Today we want to introduce the difference between skein yarn, ball yarn, cake yarn and hank yarn.
Hanks yarn, balls yarn, cakes yarn and skeins yarn are often used interchangeably in the knitting community, but there are some differences between the terms. Therefore, learning these different terms can help add to your knitting knowledge.
Yarn is packaged in different forms: in balls, skeins, cakes or hanks. The differences in yarn packaging shouldn’t have much effect on the yarn you choose, but the shape does determine how you work with them.
Some people may use the terms hanks, balls and skeins as the same.
1. Introduce of the hank yarn?
A hank is a different way of displaying yarn in which the yarn is loosely wound into a large ring shape and then twisted on itself to make a package that’s easy to ship and store. Untwisting the hank, you’ll find yourself faced with a big ring of yarn that needs to be wound into a ball before it is used. The twisted shape of a hank is visually appealing if you're storing your yarn in the open.
2. Introduce of the skein yarn?
A skein is similar to a ball but it is formed into an cylindrical shape. It’s the classic shape most people think of when they think of yarn. Yarn can be pulled either from the outside or the inside of a skein of yarn. As you use the skein it will begin to lose its shape and the yarn will be more at risk of tangling. Most knitters find that winding the remaining yard into a ball fixes this problem.
3. Introduce of the ball yarn?
Most yarns that you will find at any yarn stores that sell yarn comes either in a ball or a skein. A ball is literally a round conglomeration of yarn. The yarn can be pulled from the outside of the ball, and sometimes from the inside as well.
A ball gets its name from the circular ball-like shape of the yarn Many knitters will roll their yarn from a skein or hank into a ball for ease of use. Rolling skeins that have lost their shape because of how little yarn they have into a ball is an easy way to keep your yarn from tangling as you knit. Yarn balls do make tempting cat toys which is something to keep in mind if you're a knitter with a new kitten.
4. Introduce of the case yarn?
A yarn cake is a yarn that is wound into a flat 'cake' shape with a flat top and bottom. It's designed to be used as a centre-pull ball which is very convenient as it stops the yarn bundle moving or rolling around when knitting or crocheting.
How to choose those yarns?
Balls, skeins, and hanks are all good to work with. It depends upon the knitter's preferences. Most yarn stores sell in hanks. If you like using yarn bowls to keep your yarn clean and neat as you knit or crochet with it then a ball might be the best shape for you to use. If you like keeping the yarn in containers, then a skein would be the perfect yarn for you. Similarly, if you like keeping the yarn in large containers then a hank would be the yarn for you.
One of the great things about yarn is no matter which style you prefer you can always wind it into that shape. Many knitters find the act of winding yarn into balls or skeins to be almost meditative.