A Repurposed Christmas Present

Several years ago, I bought this size 2T cropped sweater on clearance at Suss Design‘s boutique in in Hollywood during her big moving sale. At the time, I had a cousin who had just had a baby named Thomas, so the “T” design (on the left) was perfect. Needless to say, I promptly forgot to give this sweater to my cousin and that “baby” is now in elementary school.

Fast-forward a few years and my brother had a little girl named Lauren who is almost two years old (and she’s big for her age). I remembered this sweater and I realized there must be a way to repurpose it for my niece as a Christmas present. A little time with a thread ripper (the “T” patch had been sewn on with a sewing machine) and — voila! — a blank canvas to work on (see center photo).

I looked through the Ravelry patterns for an applique heart pattern and I chose Yarn Over Mo’s “Fancy Lace Heart.” Overall, the pattern was easy to follow, although I did get a little lost a couple times, but I attribute that more to my inexperience with crochet patterns rather than the pattern itself. I’m a self-taught crocheter and sometimes I have trouble keeping track of the number of stitches. 

I think the cornflower blue will not only bring out my niece’s beautiful blue eyes but will also mitigate some of the “girliness” of the lacy heart pattern. It turned out great and I feel good knowing that finally this sweater will be worn and loved properly.

Fancy Lace Heart, Close-up
Fancy Lace Heart, Close-up, worked with Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream in “cornflower” with a size I crochet hook

A Finish!: “Absorba the Great Bathmat”

I am Absorba, the Great Bathmat!
I am Absorba, the Great Bathmat! Bow before my moisture-extracting powers!

Although this is my first project from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book, I have been head over heels in love with their aesthetic ever since it came out. Their second book, Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, only reinforced my eternal love and devotion.

Obviously, the knitted log cabin quilt pattern is one of their trademarks and although I am far from the first to jump on this bandwagon, I am definitely one of the most enthusiastic. In fact, I realize I’m probably the last blogger in the Western Hemisphere to extol the virtues of log cabin knitting, but here goes… It’s very soothing to work solely in garter stitch. It’s almost mindless (and I mean that in the best possible way) and kind of zen. And the way the log cabin pattern works, there’s hardly any counting of rows or stitches involved. Not to mention the fact that the design possibilities–color, texture, fiber mixtures, striping, size, shape, fancy/everyday–are endless.

On a personal note, my grandmother was an avid quilter who loved to make log cabin quilts for everyone in the family. Although I have not inherited her quilting skills (or patience), I like to think that log cabin knitting keeps alive the tradition she loved so much.

For this project, I used size 15 needles and four strands of either Lily Sugar & Cream and Suss Bomull in ivory, chocolate and olive. The two yarns are, IMHO, completely interchangeable. The olive and chocolate bands (which are a little hard to see in this photo) match the colors in my bathroom decor (and I use the term “decor” loosely). You’ll have to trust me that those colors work. Really.