Being a maker around the holidays is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s the perfect opportunity to share your weaving with family and friends. Nothing beats a handmade gift. On the other hand, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make perfect, individual gifts and end up spending our Decembers in overdrive trying to get it all done.
I’m sure you have specific projects in mind for the holidays, and specific colour requests, wool allergies, and scarf preferences to work around. So I’m not going to tell you what to weave. What I will do, though, is offer some strategies for making it to your family gathering without weaving yourself into a repetitive strain injury.
One item, many variations. Save yourself time spent on loom dressing and project planning by making everyone variations on the same item. Giving everyone a different colour of the Spring Bloom Tea Towel, or using striping variations on the Seaside Tea Towels pattern lets each of your loved ones take something home knowing that the rest of the family is carrying a piece of the same thing. It’s a beautiful way to connect our homes when we can’t always open our doors to each other. For a smaller group--say, siblings or a few best friends--you might be able to make a more ambitious project like matching table runners.
Business in the warp, party in the weft. If you have too many different tastes and styles on your list to give everyone the same item, you can still make your holiday weaving efficient by planning to make multiple items on the same warp. To pull this off, keep the warp simple (say, 26” wide of natural 8/2 cotton) and use a threading like straight draw or rosepath that gives you plenty of treadling options. Then use your weft choices to make each item stand out. A white bamboo throw for your minimalist vegan niece, a holiday table runner with cheerful contrasting stripes for your sister, a classic navy alpaca scarf for that father-in-law you never know what to buy for… with a blank canvas of a warp, the possibilities are endless.
Small projects, small loom. I can’t let a post go by without singing the praises of rigid heddle looms. A Flip or a Cricket lets you warp and get weaving within an hour or two, and produce a finished product in a weekend. If your floor loom is often tied up in long projects, a small secondary loom for quick gifts might be a fun investment. If your primary loom is a rigid heddle, count the remaining weeks and try to plan one gift per weekend until your list is covered. Changing up the colour scheme on our Fall Checks Scarf could give it an icy blue glow or a cheery holiday vibe.
Give the gift of choice. I know, I know. A lot of people are big on surprises. But if you know anyone who likes to call all the shots, why not give them a scarf gift certificate and get them involved in project planning? As a bonus, you can go yarn shopping together. Best of all, it frees up your pre-holiday time, and gives you a project to look forward to in January when your loom is naked.
Making holiday gifts with Gather yarn? Be sure to tag @gathertextiles on instagram so that we can share your creations in our stories