Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer knits

I finished another wool leaves baby blanket. This one I knit with Cascade Eco wool -- I really love this blanket in this wool, the pattern really stands out well and it is a heavy enough to keep a baby warm but not so heavy you couldn't use it even on slightly warmer days. I already have another planned.

I've also had some more time to work on my Emelie sweater. One arm is almost done. I can try it on now and I LOVE the way it fits and how it feels. Fingering weight yarn takes forever to knit in my size but it is sure worth the effort.

In other news I will officially be taking a long break from PKat Pants. I just accepted a teaching position for the fall and will be returning to working out of the home full time. I know with three kids, a full time job and the knitting I enjoy doing for my friends and family that I will not have enough time to knit for others. I think the blog will get a make over soon with a new name and while my focus will remain on knitting in the blog I do plan to add a bit more about daily life in our neck of the woods.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Easy Summer top

I was on the hunt for a cute summer top for my youngest R.  It just so happened a friend was looking for testers for just such a top.  I love the fit of this and I have recently fallen in love with the look of smocking.  This top was fun to knit, the smocking was a fun new skill to learn and overall I am very happy with the way this worked up.  I feel silly but I am equally as pleased I had a little pair of lightweight capris that match perfectly with the yarn.  This colorway is WSK Bella on superwash worsted merino with matching brown trim.  For this top (knit in the size 2) I used a full skein of colorway and the full 2 oz of trim, I litreally had about a yard left over of each and to finish the straps I had to wind the second skein (I almost used ribbons to save that skein but wanted to be true to the pattern because I was testing).  Here is Miss R "modeling" (if you can call being bribed to sit on your bike with goldfish modeling) her new summer top.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer is here!

Well not officially but I'm calling it summer! We had our first supper with baked beans from the bean pot last night so from here on out it is summer in my book. If I do say so myself I make a pretty killer pot of beans and they are one of our summer staples, I make at least a pot a week during summer.

I had a whole bunch of projects finished but waiting for the weather to clear up so I could do pictures. The first is a shrug for V, she picked out the color and the yarn and as I think you can tell she loves it. When I asked her to model for me this was the move she kept doing -- which is impressive considering a month ago she couldn't stand on one leg for even a split second. She could hold this pose for a few seconds today and was so proud of herself for it! I also finished a few soakers. The first one is size medium with handspun by Yarnnoodles, the second a newborn sized one on Gaia bulky (not sure of the colorway) and the third is bigger kid sized (22 hip 17 rise) on Mosaic Moon Kirkyard. Those three are all going to the same home. The white soaker with the ruffles is for a photography friend, I need to wait to her from her but I really think it needs more ruffles (and I am SO not a more ruffles kind of girl) it just doesn't seem ruffly enough to me. And last I finished off a baby blanket with some Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in the Peapod colorway. This is the Wool Leaves pattern and I think I found my new go to for quick baby gifts, it took me 4 days to make and I love the pattern -- plus handmade baby blankets are always something I treasured as gifts for my little ones.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

All good things...

No pictures of finished things today but I do have a shot of a sweater I have been working on for myself. This has been my car project I work on it mostly when I am sitting in the car waiting for V during various therapies. I do work on it at home but only when I have no other projects or need a break from a frustrating project. So the going is slow and maybe by the end of the year I will finish but I'm okay with that -- all good things are worth the wait, and I know this sweater will be a good thing.

I did finish a tester shrug for V this weekend but I goofed in the construction and am working on figuring out how to fix my mistake before I can show it off. I also finally finished the ruffled bum soaker, once that is dry I will post some shots of that as well. Be on the look out for more posts from me later in the week.

Also don't forget I have some instock knits and a custom slot available on Their Own Knitted World, be sure to check them out!
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Friday, April 15, 2011

My Blue Phase

I just realized uploading my pictures I've knit a lot of blue lately. I just finished an Elleby by Comfort Wool for myself with some Happy Feet DK I had laying around. The pictures of it laying flat just don't do the pattern any justice, so I attempted to do a self-portrait of myself modeling it. Yeah I'm so not a photographer, or a model or a model capable of doing self-portraits -- but that hat is cute and while I wasn't entirely sure about the color for me while I was working on it I really like it now and I'm glad I use this yarn for this pattern. I also finished up a small shawl I kind of designed using some hand spun from Rain City Fiber Arts. I used the same cast on as the Faraway So Close but from there I just did my own thing and really followed what the yarn was doing and changed things up as needed. I love this shawl, adore the colors it was such a peaceful item to knit. I will be listing it as part of our 2 year anniversary stocking at Their Own Knitted World so stayed tuned for some better shots!
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring has sprung -- kind of.

We've reached that time of year in Maine where the promise of spring and warmer weather taunts us. We get sneak peeks of the nicer weather to come followed with cold days to remind us that in Maine we frequently get snow as late as April. I've finished up another project though, these are small longies done with Yarnnoodles Ponderosa on Cestari, I messed with the settings a bit in editing to get this picture to show the true depth of color going on in this colorway and it still does not do the colorway justice. I love these little longies they were such a joy to knit.

I also received some spectacular handspun from Tara of Rain City Fiber Arts in the mail today for a special instock project for Their Own Knitted World in May. I have one small project I need to finish (a ruffle bottom soaker that I've been procrastinating on when it comes to putting the ruffles on) and then I can start working on my idea for this handspun -- I won't lie I'm pretty excited to knit this up.

Things are plugging along with V, the change in her speech is amazing but PT and OT wise her progress is a bit slow still. This week she will be 6 weeks out of surgery so I am hoping we start to see more improvement with her PT/OT issues soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busy little bee

I've finished a few projects. First is the set that will be up for sale on Their Own Knitted World. This is a capri set knit using Lickety Stitch Purple Knit with buttons made by DigitDesigns (on Etsy). The capri's have a bell ruffle and a unique working button detail that allows you to add length in the form of an additional ruffle (which will be an option when they are listed). The shrug is the Little Girls Shrug pattern from Diane Soucy of Knitting Pure and Simple. I think this set is adorable and wish I had knit it in a size we could use if it doesn't not sell, sadly this is all approximately 18 months and wouldn't fit us here.

I also finished a Bel Cloche as part of a trade for Rain City Fibers, it came out amazing and I can't say enough about how amazing Tara's handspun yarn is. This was a merino silk blend I believe but I'm not sure on the colorway name. Look for some of her yarn featured in my instock item for May at Their Own Knitted World!

Right now I have a pair of small longies on the needles, using Yarnnoodles Ponderosa colorway on Cestari. Another project I am really enjoying and hope to having finished tomorrow.

Not much new going on with V she is still recovering well from surgery. It is hard to believe just looking at her that she had brain surgery 5 weeks ago but behavior wise and skills wise it isn't hard to remember. She is still mega hyper most of the time, but at least her sleeping has become better so we aren't dealing with mega hyper 3 1/2 year old until well past midnight. It seem post surgery I spend a good deal of our time in the car waiting for V at various therapies. She has speech twice a week for an hour, PT twice a week for an hour and OT once a week for an hour. Good thing little R is such a trooper and perfectly content to sit in her car seat and read books most of the time (although for a few of those we do go and run errands but they are all just far enough from home that coming home would mean turning around as soon as we get here to head back to pick up V). She is finally making huge amounts of progress in speech, in the last month she has made more progress in her speech therapy then she has since she began it a year ago. We are very happy with her progress and really hope that the auras she seems to be experiencing go away soon and do not turn into seizures.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Something for one of my kidlets

I finished a pair of longies for my youngest. These are WSK Madeline on Mountain Meadow. I've actually had them done since Sunday but I didn't get a chance until today to take pictures. This colorway is so nice and will match so many of her shirts. I'm working on a pair of shorties to list for sale with the leftovers!

I've been busy busy busy keeping up with everything for V. It feels like a full time job driving V to speech therapy, physical thereapy and occupational therapy every week. Oh and don't forget her special pre-k program twice a week. We took today off she is beat and needed a good nap and I have so many things I NEED to get done her but with our constant running I haven't had a chance to. She is doing great though, it looks like the surgery was a success she hasn't had a seizure in nearly a month now. Totally amazing that she has recovered this quickly and is doing so well, everything about her astounds me.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Plenty to show for my time

We are back from V's surgery and it went really well, it was definitely stressful but now that it is behind us I am glad that it is done. While I we were down there I got a lot of knitting done. I finished the pair of overalls. These are done with Cestari in the sage color and knit using the Foggy Mountain overalls pattern in the 12 months size. I have some darling little wooden buttons coming and then I will post final shots of this pair of overalls. I also started working on another pair of longies for our youngest -- they are done with WSK Madeline on Mountain Meadow Wool (my favorite base for my kids it seems to go on forever, it stands up just as well as Cestari and it is far easier on my hands to knit).
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Friday, February 11, 2011

A sweater just for tapping.

Another finished project -- a "tap" sweater for my oldest. She picked the dark purple color and has now requested leg warmers to match. A friend gave me some vintage pattern books and there are two entire booklets dedicated to leg warmers so I plan on making her some rocking 80's style leg warmers. She is pretty happy with her new little sweater!
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's me!!

Finally an action shot of the sweater I finished for myself. This is the Elysium pattern and I knit this with some Universal Deluxe Worsted weight yarn I bought awhile ago. I really love the fit and weight of this sweater, it is comfortable and warm without being too much. I wore it to my part time teaching job today and my co-workers loved it, definitely a keeper. I think I've caught the sweaters for me bug, it is nice to be able to custom fit a sweater to my body instead of buying things off the rack the kind of fit. Plus I really love wearing things that I have made. On the needles now is a small Tap Sweater as my daughter calls it (really a ballet wrap), that should be finished this evening and then onto a pair of overalls (the yarn just came today).

The surgery is next week, which is such a mix of emotions. Excited that it is finally here but terrified that we are at this point. Working hard to get everything here at the house squared away for my parents who are watching the other two girls and make sure we have everything we need for our trip. We haven't explained too much of what will happen to V, she knows she is going to see the doctors but we haven't really explained about the surgery. She does seem to understand that this will help her and she is excited about getting to go to Boston again.
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet little sweater

Finished the sweet little Manda Ruth and snapped a quick picture, it still needs to be blocked before I post a full shot but this should give you an idea of what an adorable sweater this became. I'm also working on the sweater for me I imagine that will be finished today or tomorrow and then I will probably move on to a pair of overalls and a zip up hooded vest for L.

February begins tomorrow and that means we'll be 15 days out from the surgery. V's behavior is out of control as always, and I really hope things calm down after the surgery. I've been a bit torn lately about writing about our journey and how much to discuss and show. I'm really sensitive to the fact that at some point V (hopefully) will be a typical kid and do something like google her name (or her friends will) and I don't want all of this to pop up for everyone to see, this is her story and her journey and when she is old enough she should have the right to decide who she shares it with. However, there are other families going through this and I know when we knew this surgery was coming I was hunting for other folks who were writing about the process and how they handled everything. I wanted to read as much as I could about everything, so on some level I do NEED to share this now without her permission. So I walk a fine line, that is why I never use her name, and why up until this point there are no pictures of her (although that will change I do plan on putting some pictures up soon). I want to post a few short videos of her seizures because I think folks need to see that seizures aren't always what we think they are, sometimes they don't really look like seizures at all. I do not want to perpetuate that idea that epilepsy and seizures are something to be hidden, but the idea of posting videos of V seizing makes me uncomfortable, it is a private and personal thing and I am not sure if I want to put that out for the world to see. As the surgery date approaches though I do feel the need to share a bit more about V so she isn't just an anonymous person having epilepsy surgery but a real child with real parents, real siblings, and real grandparents and aunts and uncles who care deeply about her.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A work in progress shot of the sweater I am knitting for myself. So far I love it and I'm excited to finally get to wear something I've made. I bought this yarn about a year ago and intended to make myself a February Lady sweater with it but when the yarn arrived it was a tad too busy for that sweater. I almost sold this yarn off a few times because I just couldn't figure out what it wanted to be -- then I stumbled on Elysium. It seems this yarn wants to be an Elysium.

On the V front we are still in waiting mode. It looks we can now consider her fifth med a failure, she is back to having almost daily seizures maybe one or two good days in there and her behavior is just as off the wall as it was on Keppra. She is so close to her surgery though that it isn't worth it to wean her off this one and wean her onto another one so for now we are in a holding mode and just waiting for February 16th. This surgery can't come fast enough just this week V has become aware that something is different about her, and it breaks my heart. Every morning she asks why she has to take medicine but her sisters do not, and at least daily she asks me what she is sick and tells me she wants to be better. I am so glad we are just a few weeks out from surgery watching her realize she is different is far harder then I thought it would be. I was naive in thinking that she wouldn't even begin to ask these questions and I really should have prepared better for it. The reality of her what her future holds becomes a bit scarier every day.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Choices, choices

I am almost done with the Manda Ruth sweater. I ran out of yarn and am waiting on another skein to finish the button band. I have two choices for buttons, both from fantastic Etsy sellers. The square set are reclaimed red oak from Hendywood, and the darker brown round set are polymer clay from Tessa Ann. I think both choices look great and they each give the sweater a slightly different feel. I can't wait to hear what the choice will be!

Things on the homefront with V are starting to take the track they always seem to, a new medicine works for a period of time and then stops working. She was seizure free today however she had a few decent ones Saturday, Sunday, and Monday -- she seems to be starting a cold so I really hope that is why we are seeing all of this seizure activity. If all of this bad behavior we've been dealing with while she is on this med is for nothing I may just go crazy. The good news is we are now less then a month away from her surgery so the end is definitely in sight.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just a quick progress shot of the sweater I am working on right now. This is a 24 month size Manda Ruth sweater knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, it is coming out beautifully so far.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

First one down! 51 to go.

The first knit item for 2011 was finished last night! These are for the Disco Baby Knits stocking at Their Own Knitted World next Thursday at 9pm. I would call these medium longs, I actually knit these to my middle daughters measurements. All of my kids are on the skinny and tall end of the growth chart so I have such a hard time finding handmade items (and store bought items) that will fit them -- pants being the hardest of all. I figured there has to be other little girls out there with the same issue and if there isn't then R gets a new pair of longies at the end of the month. These have a 16" rise, 20" hip and a 10.5" inseam. They were knit with Disco Baby Knits Roberta colorway with matching solids on Mountain Meadow Wool. This yarn is fantastic, the softness and texture of Cestari but way easier to knit and the skein goes on forever, plus I haven't verified it myself but I hear it is machine washable (always a plus with toddlers).

This will be the last item I stock for a few months so for the next few months I will continue to post but with items I am knitting for personal use, gifts or trades.

I am finishing up the never ending scarf for my brother -- this is just a simple (long) scarf knit with Knit Picks Gloss a wool and silk blend that is just stunning. I really want to get a few skeins of the worsted weight version of this yarn to make myself a sweater, I love the feel of it.

On the V front things are going pretty well, we began valproic acid (name brand Depakote) 3 weeks ago now.  We just started the full therapeutic dose yesterday (she has to be stepped up slowly on this med like many seizure meds) so I am eager to see if the improvement we've seen remains.  We are noticing a lot of aggression especially when she is frustrated.  She was never a biter but she has become a horrible biter in the last 2 weeks, she bites me in particular whenever she gets frustrated.  We are handling it with very firm and immediate time outs for every bite but right now it doesn't make much of a difference. We are pretty sure it is a side effects of the Depakote because it began so suddenly, as long as it doesn't become more severe (and as long as she isn't biting her siblings) we can deal with the biting us until her surgery in February.  Thankfully once she has her surgery she will most likely not come home on Depakote -- they are just using it as a bridge to get us to the surgery date without having 5+ seizures a day every day.  39 days until her surgery!
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year in Review

77 projects knit in 52 weeks (a few are missing from the collage). Not too shabby.
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