This list of gifts for crafters could also be titled Things I’ve Bought, Things I Want (hat tip to Kim France). I hope you find it inspiring. I’ve limited it to small, independent stores and creators as much as possible. I will keep adding to it as well, as I find things that are cool, beautiful, or otherwise amazing. 🙂
One of my favorite things to buy this time of year for myself and others is The Dolphin Studio Calendar, hand silk-screened by three generations of the ffrench (no, actually) family in Massachusetts. This year is their 50th edition! The prints are whimsical, charming, thoughtful, beautiful — each family member brings their own sensibility to their month. It’s one of those things that has that lovely made-by-hand quality missing from so much of our lives. I’m looking forward to seeing 2021…
Tenugui are scarf-size, all-purpose towels made of lightweight cotton, typically given as gifts. These tenugui are handmade in Arimatsu, Japan by shibori artists and they are stunning. Slow Fiber Studios is based in Berkeley, California and supports traditional and contemporary textile practices through education. I took a natural indigo workshop there a while back — it’s a cool place. Any one of these tenugui would make a very lovely gift.
I just got my iine kit in the mail this week — iine means “nice” in Japanese and these kits are nice :). I love that the fabric is triple gauze — so soft — and that it’s such a small area to stitch (very doable!). The directions that come with the kit are in Japanese, but you can find a tutorial for these cuties on The Ardent Thread. Each pattern is a little different, but you can figure it out from the illustrations.
Flax & Twine Felted Wool Woven Basket Kit
Flax & Twine has all kinds of great kits (I’ve been wanting to make the Crochet Edged Dish Towel for quite some time) but these Felted Wool Woven Baskets caught my eye recently. What a great gift — no previous weaving skills necessary, and you end up with a lovely basket to store stuff in.
Indigo dyeing is one of those transformative things that ends up being more fun than you imagine, and this kit makes it so easy to set up. I would give this kit with one of the woven shibori scarf blanks from Slow Fiber Studios. Easy peasy and so much bang for your buck, results-wise. I have a couple of posts about shibori and indigo dyeing with lots of tips if you want more guidance.
Purl Soho’s Gemstones & Knots Necklaces
My daughter got this kit as a gift from her grandparents a few years ago, and it kicked off our whole beading and jewelry-making obsession. The kits are beautifully packaged, and the necklaces are easy to make. The only issue is which color to choose…
Erica over at HonestlyWTF put together a tutorial for this beautiful pattern, with links for all the supplies. It’s the perfect year to start a simple, meditative project like this. I love the idea of giving this to a group of friends or family and doing a stitch along this spring.
I’ll be honest, I thought this book might be boring. I was wrong — I found it fascinating. The forward talks about joie de faire or “artifying” (making things beautiful) as an essential part of being human, an idea that is certainly true for me. And then the interviews, highlighting all different kinds of artists and crafters from quilters to woodworkers, are incredibly inspiring. It’s a beautiful book to wander through.
This is a little off-topic, but I find looking at beautiful, lush gardens so calming. And the Europeans are so dang good at gardens! I mean, that cover image, just stop. I haven’t had a chance to see the actual ink on paper version of this yet, but I would love to have this by my bedside to drool over before I turn out my light.