The first week of the month is always an exciting time. I subscribe to the Yarnbox socks monthly kit, and the socks boxes are mailed on the first. Shipping is typically pretty quick, so I have my box usually by the 3rd or 4th of the month. Since I never know what colorway I am going to receive, I spend a few days pouring over pictures they post in their Ravelry group on reveal day trying to decide which one I really want to get, and then hoping that is the one that magically appears.
If you aren’t familiar with Yarnbox, it is a company that provides a monthly subscription kit for yarn. They offer several different subscriptions – Classic, Sock, Luxe, and Yarnbox + Artyarns. When you choose your subscription, they give you the opportunity to set some preferences, such as if you knit or crochet, and your colorway preferences. Preferences aren’t a guarantee when it comes to the colors you might receive, but they definitely seem to try to make sure the box you receive is going to make you happy. This is actually one of the features I like most about Yarnbox. I have had other subscription services in the past that I eventually cancelled because I just wasn’t using the yarn. I have yet to be disappointed in a Yarnbox shipment, and I really think the preferences is the reason.
Why subscribe to a service like this? My primary reason was to be exposed to brands that I don’t come across in my normal shopping habits. And let’s face it, it’s fun to get a surprise in the mail once in a while. However, these types of subscriptions are not for everyone. If you don’t like surprises, or are particularly picky about the colors you knit with, the loss of control over your purchase may bother you. For me, it’s worth the approximate $26 a month to get some new sock yarn.
The March box I received this week contains yarn from the Yarn Enabler. I’ve actually purchased some of her yarn before on Etsy – she has a Sock Monkey self striping colorway that is cute, and I bought it when I first started knitting socks. I haven’t actually made those socks yet, but I look at the skein of yarn lovingly when I pass it in the studio and keep thinking I really should start them. Soon. Very soon.
Anyway, this month Yarnbox provided a double gradient cake of her yarn. This means you can knit two matching socks by pulling from the center of the cake and from the outside of the cake at the same time if you like to make your socks two at a time. The fiber content is 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Nylon, which is perfect for socks. You could certainly also use it for other projects such as a cowl or shawl if sock knitting isn’t your thing. The box also includes a pattern, but I will be honest, I hardly ever use the pattern that comes in the box. I like to make whatever pattern suits me at the moment. I’m a rebel that way. (Some people rebel by making poor choices with substance abuse, dropping out of school, or other crazy things. I rebel by making my socks with a different pattern. That’s right, I know how to party.)
There were four possible colorways to receive, and the one I received is Paradise. It’s pretty and bold, but not the colorway I was hoping for. Which is okay for me, I’ll still use it and give the socks away or something, but this is one of those examples where people that would be disappointed by not having control over the choice might be unhappy with a subscription service.
Overall, my suggestion is to try it if you have room in your craft budget for a monthly surprise. You can always cancel if it isn’t for you, and you could destash the yarns you don’t like in their Ravelry group if you really, really don’t like it. I’ll be keeping mine, because I really do like the concept and the boxes are a good value.