Friday, March 27

Phat Fiber March Sampler Box

In the latest issue of Knitty, there was a feature on Phat Fiber Sampler Boxes. The idea is quite simple: indie spinners, dyers, producers of fiber, stitch marker makers and various other contributors send in samples of their artwork. The goodies are put in boxes, which are then sold at Etsy - and that only takes a couple of minutes or so. The theme for the March box was "Celtic", which to me sounded really good. So I just had to try it out. It only took the box about a week to travel from the States to Finland, so it was super fast as well. And this is what I got:

There were yummy things inside...

The multi-coloured braid in front right, from Feeling Sheepish, is "domestic wool", so it's probably from some serious US sheep ;) It looks like candy!

Tactile had put in some lovely, soft, naturally dyed Blue Faced Leicester in two colours. I've only ever spun merino and the native Finnish wool, so am I in for a treat!

The lovely braid in shades of green from cloudlover is also BFL.

The alpaca/merino roving from NorthStarAlpacas will also be a new spinning experience for me. You can smell the alpaca when smelling the roving, I love it! :) Wonder what wet alpaca smells like (as opposed to wet sheep)?

FarmgirlChic sent some Raw Natural Colored Border Leicester / Corriedale with washing instructions, a nice idea.

I also got a dark green superwash wool/Angelina/nylon batt from Wild Hare Fiber Studio. I've also (surprise surprise) never spun anything this glittery (although the glitter effect is actually very subtle and sweet!).

The Suffolk/Hampshire cross roving from eXtreme Spinning differed from many of the others in that it was not in shades of green but in a beautiful heathery hue, which I just love!

Last but not the least (as to the fiber part), Whorling Tides' contribution is a beautiful alpaca/merino/tussah silk blend in soft hues. Do I even need to say that I haven't spun anything with silk in it before and am really looking forward to try it out? ;)

Abstract Fiber's MightySock instantly caught my attention. This superwash merino/tencel blend is beautifully dyed, has an incredible shine and is really soft.

Also Fiberphile's Alchemy sock yarn (superwash merino) is an extremely beautiful yarn, which I might definitely consider ordering someday.

Artemisia Ink sent a lovely, dark brown skein of undyed, bulky Corriedale/Merino cross, seen on the left; the pretty multi-coloured skein in front right is from Plum Crazy Ranch & Fiber Art.

Desert Garden Farms had packed their two cute mini-skeins in a handy box, which might become a home to buttons or stitch markers after I've used up the yarn.

Very Irish were the Erin Go Braugh handspun from Wooliebullie and the sport weight Shetland superwash from Sweet Pea Fibers. Both these yarns are in the white, orange and green of the Irish flag. As I've been an Irish dancer for almost five years now, I thought I might knit a small bag for my soft shoes and use either one or both of these yarns as an accent colour.

I also got three patterns in the Sampler Box. First, there was Mrs Dalloway, a beautiful lace wristlet from The Crochet Side - luckily I can crochet as well! The second pattern I got is Shetland Bracelet by Katherine Vaughan Designs - this might be a nice way to use up one of the mini skeins in the box. I also got a nice pattern for Cabled Wrist Warmers from Katsara Yarns.

Finally, I got a pretty, natural stone pendant from Ambrosia and Bliss and a beautiful green/silver pearl stich marker from Black Tie Fiber Arts, both of which will definitely be used. There were also several (very tempting!) coupons in the box. I wonder whether I'll ever make the potato/cabbage mash (the recipe in the envelope) but I guess it might actually turn out quite nice - potato mash tastes great, so why wouldn't this?

As others have said, it felt a bit like Christmas when I received the box. It was so nice to get some surprise yarn and fiber! Meanwhile, I've already knit and spun a bit with the contents; I'll try to blog about that soon after I manage to get some photos taken.

Thank you Jessie (the woman behind Phat Fiber) for the kind and fast service and for the possibility to get to know US indie fiber artists through the beautiful selection of samples! I'll probably be checking out some Etsy shops soon...


Alpaca Granny said...

Wet alpaca smells better than wet dog. ☺

Wild Hare Fiber Studio said...

I hope you enjoy spinning the Celtic Mystery batt -- what fun that it went all the way to Finland!

juuli said...

What a treat! I must check it out, too - I love surprise boxes. Happy spinning!

Marinella said...

The alpaca fiber is so nice and soft! I plied some of it together with the candy wool from Feeling Sheepish, and it turned out quite nice :)

And I also enjoyed spinning the Celtic Mystery fiber; it ended up with the greener one of the Tactile batts - they go together well!

juuli, certainly worth checking out :) I've also spun some of the wool I bought from you last summer - and I think the beautiful silk/wool yarn (Teräsmuori) wants to become an Estonian-style/Nancy Bush shawl... just have to finish my Laminaria first!

More photos soon, I hope :)