These bowls were originally inspired by Maryann Talia Pau, whose work I found when I was exploring Harvest Workroom's website. I took a look at a few more photos in Flickr and tried some experimentation before completing a couple of my own. So now to the instructions...
Base of the bowlT-shirts are great to use, as you can cut them in the round. I started by cutting off the base of the T-shirt and then, beginning near a side-seam, I cut in a taper until the width of the fabric strip was about 10cm (3 inches). I then continued to cut around the T-shirt until I had a good, long strip of fabric to get me started. At this stage, leave the strip attached to the T-shirt – you can cut more as you need it.
Then, take a long piece of wool (about a metre and a half), thread a needle at one end, and tie it to the end of the tapered fabric at the other. Begin to wrap the fabric around the knot, as you turn, secure the fabric in place by threading the wool back through the centre of the spiral (ie near the original knot). You need to keep the fabric wrapped fairly tightly and the wool pulled securely too. Try not to pull it all too tight though, as it makes it difficult to get the needle back through the centre of the spiral. Aim to keep your yarn 'spokes' about 8-10mm apart. After approximately three rounds you'll have a secure base to your bowl, so finish off the thread to begin the blanket stitching.
Completing the bowlIn terms of shaping the bowl, it really depends on how tight you pull the fabric in each round and how tight you're pulling the stitches (these both bring the bowl edges inwards), but also where you're placing the fabric on the way round. Basically you control the shape.
Finishing off the bowl is a little like changing colours. Cut the fabric you are working with down to a taper than finishes a little way (8–10cm, or a couple of inches) after the end of a round. Then make sure your last spoke encloses the end of the taper. If you think there's going to be a little too much fabric hanging out, fold the point of the taper back on itself so it does get caught in your last stitch.
Starting and finishing yarnAt the beginning of the bowl you're using a single strand of thread. To finish this off, take the yarn through the centre of the spiral, to the back of the bowl (ie the part you want sitting on the table surface), making sure you have caught a few of the spokes so your thread doesn't pull all the way through. Thread your needle through a couple of spokes at the centre of the wrong side of the spiral, pass the yarn back through the loop you've formed to make a knot, then thread your needle back to the front of the bowl and cut the yarn off as close as you can to the surface without cutting any other threads.
The beauty of doing the rest of the bowl with a double thread is in the starting off. Thread the two ends of a piece of yarn through your needle. Now, thread the needle through one of the spokes on your bowl and before you thread it right through, pass the needle back through the loop of yarn so it secures it without having to knot.
I hope that makes sense to those of you finishing these off! Email me if there's anything you're not sure about. And follow the blog to see some of the completed bowls in the January finishes party post!