Our letterbox is a mean and fearsome beast. Unusually narrow but psychopathic of nature, I swear that I’ve heard it growl on occasion. Postal staff approach with dread, and if you saw the state of the few letters that make it as far as the doormat, you’d be forgiven for assuming that we owned a very large and ill-tempered dog.
So when I was contacted about a company that claims to deliver vacuum-packed, letterbox-friendly yarn, I said, “Yeah, right. Charming idea, but you haven’t met our letterbox.” At the very least, some innocent postal worker would lose a finger or two in the attempt.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” they said. “We’ll send you some yarn.” But the physics just didn’t add up: large, fluffy balls of wool versus bity, mean-mouthed, letterbox. I was pretty sure I knew who’d emerge triumphant and un-shredded from that battle.
I was curious, though, so I investigated a little more. The company is called Cosywool, and they supply yarn, patterns, and knitting/crochet equipment worldwide via mail order. Their website is here. Yarnwise, they’ve got a nice broad range from eighteen of the major producers (including Stylecraft, Rowan, Rico, Debbie Bliss, King Cole, Noro, Red Heart). The number of shades stocked for many of the yarns isn’t (yet) quite as humungous as for some of the other major online yarn shops, but their prices are about as low as you can get, e.g. a ball of Stylecraft Special DK is only £1.65 (up to 34p cheaper than from other major online suppliers), and Rowan Felted Tweed DK is £6.35 (up to 94p cheaper than elsewhere). These prices are good. Very, very good.
The needles, hooks, and accessories are all by KnitPro* and Pony, with the emphasis on the Symfonie range from KnitPro, and knitting accessories from Pony. There is only one range of crochet hooks available at present. From the history described on the Cosywool website, it sounds as though this firm is expanding fast, so perhaps more crochet tools will follow soon.
But their big, shiny, distinctive, ‘thing’ is that they vacuum-pack their yarns just before despatch, so that the package will fit comfortably through your letterbox whilst you’re out, rather than sitting on the doorstep being liberally watered by a passing cloud. “Hmm, OK,” I said, eventually. “Send me some yarn. But you’ll regret it, and so will Colin the Postman.”
The next day, I came home from work expecting to see the shredded remains of a package – and possibly of a postman, too – on the ground outside my house. But there was nothing. So I was very surprised to open the door and see this:-
After a brief tussle (pictures too violent for family viewing so not included here), I managed to prise the package from the jaws of the rabid letterbox. Look! Now that is thin.
I’d say no more than a centimetre thickness, max. Even our letterbox is wider than that. It was genuinely difficult to imagine that this pack included real yarn. But it did!
Time to fetch the scissors and set the yarn free. As soon as you begin to cut, the balls of yarn magically** begin to swell.
Yarn! Real yarn… that within seconds returned to the normal proportions you’d expect from two balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky, especially when you give it a little squoosh:-
Also, in the package they send you a mint. At least it looked like a mint. I ate it, just to be sure. Yup, mint. Fresh breath and yarn: what’s not to like?
The website is attractive and user-friendly, which only increases the danger of people like me buying all the yarn. They aim for same-day despatch, too.
To be serious for a rare moment, I was genuinely surprised by how well the vacuum thingy and the returning-to-normal-fluffiness thingy worked for this yarn. The balls of wool are sitting beside me as I write this post, and the only visible sign of harsh treatment is that the ball bands look a bit folded. But hey, you don’t knit with the ball bands, do you? Opening up your vac-packed yarn doesn’t feel quite as nice as when you burrow into an oversized box to find pristine, organza-wrapped skeins of perfection, BUT that’s a trade-off I’m happy to make if it means my order doesn’t have to do time on the doorstep in the company of the local cat population.
If you want a unique, hand-spun skein of something for your glass-cased stash, then you might want to go elsewhere, but if you want speedy low-cost deliveries of major brand yarn to knit/hook (and a mint!) then I seriously recommend looking at this supplier.
∗ That’s Knitter’s Pride to you in North America.
∗∗ Disclaimer: no actual magic is used in this process, as far as I’m aware.
Please note that this is a sponsored post, but all views are very much my own. What? Why are you looking at me like that? A lass has to top up her yarn budget now and again. Yarn doesn’t grow on trees, y’know. Well, except rayon maybe – sort of…
Also, I’m not exaggerating about our letterbox.