Sasha here. I'm thrilled to have Kat, the blogger over at AsKatKnits and a Fiber Club member, as a guest here on the blog to talk about her experience with the club. Take it away, Kat!
Hello Sheepspot Readers! I am Kat of AsKatKnits and I was a member of the Sheepspot Fiber Club this year. I want to take a moment to share with you a little bit about my experiences in the club.
While I have been spinning for about 10 years, I would not classify myself as an experienced spinner. I think I still have a great deal to learn and, until recently, have mostly spun the “over the counter” wools that are available at the various fiber festivals or through Etsy. I began to spin some different breeds when I joined some other fiber clubs, but I really wanted to spin “all the wools.” My dilemma was how to accomplish that without buying a multitude of fleeces and processing them myself.
But, then I heard about Sheepspot from a couple of very dear friends and Sasha had some very different breeds available in her online shop, but what really intrigued me was the Fiber Club she was offering. It sounded like it was going to be a very different sort of club!
While I enjoyed participating in other fiber clubs, frequently the color was not something I would have selected. This is one area where the Sheepspot club differs entirely – you are able to pick a colorway from two choices (or you can select undyed fiber!) I initially worried about how the color images Sasha sent to us would translate to fiber, but it was something I did not need to worry about at all! Her sense of color and her talent for dyeing are excellent! I have not been disappointed in a single color selection. The ability to select the colorway was one factor that helped me in my decision to participate in the inaugural club.
I also liked the fact that you could sign up for additional fiber. I selected to get dyed fiber bi-monthly for a year (or six installments) and Sasha accommodated me by letting me get extra fiber bi-monthly for half a year (or 3 installments). She made the process easy to fit my budget.
However, the key factor in my decision to sign up was the Breed School option (which is now part of every 12-month club membership!). What I knew about spinning different breeds prior to the club was sadly, very limited. Yes, I had read things about different breeds and had books explaining the differences between breeds, but that is not the same as receiving fiber that is processed for the best use of a particular breed. The already processed part was especially nice – I work and don’t have unlimited time, so this was a huge benefit for me.
Each Breed School shipment included detailed breed information, spinning notes compiled by Sasha about her sampling of the fiber, a sample of raw and washed locks, and a worksheet to help guide me through the spinning process. It also included an online Breed School chat with other club members and Sasha! I learned so much about fiber over the past year – especially during the chat times, hearing what other spinners were struggling with or what worked well for them, sharing my questions and getting real time answers was invaluable. Making new spinning friends was also a huge benefit!
More importantly, what I learned over the past year has dramatically improved my spinning – both in technique and outcome. Spinning with the best fiber allows you to focus on your technique and when you can focus on that – your outcome is much improved! At least it was for me – this year I spun some of the best yarn I had ever spun.
This past year’s offerings were all new to me except one; however, that familiar fiber was in a preparation that was different than I had spun before. The breeds included this year were Dorset Down, Montadale, Coopworth, Cormo, and Perendale. As I write this, I am eagerly awaiting the final installment.
As the inaugural year draws to a close, I am eagerly anticipating signups for year two of the Sheepspot Fiber Club – I will be participating again, and I really hope you will be joining me!
Sasha again. Thanks so much for the post, Kat! Club memberships go on sale June 22. You can find complete details about the club, including prices and options (and there are lots of 'em) here. Be sure to sign up to get an email reminder so you don't miss out.