Friday, November 23, 2012

Awesome Swapsome

When I started writing this blog, I really had no idea what would happen. I thought I'd jot down a few of the silly stories that where rolling about in my head for my own amusement, and perhaps a few other like-minded souls might stumble upon it and have a chuckle themselves. And that is really what has happened: it's a place for me to ramble on about yarn and handmade things.

I never expected this would happen:

I'll have to rewind a bit to explain:

A couple of years ago, someone with the nickname YarnKettle started leaving comments on my blogposts, and I decided I'd return the favour and visit hers. Since then, we've had these little one or two sentence conversations on each other's blogs, sharing our delight in each other's yarny adventures. A few months ago, when she was talking about her upcoming visit to Rhinebeck (The New York Sheep and Wool Festival, for those who don't know), I remarked, "I wish I could go with you!"

To which she replied, "I have an idea."

And I wondered, Does she have a teleporter? Is she going to somehow transport me there? What did she mean?

A day or two later, I got an email where she explained her idea: that we should do a swap. We would go out on a yarn adventure and find things we thought the other would like, then we'd ship off our parcels, and then it would be just like we'd been on these adventures together. A brilliant idea!

She sent me a comprehensive list of questions, which was great because I would have never thought of all the details she thought of. We listed our likes, dislikes, allergies, affinities... we decided to include other goodies apart from yarn. We set a dollar limit, and then we were off!

I thought it would be a breeze to get a few gifts for my blog friend. During our last trip to Canmore, I thought I'd take a run into Knit and Caboodle and find something uniquely Canadian to send to her. But while I was there, I froze. I couldn't see anything I liked... or rather, anything I thought she would like. I circled several times around the store, and then I emerged without anything for my swap (I did buy yarn... let's be honest here). I did find some sachets of tea at the local tea shop that I thought she would like.

So, I went home and Tara came to my rescue with her beautifully unique hand dyed yarns... and I dithered even more about which to choose. It took me hours. HOURS, I say. Finally, I chose a couple of skeins (and one for myself, let's be honest here).

Then, that weekend, I made some chocolate truffles to include in my package:

Then, Hurricane Sandy hit, so all my goodies had to wait another week while I worried about whether or not my blog friend would get blown away by the weather. Finally, I sent it off... and I waited. And waited. And waited. And worried. And checked my postage receipts. And waited. And hoped that it would all arrive safely.

I worried so much, that I wasn't even prepared for her goodies to arrive when they did. But they did! And when they did, I opened up the package and read her lovely letter where she described all the same difficulties I had in choosing things. When I looked up from my letter, I saw this. I should not be shocked, really:

But here's what she sent me, in detail:

A tin of lovely black tea, which I've already cracked open and shared with friends. I've always liked black tea, but this one is especially nice because it doesn't have that tannin-taste that a lot of black teas have.

A skein of hand dyed merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn by Bittersweet Woolery (who I follow in Google+, I've come to realize) in the colourway Beloved. Oh, so squishy and smooshy, the colour of mulled wine with a little bit of that froth on top. Yum!

Some wonderful fleece from Point of View Farm in Maine. When I showed it to dkzack, she opened the bag, and her eyes lit up. She turned to me and said dreamily, "It smells sheepy." And it does. Wonderfully sheepy. I can't wait to spin it up.

A little knitting charm. I need to string it on a chain and wear it!

And chocolates... which, ahem... they're on my desk at work, and I doubt very much they'll last very long.

And yes, my package did reach her safe and sound. I really do enjoy giving as much as I do receiving, especially when I know the other person loves the same stuff I do. I daresay it won't be the last time I do this.

Swaps. Awesome. Do it. You won't regret it.


T.M. said...

What a wonderful surprise for you. Harney tea is the BEST! Get one of their catalogs-you won't regret it.

thecrazysheeplady said...


AdrieneJ said...

Hmm, I might just look that up right now!

YarnKettle said...

I am so glad we did this! I wish I had sent you one of the Harney and Sons catalogs. They are beautiful and you would have appreciated the photography.

I hope you enjoy everything. I know I will enjoy all of my things.

Geri said...

Ha ha! I thought she sent you a dog, too! What a great vicarious swap idea.

AdrieneJ said...

Hehe, that would have been a heck of a package!