Today I thought I’d show you what all was included in the package I shipped off to my swap partner. This is partly because 1) I just blogged about the swap so the timing fits 2) I had a long day at work and need a post I don’t have to think heavily to write, and 3) because I haven’t been taking many pictures so I’m raiding the old photos. But I do have a wonderful time planning swaps for people and I like to share it with you too!
Now, rule one of any decent swap is you must include something yummy in the package. In this case, it takes the form of some specialty Christmas-flavored chocolate bars and a sampling of hot cocoa mixes (with adorable animals on them).
My swap partner and I shared many interest in common, including a love of paper crafting. So I sent her a couple of stamp sets from one of my favorite companies. She enjoys making ATCs so I thought the affirmative labels would be perfect for her art. And the nature garden set… well, obviously, that was because it was the sweetest nature set I’ve seen in a long while. That hedgehog… sigh!
And I also included a variety of supplies for paper crafting – a paper pad, notepad, decorative sticky notes, and washi tapes. Please notice how coordinated they all look – that was not an accident. I wandered around the craft store for quite a while until I found an ensemble of items that matched. It took time, but oh it makes me happy!
The ornament I included for her was one of blown glass that I purchased on my most recent trip to Cinci. We’ve found an art museum that we love and went to visit their antique Christmas ornament displays. Blown glass from Germany from the 1890- mid 1900s were popular ornaments and are now prized collector items. We saw some lovely trees dressed up in vintage guild. This ornament was perfect because it was a reminder of the exhibit and it was an owl!
Another rule of knitting swaps is that knitters like knitting items. stitch markers, needles, tape measures, notions, yarn, project bags… knitters love it all. I was thinking about making some stitch markers, but then I found these beauties on an etsy store I just happened to visit.
These are Beatrix Potter stitch markers. Each one features a different character from her books. This was the first gift I procured for my partner – she had mentioned that she loved Beatrix Potter – and I do too! I hope she enjoys knitting something special using these markers. She also mentioned that she liked stationary items and I remembered that I had some sets of Beatrix Potter stamps that I received as a gift some years ago. Voila… a perfect gift! I handmade a set of cards for her.
I wanted a somewhat-professional, letterpress style of card, so I elected to keep things simple and just stamp the image and sentiment on a plain card (It was hard to keep patterned paper off the cards! I think these might be my first “plain” cards) And I tried out some new watercolor pencils for coloring them. I may or may not have watched Miss Potter several times while creating these. (I can neither confirm nor deny such rumors – you’ll have to judge).
And finally, here’s the knitted item I made for her:
She loves light blue colors and I had several skeins of a soft bulky alpaca that was slated for donation because I can never figure out what to do with bulky yarn. But she had this beautiful cowl pattern in her favorites and I figured it was a perfect match. Plus it will be warm and snuggly during the damp British winters. (That’s me modeling it for effect)
And here it is all wrapped up in its festive trimmings.
I found the tiny bottlebrush trees in the dollar bin at Target and I’m still remarkably pleased with my ability to actually coordinate them into the wrapping of a couple of gifts. I was anticipating a great battle with the little guys, but they cooperated with the ribbon exceedingly well.
A parting shot before it all went in the shipping box and flew overseas. So that’s a brief summary of about a month and a half of work of planning, knitting, coordinating, and wrapping. I love doing the swaps so much. They are one of my favorite knitting activities and I’m so glad I had the chance to participate in this Christmas one. I’ve learned my lesson and am now stalking my online group at least weekly to see when the next one will start. They’ve sometimes had a spring themed swap and I don’t want to miss out!
Blessings to you