Toby Ganz

Toby Ganz

Weaver, Knitter


Member Bio

I am truly enjoying a surge of creativity in midlife. My earlier years were focused on my interest in international relations. I attended Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service where I received a B.S.F.S. Later I attended New York University where I studied Public Administration. I worked in both fields on diverse issues and then happily raised a family with my husband. I am very proud of my two (almost) grown children who were by far my best projects!


Everything I create is by hand. I love the slow flow way it feels to weave a piece of cloth from threads or to knit a garment from yarn. Each requires lots of time and thoughtfulness, skill and patience but also the opportunity to be mindful of every stitch. I see each article I make as a kind of rebellion against our fast paced, high tech, small screen world.

But there is more. I see magic in transforming fiber into textiles. There is a real mystery in watching the interplay of color and texture combine often with unanticipated results. I wonder if those who came before me marveled at the same combinations. Still, there is something shockingly modern in these ancient arts. I think of their long ago communities, which must have resembled my own beloved group of fellow weavers, knitters, spinners, and dyers. These fiber-obsessed folks are very important to me because of the mutual learning, teaching and inspiration we share.

I decided to form By Hand Textiles because way back when, I sorely felt the need for a non-competitive group that would support each other’s creative pursuits. I have no background in art. What I have learned I taught myself or learned from a friend or workshop instructor. One day I realized that what our little group has is really special and could be shared.