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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

End of Month 1 Fast Approaching

Okay - so that was an awkward title.

Anyway, we're coming around the corner of the end of month 1 and it looks likes things are going swimmingly. I've loved reading the blogs and how happy people are with their SP's.

On March 1st, I am going to start employing our Angels to replace people who are not actively participating in this event. So with that in mind I urge you to contact your pal if you haven't done so already.

One other point - if you haven't sent a present yet, could you just give your SP an indication of when you will send. There were no strict time lines for when your gifts are to be sent, but a curtsey email if you are planning to send your gift after March 1st would be appreciated.

I know someone of you are planning to send 1 large gift or you are making something for your SP which means that your present will arrive later. If this is the case, please, please just let your SP know. This will reduce anxiety.

That's it for now - keep enjoying those pals!

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Monday, February 14, 2005


Okay, worst title ever? Possibly.

Our clever participant Karrie has set up an SP4 web ring for those of you who'd like to join!

Click right here, and click on "join the ring" at the top of the page. You'll be asked to complete a short form with some basic information. Once you submit your form, Karrie will cross check your site against the list of SP4 participating sites, and then you're added!

There is a little chunk of code that needs to be pasted into your site, so you will get the image for the ring navigation. (you can see it under the list of blogs in our sidebar) It's easy-peasy, the only trick is that in the code, there is a generic "IMAGE" tag, which you must replace with the path for the SP4 button of your choice. Karrie and I will surely be happy to help anyone who has questions about that part.

Now go forth and be a joiner!

Click to read more

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It's oh so quiet

Well gang, it looks like everything is well under way and that you're all enjoying your Secret Pals.

I've been surfing around the blogs and I can't believe how many of you have already received your first packages. How fast and how exciting!

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick reminder to contact your SP if you haven't already done so and if you SP has sent you an email, please send her an acknowledgment.

Also, be sure to keep your blog up to date so that your SP knows all about what makes you tick.

End of nagging.

Now - Valentine's day is coming up so be sure to be creative and sneaking with that. I'm trying to think about the different ways it's celebrated around the world. Don't they give out marshmallows in Japan?

Ciao for now knitters!

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Quick update

Hi guys!

Sorry for the silence - we've had some projects at work that need to get completed and have been taking up my brain space. Then I spent last night doing this strange thing involving a pair of sticks and some string - I don't know if you've heard about it - it's called knitting. I seem to remember doing something like that in the past....

Anyway two quick things.

#1 - if you haven't had an opportunity to send your SP an email to say 'hello' - you might want to do that. Even a fast e-card just to let your pal know that you have their name.
And if you have heard from your SP - please send them a quick note to let them know you've received their mail. There is concerns that some of the emails - especially from anonymous email may be considered 'spam'.

#2 - Suzanne has emailed me to let me know that if there are any other vegans out there (or people shopping for vegan pals) she know where to get vegan treats to send out. Just email me (Jacqueline) and I'll let her know you're interested.

Click to read more


Just a reminder to take a flip through the FAQ before you send a mailing to your SP. We are getting some great information in the comments, specifically around valuing your package if you are sending out of your country. Value over a certain monetary amount will result (possibly!) in your pal having to pay duty on the package.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Another cute SP4 button!

Kitty Kitty from knit buddies sent us another button for SP4!

It's in the sidebar for your use. We have so many cute buttons now that I think I'd have to rotate them each week to use them all!

Click to read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Folks who haven't played in a previous Secret Pal incarnation might have some questions about logistics. (I know I have had some!) Enter the FAQ for SP4 post. We'll list the questions being asked about how this all works, and keep those answers right here for your reference. It will be updated whenever a new question comes across our desks.

I have a favor to ask. If any of you talented button-creators have one more left in you, I could really use a button that reads "SP4 FAQ". That way I can set it to the permalink of this post, and keep it in our "Important Info" area. If you feel like whipping off another button, please email it to miriroosa AT gmail DOT com, and thanks in advance! The always helpful Andrea from mellowtrouble comes through again! Link is now in the sidebar!

Now - onto the questions!


How the heck does this work, and who is it that is not supposed to know my identity?
  • You are keeping your identity secret from the person you are sending to.

    This is how the whole system works.

    If there were only 4 participants, ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ I would have matched them up as such

    A sends to B
    B sends to C
    C sends to D
    D sends to A

    If you were participant ‘B’ you would know who ‘C’ was but you would keep your identity secret from them. ‘A’ would send to you but you wouldn’t know who they were.

Do we reveal our identities at the end?
  • You bet!

I haven’t heard a peep from my SP, what do I do?

I just got dissed on someone’s blog! What do I do?

I have a question about how this works! How do I get it answered and then added to the FAQ?


My blog’s link or title is wrong on the SP4 page, how does it get fixed?
  • Email your corrections to Miri

I’m the only participant from Kuala Lumpur! Won’t my blog give me away?
  • If you are the only participant from your state/country/planet, email Miri or Jacqueline. We may use some ‘ringer’ blogs - blogs that are not participating, but may be from your state/country/planet and could be used to throw an investigation off track. If you know of other knit blogs from your state/country/planet that can be used, please let us know.

I’ve never done this blog thing before! How do I get help?

I am part of SP4! Can I use these buttons? When can I use them? Which one do I use?
  • Yes you can! Place them on your site whenever you like! See the help sites above if you do not know how. And you can choose whichever one strikes your fancy!

Some of these blogs are not in my language! Is there help if I want to read them?


Okay, seriously. What’s the story with sending chocolate?
  • Some folks have experienced trouble, some have not. Our best advice is to double check before sending chocolate/foodstuffs to another country. If its not permitted and you send it anyway, it may get through, or it may be sent back to you, delaying your entire gift to your pal. When in doubt regarding what can or cannot be mailed, check with your local postal station first.

Got any tips for mailing?
  • One of our brilliant participants posted this info:
    If you are sending a package to your secret pal from the US to another country you should definately mark your custom form as a gift and not merchandise. Merchandise would cause your pal to have to pay a duty on the item. You should also say that the value is below $50. Since usually boxes that are above that value get tagged by customs and searched. Pack as lightly as possible, since if you go over a certain weight you have to fill out the big customs form vs the small easy one.

    She also suggests the following:
    1) Don't wrap since atleast for me those packages that have wrapped items always get hand searched and the gifts opened anyway. The person may never know you spent a long time wrapping. Or worse have a damaged gift.
    2) Be sure to write in a permenant pen and include the address inside. If the package gets wet in customs and your forms get smugged you always have another address inside the box for them to use

    Good tips.

Won’t my pal find out who I am as soon as I mail something and my name/return address is seen?
  • Jacqueline worked hard to try to match the SP’s with enough distance that they hopefully won’t know each other by address alone. As for the name, the suggestion is: use an alias! Now is your chance to become Queen Elizabeth I or Zazu Pitts. (Suggestion: you know that there are names out there that would just attract postal searches. Don’t use those, okay?)

If I want to create a DIY knit kit, can I copy a pattern from a book?
  • Sticky wicket, this one. Safer bets include buying the book for your pal as part of the kit, or providing the only the supplies and referencing the suggested pattern and book it’s found in, or making the item itself from your own book and gifting your pal with the completed item.

    For copyright info, check these sources:
    Copyright: A Primer for Knitters
    The Copyright FAQ for Knitters

Click to read more

Now With Expandable Posts!

In order to keep the front SP4 page from being buried under the long FAQ post, I have made posts expandable. You will see a link at the bottom of each post that reads "click to read more" - if you click it, you will see any additional content. The FAQ post (forthcoming in a moment) will have the actual FAQ content hidden, and you will need to expand it to read the full post.

Clear as mud!

Click to read more


Okay - so Miri is going to post some FAQ's later to help everyone out.

Right now though, I thought I'd cover one issue - which I probably SHOULD have done right from the get-go. A lot of people aren't sure how the secret pals were distributed and who's to remain anonymous to whom.

This is how the whole system works.

If there were only 4 participants, ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ I would have matched them up as such

A sends to B
B sends to C
C sends to D
D sends to A

If you were participant ‘B’ you would know who ‘C’ was but you would keep your identity secret from them. ‘A’ would send to you but you wouldn’t know who they were.

You are keeping your identity secret from the person you are sending to.

Gift Suggestions

Here were some suggestions posted on SP2 - please feel free to add to this list:

1. Handmade soap or candles

2. Other bath treats--lip gloss, lotion, etc.

3. A bottle of wool wash. (Come on, admit it--you usually use dish soap!)

4. Candy

5. Music - make a CD!

6. Small knitted items, or a kit (make it yourself!)

7. Postcards and other mail (blank, or written to your pal by you!)

8. Other types of crafts that you do--quilting, papermaking, etc. Or maybe supplies for a new craft.

9. Books

10. Containers to hold your knitting supplies. Here you can get really creative!

Also, remember, Valentine's day is around the corner.

The 'How Many People from France' contest

The prizes - loverly stitch markers - for this contest are going out today! Yeah!

And for those of you who are the stitch markers created by my sister (with me as her wee elf.)

Click to read more

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Your update

So I think I've worked through most of this issues - but please let me know.

And if you haven't heard from me - bug me. Now is the time to be the squeaky wheel. With all the names out, I have more time to fix things. In addition, I think I blew out the 'keeping everything straight' chip in my brain - so just hassle me.

We have two more buttons which are long overdue for being posted on this site. Which is a shame because they are really amazing.

Thanks to both ladies.



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