For the crafty among us, clicking needles and humming sewing machines are the sounds of the holidays. And if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the DIY enthusiast in your life, Loudoun’s boutique knitting and sewing studios have got you covered with gift suggestions, registries and beyond. And guys: if you’re feeling clueless—no worries. There’s help and maybe even a beer in it for you.
Leesburg’s Finch Sewing Studio at 102 Loudoun St. SW will hold its second annual Men’s Shopping Night Monday, Dec. 21. Spouses, significant others and grown-up sons can shop for the sewing and knitting aficionados in their lives while enjoying a drink with the guys.
“We’ll make the guys feel comfortable when they come into this ladies’ space,” Finch’s owner Nicole Morgenthau said.
The studio expanded its footprint at its downtown Leesburg location earlier this year to make room for more knitting-related activities and is now a haven for knitters and sewists alike. Many of Finch’s regulars have filled out registry cards so their friends and significant others will know exactly what’s on their wish lists. But the guys’ event is open to anyone with a crafty spouse, mom or friend: Finch staffers (and their husbands) will be on hand to give guidance. It promises to be a fun evening, and Morgenthau said last year’s event was in line with the sense of community she set out for her customers, with guys bonding as they picked out gifts.
“The thing that was a little surprising was that it still felt like another Finch event that was community-oriented,” she said. “It was really cool that the guys did it, too.”
Gift certificates for classes are always a hit: Finch’s mittens and socks class, along with Quilting 102, are at the top of the list for Leesburg ophthalmologist and knitting enthusiast Dr. Claiborne Callahan, along with specialty fabric and pashmina yarn. “Really, just about anything from Finch makes me happy,” she said.
Finch also offers camps, classes and sewing kits for kids, including a four-day winter break quilting camp for older children Dec. 28-31. (This might also fall under gifts for moms.) Tiffany Hawkins, of Leesburg, says her two daughters are asking for a six-week design sewing class and gift certificates. Seven-year-old Emma asked Santa for special colored yarn to make her teacher a scarf—“Because he has a better chance of finding it than mommy.” Mom, by the way, wouldn’t mind a pair of interchangeable bamboo knitting needles from her favorite local store.
Over at Cutthroat Yarn in the Village at Leesburg retail center, Jeanette Ward said, “We have a ton of clueless husbands who come in.”
The shop, at 1609 Village Market Blvd. SE Suite 115, specializes in handmade and high-quality commercial yarns and materials for knitting, crochet, needle felting and spinning.
Classes are popular gifts for Cutthroat regulars—the studio’s Jan. 9 cowl-knitting workshop with knitting guru Ann Weaver (known for her hip knitting patterns and contemporary style) has been a big seller and seats are still available. Ward also recommends beginner needle felting kits for stocking stuffers and secret Santa gifts—with a prices less than $20, they’re perfect for gift exchanges.
Two Rivers Yarns, at 221 E Main St. Suite 201 in Purcellville, is another destination for the crafty and those who love them. If you’re looking to splurge, registration is open for the shop’s three-day knitting retreat slated for April. Co-owner Mary Penxa says needle sets and project bags are among the shop’s most popular sellers for the holidays, and digital row counters make a super stocking stuffer.
Kathy Reed, an avid knitter and shop employee at Two Rivers, said tucking a gift certificate in a new project bag is a guaranteed winner “because you cannot have too many bags or too much yarn.”
And for crafters looking to finish up some handmade gifts before the big day, both Cutthroat and Finch have informal crafting gatherings set for the week of Christmas.
“You’ll have people knitting right up until Christmas Eve—and that will be me included,” Cutthroat’s Ward said with a laugh. Her shop offers a “sip and knit” (Tuesday, Dec. 22) and a “convene and crochet” (Wednesday, Dec. 23) for crafters looking to blow off steam and finish up those last-minute projects.
During Finch’s regular Friday night sewcial (set for Dec. 18) attendees can make sheep ornaments and then hang out with unfinished holiday projects and take care of those last few details with friends. Finch also has a knit night scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 22. Crafters can enjoy hot apple cider or wine and something sweet while they compare notes with their compatriots.
“People just kind of want to get out of the house,” Morgenthau said. “It’s kind of a nice reprieve from the busyness of the holidays.”
Learn more about the shops and studios at finchsewingstudio.com, cutthroatyarn.com and tworiversyarns.com.