July 19, 2012

knit swap

Before we moved to Vermont, before we even knew we were moving to Vermont, I signed up for a tea-themed knitting swap through Ravelry, my first ever. What, exactly, possessed me to commit myself to a swap when I knew we would be in the middle of graduation, job hunting, packing, moving, buying, renting, car shopping, school hunting and all the other lovely chaotic things that come from moving a family from one place to another, I'm not really sure. But I did, and with the swap due by the end of the month, I put together my package last night and now I'm afraid I'm hooked. Because as much as I love receiving gifts (who doesn't), thinking up fun ways to treat a perfect stranger on a set budget - this swap had a max of $15 - was really, really fun. If you happen to by my swap partner, look away! I don't want to spoil the fun. But for anyone else who might be interested in what went into my box, here we go.
Because the swap had a pretty low max spending point, I had to get a little creative in order to fit everything I wanted to send into my budget. This is my first swap so it's possible that this is cheating a bit, but one of the tricks I used was to buy things that came in larger amounts and then split them up so that only part of them went into the package. So instead of sending a $10 box of tea, I just packaged up a few tea bags in little fabric bags that I made from larger pieces I needed for a project for Evie. I was trying very hard to stick with locally made or purchased items for my swap, which often means the prices were higher, but by splitting it, I came in just under the wire.
So, into my box went four tiny tea themed stitch marker (these were the only non-local thing, but I found them on etsy so I was supporting a local artist somewhere) some chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolate Company, yarn sold by the local yarn store and milled at a farm on the Vermont/New Hampshire boarder, tea bags from the Groove Tea Project, which has a great mission,  and a project bag made from fabric I picked up in Burlington at the fun and fabulous Nido yarn and fabric store.

I wrote little tags describing where things had come from and, other than the project bag and the yarn, wound them, along with the corresponding items, into a surprise ball. I'd never made a surprise ball before but it was a lot of fun, I think I'll have to put some together for the kids. They would love the idea of unwinding a ball and finding little treasures as you go. 

Have you ever done a swap? Since it's my first, I have no idea if what I put in is what usually goes in, but I had a great time with it, so I'm not too worried. I think I'll have to make a habit of making a project bag for every swap. I find them so handy and they are fun to make. This time I tried out using a french seam for the edges so that there would be no fraying inside the bag. Ah, I miss having a serger. One of these days...