I had an idea what might be inside, because I had organised a little swap with Ingrid a while back and she'd tipped me off that my side of things would be here any day. I'd sewed her a bag and she was dyeing me some yarn and that was all well and good.
But a little yarn was not what I got. You see in the intervening time Ingrid had gotten the word that she would be moving from Hong Kong back to Australia to live. And for her this entailed more than a little divesting. Lucky, lucky me!
Here's the little yarn we agreed on for the swap - two skeins of the super luscious silk merino Kiama (that's the two on the left) for me to knit up a shawl, and a skein of Footscray sock yarn (on the right) - all three dyed by Ingrid in reds and purples that just perfectly suit me. Now I haven't had the Kiama before and it is as gorgeous as I suspected it would be, but I have knit with Footscray before (in fact it is currently on my needles!) and I know it is great to knit with.
Ingrid also slipped in some new especially for knitting on planes itty bitty DPNS since I broke one of the ones I took to Darwin last month. So I will be knitting when I fly off to Melbourne next week.
Imagine my surprise when what was already a swap which seemed to me heavily slanted to my benefit I found this in the box too.
Cashmere blend lace weight in the best ever shade of red. I can't wait until the weather cools down to get onto something super snuggly with this! So many possibilities!
But wait - there was also this
A whole cone of undyed Footscray yarn! A whole CONE!! You see because Ingrid only sells top quality yarn, she felt she couldn't sell this one since it had been ever so slightly marked in warehousing. I am sure it won't show once dyed. Thank you so much Ingrid I am bowled over by your generosity and lovely yarn.
And this couldn't have been better timed - I am off to craft camp next week and dyeing yarn is my number one planned activity. For the first time ever I am heading of to CC without my own sewing machine, so last month in preparation I bought a bunch of Ingrid's yarns for a dye fest (including some Footscray, Bambaroo and Grafton). Now I will be dyeing all day and night! And I think this may well mark the beginning of a serious yarn diet for me. Between what I have at home in the stash and that haul here I think I have enough to keep me going for all of 2010!
But the best bit about all this has been getting to know Ingrid a little better. Swaps are one of those things I do and do and then stop. There's so many unknowns with swaps, and lots of possibilities for things to go wrong, to disappoint and be disappointed.
And yet some of my best friends have been found and our relationships solidified through swaps. At the heart of it, a swap is a kind of throwing out of your good intentions to the world to see what comes back. And when you see that someone has taken care and put real thought into what might please you it is such an affirmation of the goodness of people. It's totally not about the stuff, even though the stuff is how we describe it.
So I feel I may have made a new friend and that's the best thing to have in any stash.
If you'd like to get a piece of the swap action why not sign up for the tea towel swap? It promises to be a doozy.