Friday, November 17, 2006

International Scarf Exchange

The exchange is ending, and I'd like to say thank you to our fantastic hostesses - I hope that someone can fill your shoes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching scarves being made and exchanged, and was completely inspired by some of the creations! I also had a ton of fun creating a special scarf (actually two scarves!) for my pal, and I hope that she wears them in good health.

I have finally received my scarf from my secret pal, but I will not post a photo. She did not post a photo on her blog either - you see, I don't think her heart was in this exchange. I leave this experience with a huge disappointment. I won't go into the details, but offer these suggestions for future exchangers - I know there are "rules", but sometimes folks need the "spirit" explained to them.
1. Do not sign up for this exchange unless you want to give of yourself. The giving is the most important part, not the getting.
2. Do not tease your pal with stories of how you knit lace and handspin your own yarn if you are not going to follow through. It's a huge disappointment when they receive their package late (assuming it is such an intricate project that it is taking longer than expected), only to receive a plain knit scarf made from a ball of yarn from a craft store.
3. When you're knitting for a knitter, you should be proud of your work. It can be plain if that is your skill level, but the work should be free of glaring defects.
4. Do not offer to send the scarf that was made for you - your secret pal put their heart and soul into creating it especially for you. That scarf means nothing to anyone but you and your secret pal.
5. When mailing, use appropriate packaging. A box or padded envelope designed for weight is best. A flimsy envelope meant for mailing a letter will not make it through international mail.
6. Include a note with your package! Remember, this is not just about exchanging a scarf but about making new friends.

Some of you may ask why I am even writing this, since I believe the most important part is the giving. Well, because it is human nature to expect that your efforts will be rewarded. I thoroughly enjoyed creating a scarf for someone I had never met, so that in itself makes this exchange worth it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the complete package that some of you were able to experience.

Am I bitter? No. Am I disappointed? Yes. I think I'll go knit myself a scarf now. Knitting always makes everything better.


Blogger spellbound said...

Couldn't agree more with your comments. How I wish you were the one I had knitted for as my scarf has not been acknowledged by its recipient. I have already stated my views on that matter in my post below so no need to add anything else on that subject! I am so sorry that you did not get the scarf you deserved and had hoped for!

5:47 PM  
Blogger peaknits said...

I am sad for you - I think that your words are sincere and well spoken, and I might have said them myself. I also don't get the point of not being the "whole package" for your pal - for me this is not just a scarf thrown hastily in the mail - means more than that to most as illustrated by some of the amazing scarves I have been terribly envious of:) I hope you knit yourself something fabulous!

3:27 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Hon, that really sucks. I hope your next exchange goes better for you. Heck, leave a comment on my blog and I'll exchange something with you for Christmas. Seriously, but only if you want to.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Dorene said...

Well said.

I joined this excange as a relatively new knitter last year. I saw this as a opportunity to spread my wings and to push myself and my skills to the next level. I have grown and tried new things that I would have never attempted, and it was all for this exchange.

It is sad that some people sit and knit a garter stitch scarf in 1/2 hour and feel that they lived up to their end of the bargain. They missed the point. And it is a shame for they ruin it for others who went above and beyond with their knitting skills.

I hope that you will participate again and not let this first experince taint future endeavors. I feel so lucky to have had two of the most amazing experiences here at the ISE. Please join again. A person with your committment is what this ISE is all about.

3:38 PM  
Blogger craftybernie said...

It's a shame you didn't have a great experience. I can only say perhaps you should give it one more try. With your current experience in mind, the hostesses may try to match you up with a more 'reliable' pal.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first exchange. If future exchanges work out at least 1/2 as good as this one did, then I shall be content to carry on participating.

Take care..Bernie

PS - did you bring the difficulties you experienced to the hostesses attention?

11:43 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Drop me a note and I'll gladly exchange with you!!! Maybe a New Year's exchange?

11:05 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Dear Sharyn,

My heart is breaking over the experience you had on the exchange. For most of us, the entire process is so incredibly rewarding, and for many of us, we've made lifelong friends we truly cherish.

For me, all three ISE's have been opportunities to expand my skills, put my heart and soul into creating something I hope my pal will enjoy and treasure. As a recipient, I have been incredibly blessed.

Each time I see, touch and wear the unbelievably beautiful Estonian wrap Dorene made for me, I'm moved to tears by all the love, the care, the skill and beauty knitted into every stitch.

Please, Sharyn--if you will contact me via email at "scripto at cox dot net," I will be honored to make you a lace scarf in your choice of pattern, your choice of yarn and color. It would be a great gift to me to help up for the disappointment you have experienced.

I have loved every minute of the three ISE's I've participated in, and would truly love to make a scarf for you. Please contact me and allow me the gift of creating a scarf for you. I would treasure that opportunity!

Debi in Las Vegas, NV

6:57 PM  
Blogger babette said...

I have not heard from the *pal* that is knitting for me since the first week of the exchange :(. They have told the hostesses that they contacted me to let me know they were going to be late...but I have heard nothing & I check my e-mail two or three times a day...oh well, I had a great time knitting for my pal and cannot wait to be a part of the next exchange ( hopefully it will work out better on my end next time ).

9:00 PM  
Blogger gwtreece said...

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I will tell you that I didn't post pictures of the scarf I sent my partner because they didn't come out. I took pictures without checking on them and sent the scarf in the mail. Went to load the pictures and they were blurry. Have since purchased a new camera. It does sound like you partner had more issues than bad pictures.

6:24 PM  

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