Although I have a swift and a yarn winder, I usually wind my yarn by hand in a ball. I like yarn balls better than a yarn cakes because cakes will collapse in on themselves. Then I get a lot of tangled yarn toward the end. Then I end up winding the tangled mess into ball anyway. However, a ball just gets smaller and smaller.
Not that there isn't a downside to a ball of yarn. I cannot count how many times while knitting away, my ball escapes onto the floor and rolls under the coffee table, only to be batted and chased by a little black paw to the other side of the room. Then it becomes a game for Neko as he continues to jump on it and wrap himself in the yarn. Then I have to crawl out from under my warm afghan to rescue my poor little yarn, rewinding it as I reverse the path of the yarn across the room, under the coffee table, and unwrap it from the legs of the side table. And the yarn is usually snagged by kitty teeth with a slobber of kitty spit. There might even be blood if I had to entangle the yarn from little old Paws and Claws.
So the solution is a knitting bowl. I went onto Etsy to look around and came across the perfect knitting bowl and of course, it has a kitty on it. What is even cuter is that the tail of the cat silhouette is the tail of your yarn. And the best part is that Neko has no interest in the kitty on the side of the pottery.
I ordered it on Etsy from Shars Art Pottery (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SharsArtPottery)
So my kitty is safe, my yarn is safe, I can continue to keep warm in my chair and all is right with the world.
Back to the needles.