Thursday, September 3, 2009

How To Make A Care Package

Probably about a week ago, George arrived. If you remember from this previous post, Yarndude was sending George to me in exchange for a satchel of fresh lavender. If you don't remember, well shame on your for not keeping up. This is some of the most interesting stuff you'll ever read...I swear! Well, George arrived a little early, before the lavender was really dry enough to shuck (?) off the stems. And what a surprise it was to see that George arrived with a friend! I named the second skein Pearl. Don't ask...I have no idea why...but aren't they just beautiful? And they were both handspun by Yarndude! So, now that the lavender is dry, shucked and bagged...and in great appreciation and thanks to my knit bud, it's time to assemble a care package to send back to him. Now, I know it shouldn't be anything too fancy but I have to admit that when the urge strikes me, I love putting together great gifts for my friends! So, think of this as your hands-on tutorial for how to put together a fantastic care package.

Step 1: Find yourself a box.
Now, I'm going to be mailing this care package so, ideally, we're looking for something made from a sturdy material, like cardboard or corrugated iron. Iron is heavy and postage rates being what they are, well...cardboard will just have to do

Step 2: Pack the cat.
It's a universal fact that if there is a new box within the confines of my apartment, Miss Peachy will find it and sit herself right inside. In actuality, you don't want to ever send live animals through the least not without poking a few holes in the box first. They'll want to see where they're going.

Step 3: Add some pretty paper.
Even if you don't have any colored tissue paper, you should use some old newspaper or scrap paper to wrap your items in. It adds charm and class to your package and, if you add enough paper, contributes to the frustration of the recipient when they have to dig through all of it to find the hidden treasure that might not even be there at all. So there!

Step 4: Add your items.
Woo-hoo! This is where you get to truly have fun as you collect and arrange all of the little treasures you'll be sending off. For this package, I first added 1/2 pound of grey Icelandic wool roving! Super swanky, dontcha know! I bought this when I started spinning but I don't spin often or very well, I'm afraid, so I asked Yarndude if he could spin it up for me into some sock yarn for the notorious Sock Yarn Blanket. No time frame for completion...just happy it'll be in the hands of someone who will treat it well instead of letting it sit in the bottom on a paper sack.
Next, I throw in a sachet of fresh dried silver lemon thyme, grown from my own herb garden. This stuff is amazing! Great for cooking or just for the fragrance...give the sachet a squeeze, just enough to crush some of the herb to release the lemon scent.
Add into the mix two satchels of fresh picked lavender from the local lavender farm. I will never buy lavender from a metaphysical bookstore ever again. There's just no comparison in smell to bunch of fresh blooms. Plus, the bookstores tend to be over-price and briming with kooky. I should know, I used to work in one.
Ahh yes, here we have 2 balls of Paternayan wool lace weight in sky blue. This stuff actually came in a hank of three loosely twisted strands, probably closer to worsted. I spent a week of after-work evenings separating the three strands in individual balls because great lace weight is worth the work.
Here we have 5 little skeins of 100% cotton lace weight. This was some of the amazing stuff I found in the middle of nowhere, Michigan during my recent visit there. I had a few repeated colorways, so I share the bounty.

Step 5: Protect the treasure.
Keep in mind that this little cardboard chest of treasures is going through the mail...and although I take my hat off to the mail carriers of this fine country, I've had more than my fair share of beat and broken packages delivered to my house, including a poster tube of blocking wires bent at 90 degrees. Plus, what happens if it rains en route? Or if the mail dude drops it in the lake??

Step 6: Include a note.
It's always a good idea to write a short note to the recipient, maybe explaining the contents of the package or why you missed brunch that one time because you woke up with marker on your face after a long night of partying and you couldn't even really remember where your car was or even whose house you were in but that you were thinking of them anyway. Right, like that's never happened to you!

Step 7: Seal it up!
That's it, you're almost done! Just seal up the box good and tight, to make sure no tampering can take place. I always like to put in a little extra effort with some artistic embelishments. I find it helps to get the crazy out of my head. Oh hey! And look, there's George and Pearl!

All that remains is to take this lovely box of goodies to the local Post Office...which currently appears on the list of closures for the St. Louis Metro area. Rumor has it they've reduced the number from 39 down to 6...I hope mine's not one to go!

In all seriousness, this was a great time for me. I got to play with lavender and yarn and have the satisfaction of sending a great care package to a great guy who I know will really enjoy what's inside. Oh! And I almost forgot...there's a special surprise in there that I didn't tell anyone about. Shhh...he'll find it when he opens the box. How exciting!


  1. I assume you wrote this post knowing full well (is that really the phrase?) that I would read it. That being said...

    Dean! That's WAY too much stuff in that box! All I did was send you a little bit of yarn. I definitely don't deserve all of those things, and what's worse, you make my wimpy package (that lacked any sort of paper or protection) look totally worthless compared to the one you're sending me.

    Don't you worry, I'll think of something...

  2. This post is awesome and made me laugh. I can see why you guys like each other. Box on my friend, box on!

  3. That is just the cutest post! I loved it.