I’m very late to the game this go around, but I’m finally here with an unboxing video for my May Fiberista Club yarn! As usual, I cover this info in the video but I know not everyone is interested in 14 minutes of rambling. If you just want to see what was in my box, scroll down or skip ahead to 7:15.
Once again, my yarn shipped and arrived without issue, even without the aid of my obsessive stalking. I was on the road at the time but I believe I received shipping notification on a Thursday or Friday and my box was safely at my local Post Office by Monday. Our shipments arrived in standard poly mailers, but Fiberista Club has indicated that they’re test driving some other packaging options, so that may change going forward.
Perhaps the biggest news of the month is that Fiberista Club announced that they’re ready for expansion. They’ve opened some new spots in the current club and are gearing up to introduce two new subscription options. Existing subscribers currently have the option of joining a garment club (10 skeins, paid for over the course of a few months) and sock club (1 skein of sock yarn, shipped monthly). If you want full details, check out the Ravelry thread here. While I’m trying to shift my knitting to be a bit more garment-focused, 10 skeins of a luxury yarn is well beyond my budget and level of expertise at the moment. That sock club though…. you have my full attention! I immediately commented to ask if it was possible to convert a regular pre-pay (I have 4 months remaining) to a doubled sock club. The math doesn’t work out perfectly, but it’s very close. On that note, I sound ridiculous when I explain this in the video. Obviously I know that $22.50 x 2 = $45. I was saying “around $50″ because the current club is around, though not exactly, $50. Sigh. Chatting on video seems quite easy, I know, but I clearly find it tough to not sound dumb when I only have one take! I haven’t gotten an answer on my doubled sock club subscription, but I also haven’t emailed them directly, so this is no one’s fault. I’m going to sit on the idea for a bit before I ask for special treatment. I’m still rolling the idea around in my head because I’m certainly not unhappy with what I’ve received, but I suspect I’d be happier with 2 skeins of sock yarn. The only thing stopping me from immediately increasing my subscription is the fact that I decided to join the Yarnbox Sock club before FC announced their new plans. The pre-sale FC Sock Club option ends tomorrow, so I already know I’m going to miss the deadline on that bad boy. For once, I’m exercising some patience and will come back to the idea in a few months once I see what both sock clubs yield.
Next up… man, guys, I’m so wary of throwing too many opinions out into the Internet world because these videos have attracted quite the range of feedback to my email and Ravelry inbox. I’ve met some buddies and some people who are very unhappy. There are compliments, there are complaints, there’s just… people have a lot of feelings about a lot of things. I love filming the unboxings because I think it heightens my excitement for something I may otherwise open, then just set aside (I’m remembering you, Birchbox and Ipsy). I re-film the little intro bit only if I’ve been interrupted but the unboxings are always a one shot deal. My ramblings are my true feelings and I can’t really go back and change my first impressions of our boxes. I’m very sensitive to the fact that Fiberista Club is a small business owned by two people that we “know”, at least on some level. I certainly didn’t know them before I subscribed. While I expect a certain level of customer service and satisfaction when I spend money on something, I also realize…. running a business is hard. Maybe I’m more understanding and forgiving than others? Maybe I care less? Maybe (probably yes) I realize that when you give yourself to a business, people like to take as much as you’ll let them. In my experience, with my business, the more available you make yourself, the more people expect and want. Through that lens, I understand that the club currently isn’t perfect, but it’s also not the end of the world if there are some hiccups. I could go on and on, but if you want the final word without explanation or qualification, yes, I’m happy with Fiberista Club. Will I continue after my 6-month pre-pay ends? I’m not sure yet.
If you aren’t following along on Ravelry, I’m sure this all reads like a bunch of cryptic rambling. If you are in the club and want to share thoughts, send me an email or message me on Rav. If you’re considering joining the club, here’s my quick & dirty recap:
Are you happy with Fiberista Club? Yes, happy enough. After working with last month’s yarn, I would say I was very unhappy and considered asking for a refund for my remaining pre-pay. This month has totally redeemed the club for me.
Is it worth the money? This is questionable and is really my main sticking point. I don’t think we’ve received anything bad, I do think that it isn’t always the same “value” I was expecting. Every month we get some kind of fun swag (tote, needle gauge, measuring tape). I obviously enjoy these items (check out the videos for proof, sometimes I freak out) but I don’t feel like they have a real dollar amount of worth. Were you to add up the total and say “swag = $5″… I think that’s kind of a joke. But I like them! I don’t think I’d miss them if they were gone. When it comes to yarn, I personally expected we’d be getting something closer to the $60-75 “value” of yarn in our boxes. Some months have blown me away (February, enough yarn for TWO projects!) and some have been a disappointment (April Chromatique was amazing on first impression but I wasn’t happy with the actual yarn). Overall, I think the boxes are always “worth” what they have inside them, but aren’t always what I would buy myself. If you have the disposable income to get surprise yarn, it’s great. If you don’t and you have a great local yarn shop, maybe you’re better served treating yourself to a once-a-month $50 splurge. I’ll be honest and say that I’m borderline on how well it fits into my ideal disposable income spending. I can certainly afford it and knitting is my prime (only?) hobby, but that $50/month could go elsewhere. So.. ya know…
How are the patterns? I have not been blown away by the patterns but I also expect a lot from my patterns. Fiberista Club has started releasing Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced patterns and I look forward to seeing how this develops. This month’s shawl isn’t on my To-do list currently, but I could see myself making one in the future. I do wish that our patterns arrived with our boxes. It’s only natural that clubs are compared to each other and I’m fairly certain that “the other guys” send a pattern picture in the boxes. I want to get my pattern with, or in advance of, my yarn. I can totally see people opening their yarn and loving it, then looking at the pattern and loving it, and just casting on immediately. When we receive the patterns days or weeks later, the excitement has subsided and the yarn is much more likely to disappear into The Stash.
Final thoughts? In my ideal world, all shipping chatter would disappear from the Ravelry boards! Ha! Some months I’m busy and don’t think about my yarn, some months I’m really excited and track that box multiple times a day. I would rather Fiberista Club release a blanket statement such as, “yarn arrives by the 15th of the month”. If the box arrives early, it feels like a bonus. If the box arrives on the 15th, it’s exactly as expected. Real problems with shipping are obviously a legitimate concern, but I think the group as a whole tends to get riled up during shipping and that heightens the tone of everything. Instead of an issue being just about shipping, it snowballs into a whole mess.
Although I’m happy with my subscription, I decided that the referral link still feels like I’m “pushing” a club that I obviously have mixed feelings about. I’ll continue to spend my money on the club, but feel uncomfortable unequivocally telling something else to do so. I’d rather keep my opinions totally honest and not get a referral credit than keep things super positive just to push referrals. I’ll never straight up bash someone else’s company, so I sincerely hope my comments come across as critical but generally supportive and encouraging. If you are interested in Fiberista Club and have more questions or would like me to get credit for referring you, send me an email!