Artisan Producers, Cooking, Healdsburg

Handmade Holiday

As more of us begin to question our allegiance to mass-market gifts and toys, perhaps this is the year you circle back to simpler times and create your own Handmade Holiday.

There’s still plenty of time to knit, craft, bake, and make gifts for the winter holidays — and we’re glad to help.

Make With Us
Local artist Jessica Martin comes to our Grange this Saturday, Dec. 5, for a fun, hands-on class on creating your own notebooks and journals. Children ages 8 and up are welcome to join the adults as together we learn Japanese book-binding techniques to create gorgeous handmade books that will truly be treasured gifts. Everyone will leave bearing something new and wonderful! 10am; $60.

Next Wednesday, Dec. 9, we are fortunate to have master crafter Lily Reid of Apprentice Studio with us for an informal Knitting Night. Bring your project and your questions and Lily will be glad to lend a hand (and a perl or two). Local drinks, wine, and beer will be for sale and we’ll also have a nice selection of homegrown yarns from local sheep rancher Mary Pettis Sarley. Not only that, we’ll have Mary’s cold morning knit mitts and kerchief kits with everything you’ll need to start a new project. Please join us for this cozy, easy, evening. 5:30pm; free.

Make Together
Experiential gifts create memories and memories help create happiness. Consider gifting someone special with a daylong Natural Cheesemaking class. Set for the fullness of Saturday, Jan. 9, author and cheesemaker David Asher will join us to instruct on most aspects of becoming comfortable with this art, starting with fermentation. Over the course of the day, we’ll learn to make kefir, yogurt, creme fraiche, and cultured butter before moving onto the building blocks of more sophisticated aged cheeses, like Camembert and mozzarella. A family-style lunch and a copy of David’s new book, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, are included in this full, fun, and informative day. 10am; $200.

All of the older, more stalwart crafts are being rediscovered and celebrated these days, and nothing could be more essential than Spoon Carving. We welcome master craftswoman Melanie Abrantes to SHED on Sunday, Jan. 17, to show us how to use traditional Japanese tools and techniques to achieve the full-blown wonder of that homely tool we use nearly every day: the wooden spoon. We’ll learn about wood and tools, use the tools under Melanie’s close supervision, and leave bearing a new utensil imbued with more meaning than perhaps any other you own. 10am; $150.

Make On Your Own
The winter holidays signal baking and with the early cold dark keeping us inside, what could be better? Perhaps shaping your baking. We’ve ordered in a really tickling — as in: we’re tickled! — set of cookie cutters for our Healdsburg store, ready to help you transform your dough into tractors, wheelbarrows, shovels, knives, forks, spoons, mushrooms, ducks, deer, squirrels — you get the idea. They’re weird and unusual and truly, utterly delightful.

Beautiful yarns spun by local shepherdess Mary Pettis-Sarley and an assortment of knitting needles will have you scarf-wrapped in no time. We also have child-sized knitting needles, something we wish were available when we were kids. They’re bright and not too pointy, but perfect for learning this satisfying craft without having the long ends get in the way of short-armed work. Our kids’-sized looms are great for small projects, too, and make for a happier rainy day afternoon. And don’t miss our felting kits for children and adults alike. Replete with the yarn, directions, and the supplies you need, these winsome kits allow even the least experienced crafter to enjoy the satisfaction of creating an arctic animal, a seal, a gnome, or other character.

However you do it, we hope that you make the time to enjoy making something special for someone special this holiday season.

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