Monday, March 23, 2009

Let the Swap Begin!

81/2009: Catherine Wheel

Thanks so much for joining, everyone! This swap has grown larger than we ever could have dreamed. When we were first planning it, Maritza and I thought we might have all the participants crochet a potholder for each participant. It's a really good thing we didn't do that or we'd each be crocheting over a hundred potholders! Makes crocheting five look like a walk in the park, doesn't it?

The Blog:
We've exceeded the number of authors Blogger allows for each blog, so people that signed up later on won't be able to contribute to the blog but are still absolutely welcome in the swap and to contribute to the Flickr group.

The Sidebar:
We've been working hard on adding your names to the sidebar, but we haven't gotten them all in. If you're a participant, would you check to be sure you're there and the link is correct? If not, let us know the name you'd like us to use (doesn't need to be your real one) and what you'd like linked to (doesn't need to be a blog - Ravelry and Flickr are fine). Please put "Sidebar Link" in the email subject. We'll be happy to make it right.


Your Potholders:
Each participant is required to crochet 5 potholders in the same pattern. Please do vary the colors as you see fit. We don't want you bored to tears! Please be sure your hot pads and potholders measure between 6 and 12 inches across.

We'll be using wool and cotton yarns exclusively. We did some burn tests this weekend and have decided that superwash wool is out. One sample produced a bit of a hard bead when burned, which seems dangerous for a potholder. We don't want yarn that will stick to either a pot or a hand when heated or exposed to flame.

Label each pad/holder with maker, fiber content, and care instructions.

Put a note in your package if you are allergic to wool so that we don't send any to you.

The goal of this swap is to produce and receive little pieces of crocheted art. Use beautiful yarns, color combinations, and patterns. Don't feel pressured to use teensy little crochet cotton, even with all those links to it in the sidebar. Use thick cotton, or wool wool wool! Have a ton of fun.

Postage + Envelope:
US participants need to include $4.95 in postage with their swap package. You can purchase special USPS Priority Mail stamps at the post office, so this will probably be the easiest way to go about this. Since the swap is huge beyond our wildest dreams, we're also requesting that you include a self-addressed (large + tyvek is best) envelope. USPS Priority Tyvek envelopes are available for free at the post office. The post office even provides free labels for them. This will help us immensely when it comes time to ship your packages back to you.

Non-US swappers, the best way for us to collect postage fees from you is probably PayPal. If you don't want to do it that way, please contact us at and we'll make other arrangements. We'll contact you about postage when your package is ready to send, as we want to go by its actual weight, rather than guess now and possibly overcharge you. We expect packages to weigh under 8 oz., so postage should be between $4 and $8, depending on where you live.

We'll need to receive your potholders by May 31. Please mail them to:

Hello Yarn
P.O. Box 19
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

This is going to make the postal employees in Adrian's little village either laugh or cry! Maybe if we give them potholders, they'll be appeased.

Inspiration + Patterns:
There are several links to free patterns in the sidebar. Please feel free to post with more, or email them to us so we can put them in the sidebar.

Keep us abreast of your progress, both here and in the Flickr group. Talk about yarns, show your in-progress hot pads, and tell us about patterns. This will be a blast!

ETA: Sally asked some questions in the comments that I want to address. Absolutely, do up your potholders as you see fit. Give out pattern info, yarn info, write a note to each recipient, etc. Make each potholder an extra super special treat, if you like! Keep in mind that potholders will be mailed back in envelopes, so don't include fragile items.


  1. I would be interested in seeing the specifics of the "burn tests." That sounds like fun. :)

    Can we/should we include contact info/yarn info/pattern info/ fun little notes, etc with our potholders?

  2. Burn tests? You all are soooo scientific-like.

  3. Whoohoo! Thanks for all the inspiring links!

  4. I'm intrigued about how you're going to do this. Randomly pick 5 and put them in each person's envelope, or is there a method?

  5. There's been a lot of talk about putting some sort of a "backing" on potholders (crocheted or maybe fabric) that have holes so that it is a solid piece of fabric. My design has holes but I'm thinking I'll use mine more like a trivet, not to get scalding hot things out of the oven. What do you all think?


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