Woven from the Heart

I know I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for quick gifts to weave not just during the holiday season, but also for hostess gifts, last minute birthday presents, and pick-me-ups for loved ones who need a little cheer. Handwoven contributor and rigid-heddle weaver extraordinaire Sara Goldenberg White has some great ideas for special little gifts that can be woven in just a few hours on a rigid-heddle loom. —Christina 

  Liz Gipson's Scarf
  A cozy wool scarf woven on a rigid-heddle
loom makes a great last-minute gift. 

Holiday time is one of the best times to break out the rigid-heddle loom! With the quick set up of these small looms, cranking out projects is a breeze and fun. Plus, another great thing about the rigid-heddle loom is that so many weave structures can be woven on the same warp.

Scarves are a wintertime classic, and with fringe, there is next to no loom waste. Use color-and-weave effects to give each piece its own distinct flare without adding additional time. Try a chainette or other lofty yarn and whip up a project using a five-dent reed in a matter of hours. If you have non-fringe fans on your holiday list, or just want to change things up a bit, hem the edges of your scarf and sew them together to make an infinity scarf. Try weaving your infinity scarf in pattern or color blocks to really keep the eye moving around the piece.  

Small bags and coin purses also make for unique fast projects. Multiple pieces can be threaded at once and by adding a commercial fabric linings, chunky button closures, or perhaps some ribbon, each piece quickly takes on its own look. Simply weave a square or rectangular piece of cloth, sew up the side seam and, voilà, you have a bag! Weave the cloth a few inches longer and create a front flap for your bag, and then increase the scale and weave a carrying case for a computer, tablet, or other device. If you want a carrying case that has a bit more padding and stability, make it out of wool and then full it in the washing machine before assembly—of course, sampling first to determine the shrinkage is always helpful when fulling or felting!

Fingerless gloves, arm warmers, or leg warmers are also great, and require very minimal assembly. Stitch together the selvedges and add a knit trim to either project to give it a more structured look.

Spice up someone’s kitchen or dining room by trying your hand with inlay. Use a plain-weave, solid-color ground and add in splashes of color and pattern to create custum-designed dishtowels, placemats, or coasters.

Handwoven gifts don’t have to take forever to make, but are always unique and so rewarding to make and receive! Happy weaving and happy holidays.

—Sara Goldenberg White

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