Free Pattern for Large Shallow Knitted Felted Bowl

Knitted Felted Bowl Pattern


Note: I also have put up patterns for a version with a bottom welta version with a ruffled edge and a version of this bowl with a smaller opening.


Size 11 circular or double-pointed needles for the beginning, double-pointed needles for the end, when the decreases begin.

One skein of Noro Kureyon or another worsted-weight yarn. I used color #74. (If you want to double strand to make a very firm bowl, you will need two skeins, or a bulky wool yarn instead of worsted-weight.)

I would recommend knitting the bowl with two strands held together if you want to put anything heavier or bigger than coins or jewelry in it. For instance, I need a bowl knit with two strands to keep my reading glasses in.

What Kind of Yarn?

Believe it or not, you do not need to use 100% wool (or other animal fibers) in felted items. I have used Lion Brand Landscapes yarn in one of my felted bowls, which is 50% wool and 50% polyester, I believe. HOWEVER, you should always do a test swatch on a new yarn before starting your project. If something doesn’t felt successfully, there’s not much you can do with it. You generally can’t frog it and re-use the yarn, and if it hasn’t felted, you can’t cut up the felt and use it for other things.

You can also use a 100% man-made fiber as a carry-along with the natural fiber, as I did in this bowl:


I would definitely not use any yarn with less than 50% animal fiber, though, and I would definitely do a swatch with any mixed fiber yarn. Also, do not use superwash wool. It’s been specially treated to NOT felt in the washing machine. In addition, white or off-white yarns do not felt well, as the bleach has usually destroyed the fibers to some extent.


Cast on 75 sts. Place marker and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Knit in st st until piece measures 5 ½” from CO.
Decrease as follows, changing to dpn as nec:
Round 1 *ssk, k11, k2tog; rep from * to end of row – 65 sts
Round 2 Knit
Round 3 *ssk, k9, k2tog; rep from * to end – 55 sts
Round 4 Knit
Round 5 *ssk, k7, k2tog; rep from * to end – 45 sts
Round 6 Knit
Round 7 *ssk, k5, k2tog; rep from * to end – 35 sts
Round 8 Knit
Round 9 *ssk, k3, k2tog; rep from * to end – 25 sts
Round 10 Knit
Round 11 *ssk, k1, k2tog; rep from * to end – 15 sts
Round 12 *ssk, k2tog; rep from * to last 3 sts, ssk, k1 – 8 sts remain

Here is the bowl right before the decreases:


As you can see, it’s essentially a hat.


Cut yarn, leaving about an 8″ tail. Using a tapestry needle, pull the tail through the remaining stitches on the needle. Weave in all loose ends. Remember that felting will make the ends virtually disappear – however, you must eliminate any largish holes or gaps by darning them before felting. Felting will not close them up completely.


Before you felt, make absolutely sure that there’s nothing in the knitting that you don’t want there permanently. In other words, stray threads or lint, etc. It will get felted into the fabric permanently and be virtually impossible to remove.

Put the bowl in a lingerie bag or pillowcase tied at the top. This is important because otherwise you could end up with all sorts of fuzz in your washing machine that takes a few loads to get rid of. Put in the washing machine with a small amount of soap, at the hottest temperature possible. Also add a pair of jeans that you don’t mind shrinking. Agitation is as important as hot water for felting, and if the bowl is in there by itself, there won’t be enough agitation.

Start the washer. Check the bowl every few minutes to see how it’s doing. There should be virtually no stitch definition left when it’s done. Keep resetting the washer if necessary. Don’t let it go into spin cycle. The spinning can stretch the bowl out. When it’s finished to your satisfaction, rinse in tepid water, squeeze out the water and roll the bowl up in a towel. Press out as much of the water as possible. Dry the bowl over the next couple of days. It’s good to put something in it to weigh it down and flatten the bottom. I use a full coffee can.

You can download this pattern as a pdf here.

108 thoughts on “Free Pattern for Large Shallow Knitted Felted Bowl

  1. I haven’t made an oval bowl, but I can give it a shot. I would think it’s just a matter of creating an oval for the base by increasing and decreasing and then picking up the stitches and knitting the bowl from there.

  2. I, too, have been searching in vain for a felted bowl pattern. Finally made a “box” instead by not adding a handle/strap to a rectangular felted bag. I plan to try this pattern very soon. Thanks!

  3. Hi,

    I just love the bowl and will be trying it very soon.

    The first time I felted anything was just a few days ago. It was a very small purse to carry keys, cell phone and coin purse.

    I just finished knitting the Booga Bag, and am working on the I-cord. Then I will felt it.

    What are the measurements after felting for this bowl?

    Thanks so much for sharing your pattern,


  4. Felting is kind of addictive, isn’t is? The measurements of the bowl are: 19″ around, 2 1/2″ high and the diameter of the base is 5″.

  5. Thank you – I too have been looking for such a pattern. I do bags like my avatar on Etsy but have not done bowls. I’ll be trying this very soon – for sure.


  6. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. The bowl you knitted is beautiful. I can’t wait to try this.
    Just one question, though, there is no guage measurement here. does it not matter?

  7. Okay, I realize now that that was a silly question. It has to be a very loose guage so that the felting will make it the size I want. I’m feeling silly now. :) I’ve never felted before, this will be my first project.

  8. Just finished my first bowl from your pattern. I’m hooked. Mine did’nt come out as round as yours looks. My sides are straighter. How do I achive the rounder look?

  9. Good question. I’m not sure why yours would turn out differently, but you could start out casting on a smaller number of stitches and increase in the first couple of rows to 75 sts. That would pull the top edge in more and might round the sides out.

  10. I just felted this bowl and another one from one skein. I liked your pattern much better. Thank you so much for posting. This one came out fabulous. I used paton yarn in mossy green, maroon and a bright green

  11. I’m so glad that it’s been helpful. I plan to do some variations as soon as I have a chance (still working on Christmas gifts, believe it or not).

  12. I have made 4 or 5 bowls and love them. do you have a pattern for larger ones? I think I would like somehting 3 times the size. I have also found they felt the easiest with patons yarn. The lambs pride requires a few more washings but they have a ton of colors.

  13. Response to cathy #11 My patons wool ones look like the ones in the picture and my lamb’s price do not seem to curve in they seem straighter.

  14. It’s pretty easy to make it bigger. Just cast on the number of stitches that will give you the size you want and decrease by ten stitches every other row till the last row. So for a bowl that’s a third bigger you would start off with 100 stitches; 50% bigger, about 115.

  15. Thank you – I’m going to try it next week sometime. I have also been making great little eyglass cases with the leftover wool. I use a size 9 – 12 inch circular needle and cast on 32 or 34 stitches, knit til it’s about 8-1/4 inches, sew up the bottom and felt. They are so easy and I just love them

  16. What a great pattern! The decreases for the bottom make it so nice. I would like to make a really large bowl for my coffe table where I can keep my current knitting projects and pretty yarns. Reading reply #19 gives me some idea although I’m not sure what you mean by decrease by ten stitches every other row till the last row…. is that just for the decreases? In making the larger bowls, is it important to use two strands together for added stiffness or just felting it more will do? THANK YOU!!!

  17. Is there an easy way to make the sides more rounded instead of straight down? In thinking of the large bowl that I would like to make, I think it would help to hold things in if the opening was slightly smaller than the sides…..

  18. Maritza,

    I think someone else asked about the smaller opening at the top, so I’m working on modifying the pattern. I think I should be done by Easter.

    As far as decreasing, yes, the decreasing by ten stitches is just for the decrease section. If you look at the original pattern, you start with 75 stitches and decrease every other row by ten stitches. So let’s say you started off with 105 stitches, the next row would be knit, then the row after that you would decrease using the same method, but you would end up with 95 stitches (this is only an approximation, since I haven’t actually done it. But you would keep going till you had 8 stitches.)

    You really have to use a double strand if you want to make it thicker, because you’re felting this bowl till there’s no stitch definition, so that’s basically as tight as it’s going to get.

  19. Thank you so much for posting this pattern……..yours is the first listing when you Google “Felted Bowl Free pattern”, by the way !

    I made a small version last night and am tickled with it……I too am going to keep trying until I get a rounded version also. I think of them as masculine and feminine…….I made this one very masculine by shaping the botton over a big can of green beans—very straight sides and flat bottom ! Now I need to make a curvy one !
    I hope you don’t mind that I shared a link to this pattern on my flickr page ! Let me know, and I can remove it if you’re not happy !

    Here’s my bowl…….

  20. Very nice, Dotty. I actually like the idea of doing a couple of rows of garter stitch at the top – I was thinking of doing that with a future bowl.

  21. Hi! I just finished a larger felted bowl and I think I have a possible solution for the smaller opening issue. If you start at the bottom of the bowl and finish the edge with an i-cord bindoff, when you felt it, the i cord edge shrinks… bringing the opening in farther than the sides of the bowl. I would still like to see your pattern, though and try that. Thanks for a great site.

  22. Why not start at the open end, why not at the center of the “bottom” so it could grow indefinitely. I’d like to knit till I see how big I want it or till I run out of yarn. :-)

  23. Thnk you!!! I wanted to make something felted for my friends who welped w/ a garage sale.–Purses? What color? Pillow –same. bowl, OK. Where can I find pattern? finally hit upon google– and knit,felt bowl and there you were. Can’t wait to get started.

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  25. I found these patterns last week, went to my yarn store this afternoon and will be starting this evening (if I can hold out that long). The bowls look absolutely adorable and I am making one as a birthday present for my niece in lavender, sea foam green pale pink and hot pink to match her room.

    I just CANT WAIT to get started!
    Debgray – think how much pleasure you have provided so many people!

  26. I knitted the felted bowl in malbrio (spelling?) a pink and red
    shade. After it was felted I shaped it into a heart – just a pinch at opposite sides- very easy – and it looks great – holds its shape too.

  27. I am very excited about creating this bowl! I have done several felted pieces with great luck, but I still consider myself a beginner at knitting. So……..I am confused about one thing: your instructions say to do the stockingette stitch before you begin to decrease. Since you are knitting in the round, doesn’t that mean you are knitting each stitch to result in the stockingette stitch?
    The reason I ask is that I went all out knitting, and my project is looking very different than your “before” photo in that the bottom of my knitting (what will be the top of the bowl) is rolled over, and yours is not.
    Many thanks for helping out an enthousiastic beginner!

  28. Hi Amy,

    Yes, it is stockinette stitch the whole way. I’m not sure why mine didn’t roll up, because it’s fairly common for it to do so.

  29. Oh my is me again…just read your response about doubling landscape…you had said “not necessary” and I have about two inches done with it doubled….should I rip it out and start over????

  30. I’m sorry, Marsha, I just saw this. For some reason I didn’t get an email heads-up from WordPress.

    I honestly don’t know. It will definitely be thicker in that area, but it might not be really bad. The problem with felting, unlike plain knitting, is that once it’s completely done, you can’t frog it.

  31. Deborah, I am trying to make a straight sided bowl with rigid sides about the size of a medium waste basket. I saw a crochet one in a Mary Maxim catalog. I want to keep knitting and patterns in it and I don’t want the pattern to get bent and wrinkled, hence the straight, rigid sides. Before I start with innumerable versions, do you have any suggestions?

  32. Hi Anne,

    I’m not sure that I would try one that size if it needs to be rigid, to be honest. It’s hard to make a felted bowl with high sides that won’t be floppy to some extent. But if you try it, I would say a triple strand of worsted weight has the best chance.

  33. Thanks for the advice. I thought I might do the knitting a little more densely than what I do for regular felting and see if that would give enough body, but I was afraid it wouldn’t felt properly. I only need it to be somewhat rigid when it is full, so that might help.

  34. A great site – you should be proud of yourself. Read your bio – a real inspiration.

    I am going to try to adapt your pattern to make a cat bed. I plan to use Lion Brand Bolero yarn which is a Super Bulky. Is there a rule of thumb with felting as to how much it will shrink? If I want my finished product have an 18inch diameter and 8 inch sides – is there a ballpark way to guesstimate what the size should be prior to felting?

    Thanks for sharing your creativity


  35. Great idea!

    I don’t think that there’s a rule of thumb about how much it will shrink because it depends on several factors such as the type of wool, size of the needles, etc.

    The best way would be to do a swatch. Measure it before felting and then afterwards and you should be able to calculate the percentage it’s shrunk. That’s the best way to get an accurate read on how much a particular yarn will shrink. You can, of course, control the amount of shrinkage during felting by simply taking the piece out of the washer, but you may find that it is the right size, but still too loose.

  36. I did use the Patons Classic Wool Merino for My Felted Bowl…
    I only doubled the yarn and it came out very nice
    It took a good 3 days to dry as I made a Large Full Bowl
    Thanks for the Pattern

  37. Hello everyone!
    Thank you sooo much for sharing this pattern Deborah! (I think it’s beautiful!) I was wondering if someone might be able to answer a quick question for me. I’m close to completing the pattern. I’ve been attempting to decrease, but something keeps going wrong. I think it might be with your SSK direction – I think I’m misunderstanding it! I’m continually ending up at 70 sts when the row is done, not 65. Could someone clarify?

    Thanks so much!!

  38. Mary,

    I think you may be right and my directions may be wrong. I’ll have to test it out on the bowl I’m making. For now, just don’t worry about how many stitches you have at the end and just keep decreasing till you’re down to eight stitches.

  39. Hi Deb!
    No, no, your pattern is beautiful! It was definitely me not understanding the SSK direction. I’ve since figured it out and am just about to felt the bowl tonight! So far, it looks really great. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! Really, the pattern is perfect. Don’t change a thing!

  40. Hi! I’ve just gotten into felting and i wanted to make a bowl… but i’ve never knitted with the round kitting needles… i’m not sure how to use them… i’m fairly new to knitting and i don’t know all the different techniques. Like i’ve never done the decreasing or anything like that. I just know how to knit and purl…

    is there someplace you can direct me so i can learn all that before i try this awesome pattern? :}

  41. What a cute pattern. What do you think about using malabrigo worsted?
    Shall I use it double? Thanks again…this will be my first felting project and I can hardly wait to see how it turns out.

  42. I would definitely double it. I think the weight is identical to the Noro Kureyon, and I’ve doubled that every time.

  43. Just curious – when you are doubling a self-striping yarn (like Kureyon) how can you guarantee that you can align the colors in two separate balls of yarn? I’m assuming that each ball, even though it’s from the same dye lot, starts at a different place in the color continuum?

  44. It’s kind of a pain. You actually have to (at least with Kureyon) usually buy at least one ball more than you need to find two that match up. I would say, from my experience, if you have six balls of Kureyon, you can make two pairs that start at the same place. But it’s unlikely you’d get three pairs.

    Or what you can do is unwind one to find the color that another one begins with, and then cut it and start there.

  45. Just finished my first felted bowl using your is so cute…but I wish to make smaller ones…do you have instructions for small bowls…I have looked on line but your instructions for the large one is so simple and I am new at this.
    Enjoy Fall

  46. I just made a bowl from a one-skein book and wish I’d seen your site first. I also used Noro fiber but didn’t use a double strand. My bowl is flimsy. Yikes! Do you think I could add an i-cord to the felted bowl and felt it again? Help. Christmas is closing in. Thanks

  47. what am I missing on the decreasing. I am slipping two, knitting 11 and knitting 2 together and getting down to 70 not 65.I have seen the same questions prior, but never answered? all help will be very welcome.

  48. Hi Patt,

    I just sketched it out on paper, and came up with 65, so I’m not sure what to say. I’ll keep track the next time I knit one and see what happens.

  49. Hello Deb.. looks like I am a year late finding this pattern.. and am so thrilled that you shared.. I am not a hugely experienced knitter… and well.. would love to have an explanation of SSK.. just so I am sure…
    My sister and I cannot agree on what it means.. I know it is a decrease stitch.. but.. sis thinks it isn’t.. help…
    thanks so much.. gail/lylis

  50. yes. I have!!!. am on my second one.. haven’t felted the first one..
    and acquiring wool for more….
    They go so quickly.. and the colours..
    Cannot wait to felt..
    Thanks again.. for sharing this with all of us..
    as I can see.. many have run with the ball..(of wool that is)

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  52. I made a really big bowl for my daughter to put little toys in in her play area. I started from the bottom increasing 10 sts very other row until I had 155 sts. Then I knit for 11 inches. Then I decreased 6 sts evenly, knit one row, decreased 6 sts evenly, cast off. The decrease at the top created a rolled edge that I thought was pretty cool. The best part about this project was that it didn’t cost a penny! I only used leftover wool from other projects. I held 2 strands of different colors together the whole time so that the colors mixed up nicely. I loved this project! Check out my pics!
    Before it was felted:


  53. Hi, I know the instructions called for size 11 needles. If you double the yarn, do you change needle size? Love the bowl – thank you!

  54. Hi Sandy,

    If you’re doubling worsted weight, no. Unless you knit tightly, like me, you don’t need to use a larger needle than 11, although bringing it up to 13 is unlikely to be a problem. Fortunately, felting is very forgiving. You can shrink it to the size you want unless you’ve made it way too big.

  55. A freind introduced me to felted bowls this summer but she did not give me a resource. Found your site today among many. Your site has good decisive instruction. I am looking forward to making my first bowl.

    Could you answer 2 questions, please. What does the abbreviation SSK mean in the instruction.

    What brand named yarns do you find best

  56. Sorry I took so long to get back to you.

    SSK stands for slip, slip, knit. Basically you put the point of the right needle into the stitch on the left needle as though you’re going to knit, but you just slip it onto the right needle instead. You do this twice, and then you put the tip of the left needle through both of those stitches on the right needle and knit them together.

    I tend to like Kureyon because of the many colors, but any worsted like Cascade 220 or bulky wool works fine. You can even use cheaper ones from your stash up because it really won’t matter in the end what the quality is. It all looks the same when it’s felted.

  57. Hi Deborah,
    What were the dimensions of the finished bowl?
    I’ve got yarn coming and can’t wait to try this as my first felting project!


  58. Beautiful bowl – I love the shape and colors! I notice your bowl angles in slightly at the top, which I find attractive and desirable. Did you use a “tight” cast on method to achieve this effect? Do you remember what cast on method you used? Did you double strand for this bowl?

    • I don’t think I did anything special to make it angle in. I think with some of the bowls I stretch the tops out when they’re wet, and not with others. I just use the basic single cast-on, but I’m a really tight knitter. Yes, I double strand whenever I use anything less than bulky.

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  60. I myself used size 13, but I knit so tightly that I always have to go up one size. I would suggest size 11 unless you’re like me. You definitely want the fabric to be loose when you’re felting.

  61. Could you knit a bowl like this with a knifty knitter round loom? I’m not skilled at knitting in the round but have knitted several hats with the knifty knitter.

    • Sorry I took so long to answer – for some reason I thought I had answered and spaced on it.

      The dimensions are obviously going to be slightly different for everyone depending on how long you felt the bowl, etc. The bowl that’s pictured and the one I used when I created the pattern is 22″ around and 6 1/2 inches across the base.

  62. Hello,
    This is my firt bowl. I was wondering if I chage to DPN rightafter I kittedthe 5 1/2 inches from CO? and do I put all stiches on one needl?and use the 2 needle in my right hand to decrease with? Ive neverued DPN excpet for handles, Ive always used cirle needles to make bags.
    PLease help….
    Thank you
    Ashley in Alaska

  63. Hello,
    This is my first bowl. I was wondering if I chage to DPN right after I kitted the 5 1/2 inches from CO? and do I put all stiches on one needl? and use the 2 needle in my right hand to decrease with? Ive never used DPN excpet for handles, Ive always used cirle needles to make bags.
    PLease help….
    Thank you
    Ashley in Alaska

  64. Hi Ashley,

    You can change to DPN right away, or when you have so few stitches on the circular that they’re stretching tight. With DPN, you want to divide the stitches equally among all three or four needles. Then just decrease using two needles at a time.

    I hope I answered your question – if not, just let me know.

  65. I am interested in felting bags but have an automatic front loading machine. How can I felt bags if I need to check them every so often?

    Advice would be appreciated

    • There’s some disagreement about whether felting is possible in a front loading machine. Some people claim that it doesn’t agitate as well as a top loader. I don’t have personal felting experience with front loaders, so I can’t really weigh in on this. But since all machines are different, I think that you can’t generalize and lump all front loaders together. And actually, with top loaders, you may need to run a couple, or even more, cycles to get the felting tight.

      If you are willing to give it a shot, I would first see how your machine does with a swatch. This won’t give you a completely realistic idea of how your item will turn out if you have one of the machines that locks until the cycle is completely over, as anything larger than a swatch may get sadly stretched out and creased by the spin cycle.

      If you have a front loader that will allow you to jump in and open it right before the spin cycle, then I’d say it’s definitely worth a shot.

  66. when you are talking about which size of knitting needles to use to knit the felt bowls are using US or metric size.

  67. I have done felting in a front loader, the slamming action like hitting clothes with a rock seems to work fine.
    I must say that I prefer to run it through twice to get the best felt.
    I also have a front loader dryer that I turn on high heat

  68. I felt these bowls on the stove top in a big pot. Water is very hot that way and I mash the bowl with a wooden spoon and paddle. It takes some time and a lot of arm action but it is easier to check the progress (plus I don’t have a top load machine). Every 10 minutes or so, I shock the bowl with cold water and squeeze then return it to the hot water. It seems to help the felting process.

  69. Just wondering if it was mandatory to use the dpn’s. I don’t know how to use them and wondered if I could just use the circular needles through the whole project. Would it affect the outcome?


  70. You might be able to do it with one of those really short circular needles. The problem you’ll run into is when you get down to sixteen or twelve stitches or so.

  71. very nice bowls. I thought I’d mention to Shelia and anyone else interested that I use the Magic Loop method, thus eliminating DPNs!

    • You could definitely use a loom for the bulk of it; I’m not familiar enough with them to know how a loom does decrease. Thanks – for the reminder – I have one and haven’t used it.

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