Fiber Arts Friday: Teacher Gifts

23 Oct

This Fiber Arts Friday my mind is consumed with gift knitting. Every year I tell myself I’m going to reduce the number of handmade/handknit gifts I give AND I’m going to get a head start on the gift knitting I do earlier in the year. Yeah, so far that’s not working out for me, so here I am again, stressing about the number of handmade gifts I need/want to make.

I like to make handmade gifts for people. For one thing, I grew up knowing the value of something that is made from the heart. I can still remember the dresses my mom sewed for me and the lion mittens my sister knit for me. I still have an afghan my mom knit when I was younger, and it’s almost falling apart but I keep it because she knit it and that matters to me. So handmade gifts are awesome like that. Plus, quite frankly, sometimes it’s a lot cheaper to knit something from my stash than to go out and buy something. So there’s that, too.

This week, I’m focusing on teacher gifts. I have two children in school this year, so that’s two classroom teachers to buy for. Or, in my case, knit for. My kids’ teachers are getting Honey Cowls, knit by yours truly in my very own handspun yarn. I finished the first one last week, and it only took me a few days to knit it. I used the medium size measurement, casting on 160 stitches. I just kept going until I was almost out of yarn and then I finished up the last few stockinette rounds and bound off. Voila, one teacher gift completed! See?

You’ve gotta love the bathroom mirror self-portraits, right?

I like the versatility of this cowl. It has two wearing options, as you can see, making it both useful and trendy (those infinity scarves are everywhere!). It shows off handspun well because it has texture but isn’t super complicated. It’s an easy and fast knit, but it looks pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

I’ve already cast on a second one of these, maybe I’ll have that finished by next week. In the meantime I’m still knitting a shawl for a swap partner, and that’s taking precedence.

I’ve also begun thinking that I’d like to make something for the extracurricular teachers my kids have – they go to Art, Music, Gym, Guidance and Computer class every week, plus Will also has a gifted/enrichment class. So that’s seven more teachers (there are two gym teachers). Ack! I’m really thinking that if I can pull it off I will knit coffee cup cozies for all seven of them and then buy those disposable coffee-shop style cups at the grocery store, fill them with candy or a small bag of flavored coffee and slip the cozy around the cup. It sounds like a good plan, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to knit 7 coffee cozies. I’ve never knit one before, so maybe they’ll be faster than I think. For those of you who have knit them, is kitchen cotton a good yarn for that, or not? If not I may skip the whole project as I don’t want to have to buy new yarn just for it. I’m lazy like that. 😛

Anyhoo, that’s all for this week’s installment of Fiber Arts Friday. Go on over and visit the amazing, wonderful, best-swap-spoiler-ever Andrea at her blog to see what everyone else has been up to this week!


9 Responses to “Fiber Arts Friday: Teacher Gifts”

  1. Jessica October 23, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    Love the cowl (and the bathroom self portraits!) I’m hoping to start my very first knitted cowl in the next few weeks. I have a pair of socks to get through first. Thanks for sharing.

  2. carrie October 23, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    I sewed aprons one year. This year I am doing the wallets/ business cards. They are quick to make. I only knit 1 or 2 items a year. I use my sewing machine for the other gifts. It is just faster. I do like your coffee cozy idea with the filled goodies! I think they should be fast to knit up if you use a worsted weight yarn.

  3. Dutch Hollow Acres October 23, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    I’m never sure if my family/friends like the hand made gifts I give them but I’m with you. I have always appreciated the thoughtful gifts to store bought.

  4. Allison October 23, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    I enjoy knitting for my family and choose those who I know will appreciate a handmade gift. Love your cowl.

  5. Wonder Why Gal October 23, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    I have yet to sell one of my knitted goods because I put so much into each and every one (especially the Alpaca hand spun) that I have to give them as gifts. Now I have to admit that as I give them (I can’t wait for the holidays) I tell them not to expect anything under the Christmas tree. This year, I took photos of the item and will put them in a card for all of those that I gave away early.

    You are an angel to do that for all of the teachers.

  6. Kathryn | Alpacamundo October 23, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    I agree. Handmade gifts are the best.

  7. AllyB October 23, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Good luck with the gift knitting. I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t a good idea for me to try making the extravagant gifts I want to give for the holidays. I’ve finally reached the point that I believe myself and knit things for the folks I love after the holidays are past. Knitting in the afterglow of the holidays when the weather has us housebound is a wonderful thing for me.

  8. Paula October 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    i know how you feel about extra curricular teachers, Kae has two teachers in her classroom and her ballet teacher, they’re all getting Alice Inspired fingerless gloves.

    I knit a cowl for my MIL last year for christmas and it wasn’t very well received, she made a lot of jokes about it after she opened it and it bugged me, so i probably won’t be making her anymore hand knits. But this year i made a Citron for m SIL, she’s going off to lawschool and she’s pretty trendy i figure she’ll appreciate it.

  9. Alpaca Farmgirl October 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    I should do that for my kids’ teachers! I never seem to have the time but Lord knows I’ve got enough alpaca yarn around here… You have inspired me to try! Thanks for sharing!

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