New, Yarn, Landscape, Lion Brand

The Problem with Yarn Swaps

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Michael Sellick, known online as 'Mikey', I am the founder and leader of The Crochet Crowd. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet and play with yarn.

129 thoughts on “The Problem with Yarn Swaps

  • July 6, 2014 at 2:57 am
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    I’ve never heard of a yarn swap. I would think there should be rules to the game and limits to be observed. If they don’t play by the rules they are omitted from participating! Sounds like fun to me though…if the rules are followed! lol

  • July 6, 2014 at 2:08 am
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    I was in a yarn swap on line in June. I sent a pound of Bernat sport, a Bernat baby soft and a half skein of Caron pound along with some matching dragonfly buttons. I have yet to receive anything in return. I was more wanting to donate to someone in need so I am not disappointed just a little surprised. Upon contacting my partner she informed me that she special ordered bamboo yarn that is shipping directly to me from overseas. I generally trust everyone until I’m given a reason not to. Hopefully it’s forthcoming but if not, that’s ok too.

  • July 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm
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    I’m with ya Mikey! No yarn swaps! There are always problems with any type of swap. Like you said whether they didn’t account for the cost of postage, you sending what you think is a really nice ball of yarn only to get the bargain basement off color in return. I know it’s supposed to be the thought that counts but frankly as human beings we are going to compare the cost of what we sent with what we receive. Maybe there are a few people out there who won’t do that, but I’m going to be honest, I would compare and feel slighted. It’s happened with granny square swaps and even other swaps.

    Just the thought of the logistics of managing a swap on the level of The Crochet Crowd gives me nightmares. The only possible way to try to mitigate hurt feelings and to maintain some sort of equality in the items would be to divide it in to three different groups. Bargain basement (about $2-5 per skein), middle of the road ($5-15 or so), and fine yarn ($15 and up). And then there is shipping to consider, are you willing to ship internationally? It’s an arm and a leg even for a small ball of yarn. So then you’d have to split the three groups in to those that are willing or not willing to ship internationally.

    Then you have to keep track of who is sending to who. Did so and so send to their recipient. Contact them and find out what is going on. Then there are those that drop out for whatever reason, so you have to have some sort of contingency plan in place so someone isn’t missing out.

    No way , dude. I wouldn’t dream of asking you to do something of this magnitude. Not with everything else you do for us. Seriously, if people want to swap yarn there are plenty of groups on Ravelry in which that is all they do, participate in swaps of all sorts.

    Seriously, Mikey, stick to your guns! Don’t organize a yarn swap. It will be a nightmare of epic proportions.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm
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    Dang, Mikey, there are days that there are crabby people on here about the direction the wind is blowing!!! I guess what I am saying is, you are correct. It would never work. Best intentions wouldn’t prevail because there will always be the people that can’t be fair or pleased, and it is a shame. Would be cool to be able to share with crocheters in other countries.

  • July 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm
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    For the reasons that you have stated, I am not a fan of yarn swapping. That being said , I do occasionally swap yarn with a couple friends of mine, but never with unknown persons.

  • July 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm
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    For the reasons that you have stted, I am not a fan of yarn swapping. That being said , I do occasionally swap yarn with a couple friends of mine, but never with unknown persons.

  • July 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
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    I agree 100 % with you Mikey. I wouldn’t wanna participate in any yarn swap. You always have that 1 bad person that’ll ruin it for everyone. I have belonged to many, many crochet swaps and we always seem to have 1 or more person in each one that get’s burned… So I’m done with those too… I have many, many skeins for yarn that I have bought over the years and love my stash…. I have donated many, many skeins of yarn & hooks to many friends that were in need and had no problem with that. I did it with all my heart. But I have also found that MANY people will cry the blues so that you will donate yarn to them. They have every story in the book so we all feel sorry for them and they get tons and tons of free yarn so they now have a stash of their own. I have see this too many times and now I feel like a fool and have been taken advantage of… Oh well, shame on me… you think I would have learned after the 5th or 6th time… I also do a lot of CHARITY work and will NEVER ask ANYONE to donate unneeded yarn or whatever… A lot of dishonest people do that to build there stash too. If you wanna do charity work…. use your own yarn.If you don’t have any, go to the thrift stores or goodwill and buy your own.. Or just wait until you have the funds…Yarn is always on sale in all the stores… Please stop asking people for the yarn…I think that is so wrong… Just saying!!!! πŸ™‚

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm
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    I am a member of a swap group.I make beanies for donating to baby hospitals.I have asked for any yarn thats no longer needed by any of the group.I offered to pay for the postage
    NOT ONE PERSON HAS ASKED FOR PAYMENT.
    .I have received 4 parcels from very generous ladies to the approximate 500gms weight of a prepaid postbag.It is like a Christmas surprise in each.The yarn has been of good quality,different size balls and skeins.One lady dyes her own yarn and made a lovely pink/purple just for me
    .For me it doesnt matter what ply or colour it is as I love to design the hat to match in with the yarn I am intending to send pics of the completed items to the ladies.
    .Hospitals are very grateful for the beanies Some are larger and have been given to a cancer hospital.
    Some of the yarn I will use in granny squares even if they are short ends,anything around 2″+ that are left over I put in a bag and have a latch hook cushion on the go to use up these short off cuts and ends So that way very little is wasted
    In summary if you are wanting the yarn free be happy there are nice people out there who are genuinely happy to donate from the goodness of their hearts.
    I love your page and get great ideas from it Keep up the good work and I hope that more people are as fortunate “Swapping” as I have been.

  • July 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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    I would not participate in an online yarn swap. I have a lot of yarn and gladly give to friends and friends of friends if they need it or are planning on really using it. I have collected over a period of years, it is all in clear bins and does not smell or have damage but I am also retired and on a fixed income now and love to crochet, knit, embroider, do wool felt projects, sew and quilt so I will at some point use the stash and I have been finishing WIPs for the past month and feel really great about it. Would definitely not participate in a yarn stash with strangers for the same reasons you stated in your article which I thought was very well worded. You are an amazing person and I am so blessed to have found this website. Thank you for all you do and for the patterns and tutorials. Gma Sue.

  • July 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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    I agree with you Mikey! I think they’re just asking for trouble.
    I’m in a few crochet groups on FB where they are trying to do a yarn swap (and/or a granny square swap). In one group, they’ve just done the first “round” of a yarn lotto. Where you say you’re in, then, because there are so many people, they’ve broken the participants into smaller groups. There’s a winner from each group. The “losers” have to send the “winner” yarn. I’ve seen people ask questions as to “what is a skein?” “does it have to be new?” Really?? You’d send someone, that you willingly joined, a skein that you’ve already used a portion of the yarn from that skein?? WOW!
    As someone who has allergies, I wouldn’t participate because I can’t control where the yarn is coming from and how it was cared for in the other person’s home.

    What I’ve noticed, in watching these posts, is that some of the yarn is nice yarn…these people honored their commitment to this project. However, some of the yarns posted are clearly yarns the sender didn’t want to use in their stash and found a way to send it off to someone else without them really feeling the loss of their yarn. Others have sent these teeny tiny “skeins” of yarn as their “payment” for the yarn lotto. There’s nothing you could make with just one of these skeins…you know the ones…like the little fur balls come in….they have maybe 25 yds in them?
    Then there are those who complain about the expense of sending yarn to the winner over seas…yep…it was stated in the “rules” that the winner COULD possibly live outside of the US and you would still have to send it to them. Yet people still manage to complain.
    And finally, there are those who are still being asked (more than a week after the deadline for sending the winner their yarn) where their shipment is….that’s right…they haven’t sent it yet and oddly enough, haven’t posted anything in that particular group since they discovered they didn’t win the lotto!
    Sadly, people will never cease to amaze me. Some people live and breathe by the notion that they can get “something for nothing”and it’s ok to do just that.
    Yarn swaps…not a great idea in my opinion…at least not in a huge group. It’s a different story if you’re swapping with your friend, skein for skein and not looking at the monetary value, like you said.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mikey! I’ve learned so much from you and your tutorials!
    Michele

  • July 5, 2014 at 11:22 am
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    Well Mikey, I say leave the yarn swap for someone else to deal with, you have way to much on your plate. I was involved in a square swap once, there were about thirty of us from all over the world and every month everyone would send a 7″ squares to everyone that had a birthday that month and each square was marked somehow to show who and where it was from. This was great fun and I treasure that afghan. But like I said you have to much on your plate leave the swaps to someone else. You are a kind loving and caring person and I believe there are to many who try to take advantage of you. Most everyone wants something for nothing. A swap on such a global scale would give anyone a global size headache

  • July 5, 2014 at 11:09 am
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    The only swap I have been involved with had nothing to do with yarn. It was handmade Christmas ornaments. Each was given a number and then each person drew a number for the ornament. I brought an exquisite (in my own mind) ornament and drew what I considered a “dog”. I was very upset I am ashamed to say and vocal in my disappointment. A bit later a very tiny very elderly lady came up to me and asked if I liked her ornament. She apologized that it wasn’t all that good but her eye site was failing but she so wanted to be part of the fun. I don’t think she heard my comments, at least I pray she didn’t, and told her it was a lovely ornament. She smiled sweetly, hugged me, and wished me a Merry Christmas. I felt awful and mean and selfish and I was all those things! Learned a valuable lesson. Do not judge ever! I still have that ornament but it does not go on the tree. It is far too fragile and precious to risk it. I am keeping where I can see it to remind myself to “do onto others”. And pray I never again let selfishness, self worth or vanity raise their ugly heads ever again. No more swaps, thank you. Not for the value of the swap but for the issues it can cause. And because I learned that day that I can be far too competitive. Not worth it. Sorry to wax on but Mikey’s marble story brought it all back and I realized I was one of the other kids in this instance. Never again. And from the bottom of my heart I apologize to Mikey on behalf of all those kids that took advantage of him. And to that sweet lady whose precious ornament I was privileged to receive.

    • July 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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      I love your story, great lesson

    • July 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm
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      Hi Lizjane, thank you so much for posting your story. It brought tears to my eyes, truly. I’m glad you discovered something about yourself and took it to heart. Too often people are not as insightful as you and learn nothing from such an experience. Kudos to you! Have a great day and may all your hooking be happy πŸ™‚

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:19 pm
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      Beautiful story and I totally get it. We never know the circumstances of the person we are swapping with and we do tend to jump to conclusions.

  • July 5, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    I think it’s a great idea that you do not host a yarn swap in the name of The Crochet Crowd. Yes there are a ton of supportive members on these pages but you have followers from all continents. If I am sending yarn to you I will pay international shipping then you will have duties and taxes and vise versa. A lot of people do not have experience in shipping internationally and this would turn sour very fast. I have worked in a retail call center who did ship items internationally and people sending gifts to their friends in Canada or the UK would cancel an order with a quickness once they found out that the $50 item they were ordering would cost $60 to ship. I would gladly send Yarn to You Mikey but then again I know what shipping will entail.
    Also you don’t want to get people getting into bickering wars on the page and trying to bring you guys into it. I think the page runs smoothly and I appreciate that I see no drama and get a lot of advice and support. Wasn’t it about a year or two ago you had to revamp the site and change a lot of things because of drama? I don’t want to see you guys have to do that again. You have put a LOT of hard work into your page and I don’t want to see that go down the toilet.
    I think Yarn swaps are better left between groups of friends in person. A girl friend and I are trying to build her stash and I will be bringing her a lot of what I have and have given her tips on how to build. I have also pointed her to the direction of this page. Thank you for the hard work you guys do for us! Happy Hooking!

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:24 am
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      well said

  • July 5, 2014 at 10:51 am
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    it’s sad that people have to be greedy. your statement “I think it’s our human nature to crave and have this cave man need to have what our neighbours have.” goes against everything I was taught as a child and the 10 commandments. where has society gone wrong?

  • July 5, 2014 at 10:42 am
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    I have been a member of Celt’s Vintage Crochet pattern group for many years now, and that is something that came up more than once, along with pattern swapping. Celtie is an awesome lady who is passionate about preserving vintage and antique crochet patterns. More than once, she very nearly had to shut the whole operation down because if a swap got started, it degenerated into something akin to a toddler-esk fight over a the Oreo cookie when there were plenty of other cookies, but everyone wanted the oreo. She did, in fact, close her original site down completely, which had been a somewhat open group. She then reopened the group on Yahoo as a closed group with strict rules and guidelines that she and her admins are quite ruthless about enforcing. I’ve never had a problem with her or the way she has run her groups. That being said, I have come to share her views about swaps, whether they are pattern or yarn swaps. That they are generally a bad idea if they are NOT strictly regulated and the rules enforced with a kind of ruthless practicality that I doubt very much most people would like or really understand. Your particular group is one that I like very much because it reminds me of the fun of being around people who like to crochet and create and are having fun. Celtie’s original group was like that BEFORE the madness of the swapping idea took hold. Then, a few really nasty, mean-spirited, greedy and selfish people got in and ruined it for everyone. So, no, I would definitely not recommend it. I am very careful about any swaps I get involved in, even in granny square exchange. I don’t do it unless I know it is being strictly monitored and the rules enforced for everyone.

  • July 5, 2014 at 10:35 am
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    I have never done a yarn swap. I have been ‘gifted’ with yarn by friends cleaning out closets of grandmothers or mothers. But they are not expecting anything in return even though I usually make something and pass it on to them. I have tried to participate in other swaps and never – I repeat – never received anything. First was the Little Golden Books for children, then an apron swap, dish towel, and even favorite Bible verse! Nothing! So – I wouldn’t participate and if I were you, I wouldn’t do it because you would mainly receive —- many migraines.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:37 am
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    I would do a yarn swap if there were certain rules like you had to bring the same brands and weights. Nothing too expensive. Patterns could be brought and swapped also. You could also bring covered dishes or coffee and have a crochet get together.

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:04 am
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      I love your Idea. Jessica. Make it a party between friends with boundaries.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:24 am
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    I have never participated in a yarn swap, but I have done scrapbook swaps. Those were always fund and I’ve never been disappointed. I went to one scrapbook weekend and we all swapped 12×12 cardstock. Each person was assigned a specific color/brand and we bought enough for each in the group to have 2 sheets….ie: 10 people = me purchasing 20 sheets of red….in return, I received a bag with 2 sheets of 10 different colors.
    However, I can totally see how a yarn swap would go totally wrong. As you state, quality of yarn versus quantity. Someone may take 10 skeins of a $10 yarn, and get in return, 10 skeins of an off brand that cost only $1 (our Big Lot stores has some awesome $1 yarn).
    I too, like others, exchange with a friend or two….but then it’s mostly us buying an extra of something we find and like and give it to the other person, with nothing expected in return.
    I also made hats and mittens for a local elementary school when I lived up north. Other mom’s would buy the yarn, and I’d do the work and we would all get credit for it as I made sure the principal of the school knew who donated the yarn.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:13 am
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    Swapping anything is a bad idea, everyone always feels ripped off, the deal is never as good as anyone wants! if you want nice yarn go out and buy your own. even if you have to save up.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:04 am
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    What an interesting article! Maybe it’s because I am from a small area, but I’ve never even heard of a yarn swap, and the concept sounds crazy to me. Even in my small area, I can go to local yarn shops, and if I can’t find what I’m looking for there, anything I could ever need I can find on the internet! I can’t afford much so, although I do have a ‘yarn stash’, it’s not very big. I tend to buy for the project. The idea of a yarn swap spells ‘trouble’ to me so I doubt I would ever participate in one. Thanks for the article! I enjoyed reading it.

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:12 am
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      Shelly,
      I have given this tip to a friend and I will gladly pass it on to you. My friend is trying to build her stash.
      I don’t know where you live but I am sure there are yard sales and thrift stores in your area. You can go to those and get great deals on stash yarn. That is what I call yarn I buy that isn’t for a specific project. My mother in law gave me the idea. She has a whole room in her basement that is full of yarn. She has about 40 boxes that are from the office supply store that used to hold reams of paper they are full to the gills of yarn she picked up at estate auctions, thrift stores, and yard sales. Her mom, sister and her self all go to these places then get together with their spoils and swap or just give it to each other. I know my husband’s Grandma loves to use tule to make scrubbing pads so when I am thrift store shopping and I see it I pick it up for her. They have started to include me in their exchange. We are on a limited budget too and this is how I built my stash.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:58 am
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    I swap yarn with friends – I also give away yarn to friends because I have extra, or the yarn doesn’t work for the project I’d intended it for or simply because they are short on funds. I also donate yarn to prayer shawl and cancer cap groups. At the moment I am short of funds and a friend surprised me with a trip to Listowel where she paid for my purchase!!
    But a swap where people don’t know each other too often disappoints. If you know each other, you will be fair to one another. In my experience, if you don’t know the others involved, it is more likely that you will simply want the best for yourself and all altruism goes out the window.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:54 am
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    I agree with you a 100 percent. I use to run a swap shop group on the homeschool lounge site. Swapping yarn or anything on line is just as you described. As leader of the swap, I found myself feeling so bad for the people that did not get their swap, I sent them stuff. It did not take me long to find I was going broke. Then I had to make rules, ban people from swapping. With all the extra work I had no time for anything except banning people and finding angels to help me supply things for people who did not get their items. I was forced into closing the swap shop all together. You are very smart to say NO! I don’t swap or sale my yarn. If I have extra yarn and I see someone in need, I just send them a message and get their address and mail them my yarn. With all your doing, running swaps would be a great big headache. If I was you I would stick with NO! πŸ™‚

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:50 am
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    I have never heard of yarn swap?? I buy the yarns I want to work with and like. I have given yarn to friends and few strangers in need but would never swap!

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:10 am
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    I’ve never done a yarn swap. In my opinion, there is no reason to do this. Yarn is relatively inexpensive. I don’t understand why someone would wait for yarn to be shipped to them (days) when they could go to any number or retailers and get it within hours. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • July 5, 2014 at 7:20 am
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    I will purchase my yarn. There will be no swapping for me. While I’d like to assume positive intent from everyone, it is not the reality. There is enough disappointment so why add to it? No thanks!

  • July 5, 2014 at 7:19 am
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    I believe that people agree to participate in swaps with honorable intentions. Then for any number of reasons they are disillusioned and fail to keep their end of bargain. It can be financial reasons such as cost of shipping or being disappointed in what they received or not receiving at all.

    I have swapped locally, but never through the mail. Usually it is with someone that I crochet with and just have a mutual need or lack of need. I like variegated yarn; she has some left overs from a project. I don’t like using dark colors; she needs black for a project. We swap without consideration of quantity or quality. We also simply gift yarn to each other without swapping in similar circumstances or a yarn we have tried and don’t like working with.

    My friends, colleagues, even mere acquaintances know that I crochet for charity. I often receive bags of yarn from someone who has ‘found’ some: cleaning out Grandma’s closet, at a yard sale or thrift store, or someone gave it to them. I am always willing to share this yarn with others in my local circle.

    I think that yarn swapping is a great idea, but not if the participants are in it to get something more than what they put into it. It only takes one ‘bad apple’ to ruin the entire experience. It can put a dark cloud over someones passion for the craft. I would say do not organize an event that you are not committed to or have concerns about.

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:04 am
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    I also recently participated in a Facebook group swap where they used the site on Elfster to draw the names, and you could make a wish list of things you’d like to have. I bought my person 3 skeins of yarn and a set of hooks from her list, and then included also some yarns that I like as well. I had to message her through the Elfster site, her email, as well as Facebook to even find out if she had gotten the box. She did finally reply saying she had gotten it, but still, it felt very unappreciated. To add to that, I never heard a word or saw anything from the person who drew my name. It was not a good experience for me on the giving OR receiving end.

  • July 5, 2014 at 2:03 am
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    I’ve never done a swap, but I can totally see how it could go bad. I wouldn’t do it just for the potential bad feelings that would be attached to a good thing.

  • July 5, 2014 at 2:00 am
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    I’ve never been in a yarn swap but I have done gift exchanges at work which are similar. Everyone gets a gift but someone always end up with something they don’t want. Because I am unemployed, I used Red Heart yarn because of the value. If I were to participate in a yarn swap I would give away Red Heart yarn. Yarn swapping is not for me.

  • July 5, 2014 at 1:45 am
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    I have only done one and fortunately, it was a great experience for me. It was through FB group and we were given names but we did the yarn swap like a secret pal type thing. I have always gone into things with the attitude that it doesn’t matter what someone does for me as long as I know I have done right by the person I am doing for.

    I knew my secret pal couldn’t really afford a specialty yarn so I gifted her with some very lovely yarn. Her joy in that made my day.

    I was not short shifted with my gift. I would hesitate. Don’t do it.

  • July 5, 2014 at 1:32 am
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    Say No to yarns swap, it’s not worth the trouble. Unless it’s between close friends.

  • July 5, 2014 at 12:41 am
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    One word…..BEDBUGS!!

  • July 5, 2014 at 12:23 am
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    Mikey you can keep some of the people happy most of the time & some of the people happy none of the time …
    My answer is Noooo it is not worth the aggravation that would follow such a venture

  • July 5, 2014 at 12:09 am
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    I did do a yarn swap with one person once online through Ravelry and that worked out ok but we were very clear before hand on what we wanted and saw pictures and agreed beforehand.

    I want to add this experience which is similiar and had results like yours: several years ago I was part of a online group of a hundred or so crocheters and we were going to do a birthday square exchange with people making a 12 inch square in birthday jewel colors. I don’t remember how the lady set it up but this happened: it all worked well for the first few months but by July when my birthday rolled around people had evidently used up their excitement for the project and I didn’t get anything even through I’d been sending out all year. So yeah, I’m with you, I wouldn’t do a swap either. In small person to person exchanges it can work fine but get a big group going and you’re going to have people who don’t hold up their end of the bargain.

  • July 4, 2014 at 11:38 pm
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    I was part of a successful online yarn swap around the Christmas holidays last year and found it to be good fun. The organizer who was a member of the crochet facebook group ran it using elfster…that site lets you see everyone involved in the swap and automatically matches each person with a partner. It also has you create a wish list to make swapping and shopping easier. It was more of a secret Santa concept… And was fun to shop for as we approached as a Christmas gift with a minimum value. I live in Canada my partner lives in the states so I just used her wish list and used the US amazon site to send her gift and shipping was free. I got some novel yarns you can’t buy in Canada. We also had UK participants who were eager to get red heart or lion brand yarn that can’t be purchased there. Everyone was aware of the potential shipping costs and agreed to sign up if willing to absorb it in the spirit of the event. I’m looking forward to doing it again this year!

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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    Nope, I wouldn’t get involved. I see it as a way to cause way too much drama on this site and on the Facebook page! My policy of swapping is to swap what you’re willing to lose! If you actually receive something, that’s a bonus!

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm
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    I have not participated in a swap yet, but I have received donations of yarns from co-workers in the past as I make alot of items for charity (such as those baby hats I sent to Mikey a couple of years ago and the fish project too). I certainly appreciate their thoughtfulness and consideration, however some of the yarns are the “bargain bin” type and I do have rather high standards even when donating goods. I would never make an infant hat with a scratchy yarn, even if it’s free. So I graciously accept the yarns and thank them profusely and then either donate this unwanted yarn or trade with a fellow crafter. I guess I didn’t really answer the question, but NO I would not participate in a swap due to my own particularities about the yarns I like to use.

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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    I would never participate with a Yarn Swap, no telling who all slept with that Yarn!!
    Go with your gut feeling on this!

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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    Noooooooo! I always buy more than enough for my project. If someone comments that it’s a lovely color I’ll ask if they would like the extra, other wise it can stay on my shelf. I’d much rather just give it to someone in need, or use it to practice certain stitches or patterns, than go to a swap. Human nature being what it is, all of us look to go home with better than we brought.

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm
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    Never heard of a yarn swap. I wouldnt give up my yarn because I only buy what I love. I belong to a prayer shawl ministry and people donate yarn. I am the keeper of the yarn and it’s hard to give it away. I match yarn to shawl patterns and then others can envision what to make. A yarn swap sounds awful.

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm
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    Never.
    Never, never, never.

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:22 am
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      I love your simple answer to this. I agree with you.

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm
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    A yarn swap? No. I have a sister about 2 hours away from me that is a yarnaholic too and we raid each other’s stash occasionally with permission or give each other yarn – “I bought an extra ball of this lovely stuff for you to play with” – kind of thing. If there are potential strings attached – never. I am not germaphobic, but how do you know if a pet’s butt sat on it, if you don’t know the person? Down here in SC alot of people have roaches. Anyone but my sister gives me yarn – I sort it outside!

  • July 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm
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    DON’T DO IT! The honor system only works when both parties agree. Based on some negative comments to routine problems, not worth the trouble or the flak. Close friends have given me yarn unexpected and I appreciate it. The best way is to give away. Thanks again for all that you do and glad you ask us for info on difficult subjects.

  • July 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm
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    In the yarn swap I organized we used tickets. You came with your yarn and exchanged it for tickets. $1-$5 would equal 1 ticket. $6-10 = 2 tickets and so on. Everyone also knew that whatever yarn was left over would be donated to charity. We had the yarn divided by cost so you could shop easily. I was happy to trade several of my nice $5 skeins, always seem to have one skein leftover from a project, for a luxury skein I normally wouldn’t buy. People seemed happy because they knew what they brought would not go home with them and be given to charity so no one brought skeins they were not willing to part with.

  • July 4, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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    I have never ever heard of a yarn swap. I would never participate in an online swap, for all the reasons you have mentioned.
    On the other hand, if I really needed something and could not get it, I would
    outright purchase what I need from the person who is willing to part with her yarn.
    I have lots of yarn, there was a reason, I purchased it, and I am not really willing to part with any of it.
    Remember a fool and her yarn are soon parted. I would not get involved in it at all.

  • July 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm
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    You don’t know where that yarn has been. So, no I would’nt. The mouse nest just proves my point. lol

  • July 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm
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    From your article I would not participate. As you stated, most people would follow the rules, but the ones that do not ruin it for others. Just go buy the yarn you want.

  • July 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm
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    I would never yarn swap. I don’t smoke or drink and a clean person with washed hands when crocheting or knitting. I also don’t cook with grease…I wouldn’t want those odors in my things. My opinion!

    • July 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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      I learned that the hard way buying yarn at yard sales. Out in the fresh air and the breeze, sometimes YOU don’t notice it until you get it home.

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm
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    We do yarn swaps at Project Linus. Since we all use yarn about the same value yarn for blankets for children from birth-18, it comes out pretty good. We bring our leftovers, any extra from a project, or something we cannot figure out WHY we ever bought! There are times nothing appeals and I go home with nothing~~others, I may take a bit more than I brought. Seems to even out in the long run. However, this is a group of close friends and we can see and touch the yarn. (We have been known to have “yarn ball” fights~~throwing them at each other!) Think it would be extremely hard to do an online swap and I would never participate!

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm
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    I have done a yarn swap before & it went very well, but I’m actually glad you wrote this blog post because I just joined a Facebook yarn swap group & didn’t really consider everything that could happen simply because I had one good exchange. I will be leaving that group. Not saying anything bad about anyone in it, I haven’t even spoken to any of them, but it’s not worth the risk.

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm
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    I wouldn’t participate in a yarn swap, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. I have participated in the past in other swaps that didn’t go well. But my priority reason is I like to look at yarn and feel the texture before I buy

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm
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    I definitely would not participate in a yarn swap. They would never end well.

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm
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    I have never participated in a yarn swap. I understand your reason for saying no and I agree!

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm
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    I wouldn`t host a yarn swap let alone go to one. I also fear the people who will hate all over you because things didn`t go their way.
    I love my yarn right down to the bits of scraps to even fathom swapping it! πŸ™‚

  • July 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm
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    I wouldn’t do a swap under any circumstances. I am involved with a Facebook group that does a monthly drawing where you sign up each month you want to be included and then a computer program picks a winner and everybody who didn’t win sends the person who did 100g of their choice of yarn. I haven’t won yet, but I hope to some day. I enjoy it because, to me, it’s fun to pick out some yarn and bless with winner with no thought of receiving anything in return. There are a couple of hundred people involved so, of course, there are those who bail when they don’t win. But the majority of people are very good about knowing what they signed up for, following the rules and getting into the spirit of the thing. And it’s easy to opt out if you have a month where you can’t afford it or otherwise decide to not be included anymore. I think it’s a much better idea than a yarn swap, for all the reasons you outlined above.

    • July 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm
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      What is the website on FB which does this? It does sound like a fun thing in which to be involved and I would enjoy the opportunity to purchase “nice” yarn and share it!

    • July 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm
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      wow, that sounds like a fun thing to do!!! care to share the site??

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm
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    Don’t do it – you will get burnt and be so unhappy. There is just NO way to make everyone happy.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm
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    I would not do a yarn swap. The quality and quantity of the yarn carry too many variables for me. Something that seems fine to someone else, would not be acceptable to me. Think about the $5 work gift exchanges….how many of those work out well? There are plenty of places people can buy or sell their items out on the web. Don’t give yourself a headache Mikey.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm
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    Tried to do this off and on through the years, got screwed each time. Don’t do it anymore. Great idea on paper, not in reality.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm
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    My sentiments exactly ….. No yarn swaps, it is not worth the problems, I have seen it with other swaps as well

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm
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    My sentiments exactly, so Ditto……..no yarn swaps….

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm
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    In my community, there is not really any way to reach out to others who do yarn crafts. There is a small local yarn shop, but very overpriced (I can understand hand dyed and hand spun yarn being more pricey, but yarns like Mosaic and other retail type yarns were inflated double their online cost) and the owner has said that they will never offer classes or groups because they don’t want the bother. They did, however, host a “yarn swap” once and I was so disappointed. I went in hoping to find people to connect with after this event and I brought a few small skeins of Mohair yarn that I have trouble working with, some wool/silk blended yarn that was hand spun and a few other yarns that were good quality, just didn’t have enough for me to do the projects I wanted. Most everyone showed up with bags of half used yarn without labels or really old yarn like from parent and grandparent stashes that smelled musty. Because of the type of yarn this shop sells, I brought yarn that I thought would be appropriate for a swap there. I personally wouldn’t take part in a yarn swap that was more that just between myself and a friend or someone I trust. If I need another color or ball for a project I’d rather just go buy it now.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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    Yarn swaps as you have indicated would get a no vote from me, but, I have a suggestion for a swap that might work in some communities.

    Two years ago, I approached a yarn shop in West Seattle where I live about being a partner with our Threads group from church. The idea was to have people leave their left over balls of yarn in a bin at the store, take a different ball of donated yarn, and bring it back in the form of a 9 x 9 inch square. Our group then made blankets for Warm Up America with those squares.

    We had a High School Senior join us and make this her senior project and she didn’t know how to crochet when she started. She encouraged her school friends to participate and together they made 4 blankets. We also had a group of seniors in a retirement home take some yarn and with the help of one of the nurses where they lived, they knit and crocheted 2 blankets. Sharing stories of years gone bye.

    With the entire community swapping yarn and squares, we successfully completed 48 blankets for distribution to the local community that first year and another 52 the following.

    This to me is the way to swap yarn. Thanks for listening, and I love your web site.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm
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    I would only swap with a friend. My reasons are similar to your own. TCC is a great place with great people and we want to keep it that way. Thanks for all you do for us.

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm
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    I’m with everyone else, swapping in person is great, but I too am a purchase and horde type of crocheter! The only way it would work is to…well…I don’t know how it would work!!! I cannot think of any of my yarn that I would want to swap, or donate….

  • July 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm
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    I did a yarn swap once and only once online. It was exactly as you describe it. I had about 10 large skeins of tshirt yarn that i wasnt going to use. I swapped for 10 skeins of sari yarn even swap with a woman. Im still waiting for that yarn to arrive. I will gladly giveaway yarn or trade with someone in person whether it be for cost color or texture. Especially of they are friends and I have had many balls of yarn given to me. I think online between shipping and not being able to touch/see yarn makes it a broken system.

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm
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    I don’t like the idea of a yarn swap for all the reasons you mentioned above and have no desire to be part of one. I don’t really see the point. πŸ™‚

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm
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    No you said it very well in your article. While the fantasy idea exists the disappointment can be a bitter pill.

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm
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    If I were you, Mikey, I wouldn’t host a yarn swap. It just cannot end well. You get enough complaints regarding tiny issues as it is. Can you imagine the backlash of dealing with the complaints of this?? Keep yourself happy! I personally would not participate. Happy hooking!

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm
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    I’m not sure about yarn swapping….never done it but why not? What I would like to see is a Buy Sell or Trade where all those that make or desire yarn supplies or yarn items for sale could go on a site and buy/sell/trade them. I crochet and I have so many items I would like to sell. I’m also always looking for items to buy and supplies I need. Why not have an outlet where all the crafters can go to buy patterns or supplies. There are so many people also looking for handcrafted items for gifts or their own personal use and it would be a great place to shop. It you have items and you want to trade them (or swap) with someone else it would be great. A community of crafters coming together to share their craft and fill their needs. I like that idea!!

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm
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    No, it is not a good ideal to swap yarns.

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm
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    I would rather go thru my yarn a re – decide what I ha e then just give it away. I do that a lot. To someone who has less than I do or my granddaughter. It works for me.

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm
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    No yarn swapping for me! What about yarn you might get that has stains, smells and pet hair? I knit and crochet, primarily for charity for preemie babies and cancer patients. I buy yarn of varying quality/cost, depending on what it is for. Would probably receive in return colors that are unusable, 100% wool, etc. From time to time, I do end up donating some yarn for the charity, but that’t it; a donation.

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm
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    I would say no, leave it to friends and small groups, have not taken part in a yarn swap but have in a craft swap. I spent hours creating items sent them to my swapper and patiently waited to receive an item. It became apparent 2 months later that my swapee had no intention of sending. The poor person that ran the swap spent forever chasing up the people that did not have any intention of ever sending only receiving. A big let down, as it had not occurred to me that people would be this dishonest or at least the craft people involved would be. The only plus was my recipient sent me a big thanks and loved her gift. Have I taken part in another one since? NO!

  • July 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm
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    There is one component of yarn swapping that many don’t think of…and that’s bugs. When you receive something from an unknown and unsure source it can be contaminated with things such as bed bugs, lice, moths and any number of mites. As someone who frequently shops thrift stores and yard sales for yarn I would have the same degree of caution with swapped yarn as I do with found “treasures” from thrift shops.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm
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    I agree, NO Even among friends it can go sour. I have given away yarns I no longer wanted, but I expected nothing in return and that’s what I got. I do swap patterns with fiends tho. I knit and crochet prayer shawls and baby blanket for charity all the time, but I draw the line at yarn swaps, especially online. tjs

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm
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    I have done yarn swops with friends. This is on the basis of “I have this,I don’t have it earmarked for anything, it fits your project so you have it”. We don’t keep track of costs/quantity but I am sure it all balances out. My experience of any kind of swop with people you are not friends with is that it is fraught with danger for all the reasons you said. When we did an “embellishment” swop for a themed quilt the pack I got had nothing to do with the theme so was effectively useless. Mikey you seem to get a lot of unjustified complaints anyway, despite the great service you offer. I just wouldn’t go there – who needs more hassle?

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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    I agree with you, Mikey. This group is very large and you spend enough time with everything you do for us without adding more heartache and aggrevation. Your reasons (not that they were needed) are sound. Someone would end up unhappy and then the forum would be turned upside down.

    I have not participated in a yarn swap. I have participated in online recipe swaps, etc. and even those, where no postage was needed, did not go well so I can well imagine what a disaster a yarn swap would be. I would swap with a friend(s), but only with clear limits set in advance.

    Stay strong, Mikey!

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm
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    Never heard of this, nor do I want to. Just buy your own yarn. I don’t see the purpose in this at all. Why would I want to swap yarn. I went to all the trouble to gather the colors and types of yarn so why would I want to trade someone? Ya, call me selfish but I’ll just keep the yarn I have.

    • July 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm
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      I do fabric and sewn item swaps on Flickr and usually get really wonderful items and fun supplies. There are strict rules concerning quality. Local quilt store type fabric only, online okay, no JoAnn type fabric. Most of the time everyone follows the rules. Sewing skills,are beginner to experienced and that is fine, it’s how we learn and grow. For yarn I would really limit quality even if it a swap for less expensive yarn. Or divide the swap according to quality, price and amount…but that would be a huge job. Most swaps are also limited to a number of participants. I think if I were you, I would avoid this. A flickr group could be linked in and let 3 to 4 people run that.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm
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    I agree not having a yarn swap is a good idea. While in theory it seems like it is something that will be fun, most likely it would devolve into something that could possibly tear at the threads of our community. And that would be sad.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm
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    I just did an informal “swap”, but it was a bit different. Someone donated two garbage bags full of beautiful high-end yarns to Project Linus, but they were all wool or fancy glittery things, not washable acrylic like we use for our charity blankets. So I took the nice yarns to my local knit/crochet group and laid it all out on the table, asking people to take what they wanted, in exchange for acrylic yarn that PL can use. They didn’t have to give me anything that night, but can wait to buy stuff on sale or rummage through their stashes and come back later. I didn’t keep track of who took what, but I came home with one trash bag full of usable yarn for charity blankets, plus promises from many generous people who will probably give me double the yardage that they got from me. They are all happy, and I have usable yarn to give back to PL.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm
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    I would not participate in a yarn swap and I think it would be disastrous for you, Mikey, to start it with The Crowd. You’ve listed some of the reasons in your post and I’m sure there are many more. I don’t see anything wrong with a person posting on the TCC FB page that they have yarn they’d like to swap and ask people to pm them if interested. That way it takes it out of the arena of The Crochet Crowd and is just between the individuals. Or the people that are interested in swapping can start their own yarn swapping site. I see no reason why you and The Crochet Crowd need to get involved. You have too much strss in your life already! Thank you for all the wonderful things you do for us! πŸ™‚ <3

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm
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    I’d rather not swap. I’m willing to purchase at most at market value or less, but not trade with anyone I don’t know much less, trust. As much as I would like to assume positive intent, not everyone is honorable. So if I don’t have what I need, I go to the stores. If not available, I look for alternatives and make do.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm
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    I have not participated in a yarn swap, although I have done granny square exchanges. Guidelines have to be clearly established and everyone has to abide by them. Because our group was relatively small and connected online we didn’t really have too many problems. Occasionally shipments were late due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, but there was good communication of this with each other. We really enjoyed sharing what we created with our combined squares.
    I can see where there could be problems by having a large group participate in any kind of swap, especially internationally with shipping costs, however a small, well-organized national exchange could be great fun and spark a lot of creativity.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm
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    I have participated in a redditgifts yarn swap and it was great. They offer the opportunity to opt in to only shipping to someone in your country so there are no scary scenes at the post office. Also, they have a suggested gift amount of $20.00. I happily went over that and stuffed a box full of fun and different yarn that I found. According to my giftee, it was a hit. I knew that I would probably not get the same in return but had so much fun picking it out, I didn’t care. When my box arrived it was similar in size to the one I sent and contained about 20 skeins of different yarns, enough of each to do a decent sized project. I was thrilled. I liked this swap because of the suggested guidelines. They aren’t all bad, but I can see how am in person yarn swap could easily turn into a popularity contest.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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    We held a yarn swap locally, and I was able to trade in about 30 skeins for 30 new skeins, as it was a ball for ball event. Some folks brought 20 and took home only five. All the unclaimed yarn at the end of the swap was distributed to two school knitting programs and the local homeless shelter which has a knitting group for hats and scarves. In the past I have given away or donated far more yarn than I have swapped, so this was a win-win for me.

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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    One of the guide lines in my group is that we all use RED HEART yarn………………

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm
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    I couldn’t bear to swap yarns now,bad memories of a swap gome wrong so now i give all of my excess yarn to a mental health group who meet weekly,they make all sorts of things and sell them to raise funds.x

  • July 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm
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    I think it’s a bad idea because some people are going to have hard feelings no matter what you do or say.You are going to become a referee, or else have a lot of ugly posts.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm
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    I don’t think I would ever enter into a yarn swap with someone I did not know in real life as in met personally. But the idea of it is sounds good as long as it is with someone you know and can trust, other than that OH HECK NO!!! If I am going to spend my money on a yarn swap it is going to be for someone I know and will appreciate and value it as much as I would.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm
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    While i have never myself participated in a yarn swap I applaud your choice. There are other sites that yarn swappers can use, your site does not need to be one of those. My daughter participated in a make up swap sight, and while all of the girls except one followed the rules, that one girl ruined the site for the others by refusing to follow the rules, and stealing from the other girls. I can imagine it does not take more then one or two bad apples to ruin a fine thing.
    A friend of mine online participated in a swap of premade crocheted items, and what she got was stained and dirty, as well as covered in dog fur. She ended up throwing it out and who can blame her? She spent money and time to make a thoughtful item and what she got looked like it had been used to clean under the couch.
    For me, the unexpected gift of yarn is always welcome, but trying to make sure a match is made in unseen yarns just sounds like a stressful situation. In person would be easier but even then, the more vocal, assertive crafters in the group are going to end up with the best swaps, and us quiet folks will not. I will stick to shopping thanks.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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    Hi Mikey

    I would not participate in a yard swap for all of the reasons you mentioned. I have, in the past, joined in on several ‘swap’ events, and have always come away disappointed. I prefer to use my leftover yarns for making cute beanies and caps and then donate them to the Crochet for Cancer organization.

    Someone mentioned pattern swaps – I am more than happy to swap/share patterns, providing there is no copyright infringement.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm
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    I would probably end up getting “cheated” because, without guidelines, I’d be the one with the expensive yarns-even though I can’t afford it. I’d also worry that someone thought I was cheating them. So a yarn swap wouldn’t be a good idea for me either, but for different reasons than those in the article.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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    NO to yarn swapping for all the reasons Mikey covered. Paying the S/H to send yarn is crazy. The S/H likely cost more than the yarn!!

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm
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    I think if you are in person, can physically handle the yarn, talk to the person, both agree that the swap is good, then a yarn swap is fine. In your example where you have Super yarn vrs not-so-awesome yarn, I think those types of things are fine. If that lady had not attended, would you have enjoyed the show any more/less? I’ve been to numerous flea-markets and item swap type setups. Maybe I’m unique, but I can look past the exquisite and still enjoy the not-so-top-of-the-line.
    Online, where you cannot physically look at the items, not worthwhile in my opinion. Way too many issues.
    One of the best yarn swaps I ever went to was a lady who brought a spinning wheel. She would spin your dog/cat/whatever fur into a yarn for you. In payment you gave her an equal amount of yarn that she approved of. It actually worked out really well for her. But then, she’d also been doing that for years and people knew she was there.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    The only yarn swap i participated in was a huge dissappointment. It was a Christmas swap and we were supposed to include several themed items in our box. Our fav christmas carol, something knitted, 2 skeins of yarn, and a small ornament. I was very excited as this was my first, so i knitted 2 christmas dishcloths, included some nice but within the price limit yarn, and the other requested items. I mailed it off and eagerly awaited my trade. About a week after the deadline i finally received my trade. Inside the box was a pair of booties that smelled like mothballs and felt like steel wool, not to mention way too small for my size 9 feets, plus one skein of beige yarn that was stained and looked very old. Nothing else. Boy did I learn a lesson. The worst part? my partner had been one of the mediators from the yarn chat! I dont think i would ever participate in an online swap again.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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    You have to be nuts to even entertain this idea with all the wonderful things you have for us on your website. Do you not have enough drama in your life? My vote is no, I love how you do the videos, and the challenges and all of that good stuff. Why overload yourself? Yarn swapping would be like a cookie exchange at Christmas. Not so much fun!!!

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm
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    The only times I’ve swapped yarn were with my best friend and my dad. I gave my dad a bunch of Red Heart scraps and he gave me tons of baby yarn. I also gifted a lot of yarn to my friend. The only reason I did it was because I knew what I was getting.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:23 pm
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    I never join swaps for many reasons.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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    I am not a fan of swapping with someone I don’t know. My nature isn’t that trusting due to my life experiences. I try to avoid trouble and to me that is a situation just asking for it. If I attended an event like you described I think I would avoid the exquisite yarn lady or just try to buy it out right. I personally would hoard the exquisite yarn lol. I see online in many of the groups I am in where there is donating lots of yarns, people posting their yard sale finds or purchases on sale from retailer’s folks even get upset at that from some of the posts I have read.
    Again I try to avoid conflict where possible, have learned in life to listen to my instinct, perception’s are different so this yarn might be a treasure to someone another might perceive it trash. Good luck should you try this Mikey

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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    I have never done a yarn swap, would I be willing to go to a local one look around and “think about swapping something” sure. Would I do it eh? Mostly likely not – I am a buy it and hoard it type of person. Would I swap with friends like you do! In a heart beat! Do I think you should do an online Crochet Crowd Swap, No Way! I agree it is to much of a mess and WAY too many problems that can arise! Stay strong Mikey you have so much on your plate already, you do not need that too. If you really want to help, maybe add a small section on your site, facebook or newsletter for people who have swap groups or are looking for a yarn swapping pal; just be sure to add the note that you are in no way responsible for any outcome.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm
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    Have never done a yarn swap but have done a square swap and crochet gift swap. One of each. I received a bunch of squares but not what I should have. The gift swap (with just one person) was a total zero. I worked hard on the gifts and got absolutely nothing in return. No more swaps of any type for me. I just sent a box of yarn for a charity and it cost almost $12 for maybe 10 skeins! That was the least expensive.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm
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    I think yarn swaps are good among friends or group members that you know will follow the guidelines set. Otherwise, no, a very bad idea.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm
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    Hi Michael:

    I think yarn swaps, in general, are a bad idea, and I wouldn’t get involved in one. You made a lot of excellent points, and I can see how it could go bad, fast. I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. However, were I to change my mind and agree to participate in one, it wouldn’t be online, and trading my yarn for yarn of similar value would be a must. Generally, I prefer to donate my excess yarn to family and to charity.

    Brenda

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm
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    I agree with you, Mikey. It is just like the Secret Santas the kids do in school during the month before Christmas. Money is tight here, but I always made sure that my kids honored their obligation to give small items each week and then a bigger one at the party before break. In return, my kids would get something broken or maybe not at all. So I am definitely not a fan of yarn swaps unless it is as you do, between friends and to finish projects or just share what you don’t need.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm
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    I am presently a member of a Facebook page for World Wide Yarn Lottery. Every month, those who choose to participate sign up and acknowledge the agreement of the terms, including costs of shipping. Everyone in the group knows who is participating. Once the drawing happens, everyone posts proof of shipping. Those who have not followed through are singled out and followed up on. There are several reasons for not shipping on time: timing of paychecks, illness, vacation, etc. But with a month’s notice, most participants are prepared. Those who fail to follow through are permanently removed from the group and can no longer participate. It has worked well all year long. For those who had issues with the cost of shipping, Ebay USA and Ebay UK have free shipping on a lot of their yarn choices.

    In addition, I was entered as a member on Elfster gift exchange. Mainly it runs like a Secret Santa gift exchange, where everyone is paired up and we make our wishlists and then the drawing takes place at a specified time. With the anonymity, it was difficult to track everyone, and many never followed through. There was a great deal of disappointment there. For me personally, I received a generous package and I will totally thrilled and surprised. I spent 8 weeks trying to contact my “Secret Elf” to simply get a mailing address, as I had everything ready to go. I never heard back from her, and here we are another month later and I still check back to see if she will ever respond. I would like to follow through with the project.

    I can say that I enjoy the Yarn Lotto and a yarn/gift exchange is a great idea. With the everyone and everything out in the open, no one can really hide (more than once, without being removed from the group). With the acknowledgement of the rules and potential costs, those people can make their own choice of whether to participate or not for that month.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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    I’ve never done a yarn exchange and wouldn’t because of all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I used to belong to an online scrapbook group and participated in several swaps when I was fairly new. I followed all the “rules” and sent out my stuff. What I got back was disappointing and obviously stuff the other person didn’t want. The second swap was similar and after that, I didn’t bother. I would possibly do it in person but never online.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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    This also reminds me of “White Elephant Exchanges” at Christmastime. While I usually regift something halfway decent, I always end up with something horrific – hence I no longer participate. Another FB group I belong to that is relatively new just started an ongoing yarn swap lottery. I could see red flags and bells and whistles going off from the start. It’s as you say – if everything goes well, it’s all warm and fuzzy (pun intended). If not, it’s going to be a lot of drama and finger pointing. I’m at the point in life where I am NOT intentionally putting myself into anything dramatic. I intend to sit back and watch and probably stop following that page fairly quickly because I know what’s going to happen.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    I would not participate on line – too many hazards as you point out.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    I have participated in one successful yarn swap which for one friend she gave way more then anyone else with a grateful heart she let another friend and I dig through boxes and boxes of yarn and all that she asked was that we let her know how many skeins we took for her personal record. Like wise I have a friend whom I had some cotton yarn that I did not care for the color so I gifted it to her and in turn she is giving me her scrap yarn. Which I am using for stash buster afghans and entrelac.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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    I say no as well, some will not honor their commitment, then people are unhappy.

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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    Yarn swaps between friends are fine but swapping with strangers is a no no, for all of the reasons you have mentioned above.

    I never played marbles or conkers because I too was rubbish at it. πŸ™‚

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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    I would only swap among friends, for all of the reasons you stated.

    I once had someone on Ravelry ask me to send her yarn because she saw a baby sweater I made and wanted some of the yarn. Really? I sent her a link where she could buy the yarn.

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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    I wouldn’t participate in an online swap. If there were a local swap AND there was a limit on the amount of money spent per skein, I might consider it.

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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    I think it’s very smart to keep The Crochet Crowd free of yarn swaps. It would certainly end up with nothing, but a daily whine fest about who cheated who. The last thing I would want is to have the Facebook page flooded with non stop whining. I feel if people want a yarn swap so badly they can arrange one themselves. They can create their own FB page for this, and who ever wants to join in, then they can do so there. So hats off to you Mikey for standing your ground and keeping our little crochet world drama free. πŸ™‚

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    I would not get involved in a yarn swap online……….I can’t afford shipping costs, but I might check it out at a farmers market or craft show or something similar to that………..this is a good question Mikey!

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    I would to continue to say no based on some of the demands from people on your page and people looking for free yarn.

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    I have only done an in person swap, at a friend’s house, with a potluck dinner and a local group of knitters and crocheters. Everyone just brought the stuff they had no use for or bought and didn’t need or had leftover etc. Some definitely had more than others, but no one was keeping track. We just had a nice time. I think online would be a disaster, though. Unless you know every participant and all are trustworthy, unless you can see and feel (and smell) the yarn in person, there is too much that can go wrong and people will get bent out of shape or feel cheated. Agree with you here, Mikey.

  • July 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm
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    I agree. The idea of yarn swapping doesn’t sound appealing. I prefer to keep all my scraps, and if I need yarn I can get it. I doubt very seriously that I would ever participate in any type of yarn swapping. Now, on another note. I have participated in pattern swaps. If a friend has a pattern i would like and I have a pattern that she would like. We copy them and share them. Online, in person, or by mail. No monetary exchange, just sharing.

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