Friday, December 11, 2015

fr makers to makers: the gift idea list

Welcome if you've come over from other Makers to Makers Gift Lists that preceded me. Links at the end. Definitely go click on them- they beat me to many fab gift ideas.  Let's get down to business:
a skein of Dragonfly Fibers yarn in Admiral Benbow
For the Knitters & Knitters Who Stitch on Your List: Obviously a gift certificate to your LYS is always excellent, especially if you are lucky enough to have ones like Knit New Haven or The Yarnery in Minnesota or TheYarnSpot in Maryland in your backyard*. If you can't get there in person, I bet you can call over the phone, and get personal help. Or maybe, like me, your giftee admires indie yarn shops from afar, that she/he can't get to. Or, heaven forbid, you don't have a local yarn store? Why not gift someone with a virtual, yet tangible, visit?
Start with a project or tote bag from the shop of your choice, add  a couple of skeins ofyarn that's particular to the geography, toss in a notion that they'd never treat themselves to and presto changeo--excellent gift.  (Can I also say? Feel free to just take this and mail it to someone who wants to know what to get you. Right?)
A few suggestions for starters:
peeking into Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria VA
- Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA/Washington DC metro area. Danielle does it up right. Get one of her Knitting Space Girl totes (mine is well-used). One of the delightful aspects of the shop is they have sections dedicated to local yarn companies. I'd recommend a couple of gorgeous skeins from the talented local folks at Dragonfly Fibers like the one up top on this post or others they carry.  Top it off with a pair of little fun scissors or measuring tape.

-Other side of the USA, other Washington - Tolt Yarn & Wool is on my list of LYS to visit, someday.  Until then, their holiday tote bag filled with - well, pretty much anything they sell, you can't go wrong there. Personally, I'd put in a copy of the new book they produced with Kathy Cadigan's black and white  photos, Farm to Needle, and  a Salish Toque Kit, keeping it regional and stylish.

- If your giftee is into sewing and knitting, you must order them a gift bag of goodies from Clementine in Rockland Maine. Leah's shop selection is a sewist's dream come true- flannels, knits, wools, cottons, the best notions, patterns from the indies, dry goods, trims, and when she mails things to you, they are lovingly packaged and wrapped just so. If you need an idea of what to buy, consider some of the projects on her Pinterest board and order the makings for someone crafty. (Or, make it yourself. Do you love the flannel blankets with pompom edging?) She's also the go-to purveyor of Starcroft Yarn, grown, spun and dyed by her mom, Jani Estell.  This yarn, in itself, is never ever a bad choice.

Yarn in a Box Club/Kits !
A few years back, I listed yarn CSA's and Sock Clubs to give as gifts. The Yarn and Fiber CSA's  have all but disappeared. Clubs come and go. Do not use my old lists as a resource,  I'll save you by not linking to them. But never fear, the Yarn Box Kits is here!
a little stack of items knit with Zen Yarn Garden yarns
The purveyors of stunningly dyed yarns, Zen Yarn Garden have a fabulous subscription Zen Knit Box, it's available in shawl boxes or as the blanket club. Or you could get one of each for your giftee.

Another gift series of yarn+pattern, with lots of customization options is YarnBox . Looks delish.

Buy Ready to Wear from an Indie Maker
I truly do not enjoy shopping in big stores,  I'm  better in neighborhood small shops and oooohh baby give me a souk or market with haggling and I am so there (seriously, you probably hate dickering but I totally dig it. Take me to Morocco with you and I'll show you my stuff).  The one kind of shopping I'll go for locally is Pop Up Shops or makers markets and craft shows...but sometimes the timing isn't right. Luckily, we've got online.
Two of my faves, that I shop at
 Peterson Sweater Company - Hand loomed fine gauge knits, beautifully crafted, and excellent fitting. (If you're local, Chelsea's got a pop up shop at The Haven Collective in New Haven CT this month, too).

Naturwrk shirts  I know, there are so many places for screened tshirts but these, I can personally testify,  are the very best. First off, they're illustrated and screened by hand in Nashville by an indie artist.  The quality is crazy good- soft, well made and they hold up. I'm on year 4 with mine and they haven't faded or stretched out or fallen apart at the seams.  I'm kind of loving his takeoff on the xmas sweater--and the tea towels (I already have that bee on a shirt, its a summer fave). Full disclsure, the artist behind this is a cousin, but that's just icing on the cake.

And I can't leave off
ex libris anonymous -  book journals--recycled books that are recycled/upcycled into bound blank paper journals.  I love mine so much I can't bring myself to write in them (I know, that's nuts). Shopping their etsy shop is a hoot- it's  fun to legit be judging a book by its cover ;-).

The Mason-Dixon Coloring Book - in case you've been under a rock and haven't witnessed the adult coloring book phenomena this we have one we can call our own. Lots of peeks inside on their blog, and ample linkage to purchase, too. Brilliant!

All around genius with color and design,  Kristin Nicholas has  many great gifts you could give in her online shops, from books and cards ,to embroidery kits to her colorful pottery. Don't wait too long thinking about that last one, it's all going to get snapped up as she refills her etsy shop!

Craft Activism  --Lastly, my book with Joan Tapper, in which we are all about making for a reason--whether you're knitting a group blanket like Fussy Cuts , upcycling and repurposing T-shirts into fabulous dresses with instructions by crispina ffrench, or discovering the granny square for its modern contribution to the world of fashion..and beyond. For makers who enjoy all the media, not just yarn.

Happy gifting! For more ideas, go to some of my maker friends who also participated in this chain of gift ideas, they beat me to many I would have included!
Beverly Army Williams / Po Mo Go Lightly
Mary Lou Egan / Yarnerinas
Cal Patch/ Hodge Podge Farm

* Apologies to all the other wonderful LYS I left off- just included a smattering of those I am in contact with most regularly.


Mary Lou said...

Oh you guys did better lists than me! I should have added shops. Maybe I'll do another one. I love yarn called Admiral Benbow!

Linda said...

Love all the lists for gifties! I really need to visit Fibre Space again. I normally go to Uniquities.... It is closer for one! But I also really like it!

Linda in VA