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    • Exchanges - An Introduction

      Most Craft sites have them. Many other sites may as well but we're special. We have different types of exchanges. However, for those who are new or just haven't paid attention to this area before, how about a general introduction to this area.

      What is an Exchange? - an exchange is a commitment! When you sign up for an exchange, you are saying you will follow the rules - ALL of them. You will make what your exchange says or you will gather what you need and you will send out to your "partner" as you have promised to do. In return, you will receive from someone else (that's the surprise part) something that also matches the exchange's theme.

      Among the rules for every exchange is a required notification that you plan to enter (a PM to "Exchanger" with the necessary information that may vary from exchange to exchange). Also, you must post when you send your package and when you receive from your partner. Please read all the specific rules carefully. You may ask questions but be sure you know what you need to do before you agree to join.

      All exchanges are, in essence "Secret Pal" exchanges. You don't know before you receive your "goodies" who is your partner. It may be from another country, it may be from your same region. The fun is not knowing.

      Some exchanges may not require you to stitch anything. These are normally called "Secret Pal" exchanges, even though all are by definition. In these special exchanges, you gather materials according to the theme of the exchange and up to the maximum value as listed in the rules and send that to your "partner".

      However, most exchanges do require stitching. You stitch an item based on the rules wit the theme and often other characteristics defined by the exchange rules. It might require you to stitch a bookmark. It might require a biscornu. Whatever is required, you stitch it up and then send to your partner.

      What is an SAL? - A SAL (Stitch A-Long) is not an exchange. It is simply a group of people who are stitching the same pattern along with each other and often sharing comments and pictures of their work along the way. It's a cyber version of a stitching circle.

      What is a Mystery SAL? - A Mystery SAL is simply a SAL where the final completed design is not known. You stitch the different segments not knowing what your final result will be. Everybody is surprised!

      What is a Round Robin? - Round Robins are special forms of exchanges. Because of the logistics involved in them, they are only done on the EMS board in limited fashion in some of the international area. They are no longer done in the main exchanges.

      Round Robins are projects where multiple people stitch on a single project. Each person receives a package that contains what was done previously on the project, they stitch their part and send it on to the next person. When completed, it returns to the first person who now has examples of 4 or more stitchers' work.

      However, because of "life", the smooth shipping of each piece to the next person can get complicated and the project can become stopped for any of the pieces involved. To prevent possible hurt feelings of projects not returning to the original stitcher, this type of exchange is not normally done now.