Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Round Robin Etiquette

Round robins are a fun way of getting to see other people's tatting. It's amazing how differently other people can interpret the same pattern. They can be a challenging way to practice your designing skills, or just a way or collecting tatted pieces for display. As a wonderful side effect you get to know a little more about the terrific folks in our tatting community, that we often only know through email. It's exciting with each new mailing to get a new piece of tatting made just for you. For those who don't participate but only watch, it can be fun just seeing what others are doing.

Sometimes even fun things can have little glitches. So in the interest of protecting everyone, and getting the maximum fun out of these round robins I'm going to lay down some ground rules to keep things moving smoothly.

All round robins, except for any doily round robins, will be direct mailings. Traditionally each person makes a piece of tatting and adds it to a package that is mailed on to the next person in the robin. In the past some of these packages have gone astray and everyone's work has been lost. With direct mailings if anything gets lost it's just the one piece of tatting and as tragic as that is, it's not as heartbreaking as losing everything.

All of the groups will have a coordinator who will be responsible for making sure their group of 5 or more stay on track. Life happens and we've all had unexpected circumstances that we've had to deal with. Keeping track of different schedules and different pieces for 30 or 40 people is more than I want to handle again. So this time each little group of 5 or more, will have one person who will make sure that each person in the group gets their pieces out on time, and receives their expected pieces.

Sending your tatting out using a shipping method that allows for tracking numbers is one way of making sure that your tatting actually gets to it's destination. However that can be very expensive and should not be necessary when mailing inside the country. If you mail your tatting out and the person you sent it to doesn't get it. You are responsible for making a replacement piece of tatting.

If you have circumstances like an injury, illness, family obligations, fire, flood, earthquake or other events which prevent you from fulfilling your obligations, TELL your coordinator or myself what is going on as soon as you can. People will understand if you are open and honest about what is going on. The coordinator and I will find a way to work around the situation if possible. It is much better to say, "I'm too exhausted after work to tat and I thought I could do this but I can't." and drop out of a round robin, than to have the other participants in the group think that you are a nasty person who just doesn't live up to your responsibilities.

Although it isn't required, it is often interesting to the recipient when you send a postcard from your neighborhood. Tatters will sometimes include a sample of the thread used for the project or other small things but that is NOT a requirement, it just adds a bit more fun to the tatting. Not everyone has access to the same resources and these aren't gift packages, they're tatting, so please don't go overboard. It's nice to receive little gifts with the tatting, but at the same time we don't want to make anyone feel bad because they can't reciprocate. The important thing here is the tatting.

You may only join one round robin at a time. We all know, life happens and you may be able to tat for hours today, but tomorrow all your spare time may be needed for work, or to care for a sick relative or for some other purpose. To have obligations to fulfill to 4 other tatters is enough at any one time. There will always be more round robins later.

Anticipate that 2 weeks will be allotted for each project to be completed. That should be adequate for most tatters, if it is insufficient for all participants the schedule will be adjusted to suit the slowest tatter in the group. Nobody needs to be stressed out over due dates because if it causes stress it isn't fun.

Edited to remove old signup information


Zarina said...

Perhaps you should also include the schedule so we can fit it in our schedule. I would love to join but I am tied up till year end.

Sharon said...

A schedule can't be established until we have enough people for a group. The initial information about new round robins being started was just sent out last week. I'll give till the end of this week before setting up groups. As soon as I have the necessary names and addresses I'll send the info out and the schedule will start with the first item expected to be mailed 2 weeks later,which would be tentatively Oct 24th.

All of that is contingent upon having the names and addresses by October 10th.

'RainbowRose' Connie Faulconer said...

Hats off to you Sharon!!!! You are doing a really super job at organizing these round robins. Thank you for ALL of your time you donate to these. It is an honor to be working under you.