After being pretty determined not to buy anything in the always-tempting Boxing Day Sales this year, I stumbled across a reference to one at Twisted Fiber Art and... well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Even if I'm a month late sharing it.
I don't feel too guilty though. I limited myself to three braids in colours or fibers I really love. And besides, roving is about the least expensive yarn thing you can buy. Even knitting tools cost more a surprising amount of the time. Admittedly, roving isn't compact for storage, and usually the intent is to spin it into yarn which means it takes up even more time than it does space. Still - as yarn purchases go and assuming you can spin it, it has some advantages over pre-spun skeins.
For example, just try getting a 113g skein of yarn. They're almost always measured in 50g increments, and often 100g is just a teeny bit short for the project you might have in mind. Happens to me all the time.
And forget finding any skein of natural-fiber yarn as soft and non-itchy as a good handspun for as little as $20. Regularly-priced Twisted rovings start at just $16 for Bluefaced Leicester, and that stuff is heaven in your hands.
Plus: there's the question of colour. When you spin your own yarn, you get to decide between tearing the fiber into something that will self-stripe or something that will evolve from one colour to the next, or just be a real mix of Wow and barber pole. Even if you're a lousy still-beginningish spinner like me.
From the top, we have Moxie on Lively, which is a superwash merino base, Mon Petit Chou on the dreamy, gleamy Festive which blends silk into merino (oh how I have longed to justify buying some of this colourway), and finally Trick or Treat on Puffy, a feltable merino.
There's one more reason to buy roving - in addition to the fact that you might be almost out of it, ahem - and it's the reason I bought these three: you can spin bulky yarn from this stuff crazy fast, and knit it up crazy fast too - into a hat, for example - and at the end of that very short period of time you'll have the most fabulous gift you can ever offer.
(or, you know, something really nice for yourself.)