I branched out a little bit at the suggestion of my friend, Lyndsey, to try swapping in another group titled "Odd Ducks Swaps of Ravelry." This group is dedicated to hosting swaps of all kinds, that don't really fit into any other category. There are strict rules about participation and guidelines for your swap package, but it's all intended to be good fun.
Since I really enjoy fairy tales, especially those of the modern variety, I chose to take part in this swap (there were a ton of other options, but seeing as how I could only do one, this is what I chose). To put it simply, everything we put in this package had to related to fairy tales in some way, based on the interests, likes and dislikes of your swap partner. It didn't have to be Disney princesses or, strictly based on any one fairy tale, but you had to be smart and try and make it fun. There was a $ minimum you were expected to spend, which guarantees everyone gets a nice package, but doesn't require you to spend a lot of money if you don't have it. Participation without breaking the bank. :)
My swap partner had mentioned that she, like me, enjoyed the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood. She had mentioned a couple others, but this is what I chose to focus on. Since I enjoy these stories as well, I felt I could put the best package together if it were something that I would like receiving.
I knit two items, both of which were enjoyable, but one of which I wish I could have kept for myself! I really wanted to knit a shawl. Although Red Riding Hood is known for her red cape, I didn't think that very practical. Little girls are cute in capes, and capelets can be pretty, but I have a hard time seeing the functionality of one if you're a busy mom, on the go and not just stopping for photo shoot.
I chose the Be.Leaf pattern by Kitman Figueroa. My hopes were to knit a shawl reminiscent of the forest through which Red would travel to get to Grandma's house. A really neat color for this would have been green, with splashes of red and brown here and there, as though catching a glimpse of the forest floor and Red's cape, but I wasn't sure if she would like that. I also thought of a gradient yarn that would start with brown at the top and transition into one or two shades of green (i.e., tree trunk up to the leaves). But, again, I wasn't sure if that was her cup of tea so I stuck with simple.
(The color is most accurate in this picture.)Mary Margaret's Lace Tam by Mary Craver. Now, this isn't Red Riding Hood, but instead is a pattern someone designed to recreate the tam Mary Margaret wears in the tv show Once Upon A Time. You can't see it here on my styrofoam head, but it's a very pretty lace pattern, and when on your head, opens up a bit. My dummy-head just wasn't big enough... (my swappee was the one to point out the hat in our discussion thread so I thought she'd enjoy this).
The directions for blocking this called for pulling the tam over an inflated balloon. I'd never blocked that way before. In the future, though, I may try a dinner plate instead. This was knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Tidal. It's beautiful! :)
sheepy soap (to wash up with after the long trek through the woods),