I’m not into the heavy mail insanity of penpalling and friendship book swapping anymore, so my volume of big package mail has decreased significantly in recent years. I think I look forward to it more now – it seems more special to get something bulky in the mail. Aside from the round robin packages that come roughly every six weeks, my monthly excitement comes from my stash of the month.
Since 2005, I’ve belonged to a fabric of the month club (or two) to develop a deeper selection of on-hand stash to pull from as I start projects. I’ve collected quite a bit over the years, but I’d never really shared it with anyone until I went to our most recent Rhode Island Stitchers meetup earlier this month. The wide eyes and glee, particularly from Hera, was highly amusing (and she even found use for some of the more… gaudy… colors I had sitting there).
I’ve decided to share the new stuff I’m getting once per month – and maybe interest a few new stitchers in these companies’ wares so we can keep more options afloat in our hobby of choice. Seriously – check these folks out. Buy a sample piece, jump into a fabric or fiber of the month… and relish in stashy goodness that will come to your very own house. You can build stash supplies whilst in your PJs, folks!
I currently belong to three “of the month” stash groups – two for fabric and one for fibers. I’m diversifying my knowledge of different hand-dyers, so I imagine my list will be changing from year to year. I already have another company I want to try sometime in the near future – probably for 2012.
I’m currently getting fabric monthly from Silkweaver and Picture This Plus. Both companies have hand-dyed fabrics, so while each dying has a general color scheme, no two pieces quite come out the same way.
I’ve belonged to Silkweaver’s FotM group since 2005 – they were the first company I found, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with what I’ve received. Silkweaver sends me two fat quarters per month – usually in a one opalescent/one not combination. The counts are a mix of 28s and 32s – sometimes evenweaves, sometimes linens, and the colors are a surprise every month. I never know what I’m getting – and that’s part of the fun. Last year Silkweaver changed distributors, and while the colors are still nice, I do get frustrated sometimes about how many of the edges are no longer serged before mailing (and I really miss the smaller cuts that used to be available for monthly folks). But I can deal with it – my mom has a serger for when I need to have pieces cut.
This month was my first round with Picture This Plus. I joined for their 2011 Sampler collection (which had a signup deadline in 2010, so you won’t find it on their website). I’ll be getting a fat half of Edinburgh linen each month (that’s 36 ct, for those who don’t recognize the names to count relationship). It’s twelve specific colors (I can’t remember what they were off the top of my head), and all are various shades of neutrals – which is the one range of colors I am understocked in with my fabric stash. I intentionally got the large piece so I can spread it around between two or more pieces in my stash. Again – Mom has the serger, so I don’t have to worry. :) I was introduced to PTP via the absolutely insane “Solar” fabric they dye for Glendon Place’s Witches Wheel (which I just so happen to have, and omg, I can’t wait to get started on it sometime this year.)
My current fiber (heh, I almost typed “fibre”… I’m watching far too much British TV) of the month club is from Welcome Stitchery, who does a great collection method of hand-dyed floss monthly groups to develop your stash supply. In their fiber of the month clubs, you get a set amount of colors from one line of threads per month. Right now I’m working on the line of Caron Watercolours, and I get eight skeins per month. Once I have the full range of colors, I’ll probably switch over to either GAST or Weeks threads, since I use them much more often.
Here’s this month’s new stash (from left to right):
Silkweaver Magic (blue) – 32 ct opal Lugana
Silkweaver Pink Waterfall – 32 ct Lugana
Picture This Plus Heritage (green/brown/grey) – 36 ct Edinburgh
Watercolors (8 skeins – Tropic Seas, Autumn Leaves, Peach Melba, Smoke, Parfait, Twilight, Holiday, Mardis Gras)
I absolutely adore Magic and Heritage. Magic could be for any number of pieces because it’s a bright sky with cloud puffs – pure and simple. Heritage has this wonderful earthy brown with tones of green and grey in it – very woodsey autumn.