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Are you looking to try custom gradient yarn cakes but struggle to know which ones to try? Or where to get them from? Crochet UK is a small business in the UK specialising in gradient yarn cakes. Read on to find out more about the yarn and whether it is the right choice for you.
Why Crochet UK Yarn Cakes?
I’ve been using Crochet UK yarn cakes for a while now, and as the main source of yarn for my book It’s a Wrap, I thought it might be a good idea to get into what I like about them. I love yarn cakes. For me they are the easiest and most flexible choice because I get lost in the weeds selecting colours for all of my projects. Gradient yarn cakes, like the ones in this Crochet UK yarn review, make this easier and hard in equal measure!
Crochet UK gradient yarn cake review
Gradient yarn cakes are available from Crochet Uk in 50% Cotton/50% Acrylic or 100% mercerised
Egyptian cotton. I prefer non mercerised yarn as I don’t like the feel of the coating in my hand, so this gradient yarn cake review will focus on the cotton/acrylic blend cakes.
Things that stand out
Choice – cakes from Crochet UK are available from 3ply – 6ply. While I stick to 4ply generally, the availability of thicker weights in gradient cakes is not something I have seen in similar gradient yarn stores.
Colours – when you enter the yarn cakes section of the crochet uk website there is a reasonably sized catalogue of standard colours, all named after places in the UK. There are limited exceptions to this, but I love scrolling through the colours and imagining the places I’ve never been to and deciding whether the colours match the places I have been to – erm I think London could generally do with a do-over.
Wrap – while most gradient cakes have a single style of wrap flowing from one colour to the next with the first colour having a larger block than the later and definitely last colours. Crochet UK has 3 types of colour wrap available (depending on selected colours). Traditional which is wrapped as described above, Block Gradient which has a more even distribution of all the colours included in the cake (subject to availability) and multi-coloured which is a non gradient style of cake where all the colours are mixed together.
Collections – alongside the regular gradient cakes, you can find single colour options and themed or celebration cakes that are aimed at a particular anniversary.
If you are adventurous, or want something a little different there are two further colour options available to you – Mystery Cakes and design your own.
Mystery Yarn Cakes are just that. They come in a box and the idea is that you crochet or knit your project without opening the box and get a surprise as the colours unfold. Sizes are pre-set, however you are able to ask for specific colours to be included or excluded from the final mix. They also come with a free pattern that is specific to the length of cake you choose.
Design your own cakes are just that. Use the handy colour picker on the website and choose up to 8 colours and create your own custom yarn cake. There is an option to have these included in the regular cakes, however that is totally optional and playing with colours in the picker is very addictive!
Price – prices start at £16.99 for 4ply 1000m cake, my usual choice. For me this is extremely competitive, especially when compared with the branded alternatives from Scheepjes or Hobbii. Shipping is available internationally and free shipping is available over a minimum spend amount.
How does it feel?
Amazing. I am a biased user of Crochet UK yarn, but I love these cakes. The yarn is soft and the knots which join the colours are extremely hard to see when you are working with it – unlike the well known brands where ‘fuzz buzz’ is something you come to expect. The knots are perceptible to touch only making them far easier to hide in your finished project, also makes you less inclined to cut and rejoin the knots yourself.
Things to note when working with this type of yarn
Crochet UK yarn cakes are unplied gradient cakes. This means you will receive a cake with multiple individual strands of yarn that are loosely wound together to form your cake. Each colour change is joined with a tiny knot and this progresses through the cake. Colour changes take place across the number of strands/plys in your cake. So if you choose a 4ply gradient with 3 main colours, it will not fully change colour until all 4 strands of the first have changed.
What’s it like to work with?
I think the biggest challenge working with this type of yarn is getting used to the individual strands and how to treat the cake or work with it and troubleshoot when things go wrong without making it worse for yourself. Then it’s the weight of yarn.
Two tips for working with this yarn – use the stitch marker that is on the cake or a small bead to keep your strands together if you are new to working with this yarn, and keep your cake lower than you while working with it. To find out more tips for working with custom gradient yarn cakes and how to solve problems, check out the blog post here.
I love working with Mel from Crochet UK, although she may think I am crazy. I ask about colours that I don’t buy, send random half explained messages and ask for help but she is patient, helpful and really good at remembering the types/colours that you like. Turnaround times from order to delivery are regularly better than I get from bigger online stores and when I have found myself short of a few yards to finish a project I can get those from Mel with a minimum of fuss.
Yay or Nay For Crochet UK Yarn Cakes
For me, it’s a yay for Crochet UK yarn cakes.
The feel of the yarn, drape and price makes this an affordable option for shawls, garments, and homewares including blankets and wall hangings. I have used multiple colours and lengths and find myself using and purchasing these cakes over the branded alternatives, more and more.
Projects you could try with a custom gradient yarn cake from Crochet UK
I hope you enjoyed the post and it has inspired you to be a little more adventurous in your yarn choices and give Crochet UK yarn a try if and when you buy your next custom gradient yarn cake!
Pop into the Facebook Group and suggest another yarn or small business that I might fall in love with.
Don’t forget to let me know what you think if you get some yarn from Flo, or share your wip with us when you do.
Bye for now,