A sweet little hand-turned yew bowl followed me home from the thrift store last spring. I had been looking for a bowl to keep my sock yarn under control, and this would be perfect! DH cut a curved slot for the line to feed through, drilled a couple holes to hold my needles, sanded it smooth and I was in business.


I love my yew yarn bowl, but soon discovered that it is just too small for bigger projects. The balls of chunky acrylic I bought to knit C’s infinity scarf were twice its size! So I added “big wooden bowl” to my wish list, keeping my eye out for one on my sporadic thrift store visits. But no luck, and I refused to buy new, the up-cycling part is half the fun. Practicing my patience, an ongoing project, I kept on looking.

Recently Resident Gardener got a new puppy. Arrow is currently in training with Liza the barnyard protector, so that one day he may be just as useful and obedient as her. In the meantime though, he alternates between ‘adorable’ and ‘royal pain in the ***”. He helps me to practice my patience too.


I was puppy sitting the other day (at ten weeks old we can’t let him out of our sight for a minute) when he dragged a dusty old wooden bowl out from the bottom shelf of one of the side tables. The same bowl that Little Bean (human toddler, similar stage of development) had pulled out back in the summer when she was visiting. From a spot apparently so inconspicuous that it regularly avoids the cleaner’s swiffer.

The penny hadn’t dropped the first time when Bean had discovered it, but it certainly did this time. Yarn bowl! This thing would make a wonderful large yarn bowl! I whisked it away from sharp puppy teeth, washed off the dust, dried it, then rubbed in a generous dollop of organic olive oil. It cleaned up nice.

The bowl had come from my dear late mom, who had told me when she gave it to me that it had been her mom’s. “Munising” is burned into the bottom, in left leaning script. This is an indication – according to the Munising Wood Products website history page (thanks again internet) – that it was “hand carved” on a Michigan lathe in the 30’s or 40’s.

Possessing both precious family history AND collectable wood bowl attributes, it is remarkably perfect. I can’t bring myself to cut a slot in its side though. I just don’t think my Gram would like that. The bigger balls are all centre-pull anyway.

Right under my nose. A right sized bowl. Sitting quietly in my house waiting to be discovered, all the time I was looking everywhere else. As we all so often do.

The thought made me smile, my day a little brighter. And to be honest, I could use a little cheering up these days. Sometimes lately, the weight of the world settles so heavily I almost gasp for air.

The computer age that makes it possible for us to connect like never before and the social media that was supposed to draw us together, instead pushing us into diametric, vitriolic camps. Pushing us apart.

A caustic election, energy, refugees, the economy, the climate crisis, Trump, wars and cars and polar bears, the rise of the scary far right. My countrymen, friends and acquaintances, even my own family, split by opposing viewpoints. Torn asunder. We used to be able to mostly agree on the way forward, or at least the goals. It seems to me that we have lost that, I hope only temporarily.

The world is “going to hell in a hand basket”, mom would say. And there isn’t much I can do, except hope for the best and support the right causes. Assuming, of course, that I can sift through the crap and figure out what the right causes are.

So when I need to escape for a little while, I shall set Gram’s yarn bowl right here in my lap, busy my fingers, and free my mind to consider all the good things right under my nose. Once I really start to look, they do get easier to spot.