make several bowls)
  • Stitch marker (a small safety pin works)

Abbreviations:

sc= single crochet

st = stitch (sts =stitches)

sc2tog = single crochet 2 stitches together (a.k.a. single crochet decrease)

Pattern

Start with a magic ring (a.k.a adjustable ring, adjustable loop). Make 6 single crochets into the ring. Pull tail to close ring tightly.

(Alternative: chain 2. Make 6 single crochets into the second chain from the hook).

Rnd 2: 2 sc into each sc stitch (12)

Rnd 3: (2 sc into the first st, then 1 sc in next st) around (18) *From here on in, it’s helpful to mark the first stitch of each round with your stitch marker so you know where you started

crocheting round 3 of bowl(Note the stitch marker I’m using to keep track of the beginning of the round. Also, I’m a leftie, so this will probably look different for you.)

Rnd 4: Repeat Rnd 3 (27)

Rnd 5: (2 sc into the first st, then 1 sc into next 2 sts) around (36)

Rnd 6: (2 sc into first st, then 1 sc into next 3 sts) around (45)

Rnd 7: (2 sc into first st, then 1 sc into next 4 sts) around (Here I lost count but you get the idea)

Rnd 8-18: 1 sc into each stitch around. This is where your circle starts to turn into a bowl!

Rnd 19: (sc2tog, then sc into next 4 sts) around [You’re decreasing here to get the rim of the bowl to curve inward just a smidge]

Rnd 20: Repeat Rnd 19

Use a slip stitch in the next stitch to fasten off. Trim and weave in ends.

crocheting wool bowl

crocheted bowl - before felting

Step 2: Felting

This step is fun after all the counting and precision and repetition of the previous step.

To felt something made of wool, you need heat, water, and agitation. Soap helps, too. You want the fibers to all mat together to create a dense fabric. Some people use the washing machine to felt  their work, and I would probably choose to do it that way if I had a bunch of bowls to do at once; but when I’m making one at a time, I’d rather just do it by hand.

All you need is a tap and a bar of soap. (Liquid works too, but a bar adds agitation.)

Under running hot water — as hot as you can stand — start to soap up your bowl and lather it. Then you just go to town on your bowl. Squashing, rubbing, scrubbing, massaging, wringing, and twisting.  Rinse and repeat. Keep it up until it’s felted to your liking. I didn’t want to see too much stitch definition, but a little was okay.

My hands get kind of tired, so I did it in two ten-minute-ish sessions.

Then rinse with cold water to lock the fibers.

Squeeze out as much water as you can. Wrap in a towel and squeeze some more.

Then shape it with your hands and let it air dry. I put an orange inside mine for a few hours to keep it nice and round.

The stitches will tighten up to create a nice, dense fabric. Like this:

before and after felting a crocheted wool bowl

Tada: your bowl is felted!

felted wool bowl

Time to add your treasures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made a few different sizes, by increasing or decreasing the number of rounds:

DIY felted treasure bowls - three different sizes

Adults can use them for their treasures, too!

DIY felted treasure bowls for holding jewelry!

Hope you find these bowls as charming as I do!

How Far We’ve Come

Felix 6 months

In the days and weeks after Felix’s diagnosis, I lost my desire to eat. Food just had no appeal. I remember thinking, Why bother eating. My life is over.

It’s been almost six months. We’ve come a long way.

To make note of our progress, Ben and I often remind each other of what horrors we’ve been through.

Remember when Felix used to projectile vomit after almost every feed? [Now he hasn’t thrown up a single time in months.]

Remember when he was hooked up to oxygen, an IV pump, and the monitor, so we could hardly hold him? How he used to lay in his hospital bed for hours and hours? [Now he’s just hooked up to a portable IV pump, which we can carry all over the room with us. He can roll around on the floor and sit in his Exersaucer . . . he can do all the things normal babies can do. Except leave the room.]

Remember when we tried tirelessly to feed him every three hours, day after day, and we could hardly get him to drink 1mL? And how we celebrated when he finally drank 20mL in one sitting? [Now he routinely drinks 100-120mL at every feed, and can go days without the feeding tube. He eagerly takes the bottle when he’s hungry.]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remember when we were so worried because he wouldn’t look us in the eyes and still hadn’t smiled at almost four months? [Now he smiles almost every time we look at him. He’s a very smiley, interactive baby. He smiles the most at Lydia.]

Remember when we found out he had CMV and we thought he was going to die in the next couple of days? [Now his CMV levels are at 1% of what they were, and he is very much alive.]

We’ve come so very, very far. He’s growing and developing and bringing us so much joy.

We have a long way to go, but we do so much better when we glance backward at the awful place we’ve come from.

Turns out I still have lots to live for.

(Including this beauty:)

Lydia playing

Beginner’s Striped Cotton Crochet Throw Blanket

Beginner's 's striped black and white cotton crocheted throw blanketI just learned to crochet this February. So if I can make this throw blanket, anyone can make this blanket!

In fact, anyone with even the most basic crochet skills could make this blanket without a tutorial. It’s just double crochet throughout, switching between black and white. If you can do that one stitch (and switch colours), you’ve got this! Read on to learn more!

*Note: I learned how to crochet with Crafty Minx’s Crochet School. I HIGHLY recommend!! She’s very thorough, and offers lefty versions for south-paws like me.*

The Inspiration

Crocheted black-and-white throw blanket(Pillow and artwork from Ikea. Paper-mache deer heads my own.)

I’ve wanted a  black-and-white striped blanket ever since I saw Ikea’s. (I’m always a sucker for black-and-white stripes. I’m mad about the Scandinavian look.) But the Ikea one is made of acrylic, and I wanted natural fibers.

As I started to learn crochet, I quickly fell in love with cotton for its drape. Unlike acrylic, which can often give you a stiff end-product, cotton just envelops you in its drapey folds. For me, that’s an ideal characteristic in a blanket. Forget fluff and fuzz. I want a blanket to flow over me like a warm, full-body hug. This one does just that.

DIY black and white striped crocheted blanket

Organic cotton would have been ideal, but I didn’t want to spend too much on a beginner project in case it didn’t work out. So I went with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, which is inexpensive and you can get it just about anywhere (including Wal-Mart). I spent $28 on yarn for this project, which is pretty decent for a good-sized throw blanket.

I decided on the double crochet stitch because it works up quickly, even though I prefer the appearance of other stitches. As a beginner, when you’re still kind of slow, I think it’s important to choose projects that don’t take an eternity to complete so you don’t get discouraged and give up. (If you’re a beginner and you need a refresher on the double crochet, see this tutorial. Getting that last stitch in can be tricky)

DIY crocheted striped throw blanket

Notes on the Tutorial

Like I said, this pattern is so basic you don’t really need a tutorial. I came up with it on my own and I’m a total newbie. I’m offering instructions mostly so you can predict the dimensions. I’ve done the test swatches and the math to get you a 3-foot x 4-foot blanket, which I consider just right size for snuggling on the couch with some popcorn and a movie. It won’t take you a million years to finish but it’s definitely big enough to keep  your feet warm or drape around your arms and shoulders comfortably.

Moreover, this pattern produces the least amount of waste if you’re using the small balls of yarn I used. Each stripe uses up (almost) exactly one small ball, so you’re not left with a bunch of useless scraps. And the small balls might be all you can find, as they’re readily available all over the place. (I’ve seen them at Wal-Mart, Michael’s, and even a discount yarn warehouse.) The larger ones are a lot harder to find — white is often all they have in stock (if anything).

Bernat cotton yarn - two sizesThe two different sizes

Overview

Each stripe is 6 rows of 112 double-crochet stitches (except the first stripe, which has the additional chain.) Each stripe uses up one small ball of yarn.

I prefer to weave in ends as I go. (Not the stripe I’ve just finished, but one or two behind.) That way I’m not left with all the boring weaving at the very end. I don’t use the “cheating” method of crocheting over the tail because I think it’s more noticeable, and easier to pull out/unravel later. I want this blanket to be able to withstand dozens of washes.

*Since I’m new at writing patterns, forgive me if I’ve overlooked anything. Let me know if you run into any problems!*

Materials

  • Size J hook (optional. For foundation chain)
  • Size H Hook
  •  710-720 yards worsted weight cotton in white. I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Off White. This is either one large 14-oz ball or 9 small 1.74-oz balls (see above photo)
  • 710-720 yards worsted weight cotton in black. I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Black Liquorice (same amount as white, above)
  • yarn needle for weaving in ends

beginner's crochet blanket

Instructions

Black stripe:

Using the J hook, chain 115 with black yarn. (I always do my foundation chain with a larger-size hook than the rest of the project, because otherwise it’s too tight and gives it a narrow or curled end. This is especially important with cotton since it doesn’t stretch.)

Row 1: Using the H hook, double crochet into the 4th chain from hook. Double crochet into every stitch across. (112 stitches.) (Note: for this step, I prefer to stitch into the bottom of the chain, so you get a nice finished edge at the bottom that looks just like the top. Do whatever you prefer.) Turn your work.

Row 2: Chain 3. Double crochet into every stitch (112 stitches.)

Rows 3-6: repeat Row 2.

If you’re using the small balls, this should pretty much use of the whole thing, leaving a generous tail to weave in. If you’re working from a large ball, trim yarn, leaving about 6 inches to weave in later.

White stripe:

Change colours. (I use this method from Rescued Paw.) Using double crochet, crochet 6 rows rows of white as above.

Repeat, alternating between black and white, until you’ve used up all your yarn.

*If you do 9 stripes of each colour (18 total), your blanket should be about 4 feet long.

*I actually bought an additional ball of black yarn and added one more black stripe to the end, so that it begins and ends with black. I thought white on the end might get grubby-looking quicker. So my blanket is about 4’3″ long.

*Weave in ends as you go. I use this method from Crafty Minx.

Tada! Time to get cozy!

And hey! Because it’s made of cotton (read: breathable and light), it’s actually perfect for taking outside on a cool summer night.

Crocheted striped summer blanket. Great beginner project! Easy cotton throw

PS – I made this blanket while in the hospital. You might be interested in: Crochet Helped Me Survive Trauma.