Secret Pals 4

Secret Pals 4 is a gift exchange event for knitters and crocheters from all over the world. This event will last February 1 - April 30, 2005.

Monday, January 31, 2005

You're all very welcome

First, and very, very important – I want to take this opportunity to thank YOU!

Seriously, when I started this event – I braced myself because I thought – man, whenever you get a big group together, there’s always gonna be a few grouches, cranks, etc.

Not this group – every, single, solitary one of you have been completely amazing. I cannot believe how positive, enthusiastic, funny, supportive and sometimes down right cute you’ve been.

Even during the slip ups and boo-boo’s you have been incredible.

Which just goes to prove once again, that knitters are clearly the coolest people on earth.

I stand on my chair right now and applaud you all.

Second – the many beautiful thank yous I’ve been receiving. You are very, very, very welcome. It was a big job, but I honestly had a blast and was probably as excited sending out the names as you were to receive them.

Third – I see a lot of people are asking for my snail mail address in order to send me a treat.

This is very unexpected and while it’s really not necessary – I won’t pretend I don’t love treats and that I don’t love surprises.

So Miri has agreed to hold my mailing address for anyone who wants to contact her - and vice-versa, I have her address if anyone wants to send something to our Lady of the Links. You know where to reach me and you can contact Miri at miriroosa AT gmail DOT com.
Keep in mind too, that I’m an easy lady to please and even postcards from far away lands (like Kentucky) bring me much pleasure.

Four – please don’t hesitate to contact me about any difficulties you might be having. I think a few of you have felt bad about emailing me - but it’s not a bother and that is what I am here for.

Finally, as promised, we’ll be getting a lot more info up here over the next while - I do have some more buttons too that are fab – btw!

Oh, - just to let you know about the chocolate front – I was just letting you know that you need to proceed with caution when sending chocolate outside of your country. Just be prepared for the package to be returned to you if the chocolate is sniffed out. But who knows what percentage are sniffed out. (I myself received contraband chocolate just recently with no problems. )

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

They're out there

5:31 pm - Toronto time.

With the help of a lot of Gypsy King tunes, a patient spouse and a few shots of French vodka - I was able to finish all the sp mailings.

(I like someone's comment - 350 doesn't seem like a lot at first -until you see all those blogs listed. My thoughts exactly.)

So, now is the time for you to let me know about any issues you have, such as:

1) Hey, I didn't get my sp.
2) I got a blank email from you, what the ??
3) Ooops, I accidentally let my SP know who I am.
4) Are you SURE Dick Cheney is my new Secret Pal?

Questions such as these should be sent to or a comment left here (if you are leaving a comment, just let me know who you are).

The one thing to remember is if there has been some kind of giant mess up - don't panic. While I can't solve the mid-east crisis, I will most likely be able to solve any SP issues. The worse case scenario is you might be a day late out of the gate.

I do need to walk away from this for a 24 hour period so if you don't hear from me until Monday night or Tuesday, don't worry.

But for now, this little canuck girl is going to go enjoy the sophisticated pleasure of her couch, a beer, her husband, an extra large veg pizza and Playstation 2.

Enjoy your pals!!

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Friday, January 28, 2005


Just wanted to assure everyone that the SP names are still be sent out.

Originally I thought I could get all the names out by Friday - but that was before we had so many participants. This means I will need the weekend to finish up - so rest assured the names are going out.

Also, if your blog is not listed on the side, that doesn't mean you aren't in the event. It might just be that we're having problems with your blog addy. I'm working with the always charming and lovely Miri to get as many blog links up and operating as soon as possible. It may take until after the names have all been sent out however, to fine tune and correct any mistakes.

So chins up gang, with a little British luck, we'll get through these rough waters.

Your ever persistent navigator, Jacqueline

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Added To Bloglines

In response to a request, SP4 is set for Bloglines. If you are using Bloglines and want to add SP4 to your subscribed list, click the button in the upper right corner.

(big thanks to Andrea at mellowtrouble for literally making this cut and paste simple!)

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Participating Blogs List

In the interest of clarification:

If you received confirmation that you are included in the SP4 swap, and your blog is not listed in the participant list, please send an email to miriroosa AT gmail DOT com and let me know. I know some folks were setting up blogs later, and some folks had blog addresses that didn't work. I'll happily add you to the list if you email me with your correct URL and blog title. When registration closed we didn't necessarily have correct and complete blog info for everyone, so some housekeeping here is expected.

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Participant List is UP!

The list of blogs participating in SP4 is now up! Surf around and check out who's playing!

Some of you have changed blog addresses since the list of participants was created. I did my level best to ensure I have the correct address for everyone, so please click your blog link and just make sure it goes to where you expected it to. You can report any problems in the comments and I'll get right on fixing it for ya.

If anyone was missed, you can also put your info in the comments and I'll get you added.

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Where We're At

So I started sending out the SP names and I'm loving how excited everyone is!

I thought I might be able to get all the names out by the end of the week, but unfortunately, because of the numbers I'll have to used this weekend to finish up.

Good things coming....

Miri is almost ready to post the blog links so keep an eye out for that.

There has been a blogline set up and I'll try to get that up on the sidebar today.

Thanks for the suggestion about the webring, I'll work on that after the names go out.

I'm also composing an FAQ and some gift suggestions to be posted next week.

Oh, I did want to mention something about the gifts. I'd suggest using caution when sending chocolate outside of your own country.

I know that no chocolate may be sent to Canada and any package containing chocolate into the U.S. needs a 'prior notice number' - which is a bit of a pain to get. So double check the recipient's country before shipping out any food but especially chocolate.

Anyway - today is an 'office' day for me so I won't be able to deal with too many issues until I get home tonight. Meanwhile, keep knitting, enjoy the SP's you've received and if you haven't received yours yet - hang tight, they're on their way.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005


This isn't desperately urgent, but if I could find one more person outside of France who can read French (or can fill in the blanks with the assistance of an online translator) that would be great.

You don't need to communicate in French, just be willing to read a French blog.

This is directed to those who haven't already indicated that they can read French.

BTW - I'm going to start sending out some of the SP matches tonight. ;-)

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More buttons!

Here's two more buttons - these ones remind us that spring is on its way.

Thanks to Abby for the fab job!

Btw - feel free to take whichever button you want - they're all the official button. And also feel free to put them on your blog immediately - you don't need to wait until Feb 1.

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Update on Names

Well, the good news is I've matched the names up and it really looks like I was able to match all requests for domestic and overseas names.

Right now, I'm writing up the letters with your SP buddy name. I am going to get those letters squared away and do a quick double check before I ship them out.

My goal is to get the letters out at the end of the week, however, I may need this weekend to continue to send them out.

I will send the letters before Feb 1. - so if you haven't heard from me by Jan 31, give me a shout.

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Monday, January 24, 2005

While you are waiting for your SP's

Here is the 'getting to know ya' questionnaire that was used in past SP events.

You can fill out this set of questions, post it to your blog so that your SP buddy can know what you're all about and get help with choosing your pressies.

You might want to wait a day or two to post it if you blog a lot. That way your buddy will see it and not have to go searching through archives.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
4. How long have you been knitting?
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
17. What are you knitting right now?
18. What do you think about ponchos?
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
21. Are you a sock knitter?
22. How did you learn to knit?
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
25. What is your favorite holiday?
26. Is there anything that you collect?

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Sunday, January 23, 2005

And the winners are....

The final numbers for the SP4 participation are in!

Total number of participants - 352

And the total number of participants from France is....


(Pays to not be superstitious, I guess).

So our lucky winners are:

Kimberli M.
Miri (I swear it wasn't a fix. lol)
Samantha B.
Tracy G.

So you are all winners of a set of hand made stitch markers from my house to yours.

I'll most likely ship them off next week once I get the secret pals names sent out.

Congratulations ladies!

Oh - and for those of you who were asking - the final number for California was 52, the largest amount of participants from a single state.

Once this event is over, I'll post the numbers for all the countries - I just don't want to give away anyone's location if there are only 1 or 2 participants from a country.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

C'est Fini!

The registration period is officially over and I for one, am completely AMAZED at the response. No official number yet but we are probably at the 350+ area.

Thanks for everyone for signing up!

For those of you who didn't make it, have no fear, Secret Pals 5 is in the works and I will keep you posted of its registration.

Meanwhile, I'll be busy matching names and writing emails. I'm going to try and send them out in one fell swoop so expect the letter with your SP partner's name closer to the end of the week.

***Very Important Housekeeping***
It's no secret that we're having difficulties with the excite email account. Unfortunately, it's too late to switch email providers - so I will need to ask you to do two things for me.

1) Make sure that is in your address book or marked as a 'friend' on your email security options (or whatever your system requires to allow email from a specific address)

2) Very important - when you receive the email from me giving you your SP buddy, please send me a quick reply to let me know that you got the letter. I just need to make sure everyone gets their SP4.

And as promised, the winners of the French contest will be announced on Sunday.

I don't know about you guys, but personally, I'm ready to burst with excitement.

Get ready for the fun!

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Tonight's the night!

Registration for Secret Pals 4 ends tonight so if you haven't done so already, get your email into me today.

I'll also announce the winners of the 'How Many People from France Do We Have?' contest Sunday night.

(My sister and I were up last night making the prizes for this contest -- so they're ready to go out to the lucky winners.)

Just a reminder that it will take me about a week to get everyone sorted out and letters ready to go, so you can expect the email giving you your SP buddy at the end of the week.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Looking for....

two people who asked for reminders but who's email keeping bouncing back:

Sarah Eyre

Denise in Canada with the email starting Mom23

If you want to participate, please check your email accounts or use a different email address to send me your information.

We're winding down and I just recently sent out some reminders to people I haven't heard back from. I'm beginning to realize now that 'Excite' was probably not the best choice provider for an email address as it seems to be a little wonky.

With that in mind I would like to thank everyone for their patience and kindness when slip ups happen. I very much appreciate your positive attitude.

I do need to just say here however, I have a very low tolerance for snarkiness. really. I'm volunteering a LOT if not most of my free time to organizing this event so if you do have an issue, please just tell me in as pleasant a way as possible. Directing me to your blog where you have listed your issues publicly is not cool. Remember, it's all love here.

But on to happier topics....

We have a few more buttons - yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

From Darcie two buttons (one with IV and the other with 4)

And from Sue

Thank you very much ladies, they are beautiful!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005


It's -33 celcius with wind chill here in Toronto.

Which in someways is good because it gives me lots of indoor time to count up the number of participants.


yup. 300.

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Update for January 17

Well, we're coming into the home stretch vis-a-vis registration.

Don't forget that January 21st is the cut off date, so if you've been wanting to get in your registration, now's the time to do it.

Please, please, please, - (did I say please?) if you've submitted an application and have NOT heard back from me, let me know at OR leave a comment here.

Mistakes happen, email gets lost and until I have a microchip put into my brain, I am still at risk of goofing up. So let me know if you haven't heard from me.

Also, if you were one of the people who asked for a reminder way back, remember, you STILL have to register to participate in this event.

Once I got all the names I'll start matching people and sending out info. We're in the 200+ participant zone, so this process may take a good week so have patience.

In the coming week I will post the questionnaire that you can fill out for your blog (questions about yourself so that your SP will know what to get you.), I'll try to put up an FAQ, and a list of gift ideas.

Also, many, many, many thanks to Miri who has volunteered her time to help with the upkeep of this blog. Miri will be posting links to all the participants' blogs in a short while - so you can do some knit blog surfing.

Finally, I want to send out my heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered as 'angels'. As they say at the oscars, 'there are too many names to mention' - I would need another blog just to list all the people who volunteered. This doesn't mean that my gratitude is any less however. You are all stars in my book.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

We got buttons

Very, very big thanks to our artists who came up with these absolutely FAB buttons:




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Friday, January 07, 2005


Just to let everyone know, I haven't sent out any responses to the emails I've received so far.

I won't be able to get to this until the weekend, so don't worry if you haven't heard from me.

If you still haven't heard by Tuesday, just drop me a line and I'll make sure that you're on the list.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

The numbers are in...

These updates will start slowing down, but want to let you guys know what is happening.

First, I will post a questionnaire that you can fill out for your blog - but a little bit later. This questionnaire will let tell your SP what your likes and dislikes are, etc.

Second, I thought I'd let you all know the numbers we have so far. I've managed to get through the first lot of emails, so we have:

USA (including knitters with military postings in Germany)- 128
Canada - 8
France - 8
Other Countries - 20 (I'm not trying to neglect you, I just don't want to give away the ones that only have 1 or 2 particpants)

So just for fun, I'm putting up a contest.

Anyone want to take a guess what our final numbers for France might be at registration close - January 21st?

If you want to take a guess, please put your guess down in the comment section of this blog entry - just be sure to provide your name. (Please don't email me your guess - it will just add to the email madness).

The person who is the closest without going over will get a little surprise from yours truly. In case of a tie - of course both people will get a surprise.

Deadline to enter contest - Jan 20th.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Quick Update


Okay - no official total yet but I think we're looking at 200+ registrations. The majority are in the U.S., about 20 international, and about 5 Canucks (loved to hear from more of my fellow maple leaves ;-)).

And California? You guys could be your own knitting nation there's so many of you. (With NY running a close second)

Anyway, I've received a lot of questions, suggestions and, as a bonus, three different buttons for SP4. So, I just want to let you guys know that I am still wading through the mail and will deal with questions, suggestions and other stuff hopefully by the weekend.

Oh! BTW - myself and another SP buddy have some gmail accounts to give out if anyone needs one for their anonymous acconts. Just send me an email request.

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Monday, January 03, 2005

Signup for Secret Pal 4

After the grand success of the Secret Pals 1 program hosted by Sandy, Secret Pals 2 by Heidi and Secret Pals 3 by Kae - it's time for Secret Pals 4!
Based on operations and rules of the past SP programs and a bit of tweaking on my part, I’ve devised the following rules for SP4.
Please read these rules before agreeing to participate.


Deadline to sign up: Midnight EST Friday, January 21. Please note that even though you may have asked me for an email reminder for when SP4 would begin – you still need to officially sign up.

Matches will be Distributed: The week of Jan 24-31

Secret Pal 4 Dates: February 1 - April 30.

Who is this for?
Knitters and crocheters only please.

International Participation
The previous SP’s have been based out of the United States, however, international participates were more than welcome to join.

Your hostess this time around is Canadian so SP4 already has an international tone to it. However, seeing as the majority of individuals interested in this program are located in the United States, I will use the term ‘domestic’ to refer to the U.S.

If you would prefer to send to a pal who is either in the same country as you are OR on the same continent, please indicate when you sign up. Unfortunately, with the number of international participants I cannot guarantee that I can accommodate this request, but will try my darndest. If I can’t match you, I’ll let you know and you can decide if you still wish to participate.

Finally, if you are able to communicate in any language other than English, please let me know. I have a few people who may be more comfortable corresponding in other languages.

Having a blog (or website) is really important to participating in this program. This online journal is a great place for the SP who is spoiling you to find out who you are and what you like or dislike (do you like sweets? Are you allergic to specific yarns?). It also provides a place for you to publicly thank your SP when the packages start rolling in.

Blogs are simple to set up and to use. There are plenty of places out there to set one up, but I personally favour Your blog certainly doesn’t have to be a ‘knitting’ blog – just somewhere where your pal can find out about you.
I would like to make having a website or blog a requirement, but I realize that not all participants may be able to create such a page. If you chose not to have a blog – you will still be required to have an anonymous email address. (see below).

Minimum contribution:
$50 in US dollars over the course of three months. This can include the value of your time if you make something, and it can also include any postage costs. Establishing this amount should make it clear to all what a fair commitment should be, and no one should expect more, or less. $50 over three months is just $16.67 a month; if you feel this is too much or not enough, I'm sorry, this is not for you.

What to give?
Knitting and crochet-related items are great but not the only thing. If you've been following any web sites whose authors were in other Secret Pal programs, you'll know that people gave special bars of soap, cards, candy, and other nice treats to their pals. Just remember that not everyone likes to crochet, and not everybody spins...that's why it is a good idea to get to know your secret pal a little bit by reading his/her blog or sending a few questions by email.

Number or frequency of gifts, mailings, etc.:
This will be up to the individual. A suggestion is to send something at least once each month over the course of three months. Maybe a postcard the first month to let your secret pal know you're there, a small gift the second month, and a large one at the end? Or something big at first then several postcards later on? It's up to you. But do try to send something right up front so your secret pal is aware that you exist.

Anonymous Email Address:
You must set up an anonymous email address such as the free ones from Hotmail or Yahoo so that you can contact and be contacted by your SP buddies anonymously to find out more information about preferences. Make sure to check the account regularly; you might consider having that account's mail forwarded to your regular account so you don't miss anything. If you do this, though, don't forget to reply from the anonymous account!

What about a button you can add to your site? I don’t have anything yet – and I will try to develop something, however, if there are any volunteers out there who want to show off their graphic skills…I’d be more than welcome to use your SP4 button.

Bad Karma
I realize that life happens and sometimes people can’t participate in a program they initially thought they could.

If you find you cannot participate, you must let me know ASAP so that I can find a replacement. If after a reasonable amount of time, if you can’t come up with a good excuse for failure to hold up your end of the bargain on the Secret Pal 4 – you will be replaced and your name will be passed on as ‘blacklisted’ for hostesses of future SP programs. (And you risk bad karma).

If you have not received any word or package from the SP who is to be spoiling you, please let ME know instead of using your blog to blast that individual. SP4 is all about friendship and nastiness just makes it bad for all concerned. (And again, you risk bad karma).

Let me know, I’ll try to find out what happened to your pal and if they have flaked out, I’ll get you a replacement.

Good Karma
If someone does fail to participate as they agreed, I will remove their name from the participation list and replace them with someone else.
This means that I will need a list of ‘angels’ who are willing to jump in as replacements. As a replacement, you might come in after a package has been sent to the person you are replacing. This means you might not get 100% of the packages you normally would receive.

What you do get is my undying thanks, a warm fuzzy feeling and of course, good karma.

I will automatically start the ‘angel’ list with my own name, but let me know if you are interested and thank you.

Now that you've read all this, still want to sign up?

If you are ready to go – you need to send the following information to me at (if you have ANY problem with this email, try

1) Your full name
2) Your main email address
3) Your mailing address
4) Your blog/website
5) Your anonymous email address that will be used to communicate to your SP buddies.

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