Holding Steady

This week the WIP that held my attention the most is that of the Mighty Violet.

My niece had her second open heart surgery in 6 months. She’ll be 7 months old next week. I went up to wait out the day with her parents on Wednesday. It was super long day, and thankfully (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, all those good luck things you do) surgery went well and as planned and her recovery is moving along equally well. I’m hoping to visit again next week. As you can imagine, there was much knitting that day. I brought projects that were auto-pilot knitting: March’s Personal Sock Club and Sockhead hat. I’ll share photos of the knitting WIPs later, right now I’ve got the Mighty Ultra Violet on my mind and I’d rather look at her.

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In Progress

Yarn in snow with Matryoshka dollsI’ve started a new project, a true Ravellenics project to boot, as it needs to be done by the end of February! This cake is a new yarn from Good Karma Farm (3ply, sport-weight) that will be knit into a Beach Street Park sweater. I had some trouble getting the color right in the photo inside, so this picture is from outside in the snow waiting for the school bus, and it’s still off, but the setting is more appropriate. The yarn is gorgeous and soft, more purple-navy than it shows here. The Matryoshka Dolls are part of a magnet set that my parents brought me as a souvenir from when they went to St. Petersburg a few years ago.

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Today is also a #TeamViolet Day – my niece is saying goodbye to the NG tube (yay), but to do that, she has to have a G-tube put it and an additional procedure, so she’s back in the hospital (boo). Lorelai and I went to visit a few weekends ago and had a great time. I’ve got another HeartCat in progress on my hook too.

We’re looking at another storm to dump on us tomorrow – if you’re in the path of it, stay warm!

A Bunny Buddy

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 I finished up this little bunny rattle last week for a visit to see my niece last weekend. It is actually a rattle, and the pattern is very simple.  He’s cute and I would make this again.  I had a bit of trouble taking a good picture to show the scale – the whale bag is about 8″ tall? Next to the sleepy Violet is not a good way to tell either, as she is still so wee and bundled up! I am pleased to report that she (and her parents) are home from the hospital! I am very much looking forward to seeing her next week before Rhinebeck!

I have another FO of sorts – we made Team Violet t-shirts to take with us as well, they were a big hit! Do you see her bird mobile? Her mom made that – this little lady is surrounded by quite a crafty crew!

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I’m looking forward to a weekend of knitting, weaving in ends, blocking, attaching buttons and maybe even pulling out my sewing machine! How about you?

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Relief

First, thank you for putting good thoughts / prayers / vibes out into the universe for my niece this week.  Her surgery went well and so far, recovery is looking good.  I’m going to share the Heartcat I made one more time, because I am so super proud of it and I got possibly the best feedback on it ever – my SIL said she held on to Heartcat during Vi’s surgery, it was a comfort to her as well.  That is a powerful handmade project right there.  The pattern was great, and the crochet stitches were not any more complicated that simple increases / decreases.  I will make this again.

picture006My second project this week is my Windschief hat! Knit in a game of yarn chicken, I did not have enough of my Malabrigo Rios to finish this hat until a knitter friend very kindly shared with me. Her skein of yarn was much more green than my skein, but it all works out just fine, and even if I could tell the difference, it’s on the top of my head. I have been wearing it a lot since I finished it last night – I put it on right away, then today it’s chilly in my house, so it’s on again. My husband took it and wore it this morning while getting breakfast ready – he was surprised that you could wear a hand knit hat in the house and not overheat.  I would make this pattern again. My only hold up is I feel like because the twisted rib section pulls the fabric a bit, I can’t quite figure out where on my head to place that rib section – it’s like the hat doesn’t sit evenly on my head. I’m probably overthinking this. I made the large size, it nice fits my head and hair and covers my ears, it also fits my husband’s head!

Here’s to a restful weekend with lots of restorative crafting!

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I Heart Team Violet

Team violetLast week my family received some very big, not very good, news about the littlest and newest member of our family. My niece Violet was diagnosed with several Congenital Heart defects. She had an emergency catheter procedure on her heart and will have to endure a few more open heart surgeries (one this week) to make things right. We are hopeful and positive and the outlook is good, but it will be one day at a time until she’s there. I crave information in things like this so that I can get my head to stop spinning and wrap my brain around this set of complications. The bare bones of what she has include:

  • Her aorta and pulmonary artery are flipped – in opposite positions from where they are found in a normal heart. (Official: TGA = Transposition of the Great Arteries)
  • She doesn’t have a mitral valve connecting the upper and lower left hand chambers.(Mitral Atresia or Congenital Absence of Mitral Valve)
  • She also doesn’t have a wall between the right and left ventricle (lower chambers) – she basically just has one big lower chamber. (VSD = ventricular septal defect)

I needed a picture to help see this. Here’s a normal heart and an image of a heart with 2 of the things Violet is dealing with – TGA & VSD. She doesn’t have PS, but do you see in the second picture where that PS is, that space between the LA / LV is the mitral valve and in Violet, there is no space.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be one good foundation / organization to look to for information; every case is so unique to that individual (complicated by age and any other health factors). I’m not quite sure how I found the Hjartekatten blog, but I was so taken with the idea of these cats and critters given to children who have to have heart surgery in Sweden. That idea stuck with me and I made Violet her own little “HeartCat”. We were able to visit her this weekend and she was looking good – especially if you look past the feeding tube and a few extra (necessary, but noisy) monitors, she was awake for a good part of our visit and we were able to hold her and get in lots of snuggles.
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She’s got a long road ahead of her, and we are all rooting for her. I love knitting for babies and kids and this just motivates me to do more toys and accessories for Violet & my own kids, as well as the charity knitting projects – PatPats Hats, Hjartekatten, are certainly near and dear to me. It’s absolutely no fun when kids are sick.

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Here’s hoping this is the day when things turn around. The new school and work routines are still in progress. My WIPs are somewhat under control (after I wind up a lot more yarn today), and I’ve been finishing things too! First up is a project for my niece. I saw the pattern for these baby bloomers in early August and as I knew there was a new baby girl on the way, I just had to make them! When I picked the yarn, I did not know that she would be named Violet – I just really liked the color. I did one row of the hearts and the end result is very sweet. Though they are meant for a 3 month old, I think they might be more of a 3-6 month size. If I were to do them again (which I might) I would use a stretchier bind-off at each leg opening, so there would be a bit more give for chubby baby legs (or layers with tights). My other FO this week is in support of “Tealtember” to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer. I bought a skein of Malabrigo Rasta in the Spring for Malabrigo March, but never started the project. When I pulled out my teal yarns, I spotted the Rasta already caked up and ready to go. I used Liat Gat’s free pattern for Super Bulky Toe Up Socks to make a very warm pair of slipper socks. I did not divide the cake before I started, so I did play a bit of yarn chicken and my result is that one sock is slightly shorter than the other. I’m fine with that, and when they are worn this winter it won’t bother me. These are super warm and worked up super quick. I started the first one Friday afternoon waiting for the bus to come home and that night, after watching a few video podcasts, I had a sock!

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Acheivement Unlocked: Aunt Status!

VHatDollI am super excited for this FO Friday as I can finally share a few items that have been under wraps for a while.  My niece, Violet, made her arrival last weekend and she is just wonderful. Little Violet is surrounded by a great number of handcrafters – her crib has a beautiful quilt and her closet is already stocked with hand-knit sweaters and dresses (her mom and grandy are knitters). Of course I also want to make things for my niece too, so I am taking on toys. To start, I made a little doll. When I finished this item, Lorelai saw it and wanted one, so I’ll take that as a compliment. The instructions to crochet this were straightforward and it worked up pretty quickly. I used Sublime Organic DK for all of it. It’s a bit hard to see in my photo here, but the hairstyle is a bun, and I went with a simple light purple dress. I think it’s a little Jane Austen-ish, which works as Mom is a fan. I would make this pattern again, and I would like to make the fairy version too.

When I started knitting I first made baby hats and I had my eye on the flower hat pattern for ages. I tried the original pattern, written bottom up – so you make the petals first – but my gauge wasn’t quite right, it was too open in between the stitches. I put it aside for a while and when the top-down version was released I gave it another go. Lucky for me it worked! The hat has a little bit of stretch, and it fits her now (enough for a photo anyway). I blocked it over the glass carafe of a small french press; I wet it and pinned the petals back to add a bit of curl.

It is so much fun to consider other baby patterns again! I’m looking forward to many more toys and accessories.

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