Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my first knitting swap

Before the holidays, when I decided I wanted to start making my holiday gifts, I asked artists and crafters I know if they wanted to swap--meaning she would make something for me and I would make something for them, then we would swap. I got a lot of indifference and non-committal shrugs, which sort of bummed me out, especially since I love making special things for the people in my life.

Once the holidays passed, though, I had a thought: I bet there are other people like me out there--crafters who love making, sharing, and giving their handcrafts, crafters who thrive in creating and swapping for good fortune!

So, what is the first thing I inevitably do when I do not know the answer to a problem? I got on the internet. I visited countless online communities, some old favorites, like Craftster and MDC, and some new delights, like Swap-Bot, and I found hundreds of people who are looking for other crafters to swap with!

After browsing swaps here and there, I settled on a couple of smaller swaps to get me started, two specific swaps in the Friends That Swap group on Ravelry. The first one I joined is a Round Robin style washcloth swap (you receive the package, you have three days to take what you will from it and add what you want to it, and send it on to the next person on the list). The second swap I joined is a year-long swap in which twelve people participate. Each person (lady, in the case of this swap) is assigned one month, which is the month she receives twelve packages in the mail; during the eleven other months, she creates one package a month to send to the other swap members. Everyone also fills out a questionnaire describing their favorite colors, scents, etc., in order for other swap members to form an appropriate package for each recipient.

I am not Lady of the Month until September, but I have my package ready to go out to February's Lady of the Month. She likes bright, vibrant colors over dark colors and asked for stitch markers and knitting notions. So, in her package, I included two knit washcloths, five handmade beaded stitch markers, two skeins of Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn, and a couple of sample Stash tea bags--Earl Grey, of course.

The first washcloth is a Log Cabin Cloth, adapted from Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne's Mason-Dixon Knitting. I used Lily Sugar'n Cream leftovers in white, blue and a variegated blue. It was a great stash-buster and Log Cabin always looks great! Here is a picture:

I also used Lily Sugar'n Cream for the second cloth, only the colors of the yarn sort of twist to make a fun pattern. I did a basic double moss stitch throughout, and I am so happy with this cloth! The colors are absolutely vibrant! See for yourself:

Since the Lady of the Month wanted stitch markers, this swap gave me a reason to experiment with creating beaded stitch markers. I made about a dozen markers, but decided to include a matching set of five in this swap. I am very pleased with how they turned out, and I plan on making more to list in my Etsy store. Check them out:

I snapped the following picture of everything before I sealed the package:


This package was a lot of fun to prepare, and I really hope the Lady of the Month enjoys everything. I look forward to seeing photos of the other packages she receives. For my next project, I will be starting on the cloths for the Round Robin swap. I am third on that list, so I have some time yet. Sign-ups are still open for all you knitters and crocheters out there!

And this counts as project 47/52 for my 52 project challenge.


  1. Oh I wished you still lived in WI. I know how to crochet, but have always wanted to learn how to knit as it seems to give more consistent results. Perhaps a quick lesson when you come back to visit?

  2. Count me in! You must join Ravelry, if you haven't yet. It's the most wonderful online community and database of patterns for knitters and crocheters.