I've written a version of this post for the past couple of years. Think of it as the link to send to family members and friends to point them in the right direction.
Over on the Mighty Networks group we've got a thread going with great suggestions for smaller businesses and organisations who would really appreciate your money this year, with loads of beautiful gift ideas for lots of different people, even if they are not a spinner or a crafter.
These are the dates that Royal Mail have put out for Christmas delivery. The international ones in particular seem overly optimistic to me, so I would allow at least an extra week on top of these dates...
Friday 4th December- Australia, New Zealand
Wednesday 9th December- Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, Far and Middle East
Thursday 10th December- Canada, Cyprus, Malta
Friday 11th December- Greece, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and Turkey
Saturday 12th December- Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
Wednesday 16th December- Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Friday 18th December- Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
Friday 18th December- UK 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For
Monday 21st December- UK 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail Tracked 48*
Tuesday 22nd December- UK Royal Mail Tracked 24*
Also, remember, if you're buying from a small business it's not unrealistic for them not to offer same day or next day despatch. All my items are in stock and ready to be shipped, but I still only post orders on Monday and Thursday morning.
Some of this information is copied from last year, because I don't believe in re-inventing the wheel!
Firstly, if your spinner has a favourite dyer then don't be afraid to send that dyer an email with a budget and ask them to put together a parcel of fibre related treats for you. They'll be happy to help, and will be able to give the spinner something new to try, but also check their previous orders to see if they have any colour preferences.
I'm always happy to help people out in this way....
However, if you leave it too late (because the postal system has it's limits), then a subscription to a fibre club is an excellent present. You can set up a gift subscription to my Time Travellers Club really easily, just tick the "This is a Gift" box and the system will do the rest. You an choose to let the subscription run for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, and the payment gets taken every month rather than 1 large sum up front, so it's a nice way to spread the cost out. So long as you order before the 23rd then the first parcel will be sent during January. A 100g subscription in the UK for 3 months works out at just over £30.
You won't get a fancy gift card through the post, so you might have to get creative with the way you hand over the present, but I'm sure if you pop in to a local shop you'll be able to find a nice card to write in.
Tools are always useful, and they're also a great low budget gift, things like my WPI tool are the sort of thing you can slip into a card, and post for very little money.
Extra bobbins are rarely something that any spinner will turn down, particularly if they are some of the lovely £D printed flat pack ones. In the past I've pointed people towards Akerworks, but I'm pleased to say there's now a UK based supplier, offering a similar product. I've not tried them personally, but I have spoken to others that have, and they've all said positive things. If you're buying these for someone else, make sure you're buying them for the right spinning wheel, and because they're made to order you will need to allow a good window of time.
In further shameless self promotion (which to be frank, after the blog ate this post the first time round, I'm not exactly feeling shameful about). If they're a spinner they're probably also a knitter or a crocheter. In which case an organiser for their needles or hooks is a lovely present. Or you could go for a case to hold their hand carders together.
There are lots of lovely bags and cases in the Quince Pie etsy shop.
Alternatively if they're a sewer then how about a handmade pin cushion, or a deluxe stitch ripper.
The Wood Beach Etsy shop is also filled with orifice hooks, niddy noddy's and yarn bowls, all of which make excellent gifts, and new this year Dad's also learned how to carve spoons.
There can be few greater pleasures in life than a nice pair of scissors. I bought myself a pair to use with my weaving in the spring, and every time I use them they delight me. Treat purchases like this are the sort that it's often hard to justify to yourself, and to anyone who is a non-crafter it can be hard to understand the joy we get from a piece of beautiful equipment that works so perfectly. Beyond Measure has a beautiful range of high end scissors.
Now for the books.... books make excellent presents! Check the spinners book shelf first, as they may already own some of these.
Where possible I've linked to the Bookshop.org, as they distribute some profits to local booksellers. If you have a local bookshop, please support them, they'll be able to order in many of these titles from Gardners who are the main UK book wholesalers. If that option doesn't work for you then both Wordery and Blackwells are good non-amazon alternatives.
The Spinners Book of Yarn Design If you only own one spinning book this should be it!
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook For the spinner who loves learning more about sheep and the quality of their wool
Yarnitecture For the spinner who wants to get better at analysing the sort of yarn they are spinning, and be more in control of the results.
A Guide to Spinning Hand Dyed Fibre My own small book, ideal for a spinner who likes working with hand dyed combed top.
Non-spinning books, but interesting for anyone who has a love of textiles.
Women's Work- The First 20,000 years.
The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History
The Human Thread
Threads Around the World
True Colours: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments Not a technical how-to book, but a lovely look at people around the world using natural dyes.
Art and Science of Natural Dyes: Principles, Experiments and Results This one is pricey, but is probably the best science-based natural dyeing book I have ever seen. If someone is in to natural dyes, then this is a book they need to own.
Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece If they use synthetic dyes then this is probably the best book there is, though I really disagree with the way she applies to dye to fibre, great for yarn dyeing detail though. Unfortunately there's a big gap in the market for good books dealing with synthetic dyes, and fibre dyeing is particularly poorly covered.
If they've never tried dyeing before then it's an interesting thing to have a go at doing. My first experience of dyeing was using a set of acid dyes and a sock blank kit I'd bought my Mum for Christmas.
Debbie at D&T Crafts has some great starter kits for acid dyes and also for natural dyeing. Helen Melvin also offers some lovely natural dyeing kits.
A subscription to Ply magazine would also be a lovely gift. If you're outside the US then it may be better to buy a subscription from one of their stockists. They also now offer a digital subscription, which removes all postage anxiety.
Finally, if they spin the chances are they wear a lot of wool, and that eventually leads to bobbly jumpers. This tool is what I use to revive my hand knits, I've linked to Lakeland, but is available on Amazon, Ebay, or various other places.
If you have anymore gift suggestions, please feel free to add them below, and please share this post, there's lots of great small businesses included in it, and this year it's more important than ever to support independent retailers.