Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Yarn Crush box Review and Giveaway!

We all have our weaknesses.  And mine happens to be surprises.  To be more specific, yarn surprises delivered by the mailman.  It's probably because I live in a fairly isolated location and after the Great Recession many yarn shops in my area closed.  But who am I kidding.  I'm hooked on yarn clubs (I'm currently enrolled in 3).  But don't try an intervention because you can't help someone who doesn't want help.  And I don't have a problem.

When Yarn Crush recently approached me about reviewing their subscription box service they used words I found irresistible "you will receive a surprise box in the mail." I hardly paid any attention after that but did quickly scan the rest of the email and gathered that they wanted my honest opinion blah blah blah and that they wanted to give a box to one of my readers.  I was delighted to accepted on your and my behalf!  You can't have missed that its become increasingly popular for knitting blogs to host giveaways for their readers and I thought why shouldn't my readers have a chance at some swag too? I'm embarrassed to admit it has been 7 years since I last hosted a giveaway and that was in memorial to Mr. Puffy and his namesake teacozy.  I just haven't had the heart to do it since.  But it's time and I hope you enjoy the review and giveaway.

~ The Review ~

First the review.  I had only a vague idea of what would be coming in my box.  I knew it would contain yarn to complete a project; two patterns (one knit and one crochet); and the notions needed for the project, sans needles (all Yarn Crush boxes are "kits" and come with these items). I had expected the project to be a shawl and was completely surprised and delighted to find my box contained a kit to make a cute clutch purse.  So delighted in fact that I decided that before I could properly review the box I would in fact have to make the clutch.  Because it's one thing to say you have everything needed to make a project and quite another to be able to actually complete the project.

Having now made my clutch I can honestly say that I'm thrilled with it!  It's going to be perfect for summer evenings, garden weddings or afternoon tea parties (if I should be so lucky to be invited to one) and definitely was something that my wardrobe was lacking.  I also had fun making the purse because it was very different from my typical project which kept it interesting.  The yarn was a perfect choice and the pattern was well written and cleverly designed.  The pattern is rated "intermediate" skill level and I agree with that rating. Because while the pattern is not complicated it does require a variety of skills such as a provisional cast-on, knitting in the round, working increases/decreases on the wrong side (right and left slanting purl increases) and uses small needles (US 1).  If you are a beginner knitter not all would be lost though because the yarn is gorgeous and could just as easily have been made into a lovely shawl or considered a learning project where you acquire new skills (which you will want to learn in any event as you progress as a knitter).   Speaking of skills I want to give you a link to what I believe is the best provisional cast-on method. I've always found a provisional cast-on daunting but this made it easy for me.  Just make sure that your waste yarn will not felt into the main yarn or you will have a nightmare trying to remove the waste yarn.  I speak from tearful experience on this issue.

The lining for the clutch is optional and the kit did not provide the fabric (just a small amount is needed).   I happened to have some fat quarters hanging about the house (waiting for me to learn to quilt) and one square was a perfect match for this yarn.  I did use an iron-on interfacing but could just as easily have basted on another piece of fabric instead.  The only stressful part of this project for me was when I realized that after sewing my lining to the yarn I no longer had any "give" to the yarn/fabric and along with that came the awful realization that if I was off on my measurements the purse would not fit into the frame! Fortunately I had blocked the purse to the lining template provided with the pattern and the lining template was an exact match to the purse frame that came with the kit so it all worked out well. Needless angst on my part.  I did find it helpful to watch a Youtube tutorial on installing a purse frame to get a general idea on how it was done having never made anything like this before.

Yarn Crush is a subscription yarn club and I want to say a word or two about yarn clubs in general.  They are a gamble but if you are like me and enjoy being surprised and are okay with leaving your comfort zone (i.e. exploring different colors, yarn bases, designs, and indie dyers) then they can be incredibly fun. They usually have a Ravelry forum group where you can post pattern questions, meet fellow club members, and join in the online fun.  Should you receive a shipment that isn't your cup of tea that's where to list it for sale.  In all clubs it is not at all uncommon to see people selling club yarns (designated "FS") or in search of a club yarns (designated "ISO") when they missed out on one. Here's a link to Yarn Crush's Ravelry Forum Group.

Particulars ~  Yarn Crush Subscription Box (December 2015); Hellebore Clutch (designed by Joanna Rankin); US 1 circular needles; 1 skein Zed Lux Sock 400 yrd  (70% merino wool, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon) from Yarn Indulgences; 4 mm Swarovski crystal beads; template for optional lining; and Rhinestone Clutch Frame.  For those interested in making the clutch I've added some helpful (hopefully) notes to my Ravelry project page. Until April 30, 2016 there is 25% off the Hellebore Clutch pattern with coupon code MrPuffy.

A cool part of the Yarn Crush boxes is that the retail value is actually higher than the cost you pay. You can choose to receive boxes monthly or bi-monthly and save more if you prepay for a 3 or 6 month subscription.  The box I received totaled in retail value $50.97 (USD) but the cost to subscribe for a box is $32.99 (monthly) or $34.99 (bi-monthly) plus shipping.

Yarn Crush is currently running several promotions.  You get a free gift worth about $20 (a notions pouch stuffed with surprise goodies) when you sign up for a 3-12 month prepaid plan (no coupon code necessary).  Or if you'd rather sign up month to month you get 15% off your first month with coupon code HELLO.

~ Giveaway Details ~

Yarn Crush will be giving a surprise subscription box to one of my readers.  This giveaway is open to readers worldwide.  To enter all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and include in the comment either your email address or your Ravelry ID (so there is a way to contact you).  Entries to this giveaway will close midnight March 15, 2016, pacific time zone.  The winner will be selected by a random number generator.  Good luck!

~ Transparency Note ~ all opinions are my own.  The only compensation I received, will receive, or want to receive is the value of the subscription box reviewed in this post.

Until next time be well and love well and wherever you may be I hope your Spring will be bright, colorful and creative.


Susanne N said...

Ha, I did not even know there are Yarn Clubs. Well, this is a nice surprise. What a lovely little clutch. The yarn and the color looks beautiful and you just did a great job with the lining. I would love to receive a sample box, which may inspire me to sign up. Thank you for the review (Ravelry: Strickmuse)

Bridget said...

That is a lovely bag - I would have been so nervous about the purse frame, etc.

I keep being tempted to join yarn clubs, but unfortunately/fortunately (depending on your point of view), most I can't easily afford. But occasionally I will see a kit that I'll splurge and buy.

Enjoy your purse, the lining looks like a perfect match!

Sarah said...

So pretty! I love that you knit up the bag first - it looks great! I have never signed up for a Yarn Club or subscription... but have been toying with the idea. It's so true that usually find someone to swap with if you end up with something not 100% to your liking. Thanks for the giveaway! sarahshepherd963@gmail.com or Shepz3 on Ravelry

cltoppen said...

I've been eyeing this yarn club! Thanks for posting. I'd love to win cltoppen@gmail.com xo Christina

Willow said...

I have never succumbed to the temptation of the yarnish surprises but I have always enjoyed seeing yours. The purse looks like an adorable addition to your wardrobe.
willowknits at yahoodotcom

Christine Mahoney said...

Love the purse! Very clever idea!

Northwestkathleen said...

Claudia, it is absolutely gorgeous and you chose an excellent fat quarter for the lining.
I read through your blog and realized this is way above anything I have done.
It is so beautiful and love the color. The 'flower' would go great on a hat too!

I used to have to make socks and gloves when young, and sweaters.
I have never been to a knitting club or class. I can't count and listen at the same time, LOL!

Well done!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Wow Claudia that is spectacular - a very lovely little purse and you found THE perfect fabric for the lining! Someday I may want to join a yarn club- but for now fabric gets all my extra cash, lol.

Gaby said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win. I've always wondered what a yarn club would be like. What a wonderful treat. I would love to win, my Rav ID Is gabyj.

Elise said...

What a beautiful clutch- thank you. I'd love to be in the drawing!

Anonymous said...

My goodness me that is beautiful! I'm off to see whether they post the boxes to the UK too! Vicky from Brum, vwarr@btinternet.com

craftsonthego said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chris goudeau said...

I've been looking at the clubs but haven't succumbed yet. It's still a little pricey for me. I do like the surprise part of it. By the way, the purse is beautiful. My Ravelry ID is wagner. Chris

lisagreenb said...

Beautiful Claudia!! I love subscription boxes- but have yet to sign up for a yarn related one! Crazy I know :).
Hope all is well!
Lisagreenb on ravelry

Andi said...

Such a lovely little purse, Claudia.
Each year I think I should join a yarn club. After seeing this sweet package I am reminded that this may be the year.
Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

MegR said...

How original for the pattern to be a clutch. Beauty. (ravID: mradford)

Robin V said...

That purse turned out great! Nice job with both the knitting and the finishing & assembly.

RobinV on Ravelry

Mary Lynn said...

What a cute project. One can never have too many purses. (Ravelry mlm57)

Denise Morse said...

That is really pretty - i like it a lot (ravelry - uclangel422)

SJ Fraihat said...

Great job love the purse.

Jody Skoviak said...

What a cute purse! I love it!

Rachel R. said...

I also love surprise boxes! I've never been part of a yarn club, but I've subscribed to a couple from Vegan Cuts and have loved them.

RachelKnits on Rav

I. Nantz said...

Your purse brought a smile to my face!
So pretty, brought Spring and sunshine to mind,
would love to make one, thank you for sharing,
Ingrid N
knitomi on Ravelry

sarah said...

Lovely post. Lovely blog. Lovely giveaway. I am crossing my fingers!

PenCraft said...

What a giveaway! Thank you for the chance to win. Love that purse! pencraft on Ravelry

Jeanette said...

I love this clutch! You did a wonderful job the lining matches perfectly! I never knew about this subscription box it looks like a lot of fun. I'm going to have to keep an eye on it. I subscribe to another one but it usually focuses on shawls so it's nice to see a box branching out. Good luck everyone!

Ravelry ID: xeatious
Email: xenula@yahoo.com

Haze said...

Fantastic idea for the surprise present to yourself subscription - sweet project too!
Rav : Hazysummers

Wendy said...

Beautiful work - love the idea of a surprise subscription box

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

Your purse is really beautiful, no one would think it was a first effort. I've looked at those frames in the smaller sizes, thinking about making some glasses cases for Mom. I haven't worked up the nerve yet! KittenWhiplash on rav says Thanks for a great giveaway.

Anna said...

I love surprises. It's surprising that I have not tried out a yarn club yet. I have been weary. I did not know you could sell it to someone else and your prices are great! I am quotku on Ravelry. Thanks for the giveaway.

Whatzitknitz said...

lovely purse. what fun to have a surprise package that leads you to new technigues.
(mjm on ravelry)

sofia m said...

A clutch is a real challenge for me, I have never tried to make one!And the color is very attractive!
sofiami on ravelry

ikkinlala said...

This looks like an interesting idea! I am not sure I would use a clutch, but the yarn is very pretty.


Kimberly Witzel said...

This is lovely! simeze1@gmail.com

Annie Cady said...

I have would love to get a yarn surprise in the mail! As a relatively new knitter I need a push out of my comfort zone every once and a while. I didn't even know that clutches were a knitting possibility!


Kate said...

Claudia, your clutch is beautiful, and so are your photos. I would invite you to an afternoon tea party in an instant, should I ever host one (ha!). In fact, consider this a standing invitation to an impromptu afternoon tea party should you ever visit the White Mountains. Now I'm off to catch up on the rest of your shenanigans.

Ruth S. said...

I just happened upon your blog while looking up a certain yarn.
It is lovely to see all of your projects, great recipes and to get to enjoy the simple honesty of your writing style,
Thanks for sharing all that your do..
I will continue to read your blog. I have a feeling ..it is more of a gift to your readers, than you realize.

Kathleen Morris said...

Such a pretty color. Love it! Delphinium15 ravelery

Anonymous said...

Wow! That looks amazing! I've always loved the idea of a yarn club, but it's always been outside my budget :(

Pamela Eddowes said...

I've been eyeing ordering from yarn crush but when I saw the 3 month price I wanted to do I just couldn't commit. Needing money this month due to car accident I was just a passenger in on 3/4/2016. I love to crochet and have picked back up lately since to being so tired from the meds and having to rest. �� littlemommascrafts@gmail.com

susan Gagnon said...

That is the most adorable clutch I've seen yet. Love the color and knit and your beautiful lining choice. Bravo!! It's a beauty.

cae said...

I love knitted purses. I have made many of the years. I never made a clutch, though. Really like this. The color is beautiful too. 05Granny

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you all for participating and your lovely comments. I very much appreciate that you took the time to comment and hope that the winner will love their Yarn Crush surprise box as much as I did mine!!! Using a random number generator the result was number 34 and Kimberly is the winner and I will notify her directly and forward her email to Yarn Crush.


Fairy Princess Clothing said...

What a beautiful clutch! Everything is just perfect! The color, the knit, the lining!