Magic cake shawl… or what to do with your gorgeous leftover yarn

So you’ve finished your crochet project, and you have leftover yarn. It’s beautiful yarn. You think all yarn is beautiful, sure, but this is really beautiful yarn.

Repeat x every single FO in your life. That’s a LOT of leftover yarn.

What’s a crocheter to do with all this beautiful fiber? Let it go to waste? No way! This is where the Magic cake shawl comes in.

I first learned about magic cakes at the Twist Fiber retreat last year, and ever since, my leftovers have gone into a basket specifically for them.

Magic Cake, shawl recipe


300g to 400g various leftover yarns, sorted or unsorted;

  1. Sort it by texture / colour / weight – the sky is the limit.
  2. Let randomness sort it as you work through the steps.

Hook appropriate to the (biggest) yarn weight used;
Yarn winder (optional);


Let’s clear one thing up: if stripes that don’t end at the very edge of your item bother you, this is not for you. If stripes should all have the exact same number of rows, this is not for you. This is a totally meditative project, one that lets you go back to completed projects in your head once you hit that yarn in your magic cake. BUT it does require some letting go.

So, now that you’ve let go:

Get our your yarn winder, pick a leftover (Leftover 1), and wind it. You can also do this by hand, but will probably appreciate the speed of the winder if you have one.

When you reach the last foot or so of yarn, pick another leftover (Leftover 2) and tie its end to Leftover 1 using the sturdy Fisherman’s Knot. This knot is basically impossible to unknot if done properly.

To complete a Fisherman’s Knot, you tie a knot OVER Leftover 1 with Leftover 2; and a second one UNDER Leftover 2 with Leftover 1. Pull on both tails to bring the 2 knots together. Tug at them a few times to make sure your knot is secure, and cut off excess yarn.

Fisherman’s knot via Wikipedia

Hopeful Honey also has a great video tutorial on YouTube.

Repeat these steps with approximately 300-400g of yarn – I use a lot a fingering and worsted weight yarns, and this is a good quantity to get a nice size of shawl. I like to attach yarns to each other from largest to smallest leftover quantity (if you work from the outside of the cake; the opposite if you’re more of a center pull kinda person).

Once you’ve wound all your yarn, it’s time to crochet. I like triangle shawls, but you could make a scarf, or even a lap blanket with your leftovers. It’s up to you, really. And how much you’ve got!

Here is my go to triangle pattern (pictured above):

Ch 4, sl st to 1st ch to form ring.

Row 1: Ch 1, 5 sc in ring. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, sc in next, 3 sc in next (mark middle sc), sc in next, 2 sc in last. Turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, sc in ea sc to marked st, 3 sc in marked st (move marker up), sc in ea sc to st before last, 2 sc in last. Turn.

Repeat row 3 forever and ever! Or until you run out of yarn 😛

Best of all, there are only 2 ends to weave in when you’re done. =)

Will you be trying this technique?

Julie xx

1st time here?

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