Confession time: I don’t knit for the finished project; I’m in it for the yarn. I love soft, squishy, yarn. Chunky yarn, skinny yarn, I love it all. I’m trying to figure out if that means I raised sheep or alpacas in a past life because I can find no other logical reason for it.
My love for yarn is one of the reasons why I like receiving yarn boxes like Knitcrate and Poststitch. I really didn’t think it could get any better.
At the start of this year, I saw a hashtag on Instagram for FibreShare and I knew I needed to know more about it (and I really think you’re going to be glad you know about it now too).
So What is FibreShare?
FibreShare is the dream child of two yarn loving friends who would snail mail yarny goodness back and forth. As told by the founders, Ashley and Beth but they turned it into so much more:
“we are an international yarn and fiber swap open to all crafts with a focus on fostering connections beyond the screen while contributing to the growth of the Fibre-community”
My take on it is like having a penpal but WITH YARN!
I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of this because it’s pure GENIUS.
What makes FibreShare different and more fun than a traditional yarn subscription box?
- It only happens a few times a year.
- You get matched with not one, but TWO potential new YBFFs (yarn best friend forever).
- You get to try yarns you’ve never seen by both commercial dyers and indie dyers.
- And if yarn isn’t your thing, remember they said “fiber” so you aren’t beholden to yarn if you don’t want it (but I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want yarn!).
- It’s not only about the receiving; it’s about the giving because you will be matched with someone to send a fiber (or yarn) package to. (That’s where the word share comes in).
Because it’s not a monthly subscription box, you need to be on the email list to know when to sign up. There is a signup fee of $8.00 but that goes to cover the cost(s) for Beth and Ashley to send packages to those who don’t receive a package from their giving partner. (Spoiler alert – you can sign up right now until June 22nd). Signups are only open for a week and if you miss out? Oh well, too bad. You have to wait for the next one.
What it’s Like to Be a FibreShare Virgin
Before you’re matched up with your partners, one to give to, and one to receive from, you fill out a questionnaire. At first, it almost felt like I was divulging every inch of my yarn loving life and it seemed overwhelming but it’s for good reason. Once you’re matched up with the partner you give to, you get all of their answers to the same questions you answered. When my giving partner got all of my answers, she learned more about me, what I like, what craft I preferred (knit, crochet, spin, etc), what colors I like best in addition to other little fun facts about me.
If you get a partner who doesn’t answer all of the questions, or you still don’t feel like you know them well enough to curate a box for them, then you’ll need to do some investigating on your own. Check out their Instagram feed or find them on Ravelry (you can learn a lot about what a person knits or crochets on Ravelry).
As a virgin FibreShare participant, I wasn’t sure what to do. Both of my partners reached out to me on Instagram and then via email. I exchanged some emails with both of my partners, even though I was only sending a box to one of them. I learned this was their first time participating in FibreShare too so I didn’t feel so alone.
Still, curating a box for someone who is essentially a stranger is scary but it’s also exciting. If you follow #FibreShare on Instagram, you’re going to see beautifully curated boxes with yarn or fiber goodness, tools for the chosen craft, handmade gifts, goodies, snacks – AAAAAHHHHH. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy and pressure to create the perfect package. My receiving partner was wonderful but I wanted to know so much more about her than the questionnaire we filled out could tell me so I created my own questionnaire (download my FibreShare questionnaire here) to send her in the hopes of learning more and I’m glad I did. She emailed me back with answers and told me she stole my questionnaire to send to her receiving partner.
By the time I was ready to send off my package, I changed what I was sending at least three times. In the end, I still wasn’t sure the package was “finished”. There were so many more things I wanted to send from Alaska but it was February and all of the goodies I had in mind, weren’t available until tourist season. WOMP WOMP.
When my package arrived from my giving partner, I was over the moon blown away by everything. The package was amazing. I don’t know if I’m just the kind of person who has no problem with TMI or if she is just an expert at curating amazing things. Either way, I am so in love with what I received. Everything was local; yarn and goodies. She included maps where the yarns came from and each yarn she sent had a pattern. She spoiled me with some amazing teas and she even included a gift for my Reese.
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This is crazy! I’m so in love with everything! Dani you did an amazing job (it’s like we’re the same person ????????). I can’t stop looking at everything and saying “Oh My God” over and over. What a wonderful #fibreshare partner I have. I’m so glad we were matched and what’s even better is having a new friend. ❤❤ . . . . . . #fibreshare #knitting #knittersofinstagram #fibreshareflock #yarn #yarnaddict #yarnlove #tealover☕️ #chocoholic #knittingpattern #handdyed #indiedyedyarn
I’m still swooning.
Even now, I’m excited to send more packages to my new YBFFs. I hope to include some things from the local crafters who come out of hiding during the tourist season as well as some things from my home state of Ohio.
Ready to Get Your FibreShare On?
I’m not trying to convince you to sign up and participate** (okay, fine, I am). There is nothing in it for me (except maybe be matched with you in the future). But if you’re going to participate in FibreShare, here’s what I wish I knew in the beginning.
- The more you know about the partner you’re sending to, the better. Don’t be shy – Start digging and get to know them!
- Shipping from the United States to Canada is international shipping. I swore I signed up for domestic shipping BUT both of my partners were in Canada (and there’s a good chance I filled that part out wrong too!). The ladies at FibreShare do warn that if there aren’t enough signups for your shipping preference you may be matched differently. Not a big deal but you will pay more to ship international and you should label your package as a “gift” so the recipient doesn’t need to worry about duty fees.
- It’s okay to curate from your stash (if you can bear to part with your yarn). I had a few yarns that were perfect for my receiving partner so those went into the package I put together.
- Do not go overboard. It was really hard for me but I knew I’d be paying on weight AND I had limited space in the package. Some people may spend hundreds of dollars to curate their packages (not including shipping)and that’s okay, but don’t feel pressured to do the same. Instagram really has a way of building up insta-envy if you let it. It’s nice to get all of the lovely things but think of it this way; if you and your partner(s) really click, you can send to one another for years to come. This does not have to be a one and done thing. Think of all the fiber friends you’re making!!
- Share what you get on Instagram! The Fibreshare ladies will love to see what you’ve given and gotten. I forgot to send a picture of what I sent to my receiving partner and I really wish I would have.
have any questions about FibreShare? I’m happy to answer!
**I was not paid by FibreShare to write this post. I loved to participate and can’t wait to do it again.