Pay it Forward

I was musing recently upon the possibility of giving away a few items here at Woolgathered in the near future. I wasn’t really planning anything structured but a courtesy visit to a recent Woolgathered visitor (Katie: The View From the Hill) has offered a little sense of direction.

Katie says:

This idea has come from Sam over at The Life and Times of me, it seems like a lovely way to start 2009.
Simply if you are one of the first 3 people to leave a comment here I will hand make you something, quite what it will be I don’t know yet, it might involve knitting but then again it might not. If you get lucky then you agree to pay it forward and make the same offer to readers of your blog. The gift can be of any price range and you have a whole year to make it. Don’t be shy, form an orderly queue and no pushing!

I say:

What a very splendid idea. I shall do something similar.

I think though that I shall make you work for your item and not simply let the fastest trigger finger win. You have until the end of this month to leave a comment on this post. That comment must tell me… something that I do not already know. Impart your wisdom. Be like the BBC – Inform, Educate, Entertain. Not just for me, but for my readers. It doesn’t have to satisfy all three, just one will do!

On the 1st February, I shall choose three commenters and I shall arrange to make something for them. It could be anything that takes my whim, or it might be something that they dare to ask for[1]… it might be knitted, spun, baked, or glued together… or something else[2].  They will receive their hand-made reward by the end of 2009. They are required to Pay It Forward and post their offer in their blog soon after being notified of their win (or sooner, you can do this thing without advance gain of course.)

Caveat: I am sorry but affordability is all – I reserve the right to decline specific requests if I cannot support them financially.

More giveaways: Watch out for a further post on the subject of One World, One Heart

[1] This means that I am willing to take on something new – unlearned and untested. I am being brave!

[2] For an idea of the kinds of things I get up to apart from fibre play, you might like to look at my other blog, Fairhand – I’m only posting the giveaways here, to keep a grip on things better, but the giveaway covers anything that I can (reasonably) capably hand-make for you.

EDIT: I am loving reading the comments – but there are so few! The stats for this post are well into three figures… but hardly anybody is staying to chat.  Please, don’t be shy – tell me something fascinating, and you may get something nice in the post!


  1. January 5, 2009

    I hope I’m commenting in the right spot for your fun giveaway…if not, I’ll happily comment elsewhere! I adore handmade goods, and would love to have a little bit of Christmas hit me in the next month or so if I win! If you don’t mind a request…I’ve had several family members gift me crochetted or knit booties (feet warmers, socks, what have you) and they are all way too big for me. I wear a ladies size 5 shoe, and would love love some booties to keep my feet warm, or a snuggly pair of socks that actually fit. I’m happy to spread the word about your giveaway on my own blog and twitter, too. Thank you so much for the opportunity, and much bloggy love,


  2. January 5, 2009

    My little bit of info is not something you’d hear everyday. It’s two fold:

    Firstly, the optimum amount of land than can be successfully, organically and fulfillingly gardened (as in market garden/allotment/veggie growing) by two people, ie a couple or a family, is 2.5 acres.

    Secondly, that if that couple gardened their 2.5 acres to the best of their ability, they would be able to feed 100 people with it.

    Who says we need large scale agriculture?

    I’d love whatever you would care to make, but if it is a pair of wristwarmers or one of your incredible lacy scarves made from handspun yarn, then I’d probably be so ecstatic I’d be struck speechless.

    And believe me, that’s unheard of. 🙂

  3. January 6, 2009

    mmmmmm what can I tell you that you may not already know? I am usually so full o fuseless information that people give me funny looks! but when the pressure is on I can not for the life of me pull anything forward, so I will bide my time until I get a brainstorm suggesting a few makes – wristwarmers (for my allotment, well my hands but at the allotment!) or a lacey scarf
    ok here it amazing fact – pulled out of a drawer in the back of my mind somwhere
    If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause.

    I remember learning that when I went ona rememberance day parade in london from horse guards parade. I was about 13 at the time. I am now 40!

    • January 30, 2009

      @kirsty, On an episode of QI, Stephen Fry said that this is an urban myth and not true at all! I believed it myself though up till then.

    • January 30, 2009


      Donna: @kirsty, On an episode of QI, Stephen Fry said that this is an urban myth and not true at all!I believed it myself though up till then.

      Ah well, no worries. We were still entertained – and being misled doesn’t exclude anyone from the draw 🙂

      (Heck, speaking of misled… I was in my mid-thirties before I realised that misled was “miss-led” and not “my-zld”)

  4. January 6, 2009

    Here’s my fact, and I hope you don’t know it (it amazed me!)

    Reindeer have an average of 2000 hairs per square inch. and they’re hollow. (The hairs, not the reindeer!)

    Now, is that a dense coat, or is that a dense coat? 🙂

  5. January 7, 2009

    What a lovely idea!

    My fact is: the Russian for ‘to crochet’ translates literally as ‘to knit by means of little hooks’. For some reason, I find that really funny!

    If you pick me, then I would like you to surprise me – I would be delighted with anything.

    • January 7, 2009

      Hello, Lucy – welcome to our little corner of the web.

  6. Chris
    January 21, 2009

    I found you through rav, and I thought I didn’t have any amazing tidbit to share…but I realized you don’t know why people don’t comment! I can elucidate that, even if it’s just why I don’t comment.

    I’ve written so many comments for blogs, and they all come out sounding trite. I can comment on friends in real life, because I know them and can joke with them and I hope they feel loved.

    Another reason, if I’m being totally honest, is that I don’t think I’m important enough to comment and have it mean anything.

    Because I don’t know you, I almost left without commenting, but I can understand why it would be confusing and maybe a little wierd, and I often want to comment and just don’t. You seem like the kind of person I’d know and like – someone I could sit and knit with, but I’m a little shy, really.

    Please don’t choose this one for the hand-made item – I love the idea, but it would stress me out to pay it forward – after a few very bad experiences, I’ve decided to only knit for people I know, love, and who will really appreciate it, and I don’t have a blog to thank you on. I’ve learned some really awesome things from the other commenters, tho!

    Oh, and for those of you who are information junkies, check out the magazine Mental Floss – it’s one of my favorites!

    • January 21, 2009

      Welcome, Chris. And thank you for saying “hello”. I like Mental Floss too, though I haven’t looked in for ages (it was a staple back when I was working. Hmm.)

      No reason at all why you can’t PIF a friend or family member… 🙂

      • Chris
        January 24, 2009

        Oh! I hadn’t thought of that! I give away most of what I knit, I’m just a bit choosy after realizing that some people just don’t appreciate handknitting. I love the people, I’ll just give them a more appropriate gift next time 🙂

        The more I’m here, the more I feel at home. Thank you.

        • January 24, 2009

          No – thank *you* – that is a great compliment.

  7. January 22, 2009

    did you know . . .

    that a search on google for Knitting Blogs got me THIS answer?
    Results 1 – 10 of about 5,850,000 for knitting blogs. (0.26 seconds)

    That is a LOT of blogs – first of all – and KNITTING blogs – secondly. Who KNEW we knitters had so very much time on our hands that we had time to knit AND blog about knitting?

    thanks for the fun – I’ll give you a link over in my little corner of the world – paying it forward is an awesome idea. As for what I might want? A surprise is ALWAYS nice. 😉

    • January 22, 2009

      Brilliant! 🙂

      Welcome. Barbara. What kind of a bike do you have?

      • February 1, 2009

        sadly, I no longer own my bikes – I’ve owned a Yamaha Virago 535, 750 and 1100 ccs. All gone to better homes. ;(

        • February 1, 2009

          @barbara, ahh… sad. I’m a bit long in the tooth, admittedly, but I still dream of a Norton Commando of my own. In reality, we hope to get a vintage Royal Enfield at some point, to use as an island runabout. That will be after the MGB restoration is completed, of course.

          • February 1, 2009

            @woolgatherer, I hope you do get to ride and ride some more. I would still be riding, but we had a car accident a few years ago that has made my arms go wonky – my arms and hands fall asleep at inopportune times. So, it was better to see the bikes go to homes that could appreciate and use them . . . than to see them languish in the garage. I do miss them, though.

            the link here, btw, is to the first post I made about paying it forward. The one where I am talking about me winning one of the prizes will be published tomorrow. Hmmmm I think it has the same name. 😉 I may have to change that if it doesn’t come up okay.

            as for prize? Did someone say fudge???? Hmmm, ponder, ponder, ponder. I’ll let you know.

  8. January 22, 2009

    I love the idea, but didn’t want to comment for similar reasons to Chris – I would feel obliged to do the same for someone else and once that obligation is instilled in me (really it is my own stupid fault), I would get a mental block about it and not be able to do it and end up feeling more of a flake than I do already!

    Also, I am the sort of person who loves to give more than she receives, lol!

    But really, your blog is briliant and I am sorry I don’t comment enough.

    • January 22, 2009

      Yes…. You have NO idea how panicked I am at the thought of fulfilling my promises! But it is fun and I know that I shall enjoy whatever it is that I have to do at the end of it all. The point is not to make something good – it’s just to make something – and to give. So I keep telling myself not to fear!

  9. January 22, 2009

    I have the same problem on my blog – lots of readers, few comments. It sometimes feels so one-ended, so odd, to keep posting, knowing people are reading, and having no conversation. Sometimes I wonder what they some back for, and why they read, but they don’t tell me.

    I just found your blog through Ravelry (gotta love it) and wandered over.

    • January 22, 2009

      Welcome to Wool|gathered, Erika

  10. January 23, 2009

    I share your pain about the lack of comments, but giveaways are good ways to get around that. (And the fact that your blog has a well-organized commenting system should help too.)

    Your nugget of information from me is about astronomy. This year is the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of an astronomical telescope, and as such is the “International Year of Astronomy!” However, most people don’t know that an English astronomer/mathematician made drawings of the moon as seen through a telescope months before Galileo did. Intrigue!

    • January 23, 2009

      Hello, and welcome. Do we call you Beauty? Thank you for your nugget. I really am enjoying reading these, and I do hope that we get more before the end of the month.

  11. January 27, 2009

    I found your blog through Purple Moose And I have to agree your blog is way cool and organized. while mine is very cheezy… but I blog for me…

    I tend to be a lurker (sounds kind of creepy) but I love to look at all the wonderful thinks people are knitting. And it’s fun to read a little about there lives and find out that there are allot of us out here that have a lot in common. Another reason – I’m not a very good writer and sometimes my spelling is not so hot… so I’m embarrassed. People have so many wonderful projects and I’m jealous. I wish there was a way we could comment with just a “Hi.. I love your blog”.. and that would be enough. Enough whining… one thing you might not know is…..

    Knitted socks discovered in Egyptian tombs have been dated between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD… and originally knitting was confined entirely to just making socks and women’s stocking.
    Maybe that’s why knitting socks are so popular it’s in our DNA… I mean stop and think.. why would someone spend so much time and $$$ knitting socks when they are so cheap to buy …why because
    1. We’re crazy
    2. We love the rhythm of the needles.. it’s soothing.
    3. We can knit with luxury yarns and not spend a fortune.
    4. We just love to knit socks!

    Happy knitting… those socks

    • January 27, 2009

      You forgot 5. It fills in the time and 6. They are so damn comfortable and 7. It’s self-expression

      I think, for me, it’s no 7 – I like to wear something on my feet that is purely “me”, I am cultivating a sense of eccentricity in readiness for my old age.

      Thank you for your nugget, Linda, and welcome to the blog. We don’t do spelling flames here so feel relaxed about commenting.
      I might add a spellchecker button to the comments box, actually.

  12. January 31, 2009

    Hi there, just noticed that you live in Orkney. Have to confess, it’s one of the places I want to visit one day..
    Hope the spring weather is mild and nice ( not so windy), have a nice weekend.

    • January 31, 2009

      @Muoriska, welcome to Wool|gathered! Nice to see you here. I think Spring is some considerable way off for us at the moment . It’s always mild here, but I do confess that it is very windy at present. Less so today than it was for the last couple of days. Lots more to come, no doubt – especially in March. But we have the first lambs in the fields and it’s getting noticeably lighter – so Spring *will* come. She is certainly sending advance notice.

Comments are closed.