Winterland

comments: 43

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I don't want January to end. I don't.

Mimi and I were both fighting low-grade colds this past week. We were lucky, and we never really got that sick. But her nose was running a little bit, and her voice was raspy for a day or two. We had taken her out of school last Thursday to all go out to breakfast together and then take her to her first movie in the theater (Paddington 2 — loved it). Then Andy was off on Friday and he just wanted to hang out with her so we kept her out on Friday. Then on Saturday I had a funny feeling in my eyeballs, which is always my first symptom of sickness — my eyeballs feel hot. By Monday I had called her in yet again and she and I made a poorly bed on the sofa and snuggled in for the day. She played with every toy she had and we ate every meal at home, which trashed the house repeatedly, day after day. She insisted on cleaning up by picking up every mini Lego with a pair of tongs. She got all the pieces in that giant yellow box that makes no sense to me (if you have this thing, you probably know what I'm talking about). I was in the kitchen while she was putting it on her shelf and I just heard this tremendous CRASH and then the cascade of Legos spilling everywhere. And then, you know, HOWLING. Etc. Damn you, Legos. Legos at 5 p.m. So we trashed the house and I (mostly) cleaned it, and then we trashed and then I cleaned and then we trashed, etc. This continued through Wednesday. She went back on Thursday. I missed her terribly but it was nice to finally get to take some deep breaths and relaxxxxxxxxxx.

I love winter so much, even though winter in Portland pretty much sucks. No snow, just gray. The yard is seriously disgusting. Rain. Everything's brown except the sky, which is low and gray. Or kind of white. But I don't care. Be gross, Portland. I don't care. Let it rain. Nothing out there needs me. The garden doesn't need watering, the pool is closed. The evening comes early. The morning starts late. I drink coffee and bake. We stay home. I have things delivered. I knit. Apparently, I don't work. :| Yikes. I should be working, but I don't feel like it. I have so much to do but apparently I don't care about that either [insert freaked-out-looking emoji guy]. I have taxes to do and a doll pattern to design and kits to develop and a spring cross-stitch pattern to work on. I gave myself January. I see daffodil and iris shoots starting to appear and they are making me feel anxious. I'm just not ready to be done with this rest.

January.

I finished my Ranunculus cardigan and I absolutely love it. Love it. It's just perfect for me. I still can't believe it. That's THREE SWEATERS now that I've made and that fit me. This one's big and floppy and airy. It's DK-weight yarn knit on size 10 needles (for you non-knitters, that means this yarn is fairly thin and the needles are fairly big and this results in a fairly porous fabric) and the sweater is meant to be quite wide and oversized to begin with. The sleeves grew quite a bit with blocking, so they are a longer than I would like — full-length on me instead of 3/4-length, which is what I was going for. The yarn is kind of strange. I used Arranmore Light, which is mostly wool with a bit of silk and a bit of cashmere (goat). I loved it in the skein but knit up it almost feels like cotton to me. I guess that's the silk. So it's not, like, the coziest sweater in the world. There's very little halo on this yarn, and that's not exactly what I was going for, either. But I still love the sweater and the whole thing was a great experience.

Thank you ever so much for all of the knitting podcast recommendations. Wow. I'm so excited. I haven't had a chance to watch any because I've been with Mimi almost every minute of the past week, but I can't wait to check them out. Thank you!

I'm thinking more about yarn than I ever have. More and more I realize that I'm partial to a very specific kind of yarn, plain wooly with some halo, fairly soft but with good definition, too. I started yet another sweater yesterday. This one is, once again, based on the Ellen Cardigan. I did some math (I did math!) to figure out how to make it a straight raglan instead of a circular yoke and added the honeybee lace panels to the front. The yarn I'm using for this one is Cascade 220 Heather (and the color is Iridescence). This is a very popular yarn that comes in gobs of colors for nice price and for some reason this is the first time I've ever used it, I think, and I really like it.

Shockingly successful knitting balanced by baking fails. That thing with the swirlies was the Butter Cake from Scandikitchen Fika and Hygge and it blobbed all over the oven and turned into goo in the middle. As I said on Instagram, I should've taken a picture of that but I was in crisis and didn't think to. Womp womp. I need to start making soups. Or, like, any food that isn't dessert would be a good start. That might be a good place to start.

43 comments

Stefanie P. says: January 26, 2018 at 02:23 PM

I can only encourage you in your January hiatus...and be a little green with envy...We are full steam ahead over here...!!! ENJOY EVERY BLESSED MINUTE OF IT!!!

KristenfromMA says: January 26, 2018 at 02:59 PM

I've never been more jealous of your knitting abilities than now, Alicia. Gorgeous sweaters!

I'm with you and I don't want January to end, or hope February will bring some big snow storms here on the Front Range. I love tucking in (hiding) in my house all winter long doing projects, cooking, baking and KNITTING! Oh a nap or five per week. Love all three of your sweaters!

I LOVE winter too and am glad to hear somone else likes it as well. All I hear is summer, summer , can't wait for summer but not me, I love being cozy inside during the winter months reading and napping and baking. I wish I could knit like you! What a beautiful sweater you made! Enjoy!

I have an idea. Take February off too.. :-) You deserve it! Your natural colored sweater is gorgeous, bravo! The purple heather yarn is going to make another wonderful sweater. I'm impressed with your knitting skills.. I have never felt good enough to try a sweater. Enjoy your weekend. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Oh, the lace coming along on your purple sweater is beautiful! And I love the "airy" cardigan. This will be perfect for a spring day. The pattern around the bottom created a really nice texture.

somewhere online there is a beautiful chicken and wild rice soup- in fact, I think YOU posted it! Delicious- with a dash of lemon rind....

I love how the sweater came out. It's beautiful! Hope you get to keep a little of January when it turns over to February : )

Well, I am happy to see the wonderful book Wise Child by Monica Furlong in your photo! A great book indeed as is her book Juniper. I read these books to our children decades ago.

Beautiful sweater! I am in another country for vacation and glad to scape the Winter in the US and the cold that comes at this time of the year. Love your candle with the lavender around it! That calendar is charming. I bought a calendar and downloaded it (Black & White) but couldn't find where to get it printed and then placed a spiral. May I ask where you got yours? Love the ballerina shoes, so sweet!

Ooh, I love winter, too. I think maybe it's to do with the darkness. Like living in a faded B&W photograph, where everything (food, walks, books, time) takes on a different quality and there are no expectations. We should move to Narnia! Enjoy these last days of January.

There is something about cozy weather - I love the rain, but here in Northern CA, we are not getting much at all. A little scary for sure. I'm not looking forward to winter going away yet either nor all the summer heat - ugh! Love your sweaters - gorgeous! Take more time off from work and enjoy it. That work will be there in a few weeks anyway!

I'm enjoying the rest this month, too. Winter is such a cozy time of year and I love it. I noticed that it's staying daylight longer into the evening yesterday, which reminds me that spring is not far. I like spring, it's the hot, long summers that I'm not a fan of. I live in the south, so they are especially hot and humid and long. Anyway, lets enjoy these last weeks of winter to the fullest!! Pretty purple, floral plate above - it reminds me of spring! Stay cozy!

I hear you. I love January too. I love your knitting projects. And that doll house! I love the gray floors and wallpaper.

I'm always so happy when I see you have posted something new, thank you! The sweaters are fabulous, I may put down the blanket I'm crocheting and start a sweater. I find I love the beginnings of projects now I need to work on the finishing part.
I have a granddaughter Amelia's age and I just bought her a fun book for Valentine's Day, The Dollhouse Fairy. The photo of the dollhouse made me think of it. Do you know it? We plant a fairy garden in the summer and I leave notes written by Sweet Pea the fairy. A fairy in a dollhouse sounded like the winter extension of that.
Anyway, rest from what you usually do is good. Sometimes it energizes you.
Stay warm and cozy!
Jill

I just read an article about errors in European cookbooks that have been converted to American ovens and measurements. It was about the cookbook, Sweet, but they said there were significant problems with others... including Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook, too.

Not only are our mesurements different but our ovens are different and sometimes editors making changes don't realize that. The writer of the article said if you are using a translated cookbook and the recipe does not turn out right, it may not be your fault.

Have you read Nigel Slater's new book called The Christmas Chronicles? It is his ode to the winter season. I love winter (although by February I'm tired of driving on ice and snow) so it was my Christmas gift to myself, ordered from a British bookshop. I think you would like it.

Wise Child!!! Thank you so much. I have been trying to remember the name or author of those books so I could recommend them to my niece.
I also bought Christmas Chronicles for myself and read it slowly to savor it. Actually, I still have 10 pages to go.

It's lovely there, in your winterland.
Thank you for the glimpses.

It's summer here and we're in the middle of a heatwave, so I deeply envy your winter. You do it so beautifully.

I love January and February - I want them to last four months instead of two - and September and October too!

I’m dying laughing over the picking up legos with tongs! I love the way they think!

We've all experienced the LEGO attack of some kind or another - putting up a box of little pieces that crashed to the floor. The only thing is that I howl internally. I enjoyed reading about how you love January almost like a vacation month. That's a wonderful approach to this grey season.

Stay well. Or at least avoid the flu - apparently it is a bad season for that this year. Maybe your lovely wool sweaters will ward off the evil germs.

As always, thank you for sharing.

Hi Alicia, love your posts! I have a tip for your legos I borrowed from another mom. Lay out a sheet on the ground. Let them play with their lego on there. when it's time to clean up you just fold up the sheet and put it all into a bucket. Our lego stash was big so we had a tub with rope handles:) Love your colours in your life, posts, house. My bedroom is painted in Quiet Moments by BM which came from one of your posts. Thank you, Janina in Ontario

What a beautiful sweater! You give us such a gift of beauty with your photos! Also I have three children, 7,4 and 1 and we homeschool so “Trash the house, clean the house (mostly)” is the rhythm of my life! I hear that awful yellow Lego tub dump usually at least once a day and it still makes my heart drop every time...

Oh, I am with you on January. I love it. I never would have imagined it would be my favorite month, but it is indeed. I find myself saying "sure, I should do this or that but it's still only January". Enjoy these precious last few days.

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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.