Why I cake commercial yarn balls…
- Easier to work with
- Check the yarn for knots
- More compact to pack in a bag
- Easy to divide into smaller amounts
- And… yarn looks pretty in a cake!
1. Yarn Cakes are Easier to Work With
Yarn cakes are simply the easiest way to work with a skein of yarn. You can either pull from the center (that’s the little loop at the top center) or pull from the outside. I like to pull from the outside of the cake for two reasons: 1) outer yarn is not twisted as much, and 2) when I’m done I still have a compact little cake to add to the leftover stash.
Yes, you can pull from a ball either from the center or the outside too. The big difference I’ve found is that I get any sorting, twisting, untangling done during the caking process. That way I don’t have to stop my knitting to sort yarn.
Checking for Knots
When caking up the yarn, I let it glide between my fingers and can feel if there’s a knot somewhere. A lot of times it’s no big deal, maybe a bit of felting from the manufacturer’s process, but it’s good to know. I’ve caked up some balls that had 3 or 4 knots in them. I know, right?! Better to find out early and not be surprised later on.
More Compact for Project Bags
This one makes no sense to me, but the yarn cakes will be smaller than the yarn ball. Same amount of yarn, just more compact.
I like using my “sock sack” project bags and being able to put a flat bottomed cake in them is awesome. I pack projects with me anywhere I go that I might have a chance to knit a bit. Being able to open the bag and get right to knitting is terrific.
Dividing a Skein
If you want to pull 20g from a 100g ball to use for a small project or maybe gift as a special mini, caking makes this super easy!
Put the full ball onto a digital scale (I have this one) and starting caking until the weight of the ball is 20g less. Voila, mini caked skein ready to go!
It’s also a great idea if you want to split a 100g skein into two 50g cakes for a ‘perfect pair’.
Pretty to Look At
Just look at that pretty yarn cake. Fun! If you pull from the outside, you get a sneak peek at the next section of variegated, striped and patterned yarns.
There are many options available for caking your yarn. I have this winder. It’s basic and minimal and works absolutely fine for me. Spending more will not guarantee you better results with these, find one that works and off you go.
If you are winding commercial balls, a winder is all you need. Pull the yarn from the center of the ball and lay in on the table next to the winder. Wrap the yarn over the center post and start turning the crank.
It takes just a couple minutes and you’ve made a magical yarn cake!