People spend ages talking about why they love knitblogging, and if I could come up with something evenly vaguely thoughtful I would wax lyrical often. Luckily for the coherently challenged like me, there are swaps.
Swaps are useful for two reasons. Firstly, they fulfil the obvious function of providing you with presents, and, when all's said and done, there's very little to compare with receiving a gift for no reason. (In fact, I can't think of anything to compare it to. Although a stranger carrying your suitcase to the tube station in the pouring rain when 'all' it contains are Virginia Woolf's complete diaries and letters and it's pouring with rain and the wheel has now fallen off three times, comes pretty close). Much more importantly, I think, they provide an opportunity to put a real human hand just a little way into the vast and tangled virtual web, to bring an element of 'real life' friendship to those that are otherwise based solely on typed words and uploaded pictures, and for a physical manifestation of the kindness and generosity of the knitblogger.
Luckily for me, and just in case you weren't entirely convinced by Elli's parcel (although, why not?), I have another example of knitswap kindness for you today.
This parcel merits two responses. The first, obviously, is 'squee!'. The second is the observation that if Ashley ever offers to swap with you, say yes immediately, and then do a little hop of glee. Because there is a chance that the following may happen to you.
She will send you sock yarn. Plain sock yarn. In fact, just the sock yarn you had been imagining for weeks and months, particularly at moments when struggling with the pooling and self-striping of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. Before doing this, she will email you to check your colour preferences. The situation will therefore be win, win, and win.
She will also read your mind in a spooky transatlantic manner, see into its dark and muddled depths and find out firstly that you've been wanting for ages to try one of those (in)famous Knitpicks needles and wishing that they'd ship to England, and secondly that somewhere under a little pile of laziness and fear of failure is hidden the intention to try magic loop at some vague future point. She will therefore send the needle with express instructions that it has arrived in your little mitts for the sole purpose of magic loop, thereby vaulting over all the excuses you had carefully mounted against this scary foray into the weirdest-looking knitting method ever.
Finally, she will wrap the whole thing up in a bag hand-made from a fabric that will remind you daily of one of the best analyses of a fabric print you have ever encountered, that is exactly the size and shape of the knitting bag you had been meaning to make for your travelling projects, thereby bringing One Day that little bit closer and removing yet more of your procrastinatory apparatus.
However, Ashley being her brilliant self, I rather suspect that none of the above will happen to you, but instead that your swap package will be perfectly tailored to you, and more than you would even have hoped for.
Ashley, I really need to thank you twice. First of all for your wonderful gifts, generosity, consideration and insight, and secondly for being a motivational coach and excuse-remover. So, here goes:
Thank you! Thank you!
And now I am going to stop speaking in binaries all the time. And also apologise for the fact that the last few posts haven't been appearing in real time. I don't imagine I'm alone in having problems with Blogger at the moment, but there is only so much hard pedalling and coaxing I can do every day. Tomorrow (which is actually today): more Parisian adventures, and someone else small.