Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Year, New Swap!

At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to participate in a Magic Yarn Ball swap over on my ever trusty Craftster.org. For those of you not in the know, here's a description of what a MYB is from a swap over on Swap Bot.
"A magic yarn ball is a gift-filled treasure, made for another person. This sweet, simple project comes from the book The Children's Year (Hawthorn Press).

Basically, you wrap cool little treasures up in a ball of yarn, with a few beautiful gifties peeking out at the edges, and give it as a gift. As the recipient crafts with the yarn the treasures fall out one by one, and they discover the fun as they knit or crochet."
After weeks of finding no Magically Amazing Yarn Ball swaps on the listings pages, I decided that I would step up and organize my own. It was to be my first time organizing a swap and I was bound and determined to do it right. I read through all the documentation, checked all my qualifications, surfed the other swap pages and made sure that my idea was going to float. Little did I know that I would be creating the largest and most successful MYB swap Craftster had ever seen...

Just imagine, little ol' me, taking on my first swap as organizer, sitting here figuring out dates and details, thinking that I would have to struggle to get enough swappers. I settled on a 4 week sign up period and a 4 week crafting timeline, opening the flood gates on December 1st, 2009. At first I was practically begging for people to sign up, posting pictures of Ichi left and right to try and coax them in. I'm not sure if that's what really did it or if Magic Yarn Balls are really just that tempting, but I didn't have to worry about getting swappers within a couple of days.

In just a week we had 22 swappers sign up to participate, blowing my original limit of 20 out the window. I had to enlist co-organizer, as per Craftster swap rules, when we reached 24 swappers (a day later). I set a joking limit of 40 swappers after the first week and amazingly enough, I had to impose it with a 10 days remaining in the sign up period. We reached and passed the 40-cap while I was driving from California to Colorado for Christmas. 42 swappers applied, were accepted and placed into my spreadsheet to be sorted and paired. My spreadsheet was a living tome to the swap that I made in Google Docs to help me list everyone and their interests out all in one place. When it came time to assign partners I printed out the sheets and spent an afternoon on the floor in my brother's living room, making matches and petting puppies.

The send out date for the packages was yesterday and in true fashion of this swap, we've already had a handful of people ship and receive early. I actually got my package from my partner Sarah yesterday and spent most the evening unwinding and squealing like a two year old. I've already posted all the gleeful news about my package over in the Swap Gallery, but here are some pictures of all the loot for your general enjoyment.