Handmade Gifts for the Holidays

Handmade holiday gifts are something the friends and families of every weaver (and knitter and spinner and felter and..) know about and treasure. We may be planning all year, but come crunch time, many of us are hunkered down in our studios, listening to the rhythmic and hypnotic sounds of our looms in action.

The list of what we weave is exhaustive and the ideas endless. Give two weavers the same draft (pattern) and two unique creations will emerge. The variation in color and type of yarn only begins the uniqueness that every weaver brings to her (or his) finished product. Holiday weaving seems to enhance this already magical creativity.

If you are not a weaver yourself, don’t leave yet. I have some ideas for you further on. In the meantime, keep reading.

Why Handmade and Handwoven?

  • Because we can
  • Because we weave
  • Because we create
  • Because the gift is personal
  • Because the receiver knows the gift is personal, made just for them
  • Because there is a story with each gift
    • The creation
    • The planning
    • Why each component is chosen
      • Color
      • Yarn
      • Structure
      • Pattern
      • Because the gift endures

What we Weave: (not an exhaustive list)

  • Scarves
  • Shawls
  • Stoles
  • Fabric and textiles for clothing

    A wonderful Daryl-vest. http://weaversew.com/wordblog/
    to learn more about this amazing weaver!

  • Ribbons for decorations, clothing trim, hair and gift wrap
  • Liturgical items
    • Tallit
    • Altar cloths
    • Stoles
    • Wall hangings for church and synagogues
    • Purses
    • Pouches
    • Jewelry
    • Rugs
    • Blankets
    • Bedspreads
    • Decorative pillos
    • Pillow cases
    • Curtains
    • Tapestries
    • Wall hangings
    • Sculptures and 3-D art
    • Textiles for the home
      • Tea towels
      • Napkins
      • Placemats
      • Tablecloths
      • Mug rugs and coasters
      • Table runners
      • Dresser runners
      • Tea cozies
      • Daily use items in holiday colors and motifs
      • Upholstery textiles
      • Specific Holiday Items
        • Christmas ornaments
        • Christmas colors and motifs on household textiles
        • Hanukah colors, themes and motifs on household textiles

What to do if you don’t weave but want to give handwoven gifts? Keep you eyes open for weaving guild sales. Many guilds have their sales close to the holidays. My guild, the Jockey Hollow Weavers has it’s annual Show and Sale the second week of November. Our fearless leader, coordinator Caroline Hicks-Elwood went ahead with the sale this year in spite of the effects of “Superstorm Sandy”, which still had many areas surrounding the venue without power. Kudos to my guildmates, some of whom had been without power, and sometimes heat or water for 2 weeks, yet still participated with handmade items and showed up to volunteer!

Lois and Ellen take a break from demonstrating weaving and spinning.

Looking for a weaving guild in your area? Search on the internet using the keywords weaving guild, weaver’s guild and adding your city, state or country. Search in an area that you might be traveling to or visiting during the summer or in November and December. Summer is another “hot” time for guild sales.

Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) http://tinyurl.com/66qn3o and the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association (MAFA) http://mafafiber.org/members.html and the Assocition of Northwest Weavers’ Guilds http://northwestweavers.org/member-guilds/ are a few of the places to find listings of weaving guilds. Check out the guild’s website to see if they have a sale and when it is.

What do you weave? Get into the action by commenting below! What do you weave? Why? For whom?




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