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 How many of you have tried a yarn club?
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4403 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2011 :  4:16:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In this week's newsletter (which you'll get to see later tonight) we're talking about yarn clubs. I've listed seven fairly prominent and successful ones, but many, many more are out there. So I thought I'd put forth the question to the whole group: Have you belonged to a yarn club in the past? Which one? What did you think? And most important, which ones would you recommend to others?

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2599 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2011 :  5:20:47 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll start. I belonged to one a few years ago. Lovely yarn, beautiful "dye-jobs". The woman who runs it and the business seem very nice, very professional. I loved getting the packages in the mail. But now it's at least 2 years later, and I haven't knit even one skein of it, so I've learned my lesson. No more yarn clubs for me.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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minh
Permanent Resident and Destasher Extraordinnaire

USA
3458 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2011 :  7:42:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit minh's Homepage Send minh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, should I really confess to all the yarn clubs I've tried?
- Blue Moon Rockin' sock club: the colorways push me outside of my comfort zone which may be a good thing (if the colors are too bright for me, I can always destash the yarn)
- Sundara seasons collection: luxurious yarns in deep colors
- Foxfire sheep shares: it's lovely to know the sheep, shepherdess, and farm that the yarn came from and if you double the yarn dose, there's more than enough for larger projects
- Spirit Trail yarn club: a great mix of luxury and sock yarns
- Woolgirl sock club: this one came with a lot of "goodies" but the truth is that I didn't knit many of the kits.

To anyone considering a yarn club, I would recommend asking yourself:
- do you want a pattern with your yarn?
- do you knit smaller projects or do you need larger quantities of yarn?
- do you want semi-solid colors or variegated yarns?
- how fast do you knit???
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keinnod
New Pal

Brazil
2 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  03:19:14 AM  Show Profile Send keinnod a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How I would love to participate in some of these yarn clubs. I'm a missionary, however, in Brazil. Receiving international orders is dicey at best and always expensive as customs are high. Someday I hope to be able join. Until then, KNIT ON sisters! I will cheer from the sidelines!

Donya Kesler

Donya
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  03:32:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm participating in Spirit Trail yarn club - ditto what Minh said

I also joined the Hunt Valley cashmere yarn of the every-other-month club to knit the great american aran afghan and found I didn't want the afghan after all. but seriously heart the bi-monthly shipments of cashmere yarn. It's all that creamy aran color and comes in several weights. she guarantees the dyelot match, and although I don't know how that happens, I've never had a skein that didn't match. My 4 ply (dk weight) skeins are 100 yards and will make a hat or a pair of gloves or fingerless mitts. You never have to quit that one if you don't want to... I have made so many gifts out of my little stash of cashmere.


Early in my sock knitting life, when sock yarn wasn't so easy to find, I joined a sock of the month club that is no longer functioning. I found I never knit any of the patterns, always preferring to just make up my own. That being said - I am still kicking myself for not joining the Holiday Yarn Sock Kit club back when she had the vintage sock kit in it.

http://www.holidayyarns.com/vintage.htm



Bess
http://likethequeen2.blogspot.com
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4381 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  03:55:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a Sundara veteran (and I wonder if Minh will blame me for her habit?). I joined the very first Petals Collection, and then several Seasons Collections. Like Clara, I never met a skein of Sundara I didn't like.

I was in the first Rockin'Socks Club, but I realized that I wasn't as interested in knitting with the yarns/colors as I thought I'd be. It was a lot of fun, though.

I'm a huge fan of Jen's Spirit Trail clubs. She keeps the fibers interesting, and the colors are always beautiful. And there's nothing like getting a little cashmere surprise in the mail!

I don't need patterns with my club yarn, but they're a nice bonus, and I've come back to look at some that I thought I'd never knit. Extras don't matter, unless it's chocolate!

Jane

Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
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sjanova
Seriously Hooked

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  06:44:56 AM  Show Profile Send sjanova a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have never joined a yarn or fiber club. However, recently I made a donation to Pete's Barn Raising that was sponsored by Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. Clara donated two signed books as prizes, but I didn't win those -- oh well, and I have the two books anyhow. But I was delightedly shocked to see my name as winning a 6 month fiber club membership from Ava, Ludu & Bees by lovey dove knits. Tara lives on Afognak Island, which is near enough to Kodiak Island that her mail goes to and from there via float plane. She produces wonderful colorways that really grabbed my eye. But (always a but) I don't spin and it was a fiber club. I suggested telling Suzy to re-use it as a Friday give-away, but Tara very very kindly said she could send me yarn.

I got my first one a few weeks ago. It's lovely bright colors (which I like) called Kodiak Crab Fest, 480 yards, 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon, so I guess the intent was socks, but I just wound up the ball the other day (not a single knot or splice -- I wind yarn by hand) and am looking at the pattern for the Holden Shawlette. The stockinette should show off the colors and the edging looks like waves. And can I pretend it's a Lobster Fest since I love lobster and am not a big fan of crab?

Tara has an etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/AvaLuduAndBees -- no affiliation other than amazement at my superb luck and Tara's generosity and wow, I can't wait to see what she is sending for April, but I'd better get to my Holden this weekend because I want to wear it for a work conference in Florida the first week of May -- should be perfect for an air conditioned hotel conference room.


sja
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NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

577 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  08:58:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been a subscriber to a couple of clubs. The one I love is Spirit Trail. Jen's sense of color is unerring, and even colorways that appear variegated on the skein knit up into amazing tonal blends. I don't need patterns, because through the Ravelry group, we talk about pattern ideas for the yarn. This one works for me because the yarn weights and yardages target the kinds of accessories I make constantly. It's the one gift I gave myself this year, and I'm so glad I did.

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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Whoopdedo
New Pal

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  09:34:55 AM  Show Profile Send Whoopdedo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IMO half the fun is roaming the yarn stores,and falling in love w/a must have. Something new is always interesting to me,however the cost is def.not in my budget.
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

394 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  10:05:33 AM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never joined a yarn club because I suspect it would simple add to my ever increasing stash and not result in more finished projects. I'm always tempted though.
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kbshee
Permanent Resident

USA
4159 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  1:04:18 PM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello, my name is Kim, and I was addicted to yarn clubs for about two years. If there was a club, and I could get in, I got in. I grew my stash with a lot of beautiful yarn.

However, I have also destashed more than half of the yarn I got from the clubs. And I don't think I've knit any of the patterns, other than one or two from the Rockin' Socks Club. And I have enough knitting trinkets now to last me a lifetime.

Minh gives great tips. Here are mine:

1. Do your research on a club. See if you can find pictures of the past year's club offerings (flickr is good, as is Rav of course) and see what percentage of the yarns you like. Then figure out if the club is a good investment for you. Calculate the cost of the yarn and the pattern, and see if the cost is good or if you're overpaying for the extras. And if you don't like half of the yarns from the previous year, it might be an indication that the club is not going to be for you (of course, you can always sell off your unwanted yarn, but some clubs request/require you don't resell for a specific period of time (six months/year).

2. Check to see how easily you can get out of the club if you need to. If you find yourself in a sudden cash emergency, knowing that you can put the brakes on this expenditure is good. If you commit up front and you need to get out, can you get reimbursed?

3. If the cost is high but you still want to be part of a club (like the Rockin Socks club), see if you can find a friend to share the cost with. Then figure out a system that treats each shipment fairly...like alternate months that each of you gets first choice on the yarn.


kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
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71Bear
Chatty Knitter

USA
130 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  1:53:40 PM  Show Profile Send 71Bear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I havnt yet joined a yarn club.
Seems pretty neat..but a few of those seem costly
I learning more about them
Becky

"Works to support her new hobby of knitting and old hobby of mandolin playing"
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bettyboivin@yahoo.ca
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  2:36:22 PM  Show Profile Send bettyboivin@yahoo.ca a Private Message  Reply with Quote
how about some Canadian wool clubs? Would be much appreciated!

bettyj
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Jessica-Jean
New Pal

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  5:14:26 PM  Show Profile Send Jessica-Jean a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my younger years, I got hooked on knitting and crochet pattern clubs. I stayed until the collection of patterns was completed. After calculating total cost ... I swore off. (And swore at my own stupidity!) I'm tempted by such yarn clubs, but I've already got more yarn than I'll ever be able to use up. I'm glad to see how others have dealt with their club aquisitions.
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minh
Permanent Resident and Destasher Extraordinnaire

USA
3458 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  5:27:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit minh's Homepage Send minh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bettyj, if you're interested in Canadian wool clubs, I would recommend:
- Sweetgeorgia mentioned in Clara's article. I've been part of her spinning fiber club and love her yarns! She's in Vancouver.
- Tanis Fiber Arts in Montreal: http://www.tanisfiberarts.com/clubs.html
- Zen Yarn Garden in Ontario: http://zenyarngarden.com/
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jgd
New Pal

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  8:07:43 PM  Show Profile Send jgd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love indigodragonfly's Smart-A** knitters/World Domination Club (sign-ups are open now for the next year - http://indigodragonfly.wordpress.com/smart-ass-knittersworld-domination-sign-ups-now-open/)

She's a Canadian dyer working out of Haliburton, but I know she ships internationally as well. Each of the packages comes with, yarn (the last two have been all or part cashmere!) a pattern and artisan-made swag. It's a great club - with an attitude.

I never thought I would sign up for a yarn club, but as soon as I saw this one I knew it was my kind of club. It's great to come home after a long day at work and discover something pretty and soft waiting for you in your mailbox - and it's got me trying yarns and patterns I may not have picked myself, but I love.
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marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2011 :  08:35:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been in a yarn club once. I liked the experience, it was well run and organised (posh yarn) and the yarn was lovely but in the end I've never done it again. The main reason is that indeed the yarn I got from the club stayed quite a bit longer in my stash than many other yarns...

Marjolein

http://kantajour.blogspot.com
my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
On Ravelry: Marjotse
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lella
Permanent Resident

9712 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2011 :  3:30:23 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm far too slow a knitter to be getting yarns once a month from Anyone, even Spirit Trail or Sundara, both of which I LUST after. DH would do a back flip off the shade patio if he saw more yarn coming in, even once a month, when half the bedroom storage is sock or sweater yarn. We won't even talk about the SR closet full of yarn from when I worked at a yarn shop.

In me it's a sickness. It's sort of harmless, but still, it's a sickness. My Dad and sister both had it. Dad had the hots for wood, and Sis for, of all things, picture frames. She's mad about them.

Lella

Zippiknits

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2011 :  6:18:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I joined a couple of the clubs from Simply socks over a few years, with the last one in 2009, as I recall. Each one was for a limited time. Although I'm thrilled with the yarns, I have knit only one pair of the socks (my own pattern choice), so "think" I learned my lesson on those. I keep saying I'm going to package up my endless supply of sock yarn and sock patterns into my own sock club; put in zipper baggies all in a giant barrel and draw out one randomly every two months or so. I really don't need someone else to pick those for me.

However, I keep looking at some of those CSAs ... don't know how long I'll be able to resist one of those.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  07:15:21 AM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never looked into a yarn club and didn't realize it could be so expensive. Like lella, I'm much too slow a knitter to want yarn coming in the mail (though thinking of Spirit Trails has me second guessing that!). I also have, for me, a pretty big stash and DH would NOT be happy if my yarn moved in on his DVD collection!.

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

2010 FO: two pair felted clogs, two chemo caps for Mom 2011 FO: BYOB (market bag), Hedgerow Mitts, pair of wristers/sweatbands, Baby Alpaca Grande Vest




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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2661 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  08:52:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sja, thank you for telling us about AvaLudu & Bees - I had to click right over and look at Tara's gorgeous colors! My birthday is coming soon... and now, so is a braid of her BFL in I'm Your Huckleberry.

Kim and Minh both give some great tips. I have belonged to many clubs over the years, from Sundara to Yarn-of-the-Month to the Elann sample skein subscription. The one I return to again and again is Spirit Trail - I am an unabashed fan of Jennifer's colors and fiber choices. This year I am doing that one and Barb Parry of Foxfire Fiber. I love getting surprises in the mail and I know these are yarns I will love (and use. Well, mostly use. Or just fondle.)

Luann

Knit and let knit!
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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