A Phat Tea Party

As I mentioned in my last post, I purchased my first Phat Fiber box last month. I’ve been following the Phat Fiber blog for a few months now, having stumbled across the concept through the Knitty blog (I love how interconnected the fiber community can be), but had somehow missed how to sign up to receive notifications for when the monthly Phat box went on sale.

Basically, the Phat Fiber box is a monthly box centered on a different theme each time. Independent fiber artists from around the world send in contributions, which are samples of their work (yarn, fiber, teas, gift tags, stitch markers) to include in the box. Secret “drop” times (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) are emailed to everyone on an email list, and then you wait on the website until the boxes go “live.” Hundreds of people are trying to snag a box all at once, and the thrill of the chase is so exciting (and probably devastating if you don’t get one). They are usually gone in a few minutes. The whole point of the Phat Fiber box is to support independent fiber artists and to try out samples of their work. You can either get a “Stitches” (yarn), a “Fluff” (spinning fiber), or a “Mixed” (both yarn and fiber) box.

Each month, the fiber artists who contribute to the box create full-sizes of their samples, whether it be yarn or spinning fiber. Then during the “drop weekend” (when the boxes go for sale), they offer special discounts in their shop. That way, if you can’t afford to buy a box or don’t get one, you can snag the same wonderful fiber straight from the artist.

Last month I saw that the theme was Tea Party, and I managed to catch a whiff of the drop date three days before it was supposed to happen. At first I didn’t think I would try for one because we don’t have internet at the apartment, and I would have to go in to work (which, I work at the church) to use the internet there. At the last minute, I decided to swing into the office, with only about 3 minutes to spare before the afternoon drop time. As I sat on the computer, hitting refresh over and over again, there it was, a Tea Party Mixed box popped up on the screen. Within a few minutes, I had already paid for it and got my confirmation email; my first attempt was a success. Tea Party describes all the things I love: Alice in Wonderland, tea, flowers, lace, British, delicate, pastels and colors, tea cups and tea pots, and more. I couldn’t resist getting this box!

A few days later I got my box in the mail, and I’ve never been so excited to see mini yarn and fiber samples in my life. Even my roommate was excited, and joined in my rejoicing as she asked me to show her the contents of my box. I have since knit up almost all of my little samples into blanket squares for a sock-yarn blanket I’m gonna start making. The fiber will be spun up hopefully sometime this summer into more yarn to knit into squares for the blanket. I was also able to buy one sample called “One Lump or Two” from WishFox Dyeworks that I can’t wait to spin up either.

Finally getting a box fulfilled its intended purpose–I have since become familiar with a bunch of new fiber artists and now have resources for buying great quality fibers while supporting independent crafters like myself. There may or may not have been a couple purchases of full-sized samples from this month’s theme “Greek Mythology” (since I won’t be trying to get the Phat box this month)…