Gifts With A Story

One of the nicest parts of holiday sales is hearing, “That’s perfect for….” and the story of who and why. It’s like you become part of the story, as well as the extended family.

Botanical print scarf from my etsy shop at

That happens a lot with the botanical dye scarves and yarns I sell. People are looking for something they can feel good about giving, and they like being able to honor a giftee’s love of nature. I love that people are interested in the techniques and materials I use, and that those items go out in the world to spark conversations.

Lace cowl in wool dyed with walnut and willow by Donna Kallner.

Last weekend after my willow-splitting company left, I hustled to get the studio cleaned up and started photographing items on Monday morning. Thanks to leftovers and frozen pizza, I had almost all of my new listings posted by the time people started drifting away from Thanksgiving football games and dirty dishes to shop online.

Mullein-dyed wool ski headband by Donna Kallner.

I added some things I haven’t tried to sell before, including crochet cowls and scarves and plant-dyed wool ski headbands made in knitting and nalbinding. They’re the kind of things I make for gifts that I give myself.

When the 16-year-old grand-niece opened her birthday gift on Friday and said the indigo-dyed wool knit ear band would go with 85% of what she wears, I wanted to do the uncool auntie happy dance. But I played it cool. I didn’t have to say much because she’s a quilter: She gets it.

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin