PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Exchanges and Angels

I've not had great luck with swap exchanges. Back when the Ample Knitters list was churning strong, an offshoot started a spoiler exchange, that was knitting-related. I signed up, thinking it would be fun - the idea was to send something each month, I think it was for 3 or 4 months. So a relatively substantial commitment, but it didn't need to be expensive, just a small surprise in the mail, and I think it also culminated in a larger present as the last item. So I sent off my package and waited. And waited and waited and waited. My spoilee loved her stuff, and I may have even sent her a second package, but then after all my waiting, I pulled out. (And alerting the hostess to the situation.) After all, it's great to make another person happy, but the person who had me shouldn't be raking it in without paying it forward, right? I did get presents from people who knew me, personally, because they felt so bad for me - lovely and kind, really, and I was overwhelmed by that, but it still didn't let the person who had my name off the hook.

That was about three years ago, and I've watched other swaps come together - Kristin has done them, there's the huge Sockapalooza, - and while I've read all the successful posts for those people, I still felt the burn and hesitation. Plus, hey, let's face it. I'm a selfish sock knitter. Less so now, but at the time, I was all, "huh, no, I don't knit socks for very many people, let alone a stranger!" So when I spotted the International Scarf Exchange on HPNY's blog, I thought, there's one I could do. A scarf. I'm the queen of scarf knitting. I even chronicled my own drama knitting the scarf for my recipient, Rochelle. I had great fun putting everything together for her, because we had similar tastes in yarn and colors.

Sadly, the person who had my name - and wrote me several emails, all very animated and inquisitive - has stopped communicating. Because she was so involved before the mailing deadline, I can only imagine that something bad has happened, and I just wish she'd let me know what happened - anything is better than the silence, really. That's the one piece of advice I'd have, for swap participants, if something bad befalls you & you can't uphold your end of the swap, just TELL the people affected - it's so much better than what the imagination constructs. And the feeling of empty the silence brings. The ISE5 hostesses have a great angel system set up, and because of the amount of time that has passed, I have a new person knitting for me. And oh, the email I got this weekend was hilarious and adorable, because I think my angel is in Taiwan and using a translation program to email me: "I am newly assign for yours pal, I crossed period of time for you actually not to receive the scarf to feel indignant... " Oh, it's like we were matched in heaven. Indignant, indeed. A word I don't ordinarily think of, but it couldn't be more perfect, and I'm thinking about how fitting the IndignantKnitter moniker really is for me. She also picked up on my dislike of pastels ("the tints"?). Too cute.

So, I don't know - I haven't decided how I feel about swaps - ambivalent is probably the best word right now. You'd think my odds would vastly improve if I participated in one again - after all, the majority of people get their stuff. I just think of the other work-related "secret santa" or "secret cupid" things I've done, and one of those always leaps to mind - oy. The secret cupid that had me (years ago) did a pretty marginal job, and your brain always thinks, well, maybe it'll be a nice big present at the end, don't get.... indignant...... and then I got a three-inch resin bear eating honey from a pot for my final gift. Yeah. I did get a lot of laughs from friends over that one. Like, really, please. Tell me that in my personal style and how I decorate, I don't exude Resin Figurines as something I'd like to have.

Indignant, indeed.


posted by PlazaJen, 9:49 AM