If you’re new to working with yarn, you’ll notice that there are different ways that the yarn is wound. Yarn comes wound in a variety of ways. In this video, Mister Domestic explains the terminology for yarn put ups. There are four ways yarn is commonly available: skein, ball, hank, and cake. Mister Domestic shows each of these yarn put ups and describes how they can be used when crocheting.
He shows a skein of yarn, which has an oval shape. It’s how many craft store and mass-produced yarns are presented. The yarn can be worked from the outside or the inside, although it’s sometimes difficult to find the center of the yarn on the inside of the skein.
A ball of yarn is usually smaller than a skein, typically weighing 50-grams or less. Like the skein, the yarn can be worked from the outside or the inside of the ball. Mister Domestic mentions that it’s typically easier to work from the center or inside of ball than it is with a skein of yarn.
The hank is a large loop of yarn that is twisted together. This yarn needs to be wound before crocheting. The yarn can be wound by hand or can be wound with a ball winder and yarn swift. The final put up is a cake of yarn. Many indie-dyed gradient yarns come in a cake, so you can easily see the color changes. Also, when winding yarn on a ball winder, the result is a yarn cake. This can also be crocheted from the outside or from the center.
I wind all my yarn into cakes before I start my projects. I mostly crochet and use knitting looms because I’ve never been able to use both hand at the same time to knit with knitting needles.