Gradient yarn cakes: where can I buy them?

They are a big hit, maybe even considered the next trend in the makers community: gradient yarn cakes with beautiful, subtle color changes. Many brands jumped on the bandwagon and started selling their own unique gradient color combinations.

It has been a big success in Europe for the last few years and finally also American brands started adding gradient yarn cakes to their collection.

Gradient yarn cakes are light weight multicolour yarns and often are between 600m / 656 yds and 1000m / 1094 yds. This means you only need 1 cake to complete a whole project like a shawl.

Katia spring rainbow gradient yarn cake plied

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As there are so many different brands and sorts of yarn cakes available, I decided to sum up which types of gradient yarn cakes are available, the different collections brands offer and an indication of the prices.

Note: I do not include Caron Cakes and Bernat Pop as they are not gradient and a total different weight.

1. Gradient plied yarn cakes

Gradient plied yarn cakes use multiple fine strands laying together. Gradients are created by tying strands of different colors together with tiny knots. The knots are invisible in finished objects.

Recently Lionbrand and Red Heart started selling gradient plied yarn cakes. However, the cakes they sell are very small compared to other yarn cakes (only 400/437 yds) so you might want to buy two if you plan on making a shawl.

To give you an idea: my Pom Pom Happiness Shawl used a yarn cake which is 600m / 656 yds, my Ana Lucia Shawl used a cake which is 800m / 874yds and my Bella Vita Shawl used a cake which is 1000m / 1094yds.

Gradient yarn cakes plied - Lionbrand Ombre Life yarn, Lionbrand yarn Wrap Star, Red Heart It's a Wrap Rainbow yarn

Lionbrand Ombre Life Yarn – $5.99

50% cotton / 50% acrylic
3.5 oz. / 437 yds
100 g / 400 m

Lionbrand Wrap Star Yarn – $6.99

30% wool / 70% acrylic
3.5 oz. / 437 yds
100 g / 400 m

Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow – $11.99

45% cotton / 55 % acrylic
5.29 oz. / 437 yds
150 g / 570 m

Custom made yarn cakes by Wolltraum – Starting at $14

Wolltraum is a German brand that has more color options than any other brand. You can even let them make your own color way. Just send a message to MelodyyByWolltraum and let her know which colors you want for your custom order. She is located in the USA which saves you a lot of shipping costs!

Melodyy by Wolltraum Funny 3 and Take on Me

2. Gradient yarn cakes that are not plied

As not everyone likes to work with the plied gradient yarn cakes, I thought it would be useful to show you another option: gradient yarn cakes that are not plied!

Scheepjes Whirls are unique as they’re the only gradient yarn cakes available that are not plied. It’s a Dutch brand that is very popular worldwide. They’re like normal yarn with only one thread.

If you don’t like working with the loose threads of a plied yarn cake, definitely check Scheepjes Whirls out, because it’s a blast to work with this yarn.

gradient yarn cakes - scheepjes whirls yarn from Holland

Scheepjes Whirls – £20.99

60% cotton / 40 % acrylic
225 g / 1000 m
7.94 oz. / 1094 yds

Here you can order Scheepjes Whirls with fast and cheap shipping to the USA/Canada/world wide (free shipping if you order for £25.00 or more).

3. Dyed gradient yarn cakes

Some people dye their own yarn. Last year I found an Austrian seller on Etsy who has a shop with dyed yarn and I AM IN LOVE! She offers such unique color combinations and also has luxurious options with silk (which have a beautiful drape). I have used two of her yarn cakes so far and I can’t wait to use more. Looking at her shop and the beautiful color ways of her yarns makes me happy every time!

Gradient yarn cake - hand dyed Wollelfe yarn from Etsy

wollelfe gradient yarn cake dyed merino silk promegranate

Wollelfe fingering merino-twin – starting from $20

The Merino-Twin is perfect for sweaters and things that are washed very often.

80% merino / 20% polyamide
4 options: 400m, 600m, 800m, 1000m

 

wollelfe gradient yarn cake dyed merino twin romanceWollelfe fingering merino-silk – starting from $25

The merino silk blend is perfect for accessories as shawls, wraps etc. It drapes really wonderful and has a nice sheen because of the silk content.

65% merino / 35% silk
4 options: 400m, 600m, 800m, 1000m

My free crochet patterns with gradient yarn cakes

Friends call me ‘cake princess’ as I LOVE to work with gradient yarn cakes. Most of my latest patterns are made with this kind of yarn. In case you need some inspiration, check out what I made with ’em. All patterns are free!

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15 Comments

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  • Reply
    Shelley C.
    28 July 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you for such wonderful insights into gradient yarn. I am currently using Bernat Pop to make an afghan. So fun to see how the colors change throughout the process. I would love to use one of the lighter weight yarn cakes you’ve written about. I will have to go on line to find them, I guess. I am in the USA and my local stores don’t carry many varieties. Thank you, also, for the pretty new dress pattern. Maybe I will give this a try.

  • Reply
    Karen Forbes
    21 July 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Wilma,
    I absolutely love your work and I am making the Joyful Josie Shawl with the Lion Brand Ombre life yarn. The finished edge looks really good but I was wondering if I could make a single crochet on the finished garment around the neck area the whole out to the points at the edge to give it a cleaner look? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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    Donna Grancio
    10 July 2018 at 6:52 am

    i am going to try the shawl Ana Lucia. I will go to Michaels and hopefully be able to find the yarn. I did see cake yarn but not too sure it is has three strands together. can this shawl work with one strand? Would you also recommend making this with a 3 ply or 4 ply yarn. the hook you suggest is a size 4 Is this US 4 1.74 mm (stainless steel hook) or
    a G8 (4.00mm)

    • Reply
      Wilma
      11 July 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Donna, if you’re going to use Lionbrand Ombre Life or Lionbrand Wrap Star yarn (I believe both are sold at Michael’s), make sure to get 2 cakes, because those cakes are only 437 yds each and I used 830 yds! My cake was 4ply but you can also use 3ply 🙂 I used a 4mm hook (Us G/6). If you’re going to use a 3 ply cake, I think crochet hook 3.5mm will be better though!

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    Roberta McIntyre
    30 June 2018 at 5:24 am

    Which Cake did you use for the Luisa Shawl?

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  • Reply
    DemeN.
    22 June 2018 at 2:49 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this info!

  • Leave a Reply