Monday, September 8, 2008

The Best Sock Club Ever!

Ok, I admit I'm biased because the sock club is run by the local yarn store I work at, so I get to be one of the designers.
And I haven't actually ever belonged to a sock club, so it's not like I have concrete information to compare it to. But I know Cynthia did a ton of research before she designed our club.
So it's pretty brassy of me to call The Knitting Central Sock Club the Best Sock Club Ever, but everyone exaggerates sometimes.
The main difference, from what I've seen, is that sock clubs are usually run by people who spin, dye, or do both to yarn. So you always get their yarn, which means you had better like it.
Since we're a yarn store we have access to a wider variety of yarn, so our hook is you know that you are pretty likely to get yarn you know and love, because they've been sold in the store at some point. Which yarn you receive is still a surprise, but the anxiety of whether you will like it is reduced.rainbow swirl done

For instance, last year's yarns included Koigu, Bearfoot, and Jitterbug. Although we did introduce some new ones through the club, like Alchemy's Temple. We hadn't carried that before and it's delicious.
The majority of the staff love making socks, and we've slowly groomed our customer base to think like we do. All the patterns for the club are designed by either a staff member or a teacher.
Making another attraction, at least for our local customers, the fact that they are familiar with us, our abilities, and in many cases our designs already. Yet another safety net!
We also set up a private Yahoo Group for club members to post questions, discuss the yarn and pattern, and share pictures of their progress. That month's designer was right there with them to make sure everything was ok.
Since a focus of our club was on enhancing abilities, each package included a letter from the designer about the yarn or technique used for the sock design. (Mine was a discussion of negative ease that was very well received, if I do say so myself.) And there was always a little gift as well.
The club was well received last year, so we've decided to do it again. There are some changes. This year we're going to focus more on the techniques in the design, so there will be more solid and semi-solid yarn (last year we did all variegated). And the club is going to run for 6 months instead of a full-year (there will possibly be another 6-month club next year). Among the feed back we received when we launched the club last year was that a year was a long commitment, or people were in other clubs and didn't want to over commit. So this address that issue.
Oh, I forgot one of the best parts! Since Cynthia orders the yarn special for the club people can tell us what color(s) they don't want, so they didn't have to worry about receiving something they wouldn't like. (I was surprised at the number of people who didn't want red.) And we did our best to ensure people still received a variety of colors.
It's just something to thing about. Many of the staff/designers and club members are on Raverly, so you can check out last year's socks that way, and we're going to put pictures of them on the store website,
Details are on the store website. Sign-ups close Sept 30, you can do it over the phone. The first package goes out in October, so don't delay!

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