Yarn cones versus yarn balls


As I shop for new yarn, I see the yarn cones and the balls. So what is the difference? Which do you experienced knitters prefer? What are the advantages or disadvantages??

Thanks much!

Yarn cones are easily used for machine knitting and can certainly be use for hand kntting as well. Balls or skeins (kind of oblong balls) are also ready to use, like cones. Hanks need to be wound into balls in order to start knitting. I don’t care how it comes, I’m happy to knit with it.

Unless its for a special item I prefer a ball. Easier to tote around.

Walmart carries cotton dish cloth yarn in both small skeins and a bulk amount on cones. I think it’s just easier to wind at the factory that way. Cones are bulky and a pain to tote around. I usually wind some of my cone yarn up into smaller balls when I’m doing dish cloths. Just easier to work with.

Wool and acrylic yarn that comes in cones are usually for putting on a spindle on a knitting machine. You can hand knit with them. I sometimes get good deals on them at thrift stores. But again, it’s easier and more portable to wind them into balls.

Thank you everyone so very much!!! I will check Walmart…and to others points, I see why a cone would be a hassle to handle. Thank you again my knitting gurus.

Cones generally have a lot more yarn than balls. For instance, Lily Sugar and Cream yarn has 120 yards in a 2.5 oz ball, and 706 yards in a 14 oz cone. If you were knitting something large like a blanket, you would not have to keep adding new balls, ( and leaving lots of ends to darn in.)

I’ve used the cotton cone yarn from WalMart a lot for both crochet and knitting. It’s intended for dish cloths and things, I think, but my DD and GD both have knitted sweaters they love (GD at middle school was asked, where’d you get your sweater, other girls wanted one too!) and I’ve crocheted a ripple afghan from it. It’s cheaper to buy that way and avoiding ends and ends and ends and more ends to weave in is great. If I want, I just wind a smaller amount off. Whatever yarn you use, have fun!

As I both machine knit and hand knit, I’m a cone yarn fan because I can easily use the yarn for either method. I find that for hand knitting at home a cone is easier to manage than a ball of yarn. But it is much less portable than a wound ball. Your mileage may vary… pick what works best for you is my motto! :slight_smile:

Check with the shop owner about what is the intended use of the yarn. One yarn shop (the-mannings.com) I frequent sells weaving as well as knitting supplies. Some of the weaving yarns may not be suitable for hand knitting.