If you belong to any online crochet groups, sooner or later you hear of an online swap. It might be granny squares or scrunchies, could be patterns. I have particpated in a few and I have to say the one I have been happiest with is Crochetholic Deb's organized swaps. There's lots of reasons, but I'll give a few right here.
1) There's a theme. It may be Christmas or Mother's Day or maybe springtime. It helps to focus on what you should be doing for your swap partner. There are specific items (maybe hot chocolate, or maybe a handbag pattern) you give (and receive) with your swap partner.
2) It's a month by month thing. I've signed up for long term swaps before, but they seem to fall apart at some point. Let's face it, everybody is busy and life throws you a curve ball once in a while. You have no way of knowing in January that your company is going to lay off half the staff in April and still keep the same amount of work - and you'll be expected to pick up the slack. So month by month works well for me because I can sort of anticipate what will happen on a monthly basis. Not always...but it helps me
3) There's a list of likes and dislikes for your swap partners. So instead of shipping out a box of mohair yarn to your partner, you can check and see if she's (generally it's a she) allergic to mohair. Or whether she'd prefer cotton to wool, kintis or crochets, that type of thing. What I may think is the coolest yarn in the world (I have a serious weakness for Redheart's varigated yarn) my swap partner might hate - and vice versa.
4) It's great to get spoiled when you don't expect it. Sometimes my partners seem to know just when I need the package the most. All my swaps on Crochetolic Deb's have been great, I don't get that feeling I've had with some other swaps - you know the one where you think "what moldy basement did _this_ come from?". I do know that not everybody has the same financial means, but that still doesn't excuse moldy yarn.
If you want to check it out for yourself, here's the website:
There's a tv show on that has nothing to do with crochet but also fits into one of my favorite things. "Corner Gas". So why mention it here? Because one of the actors, Janet Wright, is almost always knitting or crocheting on camera. The show is set in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada and everybody knows everybody else's business. Janet Wright plays Emma Leroy, mother to Brent Leroy (Brent Butt), the current owner of Corner Gas. M's Wright will knit or crochet at the local cafe or tavern. You'll see her beautiful afghans on the back of her sofa. Her hobby does not really play into the show except for two I have seen so far. In one, she makes a bet with her son, Brent, where she will give up her knitting if he gives up his coffee. Her husband, Oscar (Eric Peterson) gives her lots of support on that choice;). On another episode, Emma teaches Hank (Fred Ewanuick) how to knit and somehow gets booted out of her own knitting group. In the U.S., it's on the WGN Superstation. If you get a chance to check it out, you should definitely do so and not just for the needlework action. In my opinion, it's one of the funniest tv shows in years. Check out cornergas.com