Yarn Review: Caron Cakes

 
Caron Cake Yarn Review.png
 

During the holiday season, I was hired as part-time staff at a rather well known craft store. I enjoyed working in the yarn department.  Not only because I like yarn, but also because the yarn worked as a sound insulation, so the Christmas music wasn’t as loud. When I was working there I noticed that the Caron Cakes were insanely popular. As soon as we got more in stock, the display seemed to empty within days.  People were calling the store on days they knew we got deliveries, asking if the colour they needed was back in stock.  It was madness.   

 
This display would be full for less than a day 

This display would be full for less than a day 

 

I eventually got my hands on a cake in the colorway “Rainbow Sprinkle”.  I didn’t need the yarn, but I really wanted to know why it was so popular.  When I bought it, the plan was to make a pair of fingerless gloves and a matching hat.

 
Rainbow Sprinkle out in the wild 

Rainbow Sprinkle out in the wild 

 
 
The fleck's I'm taking about are most noticeable in the green and blue on this Cake

The fleck's I'm taking about are most noticeable in the green and blue on this Cake

I started with the green colour. In my cake, this was the colour that was in the middle. It seemed to knit up pretty well. Nothing really all that impressive. It wasn’t too scratchy, nor did it make my fingers raw like some of the low quality acrylic yarns that are on the market. Something I didn’t notice before I purchased the yarn was that it does not gradient from colour to colour. I thought it did, but that is a fault on my part. Although it doesn’t gradient, there are flecks of other colours throughout. The first time I came across it, I thought it was a mistake in the dying process. It’s not. It is intentionally designed to have a amature sloppy dye look to it. That should be an indication to you how I feel about that element of the yarn.  Also the colour changes are far apart and very abrupt, changing suddenly in just a few stitches. I really dislike this about the yarn!

I quickly realized that fingerless gloves with this yarn wouldn’t be a great idea.  I probably could have made a glove and not reached the next colour. So I frogged that project.  

At this point, I was less than impressed with Caron Cakes. When I looked on Ravelry or Pinterest for inspiration, all I saw were shawls and blankets. Good projects, just not something I felt I would personally get any use out of. In March, I decided to make a spring cowl, the colours of the yarn are very bright and work with the season. Also, the crochet stitch I picked is a stitch that required a lot of yardage, with the hopes that the colour changes would happen in closer intervals. Moreover, I was hoping to use up all the yarn so it wouldn’t just sit in my house.

Cowl I crocheted using the yarn

Cowl I crocheted using the yarn

I ended up having to buy another cake of yarn to make my cowl long enough to wear.  After that I also made a super big owl pillow (a variation of the Purl Soho pattern, found here), which ate up 90% of the second cake.   

The yarn’s texture is good. There is certainly nicer yarns that exist in the world. It is a good yarn for the price point at $9.99 CAD, (especially if you buy it on sale or use a coupon). The lowest it will go on sale is $7, and that is about once or twice a season. I believe you can get it lower with certain coupons.

The owl pillow that I made to finish up the second cake I got

The owl pillow that I made to finish up the second cake I got

Close Up of the Color Change from Blue to Red

Close Up of the Color Change from Blue to Red

It’s a 80% acrylic, 20% wool blend, which at major crafts stores, they don’t carry a large selection of blended yarns. This yarn works best for really big projects because of lengths between colour changes. With a little extra effort on certain projects, you could also just change colours when you wanted. I suppose that the individual balls of yarn to do that would be cost more than ten dollars.   


When I was knitting, the yarn did untwist on me, which I find a common problem with Caron’s Simply Soft yarn.  It wasn’t scratchy like some cheap acrylics, but after working on a project for a bit, my finger tips did start to hurt a little - Something that doesn’t happen with some other types of yarns, especially bamboo, merinos or the Caron Simply Soft.  I just picked it because it is a different yarn from the same company so a good comparison of what they can produce.  

Due to the wool content of this yarn, it isn’t recommended to machine wash it. You could probably get away with washing it in cold water, since heat and friction is what causes felting. I have yet to try this myself since the projects I’ve made are better washed by hand. This is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this yarn. 

Pros:

  • A lot of yardable (350 m/383 yards)
  • Affordable
  • Many colour options (and the colours are pre-coordinated to match)

Cons:

  • Limited usage for the yarn to really notice the colour changes
  • The colour has flecks of others in it, giving it a dirty look
  • Not machine washable  

That pretty much sums up my feelings about this yarn.  Since the Caron Cakes have been so commercially successful, a lot of other yarns have been hitting the market that are a similar idea.  It will be interesting to see how they will do.  If you have made any projects with the Caron Cake, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments.