Not exactly knitting, but certainly filling the time during my day when normally I would plotzed in my chair with the needles, teacher gifts are particularly important around here. My son is one of those kids with many contributors to his success at public school, so it's hard to single out just one teacher for that special hand knit shawl. If I knit for everyone who deserves a thank you gift, I'd never have time for anything else. At the last school meeting, there were eighteen people around the table, all talking about his strengths and weaknesses, and every one of those educators are a big part of why I am still sane, and why my dear child will probably grow up happy after all. Nonetheless, I do try every year to make the gifts personal, handmade (by at least one of us), and not too time consuming. I'm grateful, but not crazy.
This year, I harvested the many grocery bags full of origami we have about the place to put together mobiles like these. Paleoboy helped me choose the best examples for each one, and we made compositions of them all, considering an even distribution of color selection and species. They balance beautifully because each creation is the same weight, having all been made out of the same sized paper.
Pre-fab photo mobiles were the magic ingredient. You can find some like mine here.
And for his second grade classroom teacher: a terrarium, complete with Sauropod. I figure it's recyclable as a cookie jar if she's not crazy about the idea after a few months. Paleoboy helped out with this one too, getting both himself and the kitchen table terrifically dirty.
I got the idea from last week's New York Times home section. The jar came from Marshalls, and the plants are mosses, thyme, and succulents.
What do you do for teacher gifts? I'm going to need new ideas for next year.