LOVE THEM! Let me just tell you, this has taken me FOREVER to get these results. I read that you didn't need 100% wool yarn and that a front load washer works just fine... Well, I am here to tell you...use 100% wool yarn and the front load washer doesn't work all that great. They also were a lot smaller than I anticipated but a perfect size to start with! I plan on making larger ones and use them bed side to hold jewelry overnight.
I saw this wonderful idea at http://paintedfishstudio.com.
Also see here where they use circular needles, if you prefer.
Now for the HOW TO:
1. Use 100% wool yarn. The yarn I ended up using actually states 'IDEAL FOR KNIT, CROCHET AND FELTED PROJECTS. I was SOLD after my trial and errors with 'blends'.
2. Cast on 40 stitches.
3. Knit one row and purl the next. Repeat until you have 2 1/2 to 3 inches long.
4. Once you have reached the desired length:
Knit 3 stitches then 2 together, repeat until you have reached the end of the row.
6. Knit 2 stitches then 2 together, repeat until you have reached the end of the row.
8. Knit 1 stitch then 2 together, repeat until you have reached the end of the row.
9. Purl a row.
10. Cast/Bind Off. Leave approximately 5 inches of yarn once you are tied off.
12. Once the yarn is put back through the bind off stitches, pull on the yarn and it will gather to make the bottom of the bowl.
13. Then stitch up the sides to form the bowl.
14. Tie the remaining yarn string to the beginning yarn string and trim. You are now ready to felt...
Another Felting Process: Put bowls into boiling water on stove and use spoon to mash bowls against sides of pan.
My Felting Process: Put bowls into front loading washer with tennis balls. I put it on the hot cycle with no spin. I stopped the machine every so often and roughed up my bowls, rubbing them against each other. (I did not feel that my process was progressing in a timely manner. I may try the stove top process at a later time.
16. Once bowls have reached desired felt (ness?), wring them out and shape them (I used the tennis balls), and let dry.
Viola! LOVE Them!!
I could have let them go a bit longer in the wash, as you can still see some stitching. I will make sure to do so when I make my larger bowls. I will have to adapt the stitch pattern above for a larger bowl. I will be sure to post when I am finished.