Driers are the surest way to shorten the life of a handmade gift (especially crocheted or knitted!) or to ruin them completely! Hand wash if you can, in the tub or sink with gentle soap. Rinse thoroughly and lay to dry on towels... avoid hanging. Depending on the size it may stretch it out. If it is small, hanging evenly over a shower rod in your bathroom or on a drying rack, if you have one, is fine!
If you would rather machine wash, use the gentlest cycle possible, baby detergent or Ivory-type and always use a Shout Color Catcher to catch stray dyes in the water.. especially if this is the first time washing it! (Never hurts to ask the creator of the gift what they suggest, either! They will probably really appreciate knowing how special their gift is to you so that's an added bonus!)