Size 11 double-pointed needles, preferably 5, but you can do it with 4.
Two skeins of Noro Kureyon or another worsted-weight yarn, or a bulky wool or wool blend yarn.
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:
Cast on 8 stitches on one of the needles; distribute the stitches evenly onto all but one of your needles. Join, being careful not to twist. Knit one round. Then:
Round 1: Inc (increase) each stitch by knitting into the front, then into the back before sliding off left needle.
Round 2 and all even rounds: Knit
Round 3: *K1, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 24 stitches
Round 5: *K2, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 32 stitches
Round 7: *K3, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 40 stitches
Round 9: *K4, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 48 stitches
Round 11: *K5, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 56 stitches
Round 13: *K6, inc; repeat from * to end of round – 64 stitches
Round 14-19: Knit
Next you want to create a welt which will help to keep the bottom of the basket flat.
Pick up the back loop of the stitch from row 14 and put it on the left needle. Knit together this stitch and the first one that was already on the left needle. Repeat to the end of the round. Note: If you want to do the welt in a different color, which can look really nice, switch colors at round 14 and switch back after the welt round.
Keep knitting in the round till the bowl is about 2 1/2 – 3″ long from the base. Bind off.
Cut yarn, leaving about an 8? tail. 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.