Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Just one more week to go!!!

Hi everyone! This is a reminder that there is just one more week to sign up for round 7 of Secret Pal!! The deadline is Midnight on January 4, 2006. We will not accept any signups after that. Please make sure to include all of the information listed in the rules below. E-mail us at with SP7 Signup in the subject line, and you'll be entered to participate.

Also, the button contest is up in just 2 days! If you'd like to design a button, e-mail it to with "button" in the subject line. We must receive these by 12 midnight on Friday, Dec 30th. Winner will be selected shortly after by pooling all entries and chosing one out of a hat. Thanks for all of the entries so far and we look forward to seeing more!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, we hope you and your families all have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

tips for using your anonymous email address

In the last round of secret pal, my pal accidentally included her "real name" in what should have been anonymous email. While it didn't spoil my experience, it did make me realize that some people might need help configuring an account to be anonymous.


1. If you'd like an invitation to gmail, send an email to knitting secret pal 6 at gmail dot com (my previous anon email address). Just leave out the space and use at the end.

2. When you sign up with most free acounts (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc) your "real" name is required. However, this is seperate from configuring the name that will show when you send email. You can usually change this via an "options" panel in the web based email client. If you have trouble with this, you can use the contact form on my blog to ask a specific question...just let me know which free account you're using.

3. It is helpful to configure your mail client (eudora, outlook express, outlook) to check your anonymous email account. You can also use your usual email interface to send email from your anonymous address...most of the free account now support "pop3" access which means you can use your mail client to check and send that account. Look in the help secion or search help for "configure mail client" or "pop3 access".

4. When you configure your email client, again make sure to protect your name. For example when configuring my gmail account for this round in Outlook, where it says "name" I entered "secret pal" you could put betty boop, elvis presley or whatever...just make sure it's not your real name.

5. If you have any doubt as to whether your name will show or not, use the anon account to send an email to your main email address. You'll get to see it exactly as your future pal will

Monday, December 05, 2005

The rules!!!

Here's what you've all been waiting for!

Deadline to sign up: January 4, 2006
Matches will be Distributed: On or before January 13, 2006
Secret Pal 7 Dates: January 13 - March 31, 2006

Who is this for?
Knitters and crocheters only please.

International Participation
This SP event is based in the United States - the term
"International" will refer to all participants outside of the U.S.

Where ever you are - you are welcome to join!

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 we cannot guarantee that we can
accommodate this request, but we will try. If we can't match
you, we'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 us know. We have a few people who
may be more comfortable corresponding in other languages.

Having a blog (or website) is mandatory for 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. Your blog
certainly doesn,t have to be a knitting blog, just somewhere
where your pal can find out about you.

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!

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, We're sorry, this is not for you.

NEW for SP7:
We are adding a mandatory letter to the contribution.
There is just something exciting about opening the mailbox
to find a snail mail letter! Sending one card, letter or
post card is required during the three month duration of SP7.

Your Pal
Once you have been assigned a secret pal, please send them
a quick note to say hello (from your anonymous email
address) so they know they've been paired. Keep in mind
that the fun of a Secret Pal event is to meet and get to
know a random person who shares a common interest with
you (knitting and/or crochet). There is a method to the
madness of matching up all the participants, and you only
get one match. Complaints about your secret pal of the
"I'd rather not have a pal who " nature are a quick way
to have yourself removed from the event. If you feel you
have a valid reason to request a rematch, email away...
just know that you cannot pick and chose your secret pal
and we will not hesitate to remove anyone who appears
to be missing the point of a Secret Pal exchange.

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/herblog or sending a few questions by email.

Number or frequency of gifts, mailings, etc.:
You must make contact with the person you are spoiling at
the beginning of each SP7 month - let them know they have a
pal, and let them know you're still around with an email to
touch base at the beginning of each month (Jan, Feb, Mar)!
It is required that you send your secret pal at least one
something per month of the event. This must include at least
one piece of "snail" mail (a letter or post card), and one
package. If you'd like, you can send one package a month to
spread out the gifts, or one big package at the end. If you
just send one package, make sure to let your pal know your
plans so they don't feel abandoned.

Remember to use your anonymous email when contacting
them. If you are going to be out of contact for a
while - let your pal know. It's an awkward situation
when you think your pal may have forgotten about you.
You can also use Hallmark (or countless others) to send
free e-cards as often as you like. Remember to treat
your pal as you would like to be treated.

Also, please be sure to keep in touch with the secret pal
who is spoiling you. A quick email to let them know you got
the package will ease their mind as to whether or not it got
lost in the mail. Part of the fun of Secret Pal is the joy
of giving, and that includes knowing your gift was received.

Stuff happens. So - if for some reason you are unable to
follow thru with your responsibility with the program -
please do not hesitate to let us know.

If you find you cannot participate, you must let us know
ASAP so that we 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 7,
you will be replaced and your name will be passed on as
blacklisted for hostesses of future SP programs.

If you have not received any word or package from the SP
who is to be spoiling you, please let US know instead of
using your blog to blast that individual.

Let us know, we will try to find out what happened to your
pal and if they have flaked out, we will get you a replacement.

If someone does fail to participate as they agreed, we will
remove their name from the participation list and replace
them with someone else. This means that we 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.

Final Note

And it's important!

Please keep in mind that we are *volunteering* our time to
run this event. We have all participated in past Secret Pal
events and know how much fun they can be and wanted to
help continue the tradition - but it does take a lot of time
and effort. While we're perfectly open to constructive
criticism if you think something is a bit amiss, and we will
gladly respond to any civil and respectful queries, please
check your attitude at the door. Thank you.

Once you have agreed to these terms... and we will assume
that you have agreed. Send us an email to:

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
6) Age Group (18 and under, 19-24, 25-34, 35-45, 45-60, over 60)
7) What are your hobbies/interests other than knitting/crochet
8) Would you prefer to send to a pal who is either in the same country as you are OR on the same continent
9) Do you like giving/receiving handmade gifts
10) Is your home smoke/pet-free? Do you have any allergies to pets or smoke?

We look forward to hearing from you! Let the sign-ups begin!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We have decided on a timeline for SP7! With the holidays rapidly approaching, we have taken this into consideration in our plans.
1. Sign-ups will begin some time next week, and we'll post on that as soon as we have all the rules/details sorted out.
2. Sign-ups will end on Jan 4, 2006.
3. Matches will be distributed on or before Jan 13, 2006.
4. SP7 will run from Jan 13-March 31, 2006.

More information to follow!

SP7 hostesses