Ack! I've been caught in my beddie! Abort! Abort!
Dory told me she was too embarrassed at having been caught actually using her bed to give any advice this week. But I pushed her, and here's what she had to say.
I often see ads and promos for yarn clubs--are they worth it? And there are so many, how do I pick one?
Yarn-obsessed in the Yukon
These kinds of clubs can be a good deal, but you have to do some research. Then you have to decide if you should buy more cat treats or yarn. And the answer is always cat treats. But just in case you don't have kittehs (eek!):
First, work out the math--usually these clubs require a lump sum up front, and then you get a certain number of shipments per year. Sometimes the shipment is just yarn, sometimes you'll get a pattern and/or other goodies with your yarn as well. So do the math and see what you're actually paying.
Most importantly, can you afford the lump sum? Even if it's a reasonable price, we don't always have a few hundred bucks sitting around (especially here because--true story--that bad Nelly cat steals money).
Is it worth it to you to pay extra for an exclusive colorway?
Also consider that the patterns are usually exclusive as well, but they're also a surprise--if you don't like them, you're paying extra for something you won't actually use.
Next, read those details. Many clubs will tell you which yarn bases will be included, or which designers are providing the patterns. So if the yarns are all mohair, or the designers aren't among your favorites, you know you'll probably be disappointed.
Then, check out Ravelry. Often these clubs have groups, or threads within the dyer's group. You can browse through past threads and see whether people were happy with the club selections or not, see if there were any problems, such as late shipments, etc. Some people might post photos of their kittehs playing with the yarn, and then you know it's a safe bet. You can also often see past club yarn and pattern selections, which might give you an idea of what to expect.
Right now, Kristen is receiving shipments from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color Club, and she's been very happy with the yarns and the patterns. She would love to do the Knitspot Fall in Full Color Club one of these years, but it's a bit pricey.
Good luck picking your club, and have a purrrrrrfect day!