I’m a Sucker for Mail Order

The excitement of not knowing what's inside.
The excitement of not knowing what’s inside.

For as long as I can remember I have loved getting mail. As a little kid, everyday I would rush to the mailbox to see if anything was addressed to me. Nothing has changed since then, except I get more mail — bills being the least favorite of course.

I know lots of people who avoid shopping online or through catalogs because they like to see the item in person before paying. I’m the opposite, I love the excitement of getting a package and seeing if what I chose is as good as I thought it would be.

However, there is one type of mail order that I have been reluctant to try even though it creates the most excitement of surprise — mail order subscriptions. I’ve never liked anything enough to warrant a subscription to it. $50 a month for the latest makeup or bottle of wine was just too big of a risk. However, I just came across a subscription service that is sure to please me every month — yarn.

I was reading my latest issue of Interweave Crochet Accessories and came across an ad for a business called Yarnbox. It is a yarn, pattern and goody box subscription. I was so intrigued I put the magazine down and started googling. Not only was there Yarnbox, but there was another exciting subscription service called Knitcrate.

I immediately decided to become members of both. Now I’m eagerly awaiting my two monthly boxes of yarn, but I’m not the only one to benefit from these. I’m going to be doing some stuff with these to help you out as well.

What will you (my readers) get from these subscriptions?

1. Unbiased reviews of the overall box.

I’m paying for these myself, I did not ask the companies for any freebies so I can be totally honest about what I’m receiving. I’ll do a price breakdown (as best I can) and make sure the subscription is worth it.

2. Video and picture reveals.

Share in the excitement of opening the box. I’ll share videos and pictures of the unveiling and my first reactions. The subscription retailers sell their leftover stock so if you’re afraid of the monthly commitment or not knowing what you will get, this will give you a sneak peek of what you can buy from them beforehand.

3. Reviews of the yarn and goodies.

I have a couple of favorite yarn companies that I work with on a consistent basis. This usually leaves me hesitant to try new brands and independent yarn companies. These subscriptions will push me out of my comfort zone with labels I don’t usually get a chance to work with. I’ll share with you my feelings about the yarn and how crochet friendly it is to work with so you can make a more informed choice when shopping.

4. Patterns made from the yarn.

Yarnbox asks if you prefer crochet or knitting, and Knitcrate is more knitting centric so I’m going to use my yarn for crochet good. If you are subscribing and didn’t get a crochet pattern, have no fear, I’ll use at least one skein in the kit to come up with a new free or paid pattern so you will have something to work with if you need it.

5. Giveaways

Some months I might make a pattern from one skein and have one leftover. Or maybe I receive a duplicate tool. I’ll host giveaways with items from the boxes so you can share in the fun.

Here is the breakdown of the two services in case you want to go join right now so we can get our surprises at the same time.

yarnboxYarnbox

Price: Varies from $35 to $39 per month depending on how many months are purchased in advance. They also have a bi-monthly (get a box once every two months) for $21/month (so it’s billed as $42 total for the box). Shipping is included on all subscriptions.

What I bought: One month subscription for $39 (will upgrade if I like it).

When it ships: Third Monday of the Month

Overall Impression of Website: Liked the fact that they asked me if I like to crochet or knit more. Hopefully that will translate into receiving crochet patterns and tools instead of knit. They also ask if you prefer small, large or no preference on needle size and bright or muted, or no preference on yarn colors. Not sure if the box will be tailored to my choices or if those are just survey questions that help shape what goes in the box. If you care I had no preference for needle/hook size and asked for bright colors. We’ll see what I get in a couple of weeks.

The website had lots of info on the program and was easy to navigate. Checkout was simple, they only take credit and debit cards, no Paypal. The charge already shows on my card so be ready to pay when signing up even though the box won’t ship right away.

knitcrate

Knitcrate

Price: Varies from $22.50 to $65 per month depending on what box you choose. They have 8 different subscription catagories (ie. baby, indie, fiberbox). They also have a bi-monthly (get a box once every two months) for $13.75 to 35/month. They also allow add ons. For example, suppose you purchase the baby box and want the fiberbox as well, you can add on the fiberbox at checkout for extra money. Shipping is included on all subscriptions.

What I bought: One month subscription for Int/Adv Knitter for $55 (I’m in no way an intermediate or advanced knitter but I’m hoping the yarn choices will include lace weight which is usually an int/adv skill set type yarn). I also purchased the “catch up” payment option which allows me to receive this month’s (January) box. Otherwise I would have had to wait for February.

When it ships: Middle of the Month

Overall Impression of Website: The website is loaded with stuff. Not only do they have subscriptions, but you can purchase past boxes as well as lots of knit and crochet goodies, a la carte yarn and patterns.

I saw past boxes that were made specifically for crocheters though that doesn’t seem to be an option any longer. Maybe not enough interest. Hopefully that will become an option once again. Maybe if anyone who wants to join after reading this tells them “Deja from Crochet Ever After sent me” they might get a hint to start carrying it again.

They do have a loyalty program and point program so you can receive points for reviewing their kits on their site and get freebies at your 7th and 12th consecutive month of Knitcrates, so that is a plus over Yarnbox. I’ll have to see if the yarn and goodies is enough to keep me subscribing if there is no crochet specific kits to be had.

So be sure to follow the blog if you want to see what I get when my boxes come in. And if you’re a member to either service let us know what you think about them below.

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4 thoughts on “I’m a Sucker for Mail Order

  1. Yes, getting mail is a lot of fun!! Happy your having a good time with those programs, maybe sometime in the future for me…but checked them both out!! Nice! Sandy

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