Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Secret Pal and Swaps thoughts

I've been doing some thinking about swaps, secret pals and the like. Trying to clarify how I feel about things. When I returned to knitting last fall there was no that I'd be blogging. I've had a couple of homeschooling blogs and I've always found them a great way to connect with other people who have a similar lifestyle. I was and still am surprised by the interesting knitting blogging community. For me, blogging makes knitting much more social and I really enjoy that. I don't have any real life knitting friends or knitting groups. Other than blogville, I don't know any knitters at all.

One of the first things I discovered when I started this blog was swaps. I was amazed at the diversity and participated in my first two swaps - Knitters Tea Swap and Chocolate Swap. I received wonderful packages from both of my partners and was thrilled with all my goodies. I tried yarn I'd never tried before and discovered my now favorite tea. I put a lot of thought into both of the packages I sent and neither of my partners sent more than a cursory thank you. I haven't stayed in touch with either. I don't know if they didn't like their packages or if this is just how they are. It made me wonder.

I took a break from swapping over the winter and just recently signed up for Secret Pal 10. I've sent a couple of packages to my Pal and she takes happy photos and seems genuinely pleased with the items I've carefully chosen. My Pal has sent me an amazing package. I loved every single bit of it. I received yarns that I had never seen before and I know I'll use them. I got delightful little treats that cheered me up. I know my Pal is going through some rough times right now so she doesn't keep in touch much but her package had SO much thought put into it that I don't really mind.

Now, I'm participating in Knitters Tea Swap again. My swap partner this time is not a secret and we've already been in touch. She sounds enthusiastic and I know it will be a good swap.

Still I wonder. I've seen the buttons that say I Am My Own Secret Pal. Surely I could wander through tea shops, candy shops, boutiques and yarn stores and treat myself once in awhile. I'd be guaranteed to get exactly what I want. I know I could do this but I also know I never would. I like getting packages in the mail. I like the suspense and the surprise. I like meeting new people.

What are your thoughts about swaps and secret pals? I'm curious.