Yarn Advent Swap : Last year I took part in the Posh Yarn Advent Swap. This is a really fun yarn swap for members of the Posh Yarn forum on Ravelry. The easiest way to describe what it entails is to “quote” Charlie, the organizer’s overview:
How it works:charliesumx
Each participant makes 24 individually wrapped 10g mini-skeins of 4ply/sock weight Posh Yarn, which they then send to the organizer. They also send the organizer the cost of postage and packing for the return parcels (via PayPal).
Once all the parcels have been received by the organizer, they will redistribute the mini-skeins so that each participant has 24 different mini-skeins, each one from a different participant if possible. The organizer will mail the new sets of mini-skeins in plenty of time for them to arrive by 1st December.
Participants can then open one mini-skein each day, from the 1st to the 24th December (in the manner of an Advent calendar), or open them all at once. They can be knitted/crocheted up in the order opened, or saved up to arrange in a pleasing sequence.
Sharing photos of the yarn received, and the projects made, is encouraged, but is not compulsory.
I had plenty of Posh Yarn scraps to make 24 mini skeins, however, it did take a lot longer to hand wind, weigh and pack the skeins than I had anticipated. This year (oh yes, I am taking part in the 2019 swap!) I decided to teach myself how to make a proper mini skein which was much quicker!
Zero Self Control
The swap package arrived in very good time, early November if I recall correctly. I could not contain my curiosity and opened my first little yarn package right away. It was crocheted up, using a 2.5mm hook into little squares and triangles using my solid granny square and half square motif patterns.
Soon I lost ALL willpower. I became completely addicted to opening the mini parcels and crocheting up the motifs… all whilst wondering what I was going to make with them!
As it got closer to the “official” start of the calendar, i.e. the 1st December, I started to formulate a plan. I was going to make a large and cosy wrap. I already worked out that I would be able to make it 4 motifs wide by 14 long, with the square motif turned 45 degrees. I’d need 96 full motifs and 36 half motifs. I wanted to use my join-as-you-go granny stitch border and join but with a contrasting colour, Posh of course. I didn’t have the correct colour to hand. So I kept an eye out during the weekly shop updates in case something suitable cropped up. Luckily the beautiful, silvery grey and sparkly shade of “Caroline Sock” revealed herself. I snapped up a couple of skeins.
So, I’d worked out my project but then decided that I’d like to “share” a photo of the squares I’d made for each day of the advent in a unique way. I’ve always loved vintage Christmas cards so scoured the internet and collected a series of images to use as backgrounds to my “flat lays”.
I just had so much fun doing this, it really helped me get into the “festive mood” and I think everybody enjoyed me sharing my daily advent “snaps” on Instagram & on the Ravelry forum swap thread.
During December, I washed, blocked and started to join the motifs together. The project required a lot more of the Caroline yarn for the borders and joins than I had anticipated. Luckily a very kind Posh friend sent me her skein so that I could finish that section of the wrap.
I almost used up every scrap of the yarn I’d received in the swap, as well as 3 x 100g skeins of 4ply sock yarn for the joining borders. It took a long time to sew in all those ends! Most of the ends were sewn in as I went along, but it was still quite a big job.
I wanted to add a colourful border and found a beautiful pink and lime green in my stash that looked fabulous together. Initially I was planning on a simple border but I swear it almost crocheted itself into beautiful scallops and a line of surface slip stitch.
Finally I finished the “yarn advent swap” wrap at the end of January 2019. I loved every minute of this swap and project. It was so inspiring to watch the rest of the group share their yarns & projects. Sadly, I am not 100% happy with the finished object. It is certainly very beautiful and showcases Tony, from Posh Yarn’s, amazing dyeing skills but the end result was much too big and heavy to be worn as a wrap. I do use the wrap as a kind of blanket when I’m sat on the sofa and I’m a bit chilly – I drape it over my shoulders. But I’m not able to wear it with my winter coat as planned.
All The Yarn Details
If you want to know more about the yarn bases and colourways I used, you can find those in my Ravelry project page.
So… I am still considering whether to just continue using it as a lapghan. Maybe I should frog sections of it to make it smaller. I think the ideal size would be 4 motifs wide by 12 motifs long. Maybe even with just one row of granny stitch border join. This would make it considerably lighter and more wearable. Or perhaps start from scratch and make a new, smaller and lighter version, using basically the same pattern and layout? I’m also thinking going up a hook size, even to 2.75mm AND making it narrower & shorter would make everything lighter? What do you think I should do? And have you ever participated in a yarn advent swap? What did you make or are you still cherishing your little skeins?