Middle of June

comments: 75

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The apples on our Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree are already turning red. I'm not sure if that's normal, for mid-June, but it seems early. The weather this week has been blissfully cloudy, cool, rainy, and it even hailed yesterday, but the weekend should heat up in time for swimming lessons to start next week. Amelia is excited, and practices "swimming" circles around the living room, showing me how she will blow bubbles and paddle and put her face into the water like a big girl when she gets there. This age, oh man. It is just awesome. It is busy. It is mercurial. But it is fantastic. There's just so much going on for her right now as she gains independence and confidence and grows in physical and emotional ways. When she's angry, she stomps her foot as if trying to freeze the entire kingdom (thanks, Elsa) and her fury truly blazes, hot and sure. When's she's cuddly she'll wrap every long limb around me and tuck her face deep into my neck, or put her hands on my cheeks and look into my eyes. When she's sweet, she tilts her head to the side and talks to her stuffed animals in the sweetest little mommy voice, explaining things patiently and patting heads and tummies with reassurance. When she's silly she squeals and launches herself in wild arcs around the king-size bed, flopping and jumping and bucking and kicking, trying to reach the mobile with her feet. She's very tall for her age, I think, taller than the other kids who were exactly her size when they all started playschool together last fall. Every week we measure her against the yard stick at the library, and she's grown four inches since her third birthday, eight months ago. My sunflower, stretching and swinging and singing for the sun, sweet and big and brave and true.

I made honey/garlic/butter/coconut milk shrimp for dinner, and it was delicious. I made a couple of pairs of baby-doll pajamas (from vintage Simplicity pattern #5562, c. 1982) and a couple of shirts (from vintage Simplicity pattern #5757, c. 1964) and a couple of skirts (from vintage McCall's pattern #7882, c. 1982). I made plans for a birthday dress (vintage McCall's #2661, c. 1970) and ordered some beautiful Tana Lawn (Michelle, in Blue) for it. I finally started knitting a present for a friend (more about that later). I think I may have resolved to give away almost my entire yarn stash. I feel like it's just holding me back somehow, and I can't really explain that, because it's not that big, and I did feel like I was making a good-sized dent in it this past year. But there's just something about it that isn't helping me anymore. Maybe it can help someone else. I feel like my palette and my fiber preferences have changed, and my stash is reflecting a me that was, and not the me that is. I don't even want to have a stash at all, in fact.

75 comments

So fun, the busyness of Pre-K littles! I gave away almost everything two years ago, and it has been amazing. I kept one basket of yarn and one basket of fabric (those pull out fabric cube drawer baskets). I gave away all but a snack size ziploc of needlepoint thread, one half pint jar of buttons and one large jar of trim. It is so freeing to be able to start a project without the guilt of the possibilities of projects sitting in front of me. I do the thing I want to do, and get rid of the scraps. No giant mess. No crazy amount of projects. Still always more than I can get done in the time I want, but each project is sorted into a plastic shoebox and I have to do them before I can put a new project in that shoebox. I say, do it!

oh, alicia. this post really resonates with me. the jammies remind me of the cotton plisse (or fascimile thereof) nightgowns with ties at the shoulders that my mum made for my sisters and me. it would get so hot during the chicago summer nights. i love the photo on the rings. i loved the rings...even when my feet grew so long that my shoe would stay in the ring after a dismount. lastly, the stash. i understand that. sometimes my collections weigh me down to the point of not being able to make anything. new yarns, new ideas. good on you! as always, beautiful post. thank you.

I know exactly what you mean about wanting to give your yarn stash away!! The holding you back part too. I can't wait to see what you're knitting!! :)

Melissa L. says: June 17, 2016 at 06:48 PM

The Stash. Yes, mine needs to move on as well. Only my stash is comprised of moisturizers and creams and lotions and shampoos and conditioners....I kept hoping to find The Magic Potion I guess.
PS: I love your leather bag, on the table with your books. Such fabulous patina.

My goodness, 4 inches taller. Sweet Miss Em will be statuesque, that's something I wish I were. I'm just 4 foot 11 inches tall so to me everyone is statuesque. LOL
I can't believe it's the last half of June already. I'm so looking forward to autumn & winter. 🍂🍁❄⛄️
I love knitting, but I do understand your feels about a craft that no longer fulfills your creative needs. I long ago realized that acrylic yarn wasn't for me. I prefer only natural fibers, especially anything that will touch the skin. Though I seldom sew anymore I still keep a small storage tub with my most loved quilting prints ~ just in case. 😉

LynnMarie says: June 17, 2016 at 06:57 PM

I know exactly what you mean by the whole "stash" business. When you want to start a project you feel like you need to use something from your stash because it would be silly to spend more money when you have a whole pile of stuff here at home to use BUT you can't find just what you want in there. You might as well not have one and then every project is something you can shop for just the perfect thing and be over the moon excited about.

GOSH I really needed to hear this whole conversation about giving away your stash. I haven't wanted to admit that I need to do that, with a lot of stuff. I have not wanted to knit in so long, and it makes me sooooo sad because I love(d) it so. But all that yarn, just sitting around, and I'm not the least interested. Today I purged all these men's dress shirts that I had collected to make a quilt out of. They have been hanging in my closet for at least 3 years and I realized, some gentleman in need could use these for work interviews or something, and it's almost a crime to cut up a barely used Brooks Brothers shirt to make a blanket. So off to the Goodwill they go. I have come to the conclusion that the more stuff I have, the more of a hold it has on me. The whole stash thing may not be for me, either. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this- you got me thinking too.

I just love to see your latest blog entries! You have such a wonderful way of capturing life in all its glory with your photos and words! It's so nice to see you enjoy little Amelia because you will be amazed how quickly the years will go-two kids in their early twenties 😳 As for my yarn stash, I can't imagine letting it go. I feel as though I have a project picked out for every single skein and believe me there are many, many skeins! I guess I hold onto the hope that I will have time to get them done.

I feel like every year I say "this is my favorite stage!" It's insane how quickly they grow. My girl is 7.5 now and she still has a bit of the roundness in her cheeks but she's all limbs when tries to pool herself in my lap. It's magical, beautiful, and fleeting. I hear you on the stash not reflecting your current self. My stash is reflective of me years ago... I knit mostly for my girl (and boys) but the colors don't suit as well. I won't, can't buy new yarn and so I sit and look at my stash which seems less charming when it doesn't have the purpose I thought it once had. Unfulfilled. Ah well. If you are looking to give away some of your yarn, perhaps you will consider sending it this way. My daughter loves your knits of past.

Oooh! I love the little stuffed hedgehog (???) snuggled under his own little quilt!

I love your blog...long time reader! I had to chime in that I am starting to feel the same way about my yarn stash! I feel guilty buying new yarn when there's SO much in the stash, but none of it is really inspiring me right now. Thanks for the awesome blog!!

When I saw your knitting I loved it. But it sure would be nice to know what it's going to be! LOL! I should give all my stash away.. but I have to admit.. I have "hoarder" genes. We went on the Sternwheeler yesterday (did blog post on it) and it was really a wonderful day. I love Cascade Locks! Gracie and I are going to lunch at Skamania Lodge on Monday and then to swim at Bonneville Hot Springs. I can't wait. Have a super weekend.. Mimi sounds like a blast to live with. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Jennifer says: June 18, 2016 at 12:29 AM

I feel the same about my stash! I've been trying to make from it, because nearly everything in it is beautiful and was beloved once. I feel it should be loved again. And I, too, don't want any stash to rebuild in its place.

I love your beautiful, loving description of your busy girl! 3 is so challenging, but your loving kindness shines through your words and in her eyes.

What a beautifull blog you have. I am a longtime reader, every time I enjoy your posts.
I have the same feelings with stash. Having baskets full of yarn, it is never the right colour for a new blanket.
Making a blanket of all the rest colours never suits me.
I wish you a lovely weekend
With love Manon

That last photo is wonderful, it really sums up the energy of that age. Flying through the air, everything a wonderful wild adventure. Glorious. Cox's Pippins are swelling here too, but not red yet. Our southwest corner of the UK has turned grey and damp and very very green. Fabulous summer. CJ xx

I can relate to your yarn stash issues! I feel a bit restrained by it, and am wondering how to deal with it. I've given away quite a bit, but think I need to donate even more.
Your summer days look so lovely, I just want to walk into your pictures!
xx

The stash comment resounded with me. I'm thinking of listing some on ravelry but it doesn't feel fast enough ! Like it can languish there for months still and get no interest! If I were YOU I would do a #destash on IG that's an instant gratification deal and you have enough coverage/ viewers there to have a chance of truly clearing that hoard OUT :-)) (ideal to my mind but maybe a little too drastic!?)
Good luck with it however you tackle it!

I've read your blog for several years and so enjoy watching your sweet babe grow.
I was intrigued to see so many people respond to your notion of down sizing your yarn stash or getting rid of it altogether. I have a couple of ideas here that I find very helpful in this area. First, go through your stash...handle that yarn, look at the color and smell it. If it doesn't move you, then of course, it's time to go. I find that when I do this I rediscover why I purchased the yarn in the first place. Then I write it down on a clean sheet of paper under a heading for the weight of the yarn, fingering, sport, etc. I include the number of skeins with yardage per skein and total yardage and a one word color indicator. Then I store the yarn in clear bags so I can easily find something when I want it. A sweater's worth in it's own bag that can lay flat so that you can stack another single bag on top of it, then single skeins of the same weight shawl, sock, hat and mitten yarns together in zippered bags that sheets, blankets and comforters some in. The squared corners help with storage
The second thing that I find very helpful is that I have instituted an every other policy. If I find new yarn I can't live without then I get started as soon as possible on that new project. The next project I begin is with something lovely from my stash. This scratches the itch for something new and delicious as well as encouraging that feeling of accomplishment when I choose from my well curated stash. That being said, if you are overwhelmed and/or your stash is unreasonable, cut it loose! Life is too short.

Oh how your posts make me wish I could go back & relive those days and sew incredibly cute outfits! You've been gifted. That's wonderful! Childhood goes so fast! I've homeschooled my children all along & my oldest will be a senior next year. It's bittersweet! I love watching the young man he's growing in to, listenining to his dreams, but I can't believe he's about to fly off to new and wonderful adventures. And then next in line is my daughter, to be a junior. She's such a sweet helper around our home. She loves to bake, she's gifted with art, drawing and writing and I enjoy watching her bloom. And I have 2 other boys ages 14 and 11. Football and robotics camp is on their minds. Each stage is wonderful but oh when people say it goes by fast they are right!!!

I too always enjoy reading the latest in your life, it always brings back grand memories of my children when they were young (35,32,&30 now). I made everything they wore back in the day and it was so fun, hectic but fun. I still carry around alot of fabric and I collect soft, cozy yarn as well. I do knit everyday, even if it is just a few rows. When I think about getting rid of the stash(it is huge!)I kinda go into a panic...after all I have a relationship with every one of them!

Get rid of your stash, it's freeing. I had stacks and stacks of quilting and craft magazines with wonderful projects that I wanted to make, but I never got around to them. Just the thought of those magazines in my house started to weigh me down, so I finally got rid of them and I felt like a huge burden had been lifted. When I'm done with something, I love hauling it off to the thrift. I don't try to sell things, I simply get it out of my house as fast as possible.

I have a similar relationship with my stash, especially the leftovers. Sometimes I jut make pompoms to show it the yarn I don't think it's too precious. I now break up sweater lots to make smaller projects. Gifts always entice me .

JoEllen Keever says: June 18, 2016 at 08:28 AM

Such a beautiful post and pictures! You'll be so glad you took all those shots when Amelia is older -- such nice memories they will be. I felt a sadness when reading about your yarn stash -- this must be a hard decision for you, but one that needs to be made. The readers above gave such good suggestions about how to handle this and I know I must go through mine too. I have kept so many bins of yarn -- some only one skein -- thinking that when I am older and have time on my hands I will start using it up. Well, I am older and I do have time on my hands and I haven't used any of it, so I am going to follow your decision and go through it and donate it. It is freeing and I am conquering another untruth that I hold on to in my mind. I feel guilty every time I walk past them and that guilt needs to go. I'll be busy today for sure!

I get it completely about the stash. I feel that way about the pile of sewing patterns and fabrics in my basement, purchased for future projects that never quite manifested. Now my mind has moved on to new things, but I feel distracted by those old unfinished thoughts. Beautiful photos :)

The colors and patterns and decor in your home are so gorgeous. I love your style. I always feel soothed and comforted looking at your photos. It's all so lovely. My daughter is a year younger than yours, so it's fun to see what's ahead for me, and so nice to hear your spot-on descriptions of what it's like to spend your days with a three-year-old. You capture it with love, honesty and grace.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.