Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rules of the Road

The Rules:
Please take time to read through the rules as there have been some minor changes. :-)

1. Deadline to sign up: February 28, 2007
2. Matches will be distributed: On or before March 15, 2007
3. Secret Pal dates: March 15, 2007 though June 30, 2007

Who This Is 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 the United States.

You are welcome to join no matter where you live!

Due to the high number of International participants, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all requests for same Country/Continent pals.

If you are able to communicate in any language other than English please let us know. We normally have several participants who are more comfortable corresponding in other languages.

Blog:
Having a blog (or website) is mandatory for participating in this program. If you're new to blogging, please note that you must have at least 10 posts in order to join SP. Your blog must be public (if not, you MUST allow anonymous access to your pal and your hostess) and post at least 4 times a month throughout the 3 months (April, May, and June) of the exchange. 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/cards start rolling in. Your blog certainly does not have to be a knitting blog, but you must have one fiber/hobby related post each month.

Anonymous Email Address:
You must set up an anonymous email address such as the free ones from Hotmail or Yahoo so you can contact your SP buddy without giving away your identity. Make sure to check the account regularly. You might want to consider having that accounts mail forwarded to your regular email account so you don't miss anything. If you do this, don't forget to reply from your anonymous account when corresponding with your pal!

Minimum Contribution:
$60 in US dollars over the course of the three months of the exchange. This does not include the value of your time if you make something or any postage costs. Establishing the amount should make it clear to all what a fair commitment should be, and no one should expect more, or less. $60 over three months is just $20 a month. If you feel this amount is too much or not enough, this exchange is not for you.

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 participants and you only get one match. Complaints about your secret pal of the "I'd rather not have a pal who..." variety are a quick way to have yourself removed from the event. If you feel you have a valid reason to request a rematch, feel free to email your hostess. Please remember though that you cannot pick and choose 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 you are limited to sending. Lots of participants also like to send their pal soaps, lotions, candy, cards, candles, and other special treats. Just remember that not everyone likes to crochet and that not everybody spins. It's a good idea to get to know your pal by reading the responses to their questionnaire and their blog entries. If you're still stumped, ask your pal what specific things they like. You can always ask your hostess for help too. We've seen lots of neat packages and will be more than happy to make suggestions.


***If you will be gifting items from your stash they MUST be in brand new condition.***

Number or Frequency of Gifts:
The number of gifts you send to your pal is entirely up to you. You can send one package a month to spread out the gifts, or one big package at the end. However, sending something snail mail to your pal once a month is a really great way to keep the exchange fun and exciting. Post cards, letters and cards are great, inexpensive ways to stay in touch with your pal if you choose to send only one package of gifts at the end of the exchange. If you do choose to just send one package, make sure to let you pal know your plans so they don't feel abandoned. Purchasing delivery confirmation for packages is a great idea. It's less than $1 at the post office or free when you use click and ship at the USPS website. If sending one package at the end of the exchange delivery confirmation is a requirement.

Contact:
You must make contact with your pals on the 1st and 15th of each month of the exchange (April, May, and June) to let them know you're still around with either an e-card, blog comment, or email. Of course if you'd like to contact your pal more often, you're more than welcome to do so. Remember to use your anonymous email when contacting your pal. If you're going to be away for more than 5 days you must let your pal and hostess know. It's an awkward situation when you think your pal may have dropped out of the exchange because you haven't heard from them. Remember to treat your pal as you would like to be treated.

Please remember that keeping in touch with the pal spoiling you is just as important as staying in touch with your spoilee. A quick email to let your pal know that a package has arrived will ease their mind as to whether or not it got lost in the mail, not to mention it's just plain old good manners. A public post to your blog to thank your pal is required within 72 hours of receiving your goodies. Part of the fun of Secret Pal is the joy of giving and that includes knowing your gift was received.

Stuff Happens:
If for some reason you are unable to follow through with your responsibility with the program please let us know immediately so that we can find a replacement for you. We realize and completely understand that things come up some times that are totally out of your control which might prevent you from participating but you need to let us know instead of avoiding your pals and your hostess. If you stop participating and don't respond to your hostess you will be replaced and your name will be added to the banned list for future SP programs.

If you have not had contact from your pal as outlined above, please let your hostess know immediately. Do not use your blog or the SP blog to blast your pal. We will try to find out what happened to your pal and if they have flaked we will get you a replacement.

Angels:
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 we will need a list of "angels" who are willing to jump in as replacements. As an angel, you might come in after the person you are replacing has already received a package. This means you might not receive the full $60 in goodies you would normally receive. We will also be accepting monetary donations through PayPal as well as tangible items to be used this round. If you're interested in donating either or both, please let us know when you sign up.

Final Note:
It's an important one! Please keep in mind that we are volunteering our time to run this event. We all have participated in past Secret Pal events and know how much fun they can be and want to help continue the tradition. This takes an incredible amount of time and effort. If you think something is amiss please let us know. We're perfectly open to constructive criticism and we'll gladly respond to any civil and respectful queries.

The hostesses also reserve the right to remove any participant at any time at our discretion.

*Anonymous comments on the Secret Pal blog will be immediately removed no matter what the content of the post is.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to send an email to the hostesess but it keeps bouncing back. I'm wondering if perhaps the email addy is wrong...help!

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posting just to point on the wrong deadline information. You haven't changed it after coping the draft from the past round... :)

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry everyone!! I fixed the blog post, as well as the e-mail address. It is the same one, but it should work properly now.

10:35 AM  
Blogger knittindiva said...

I'd love to join the SP10.....how do I go about doing this? Do I email someone specifically??? If so, who. I do have a blog (www.xanga.com/knittindiva). Help!! I don't want to miss the boat!

~~Knit On!
Bette in Northern VA

2:40 AM  
Blogger Tini said...

Hi,

one more question: Do I write my adress onto the parcels I'm sending? I mean if I mail 3 packages I won't be secret anymore?

11:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home