by Anne Podlesak
The Phat Fiber Sampler Box has been around for a while, but when the organizer of the box asked if she could send one for us to review, I jumped at the chance, as these are hard to get and go very fast during updates.
The basic premise of the box is to provide a sample from a host of indie designers and stores that carry fiber and fiber-related produts. You can choose a box that is all fiber related (which is what I have to show you here), or you can also opt for one that has yarn in it as well. The purpose of the sampler box is gain exposure for some of the smaller fiber shops, and I was pleasantly surprised to see several new-to-me vendors, as well as a few I knew already. (I was pleasantly surprised as I am an Etsy junkie and do a LOT of surfing at their site for fiber vendors).
The sampler comes shipped in a sturdy cardboard box. The theme for the October box, which I received, was “Steampunk”, and even the packing materials were themed with a late 19th century striped tissue paper, and printed cellulose bags for the smaller items.
There was a nice selection of smaller items, including a bunch of fun stitch markers, in the bags, as well as a group of business cards/coupons from various small fiber shops.
Also included in the box were three patterns. Two of these were for small sample-skein-sized items. The headband pictured calls for about 35-40 yards of DK-weight. I thought this was a GREAT addition since folks are always asking “What can I make with this little bit of handspun yardage?” There was also a copy of the Side Impact Sweater, which would look great in handspun.
And then there was the fiber. Each sample is uniquely presented, based on the individual shop/producer’s tastes. The samples ranged from handpainted roving to blended batts, to luxury fibers. Many of these fibers also had coupons attached to them, so if you found something you loved, you could definitely buy more for a great price. There was a wide selection of colors and fiber types – something for every taste and color preference.
For me, this would be an absolutely fantastic way to find some new-to-me vendors when I wanted to do some fiber shopping and is a great way to support the small-fiber-producer community. Be aware that the sample sizes are small, however. There’s plenty included to get a sense of the fiber and how it will work up into yarn, but the samples are not large enough for any full-scale project with any one fiber. I enjoyed being able to pet the fiber samples, as I think that’s an important part of being satisfied with a fiber purchase, and the samples will allow you to do just that without having to purchase 4 ounces or more. I can foresee several purchases in my future from some of the vendors included in this sampler box.
If you’d like to get on the email list for notification times and more information, please visit the Phat Fiber site at: http://www.phatfiber.com/notifyme.htm. This will get you signed up for the newsletter as well as give you specific dates and times the boxes will go on sale each month. You can also see a list of the previous month’s contributors, as well as the next month’s contributors at the website as well: http://www.phatfiber.com/whatsphat.htm. For purchases of the boxes, which, as noted, sell out FAST, please visit their Etsy store at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PhatFiber.
Please note: All products sent to Ennea Collective for review are completely unsolicited, and no fees or gains were made from the review of this product. The opinions of the reviewer are just that – opinions. Your mileage may vary.
Photos © Anne Podlesak.