Friday, December 10, 2010

thoughts on fiber clubs

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
funky carolina

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?


  1. Knithound Brooklyn12/10/2010 08:41:00 AM

    hi. I've been in 4 fiber clubs and I've let all but one lapse. And I will soon let the last one go,too. My fiber stash is huge and I want to spin down what I have. I also want to try some of the other vendors and haven't because of the monthly influx of fiber. I am 100% in agreement with what you've said!

  2. I like your idea, and your list of potential purchases for next year. Have you tried Spincerely? Even though I'm not a spinner, I've purchased from a friend. Great stuff. Also, the hobbledehoy batts are pretty awesome.

    (I don't seem to be able to provide html links, but just search on etsy for the following)
    Others in my etsy faves:
    Lime Green Jelly
    Artemis Artemis
    Fiber Monster

  3. My stash is too huge to justify joining a club. But I highly recommend several of your shops listed up there. I might also suggest Butterfly Girl Designs if you haven't already.

  4. I agree with what you've said! You should also give SpinningAwesomeGood a try. I love Shelby's fiber flowers, and the best part is, she does custom orders for no extra charge. You just tell her what colors inspire you, and let her do the work. I'm trying not to buy extra fiber, but can't let go of some of my fiber clubs. I'll be in 5 clubs next year, might let go of one to give others on the waiting list a chance. But I think I'll not buy any more yarn next year, and knit from stash, and my own handspun. I like your idea of your very own fiber club, sounds good to me!

  5. Diana (streetsandyos)12/10/2010 05:02:00 PM

    I like your idea of a personal fiber club. Its like instead of having your fiber dollars already spent, each month is new possibility. Sounds like fun.

    I was in a bunch of fiber clubs this year. It was lots of fun to get something in the mail, and I ended up with some *gorgeous* ones, and of course some that were not so much to my taste. And I still have at least half of it unspun. So I am slowing down, just in one club now (SCF). At some point, all the fiber arriving started to feel like an obligation, and I didn't know what I'd make from them or when I'd spin them. Now, I spin up the SCF each month as it arrives, along some of my existing fibers... feels like progress!



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