It’s a time of change in our household at the moment. My lovely Miss 4 is only Miss 4 for another two days, which means she is off to school on Monday. Today was her final day at preschool. We have been blessed with an amazing preschool for the girls. Intially she started just one afternoon a week, at around 2.5 years, just to give her small sister a bit of space from a bossy big sister. Her hours increased when I started studying more and made myself available for relief teaching work, and she has been full-time for the last 20 months since I’ve been back teaching. In that time, the staff has been incredible: stable, caring, fun, welcoming, loving, interested, and just overall wonderful. And, while Miss 3 will continue to attend, it seemed fitting to mark her sister’s final day with some gifts. So, with a bit of planning over the last few weeks, I managed to make my deadline with a few days to spare even!
These are the gifts – on me, since it’s a bit rude to demand photos after you give gifts (well, if you’re going to put them up on the ‘net anyway!)
First up was a lovely Windschief hat. I seem to be on a bit of a Stephen West bender at the moment. Simplicity is so incredibly effective. This hat is no exception. It was a breeze to knit but so cute! I used exactly one ball of John Q Heathers, a DK weight yarn I got on sale for $3 a ball at Knitworld last January. I love the beautifully saturated colour. What a great pattern. I made this for a female teacher in the medium size, but it’s also a great pattern for the men in your life. I will definitely be knitting this one again.
And as I said, a bit of a Stephen West bender. I love this gorgeous reversible beanie, Botanic Hat. It’s a great hat for men, and totally suitable for women too. We have been really lucky to have a fabulous young male teacher at preschool, who stayed on after coming to the centre as a student last year (I totally love what this shows about what it is like to work there, when students just don’t want to leave!) So it was a nice chance to make a gift for a guy. I chose two neutral shades of the lovely new yarn, Mythral by Stansborough. This is a DK weight yarn from Stansborough Grey sheep, grown exclusively in NZ, which have a silky grey fleece. The colours I’ve used are Takahe and Royal Takahe.
And who doesn’t love one hat with two different looks? I’d love to try this with one plain, one variegated yarn next.
One thing preschool teachers end up doing lots of is being outside on cold days. So, these fingerless mitts seemed like a pretty, practical gift too. I loved knitting these, which are the Oak Grove mitts by Alana Dakos from Never Not Knitting. I used a DK weight yarn rather than the Sport weight in the pattern. It is some BWM Rustic, which was dyed by the lovely KiwiFi and gifted to me a swap a couple of years ago. Perfect for this pattern! The colour is even a close match to the sample in the pattern.
I loved knitting these. While there’s a chart and a bit of cabling, it all works perfectly when you knit to the pattern. And the oak leaf really, really pops, especially when the gloves are blocked. Stunning!
And, since I’m on the whole designer double-ups, a second project from Alana Dakos – the Shawl Collared Cowl. A super snuggly cowl, this will be perfect for outside duty days too. I knit it in Mosaic Moon Gaia Organic Bulky in the Pixie Dust colourway. I think the pattern more suited to a solid or semi-solid yarn but this is lovely in this variegated yarn too. We don’t have a lot of choice in 12ply, and I had almost none to choose from in my stash. I’d love to knit this again in a solid yarn, especially since it took just a few hours knitting (maybe 4-5 hours?) to knit up. A super fast gift!
I’m rather pleased to have all of these done as I’ve got a couple of projects I’ve pushed aside while I finished these – so, watch this space for some more finished projects in the next few days! Oh, and some pictures of the birthday girl too!!