My Material Life

Countdown to Kindergarten’s End

I know a certain little girl who is very ready for kindergarten to be over. There are only five days left, and all she can think about is the freedom of summertime. Let’s face it – kindergarten isn’t what it used to be – now it’s more like first grade. This girl’s mother, having adjusted quite well to kindergarten this time around, is in no such rush. Who would be ready for their child to leave the wonderful world of Mrs.M., a self-described “old-fashioned” kindergarten teacher who has a song for every occasion – whether to welcome you back from a missed day of school, celebrate a pair of brand new shoes, or simply end the school day?

Still, it was hard on both of us in the beginning. So I did what I usually do to make me feel better in times of stress – I make something. I got the construction technique for the tutu (or is it a fancy chapeau?) from the BurdaStyle website (technique is explained in the first comment; I didn’t do the ribbon wrapping). No sewing required. You simply knot a piece of elastic to the waist size you desire and loop strips of tulle that have been folded once in the center cross-wise around the elastic. Leave a little spot to tie a ribbon in a bow or not – up to you. It took about a yard of tulle for this little tutu, so you could need quite a bit more if you want to make one for a human, but there’s no reason this technique wouldn’t work for that too.

This knit halter dress is another early kindergarten stress-relief project. I like to think the doll is mine. I found her (Michaels), paid for her ($3 and some-odd cents), named her (Claire), and now I’ve cut her hair, so she should be mine. But I didn’t knit the dress for her. The dress was for Claire’s less subtly beautiful friend, Barbie. It is knit in a wonderful cotton yarn from Turkey, Patons Grace. You can find this yarn at Michaels. I didn’t think I had any knitting needles small enough to knit the dress, but my daughter pulled some bamboo skewers from a drawer in the kitchen and they did the trick (a little sharp at the points though!) I didn’t have a pattern, so I had to wing it. A little garter stitch for trim; increasing and decreasing around the hips, waist and halter; and seams along the skirt sides. Very basic, but it works. Although Claire thinks the horizontal stripes make her hips look big. She does, however, agree that her haircut is much more chic than her previous look. Next time, I’ll knit Claire something from this Nicky Epstein book. Note:  those online prices for the book look rather shocking. I got my copy from D&J Hobby in Campbell; you might also try looking in your local yarn shops. I think I’m going to miss kindergarten.

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