i like to buy fiber. i like it even more than purchasing yarn or fabric. i think it's because i see the most potential in fiber, even small amounts. that little 1 oz of yak that i bought from the yarn tree? it could become anything. i could spin it very fine and make a lace shawl. i could blend it with 3oz of wool and make some warm luxurious socks for spicy. i could blend it with alpaca and make a warm, cozy scarf. the possibilities are so varied that at times it can be crippling, but exciting too.
i've enjoyed being a part of fiber clubs. it's fun to get the same fiber as a bunch of other people and see how different the yarns turn out. it's nice to get a little surprise in the mail every month. it's great to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. but there are downsides too. i haven't loved all of the fibers or colors i've received. sometimes shipments don't always arrive in a timely fashion. occasionally i'll get a bump of fiber that fails to inspire me so it'll sit in the stash for a long period of time.
which is why i've decided not to participate in any fiber clubs in 2011. it's a little sad, because i loved being a part of the CMF club. but i realized that being in a fiber club has prevented me from trying all those vendors that i've been wanting to try for years. i only have so much spinning time and dollars. i feel guilty if i buy more in a month than i can spin and the stash just keeps building higher and higher.
so next year, i'm doing my own Knottygnome Fiber Club. it's simple. I'm going to choose one vendor each month that i've never tried before and make a small purchase. i will do my very best to spin up whatever i buy in that month, so it really is like a fiber club.
Here's a small sampling of shops that i've been wanting to try, in no particular order:
alchemy fibre arts
corgi hill farm
and i'm sure there's many more. if you're a spinner, how do you feel about fiber clubs? have you got any other good recommendations for me?