LouiseBrooks1[Louise Brooks in Pandora’s Box, 1929*]

I know it’s a cliche to say so, but the internet is such a wonderful opportunity to feel part of things, catching up with he makings and doings of like-minded souls via blogs, forums or networking sites.  I always used to think that it was sad that people had to turn to the virtual to communicate with other people, but I’ve now come to value what it can offer.  I still love to see and socialise with real people of course, but in times when everyone is so busy, working or looking after their families, it is a boon to be able to connect in convenient moments offered by the always available internet.  And also, only a couple of my friends are actually interested in knitting and craftiness, so there is the bonus of access to unlimited inspiration and stories about my particular obsessions interests.  So it’s really an adjunct to, rather than replacement of, your usual social life. 

Although I’ve been looking at a small number of favorite blogs for years, and have even joined a networking site (well it is all about knitting), I’ve never really participated in the dialogue.  Just quietly lurking, looking, absorbing, getting enthusiastic and inspired, then going off to my own life. 

I guess that started to change a bit when I started this blog.  I started to look forward to comments, which made me more likely to leave comments on others’ blogs.  I joined some groups on Ravelry and even submitted the odd post in forums. 

knit 065a

Then I got involved in swaps!  Suddenly I was participating and eagerly checking for new posts on the forum.  Hearing about other’s progress and looking forward to seeing what everyone made.  Of course the major thing about swaps is trying to work out what another person would like, then making them something as a surprise.  Knitting (or crocheting) a present for someone who actually appreciates the work going in to it.  This alone may be something not experienced in normal life.  Oh, and someone else makes something just for you, too!

I just completed my second swap with the Bendigo Woollen Mills users group, and was the lucky recipient of a very generous package from Jaffa7.  Part of the art of the swap is ‘stalking’ your swappee to discover their interests and preferences.  Kelly was astute enough to guess at my love of 1920’s styles to make me this cute cloche and scarf, and also included some balls of my favorite alpaca yarn and the very shampoo soap I’d linked to a reference to in a previous blog post.  It feels very special to have someone you don’t know go to the trouble of thinking about and researching what you might like.  Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness, Kelly, I love it all!

swap2 collage

And there is to be another swap to be signed up for by the end of the week.  I haven’t yet, but think I might have to…   The theme is Op-Shop Karma– apart from something made with 100g of Bendi yarn, all items must be sought from op-shops, with the idea being that you use the materials to make new things a la Betz White or Amanda Blake Soule.  Could be fun, or nerve-wracking …

[*any resemblance between Ms Brooks and the matronly figure pictured below is entirely wishful thinking on the part of the blogger.]