I bravely tried a brand spankin’ new yarn this week to bring you this Caron Cakes review! I hope you find it helpful!
If you spend time in any crochet groups online, you’ve probably seen a lot of buzz about this new self-striping yarn with the cutest name ever! Caron Cakes, aptly named because it resembles a stripy dessert, is sold exclusively at Michaels. I scooted right over there as soon as I saw this yarn! I had to get my hands on this smooshy, super-colorful yarn ASAP!
It seems like people either love Caron Cakes or absolutely hate it, so I thought I’d do a little Caron Cakes review now that I’ve had a chance to make a project with it.
(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I bought my yarn the old fashioned way and all opinions are my own. ;))
Caron Cakes Review
So! Is it the best new yarn ever? The answer to this question depends on what you like to do with your yarn. 🙂
Background Bias Disclosure
When I started playing with yarn, I was a knitter who kind of looked down her nose at crocheting and manmade fibers, as any self-respecting knitter who was a fan of the Yarn Harlot c. 2006 would. (Imagine!) I would not have touched acrylic yarn with a 10 foot knitting needle.
I eventually learned how to crochet so I could make amigurumi. As I got older and wiser, I came to the realization that using only natural fibers would become prohibitively expensive if I continued tearing through my yarn stash with a crochet hook.
So I *ahem* relaxed my standards a little.
Now if it looks like yarn, and sometimes even if it doesn’t, it ends up on a hook or the needles.
Caron Cakes is 80% acrylic, 20% wool. It is SUPER soft. When I picked up the skein I was really surprised by how light it felt. It looked heavier because it is such a large yarn cake. That may be because it is short and squat rather than elongated like most commercially made skeins. I think this yarn also contains 50% fluffy puffs of air.
I bought two skeins to play with: Funfetti (purples, oranges, pink) and Rainbow Sprinkles (red, orange, yellow, blue, green). These two colors are really vibrant! I mean they are POW IN YOUR FACE hello I am colorful vibrant! I decided to use the Funfetti for this Caron Cakes review, and noticed that the purples had a very, very slight heathered appearance. Behold!
When you see photos of this yarn, you see bright color, but up close the colors have more nuance than that. You can see where drips of the dye splashed onto adjacent colors – faintly, but enough to add interest and depth to your finished work.
Caron Cakes yarn is a joy to work with! It isn’t splitty like some acrylic/wool blends can be, and it isn’t squeaky like some of the other Caron yarns I’ve used. It isn’t scratchy at all. If I had to compare it to something, I would say it feels like a nicer Paton’s, but much less dense. It feels light as it glides through your fingers.
Around the watercooler, the biggest complaints about this yarn seem to be:
- abrupt color changes
- it’s itchy
- long color runs
Let’s start with the colors. Yep, the color runs are long and it changes abruptly. You will be hooking along PINK pink pink pink pink…ORANGE orange orange…NEW ORANGE new orange new orange… If you like to determine precisely where color changes happen in a project, this yarn probably isn’t for you. Unless you are way more awesome at planning than I am, you’re going to have a sudden color change in the most inconvenient spot. That’s just Murphy’s Law.
The color runs are long. So, if you’re the kind of person who likes to work on small projects like hats or amigurumi, you’re probably not going to love this yarn. At best you’ll only get to see 2 or 3 of the colors in your project.
Yes, you could just go pick out five different colored yarns and accomplish the same color changing effect. I like not having to think about color and weave in ends that for a change, since I mostly make amigurumi. Using Caron Cakes yarn is relaxing for me!
Is it itchy? You might think it is if you are used to working with acrylic yarn. When I first touched acrylic yarn after working exclusively with wool and alpaca for years, I had to keep stopping to wash my hands because SQUICK SQUICK SQUEAKY.
UPDATE: A reader asked about washing/drying (Thanks! I can’t believe I forgot that!). The care instructions recommend hand wash/lay flat to dry, which makes sense because it is 20% wool. This might impact the practicality of using this yarn for items that need frequent washing – baby blankets and garments, bedspreads, etc. – if you don’t like to wash things by hand.
I have a front loading washing machine with a delicate cycle that hasn’t hurt anything wooly yet, so I’ll try a swatch in the washer and give you an update on how it comes out.
It’s all in what you are used to. So far, the people I’ve seen with the “it itches” complaints are crocheters who usually work with synthetic fibers (or are allergic to wool). So take the itchy criticism for what it’s worth and go squeeze a skein for yourself.
Some people just hate wool.
Of all of the new yarns I’ve tried recently, this is the yarn I am most excited about! It’s floofy, it’s pretty, and I love how it works up. I made a V-eekender Shawl because I thought if the project grew out from the middle, the number of rows I’d get out of each color would vary and be more interesting. I was right!
I love how my shawl turned out. Well, I say “my shawl” but this one will be sold at a vendor event I have coming up in October.
Here’s how much yarn I had left (I eliminated two pattern repeats…so I cut it pretty close!)
I will definitely be picking up a few many more skeins of this yarn. I’ve heard that this may be a limited edition yarn so if you are on the fence, go grab it now!
Have you tried it yet? What do you think? Show me what you’ve made!
Thank you for reading my Caron Cakes review! Don’t forget to pin and share if you found it helpful!
Pssssst. Are you on Instagram? Come say hi so I can stalk you check out your awesomeness!
I heard you can’t wash this yarn or dry it! Have you heard or saw it on the label?
Hi Pam! The care instructions on the label say “hand wash, lay flat to dry,” which makes sense because it contains wool. This is a fantastic question and I’m going to update the blog post to include this information. Thank you!
I read recently where a lady used this yarn and she said she washed on gentle cycle and dried in dryer on no heat and it done fine and made it even softer!
That is great news, Linda! Thank you for letting me know! =)
I saw this yarn in Michaels and came home to check it out online before buying. Unbelievably I can’t find it on the Yarnspirations website under Caron or anywhere else for that matter. Am I missing something? I was looking to find out what pattern suggestions they offered.
Thank you for your review. I thought just by looking at the ball that the colours had long runs in them and then changed very abruptly. I really wish they had blended more gently and not had so many feet between colours.
Hi Jordi! The Caron Cakes are only appearing on the Michaels Stores websites right now, since they are exclusive to those stores at the moment. Last time I checked, there weren’t pattern recommendations on the Michaels site. BUT, I did a post the other day with some pattern ideas (both paid and free) that might help you: http://www.jensalittleloopy.com/caron-cakes-pattern-ideas/ There are also lots of finished projects popping on up Ravelry for even more ideas. Thanks for stopping by to check out the review! =)
Hello Jen! Found Caron Cakes (CC) at Michaels on my weekly yarn run (don’t always buy but a lot of visual candy). Fell in love with yarn and bought “Rainbow” color to make a scarf for my adult daughter who is an artist. Used pattern on packaging and it is nice and simple. Yarn is beautiful and lovely to work with. I don’t find it itchy at all. You will notice how soft it is once you start to knit your pattern. I love long color run but to change pattern a bit, I cut yarn in between run and adjusted colorway. A lot easier than buying several colors of yarn etc. I am now looking at making a baby blanket so I am pleased that wash on gentle and cold dry would work well. Thanks to all of you who made comments and to you Jen for your overview of this new yarn.
Hi Laurie! Thanks for coming over to check out my Caron Cakes review! Cutting the yarn in between the color runs is a great way to switch things up.
Thanks for the review! Many of the long runs in acrylic have abrupt changes (in the middle of a double crochet). But wool? ALLERGIES! I’m grateful for your review. (BTW, what’s the yardage?)
Hi Susan – the yardage is 383 yd. / 350 m. It’s a medium worsted, so just slightly thicker than Red Heart SS or I Love This Yarn. If you are a fan of the long color runs but not a fan of wool, Premier Yarns has a yarn coming out in October that you might like: Sweet Roll. That is a three color cake and is 100% acrylic. I’m really excited to try it — the colors look gorgeous! Keep your eyes peeled! =) Thanks for reading my review! =)
Thank you for this review! I’m so in love with this Caron Cakes but sadly, it’s not available in South Africa. So enjoy! enjoy! While I can only look at it.
Oh Sougnet! I think we need to create a yarn exchange so that crocheters can get their hands on yarns from other countries! =) Thank you for stopping by!
Thanks for the review! I just bought myself 4 cakes and am trying to decide what to make. I clicked on your review first and I don’t think I need search any further 🙂 Just one question where in the pattern did you eliminate two pattern repeats please?
Thanks Monika, and you’re very welcome! I eliminated two pattern repeats at the end, so basically I just stopped two rows short. Have fun with your gorgeous, smooshy yarn cakes! =)
Thank you for the great review. I am like you. When I read/heard all the hype about this yarn I hurried over to Michaels and purchased 2 skeins of cherry chip. It is not what I am used to using, because I have always used only the natural fiber yarns. However, these Caron Cakes are so pretty and soft, I just had to try them. I chose to make a baby blanket with the yarn I bought. This was a bad choice because of the different colors in this yarn. The yarn would work for a shawl or sweater I think, but not a baby blanket. It could be the pattern I chose too. I can’t say if I love or hate this yarn yet. I will know when I finish this project in another day or two. I will take a picture of it and send it to you, then you can tell me what you think!!
Hi Jean! Yes! Do send photos, I would love to see how your blanket turns out! Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you liked my review! =)
I absolutely love this yarn. I am currently working a Frank O’Randle pattern, Life of Change. Though the colors change in odd spots, it really is turning out nicely. As for The future of Caron Cakes, The Crochet Crowd published this a few days ago….YIPPEE! http://thecrochetcrowd.com/future-caron-cakes-customers-unite-michaels-stores-caron-yarns-respond/
Oh my goodness the Life of Change pattern is gorgeous! I just added it to my queue! Thank you for pointing it out, I hadn’t seen that one before. 🙂 I am so glad that Caron Cakes will be sticking around for awhile!
The yarn is soft..East to knit. BUT.. my skein had not one but Two knots joining threads…NOT joining at the same color. So much for my color block shawl
Hi Shelley! Thanks for stopping by. OH NO. This yarn is one that definitely won’t work if there are knots joining different colors together. Maybe contact Caron and let them know what you found?
See my earlier e-mail. Contact Michaels headquarters in Texas as Caron is their yarn.
To Shelley Z. Must be an oddity as I went through 2 skeins without any knots. I would write to Michaels headquarters in Texas and complain. I have brought the knot situation on one of their other yarns to their attention and was reimbursed. You might do well since Cakes is a new yarn and knitters depend on the established color ways to complete projects.
This is good advice, Laurie. Their customer service is really good so I know it will get sorted out. 🙂
I’m making a bed cover for my 12y using a modified version of the mosaic pattern. I bought 8 cakes, need at least 2 more! I absolutely love the Funfetti colors. I have no doubt that once washed it will be very nice and soft.
Hi Elizabeth! That sounds like a really fun project! I would love to see a photo when it’s done! =)
I bought 12 balls of “Caron cakes all different color blend making an afghan. Love the wool have been knitting. And crocheting for over. 65 years CHEERS!
Oooooh, 12 different Caron Cakes in one afghan! That is going to be really pretty! =)
The long color runs would be great for small projects like bracelets, ornaments, etc.
Yes, totally! That’s a fantastic idea!
Did you cut the yarn and tie on so that each section began a new color ? I can’t imagine that working out “accidentally”. ?
Yours turned out great!
Thanks Sandy! I didn’t cut the yarn for my shawl, but I know other people have done it. I think I just got lucky, but if you look closely you can see I did have colors start in weird places. That doesn’t bother me so much.
Thanks for replying to my question, Jen. I am afraid I am too particular to allow a yarn to change abruptly in the middle of a row. But I do love the color combinations in the Caron cakes.
I purchased the premier sweet roll cakes before the Caron yarn was available. It is wonderful to work with. The color runs are long and do switch suddenly but the colors are beautiful. I crochet blankets for charity collections so the fact that this can be machine washed and dried is perfect. It is soft and fluffy. I’ll definitely be getting some more.
Oh wonderful! I’m glad to hear this about the Sweet Rolls. I picked a couple skeins the other day and can’t wait to play with it. You’re so kind to use your crochet powers for good! 🙂
Thanks for your review. I did a corner to corner blanket for a baby in the colorway Boston Cream Pie. I washed it on the gentle cycle and dried with no heat, it came out even softer. I also cut the color to avoid an abrupt color change.
Hi Sherry! Awesome! I’m so glad to hear that this yarn can go into the dryer – that’s a big deal for people who want to make baby blankets. =)
Have been crocheting with wool, acrylics, wool/acrylic blends (like Lionbrand Wool-Ease) for 20+ years. Purchased Caron Cakes yarn during a promotion from Michael’s. First thing I noticed is that the yarn I received has a strong “chemical” smell combined with the smell I associate with wool. Last night I worked for several hours on a cowl pattern and noticed a red, swollen, very angry rash developing on my forearms. Yikes. I finished the project which was to be a gift. I’m afraid that there is some chemical used in processing that is highly irritating. Will try washing the cowl. Haven’t heard any complaints from the many happy “Cakes” fans but I won’t buy again.
Oh no! I have heard a few people mention their Caron Cakes having a smell – your rash sounds scary! I hope you are feeling better.
I was searching to see if anyone else had gotten a rash from using this yarn and sure enough someone else did. I started using it on Tuesday night and woke up with a rash on my right forearm. I didn’t connect it with the yarn at first. So I continued using it on Wednesday and by Wednesday night started seeing the rash on my left forearm. My husband said could it be the yarn? So I decided to do some searching. I want to finish my project so I am thinking maybe I can knit with latex gloves when I use this yarn and a long sleeve shirt so it doesn’t touch my skin. I hope washing my finished blanket might help. I will keep reading comments to see if anyone else has had this problem. I see doubleshort’s comment was a year and a half ago.
I’ve seen a few people get rashes after working with this yarn. Mine has never had a smell or bothered me or anything. Maybe it is just some dye batches?
Hi there, I am so glad you pointed this out. I made two blankets with two different colors and spent months making them. They smelled moldy to me. I asked my husband and a friend and they didn’t like the smell either. I washed them both at least 3 times with different soap and I ended up throwing them away. I am very disappointed and won’t purchase these again.
There are also several patterns using Caron Cakes on Youtube. Just type in Caron Cake Projects. Enjoy!
Great tip, Beth! Thanks!
Hi, have you heard of any complaints re the cakes ? I bought two Macaroon cakes. I didn’t realize one is missing an outer yellow color. It also had purple yarn barf. It doesn’t appear to have been cut. I was curious if anyone else has experienced this. Thank you !
There are definitely irregularities with the cakes sometimes. I’m working with Cherry Chip now and have found 6 knots in the skein, which is really messing with the length of the color repeats. Yarn barf is typical for these cakes, though. I still love them, but consistency from skein to skein is not their strong suit.
I love this yarn! Yes I had a knot in one ball, I will contact Michaels. BUT — I need to edge my blocks that I’m making. Do you have a recommendation for a solid yarn that will works with the Caron Cakes yarn?
I am obsessed with this yarn. You need to pull out all colors from the middle and wrap each one separate. Walmart now carries Caron cakes in all colors and it is only $4.97 .
Why do the cakes come with dang knots in it like they tied the colors together. Have gotten several this way and it makes the projects look awful if it cant be hidden
Hi Melody! Ooof, I feel your pain! About half of my skeins have had knots in them, and two of the skeins had multiple knots. My workaround was cutting the knots out and weaving in the ends, but if I wanted to do the extra weaving in work I would have just bought separate skeins of yarn! 😉 I still love Caron Cakes though. They do a fantastic job with the color selections.
I am based in south africa and want to import this yarn for resale in my store i would be most obliged if you could tell me who manufacturer this yarn
Hello, do you have a blog regarding washing this beautiful yarn in the washing machine ?
Thank you x
Hi Sharon! Actually I don’t, and I really should. Thanks for the idea!
I love that pattern! I’m the head of a prayer shawl ministry and that pattern would be right up our alley…would you be willing to share it?
Hi Gail! Thanks for reaching out! Here’s a link to the pattern, it’s called the V-eekender Scarf/Shawlette: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/v-eekender-scarf-shawlette
It’s a great pattern for prayer shawls. 🙂
working with three different colours and got about 20 knots so upset will never buy this wool again