Early July

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Good morning. How are you? I'm sitting here. The fan's whirling above me and Amelia and Andy are out for a walk with Clover Meadow. It'll be in the 90s today. I'm anxious to go out and patrol my garden. No sooner did I banish the katydid nymphs that were chomping my verbena than we've had new pestering. Since these pictures were taken, big fat green worms have gotten into my cabbage and broccoli. I tried plucking a few off yesterday but I literally almost threw up. I was surprised that I had this reaction. Scream-gagging in the street. Lovely. Amelia was mildly alarmed. I tried to blast them off with the hose. Unsuccessful. I'm not sure why I think I could live in the country. . . . Thank you for all of your kind and poignant comments on my last post. I was very moved by them. I'm really trying to take it slow and steady. Summer destroys me with longing, somehow. It happens to me every year. I don't know. Summer always feels hard in ways I can't even explain.

Meems and I have been rollicking through the days, nevertheless. Andy worked Sunday through Wednesday this week, through the holiday, but she and I kept ourselves busy with friends and fun stuff. It was hot yesterday afternoon, so we slowed to a crawl and laid around and did all the puzzles and watched kids' shows on TV after we got home from swimming. It was nice. I read a library book (The Headmaster's Wife — don't tell me what happens, I'm not done yet) while eating curried shrimp and pineapple and peas (weird combo, I guess, but it was good) and she ate a dozen enormous strawberries for dinner on the couch. At night I've been knitting miles and miles of stockinette on my Birkin sweater and that thing is shaped quite oddly. I think it's going to funnel-neck pretty badly on me. My tension looks pathetic, alternately too loose and too tight. I really can't do three colors in the same row. I can knit with both hands but dropping the second and picking up the third color just messed me up I guess. Usually my colorwork looks pretty good — I'm pretty loose — but this yoke (not pictured among the four thousand pictures above, naturally) looks positively smocked. I did try it on, though, and it fit, in a way, but I can see that it wants to ride up. The armholes are quite low. There is no increasing over almost the entire depth of the yoke pattern, so the yoke is pretty tube-like to begin with, almost poncho-like. I have about eleven inches left to do of straaaaaaaight stockinette, in fingering, in size XL. Soooooooo I'm going to be there for a while before I get a chance to block it out. I'm gonna block it hard and hope the yoke stretches. Or should I take it off the needles now (I'm about three inches into the body, after separating for sleeves) and block it and make sure it's going to be wearable without tragic funnel-necking before I keep stockinetting for hours of my life? OH such problems. Well, you know. I knit while watching the news so I should probably go up about four needle sizes in general, actually and in all things, to counterbalance the inherent tension of . . . oh, everything, everywhere.

My skirt pattern (second-from-top photo) is done and I'm going to release  it next week, along with some of the extra yards of calico leftover from cutting strips for quilt kits. There is not a ton of fabric, but I do want to make some of it available, so I'll probably do it next Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. again. The pattern is a PDF download and it will only be available as a download (not printed). I'm vaguely nervous about this as it's my first-ever clothing pattern, but it's pretty simple and I know you'll write to me if you have any problems. More quilt kits should be coming in the next few weeks or so — I just got a new box of fabric from West Virginia yesterday, so that will hopefully be cut next week and then I'll start designing kits again.

I've been thinking a lot about the various teachers Amelia has for her school and different lessons and stuff that she does. Isn't it incredible how certain teachers really are totally life-changing, in the best of ways? I'm just starting to watch this happen, and am learning what it means for my kid. It really moves me, watching her bond with and trust and love some of the teachers in her life. It really is like watching a flower bloom right before your eyes.

Here's a cute video that Andy took of Meems at Ryan Adams last week. Xo

50 comments

Summer bothers me, too, though usually not until late July, when I'm ready for it to be OVER. I read an article about "reverse SAD" and I think it's bang on. In the heat people don't sleep well, it's unpleasant to be outside, the clothes are revealing, etc.

After a Puget Sound winter, though, a little bit of sunshine is welcome. Love your schizophragma, by the way. Inspired me to get my own.

Kristin McKinney says: July 07, 2017 at 08:33 AM

Such lovely photos, as always. I too was wondering where you got the darling puzzles.

Could you tell me where the puzzles are from? They are so charming! I have 6 little grandchildren who would love these! Thank you!

Your posts are always so lovely (even your garden troubles). The video of Amelia bouncing along to the music brightened a dreary day here in CT. Take heart, "summer blues" are not forever...pumpkin coffee will be showing up any day now!

Oh, the "scream-gagging in the street" just made me chuckle. We've all got things that just set us off, right? Love you blog. Beautiful photos. I'm from Alaska and we swelter at 70 degrees! Garden pests are not a huge issue up here. But bears, yeah.

Yes, yes, yes ~ STOP knitting now, put the live stitches on a long piece of waste yarn. Block it as it is then see if it's what you want or worth continuing. As another poster mentioned, "if you have a feeling things aren't quite right, then most often they're not. I say this from the 50 years of knitting experience. Plus 17 of those years knitting professionally. 👕
Loving all of the summertime photo's. 🐝 Miss Em is growing up into a lovely person. That's because she has a great Mom & Papa to show her the way. ❤️

Patricia says: July 07, 2017 at 12:54 PM

Sigh..... my daughter had that same dress! She is ten now and I remember her in that sweet dress when she was 4. Oh man the time flies. Well it will be 104 degrees here in Boise tomorrow. The heat is hateful. I laughed out loud reading your scream gagging comment! I've been picking squash bugs off of all my pumpkins and squash and it is so disgusting! Why do we even put ourselves in these situations? Thanks for your fun words and creating such a beautiful space in this world.

Sharon D says: July 07, 2017 at 01:35 PM

I'm so glad you posted! It had been a while, and I was missing you (and was a little worried, which I know is funny, because I don't even know you). But I love your words and photos, and your blog is one of my happy places on the unhappy internet.

Do you leave all your outdoor cushions and pillows outside all summer? If I tried to do that here (north of Seattle), they would be all pollen-y and dusty and probably have a half-dozen seagull poop hits. But you have so many outdoor chairs and cushions, it seems like a lot to carry in and out all the time.

I love your beautiful photos! My favorite is the one of the whole allium globe and then the one of Amelia just underneath it, where she is smiling and Andy is holding her hands. Joy!

I had to laugh when I read the part about the worms. I put a pair of tongs in my garden basket and use them to pick the worms off. I also purchased a small childs sand bucket to but the critters in until I could get them to a plastic bag and put out in the garbage. I started using www.diatomaceousearth.com and have had good luck with the bugs.

Like some of the others I would love to kmow where to get those puzzles! My 3 grandchildren would enjoy those!
Love your beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing it with us

Can't wait for the skirt pattern!! Can you tell me what puzzle the first one is? The one with the animals? Thanks!

Glennys Chaplin says: July 07, 2017 at 05:18 PM

This is my first reply! Found comments really warming, even with this heat! Thought I was only one who struggled with summer. Am also discovering knitting now that I am retired from teaching. So many fabulous colours available.

I love your four thousands pictures : )) That summer feeling is so happy, I love how you describe life day after day, you re such a beautiful family!
It's been so long I havent sewed something I shall wait for your pattern!

Like everyone else I just love that adorable farm puzzle! I went through comments for any leads on where it's from, then looked and saw Crocodile Creek in the upper corner of the puzzle. Found it! So here it is to help anyone else who may be looking:

http://store.crocodilecreek.com/p/bear-friends-shaped-puzzle

Lovely post as always. <3

Your photos. The ordinary moments are beautiful and magical. You have a gift. And that sweet little girl face...she's growing up.

Oh my stars, I'm not a sewer, but have often been tempted and that skirt is so perfect I very much think it is time to learn.

I've been a quiet reader for years, but wanted to let you know that I love your photography and prose in writing. Always so beautiful. Thank you for the little peek-a-boos into your life, they always make me smile.

Such lovely photos. I love summer, but I feel about autumn the way you feel about summer. It is a sad, nostalgic time for me. I think of my childhood and of a simpler (and safer) way of life and of loved ones long gone. I usually just get busy with projects then and plan for Christmas!

Love this post!!!!! Where are the puzzles from? They are adorable!

Tana Griffith says: July 09, 2017 at 11:43 AM

I went back a few postings and saw some of the sweater you are knitting. It is just lovely, but it does sound like it has some problems. I do knit, but not anywhere as good as you, but it does distress me to hear you say you may pull it all out. And I understand not wanting to put another minute into anything that is not going to turn out. I would suggest starting a new sweater from scratch and making a tea cozy out of the one you have already started. It would be a shame to frog it all.

I have been reading for a few years now. Always wanting your patterns but I am just barely starting sewing. But when I read your last post, about a smell you can't be sure of and fighting down a sob you can't explain...I found myself doing the same. Because I KNOW that feeling you are talking about...the perfectly happy days filled with all the things I love about Summer. And then I will catch a few words or see a view I have seen a million times...I will watch my boys play and just be...and I will suddenly fight back tears and sobs and this longing. Hope for something..for what? Any ways. It took me back that I am not the only one who seems to love summer but be so saddened by it. Love your blog. Love that I feel like I can understand some one I don't know.

I understand about summer. I feel an unsettled anxiousness about it. In the winter I long for warm, longer days, but when they get here it seems to make me anxious. Like there just aren't enough of them and if I don't make the most of it they are wasted. Silly really, but I'm feeling extra antsy these days.

I finished a pair of socks on Friday ready for the first cool night in fall. Yippeeee! I started a second pair for our daughters birthday in November. Alpaca and merino sock yarn. Deep honey colour. Making honeycomb socks. LOVE! Thank you for sharing as always and may I share something with you? Our children are now 26, 23 and 18. I spent a lot of time pondering and wondering and living in this tiny little world with them. Watching all. It's easy to lose sight of the big picture. Enough years and experience has shown me that everything comes out in the end. Always. I have watched my eldest hit by a truck at 13 and survive a traumatic brain injury, coma etc. (she just got her Master's last year and is married) I have watched our other daughter become a doula and nanny and is one of the most brilliant creatures who has taught me so much (including how to knit socks at 16, she is self taught from a sock recipe) and our son has just signed is first university contract for baseball. Through all of this we have had trauma, grief, love, laughter, joy, anger, sadness, fear, anxiety disorders, depression every messy thing. And we have gotten through this thus far. Your sweet family remind me every day of love and light. Thank you. Love Col

Well put on Summer feelings! I just DO NOT DO WELL IN HEAT! Summer always feels like the end of the world. Lots of fires here in California. Eating out too much because I'm not motivated to eat summer food or to cook in general. So I sit like a giant lounge lizard perusing Instagram and Pinterest for hours. Fall can't come too soon!!
I so love the photo of the mural with the storybook characters you posted. I would love to have that painted somewhere near by so I could stare at it :)

Those puzzles are adorable! I'm going to be a first time grandma this September and would love to find some puzzles like yours. Any info? Love your skirt!

Your photos are wonderful! I love your backyard; it always looks so inviting. What is that yummy looking pasta dish? Please share. In return, here's a book suggestion for you - The Widow's War by Sally Gunning. A woman in 1761 Cape Cod defies society to determine her own way in life.

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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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Photography

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.