Ripple Effects

comments: 110

William11_1 Ripples. You'd think there wouldn't be much to blog about when one has done not much the past two weeks other than stack ripples up like years, but oh, you know I'll find a way. I was running late yesterday but took a few shots of the half-done ever-growing ripple blanket in action. I seriously think this is my all-time favorite thing I've made so far. I take it with me from room to room around the house, adding a few ripples wherever I go. I can hardly believe I'm saying that because of my little problem with putting things down half-finished. But no. Still going strong on this one.

William10This little puppers is William, a hound I bought from Kristina and gave to Andy for Christmas. I love the things Kristina makes — they always have such personality. Every once in a while when I'm having a bad day and I need a giggle, I think of that pig she made a million years ago whose head exploded? Oh god, just thinking about it makes me laugh — go look at it, seriously. And the way Kristina writes about her just CRACKS me up. This is one of my all-time favorite blog entries anywhere, and definitely one of my all-time favorite most-adorable pigs. But William is ours (er, Andy's) and we love him.

William12 This morning Andy said, "How come you didn't call that guy about the tool-and-die magazine job, anyway?" Many other people asked me this question in the comments the other day and all I can say is: Peeps, did you hear the part about it being a tool-and-die magazine? What even ARE tools and dies? I didn't call because I was horrified, and, worse, suspected the handwriting analysis was probably completely right. Now, in retrospect, I guess I can safely say, "Well obviously it would've been good experience, etc." But at the time I just saw myself wearing a hardhat, carrying a notebook around a factory in Berwyn, Illinois, eating a Lean Cuisine in a windowless lunchroom forever. At 24, I wanted to move to the mountains of western Montana with my boyfriend, and write short stories, and ride the vintage bicycle he gave me to the farmer's market to buy lupine and sunflowers, and get a kitten. I just didn't quite know it until the tool-and-die guy was handing me his card, when I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. So, we hit the road, and here we are. I'm not saying the things I do make any sense, but that's rarely stopped me.

William8 They say, when decorating, to, you know, just "use things that you love" and it'll all go together, etc. I was just looking at the colors in the blanket and the room and watching them show up here and there, a little bit here, a little bit there. I'm always trying to get the blue right, but the other colors do seem to . . . keep showing up. Which, I mean — maybe everyone's stash is like that? Is that how it just naturally works? That the stash blanket becomes the blanket that goes with everything, by virtue of its being made of everything?

William6 I was slightly surprised that even Andy didn't get why I didn't call the tool-and-die guy, but maybe he just wanted to hear me explain it. He and I are pretty much naturally simpatico on just about everything, except when it comes to interpretations of our long-shared past where we have great conversations that go like this:

"College was totally [insert adjective here]."
"No it wasn't."
"Yes it was."
"No it wasn't."
"Yes, it was!"
" . . . "
"YES IT WAS!!!!"


"She was always doing that."
"No she wasn't."
"Yes she was."
"No she wasn't."
"ARE YOU INSANE YES SHE WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
" . . . "

You can see I always win these. I mean, it is the person who shouts the loudest and calls the other person "psycho" enough who wins, right?

Yes it is.

William7 I forgive him, I really do, for being wrong about so many of our common memories, where we were apparently in the same place, at the same time, with the same people, but, also, apparently, on different planets. Occasionally it does occur to me that it is only I who am on another planet. The Planet of Small Cute Chairs and Cakes.

Soon to officially replace Pluto, if things go according to my plan.


love your new Audrey banner :) I'm rippling too, but at this rate I'll only finish mine next year. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, as always.

So I am thinking your Andy and my Aaron are made of the same stuff, because everytime you recount a conversation or silly joke I have to laugh because it's US! Either that or WE are made of the same stuff and our poor husbands have to cope in the only way they can, so they sound like THEY are made of the same stuff...either way it's pretty fun stuff!

i have been reading for quite awhile now and wanted to say that i get such joy and delight from your blog. i came for the art/craft. if you stopped showing beautiful things iwould still stay because i recognize that soulmate love that you and andy have as the same love my husband and i have. and most especially because you are a kindred child-woman-girl. i fully understand why you couldn't take that tool and die job. and it's a good thing you didn't... it would have crushed that joyful spirit.

So, I read your whole post and I loved it, as always, but the first thing that popped into my head apon completion was, "Man. I still feel sorry for Pluto." Maybe we're all a little crazy.

It is utterly totally and most deffo the person who shouts the loudest and the longest that wins. I come from a loud family, G comes from a quiet one. Thus I am always utterly and indubitably right about everything.

Love the blanket, but then who wouldn't!

Tee hee hee. Love this post-- it made me giggle-- and I think you are onto something with the decorating thing and the stash thing. . . and the cakes and small chairs planet too.

My sister and I were having a conversation about poor Pluto, and agreed to be indignant. "I mean, WHO has the authority to decide that REALLY? 'Oh, YOU, small and cold far off one, YOU are no longer a PLANET!' I mean really."

OK, I totally got why you didn't go for the tool-and-die job. That particular position is for someone who adores the tool-and-die world--or who desperately needs a paycheck.

When I was in college, for a brief time I was the copy editor for a trade publication called "Chain Saw Age". I would totally have taken that tool-and-die gig in a minute, that would have been a PROMOTION.

Love the adghan. Now the word "ripple" will have a more positive connotation than bad 70s parties and the state of my thighs.

PS: Audrey on the banner! YAY!

Your house is so happy looking. I love all of the color combinations.

PS: I was a better copy editor in those days, but I didn't have to spell AFGHAN too often either.

Coming out of lurkdom to tell you that I think this is the prettiest room! And that my husband and I share the exact same memories that you described: there together, but on different planets.
Beautiful blanket, BTW.

Love the blanket, and I adore your new banner - soooo sweet! It's so nice you share your world of Small Cute Chairs and Cakes - it's lovely both in words and images!

OK- forgive me, I am new to yarn stuff- but the blanket is crochet, right? I just took my first knitting class last week and I've already finished two scarves. It's so fun and relaxing! I love your blanket!

hi, i am new to commenting although i lurk everyday and look forward to all the pretty. today i paused with your mention of western montana and the dreams of bike rides to the farmers market, kitty and wide open skies beneath which to write epic pieces of truth... i am living in bozeman and for the last 6 years have been doing some version of that dream. now i am itchy to return to the city life from which i fled with a car packed with fabric, sewing machine and baby boy and love. hmmm... any advice?

you couldn't possibly be any funnier or any cuter. seriously. i crack me up, crazy girl.

Oh, and I have to tell you that whan I saw the first photo, my first thought was, "Oh, I'm gonna kill that girl! I can't believe she could possibly be finished with that blanket!" Then I read your post and breathed a sigh of relief. For a moment I thought you were a superhero: the super-crocheter. able to crochet at the speed of light. You could use your blankets like spiderman uses his web.

Wow! Just got my new Romantic Homes mag in the mail, and you're home is featured! Very cool- it looks beautiful!

(RCLTypepad on flick'r)

one of my friends in college was the daughter of a tool-and-die magnate in Ohio. She was expected to go home to O-HI-O and become some sort of cog in the family empire. Of course, that would have been the safe thing to do. Instead she moved to new york and wen to FIT. I haven't seen or talked ot her in years, I wonder became of her?

anyway, here is to the road less travelled. your path sounded so MUCH funner.

and the ripples rock!

We're waiting for you to comment on the Romantic Homes... Come on, out with it. It looks fab! You should be so proud. I can't believe how many pics there are. Congrats! Kim.

Yay, Auds takes pride of place, and rightly so! Big kiss for the pupster X I've had such a long and busy day at work and as always your blog has perked me right up :) I just love love love reading your little stories every day and seeing all your pretty things! I adore your ripple blanket - I'm learning to crochet at the mo and have so far managed a little pink scarf for my friend's puppy to wear! I aspire to your greatness and one day hope to be able to make such a beauuuutiful blanket!

Mmmm, thanks for the delicious pictures! I think you're right about the stash. Mine is in various shades of pinks, lavenders, blues, and greens, and those are my favorite colors. Another step in the inspiration to make an afghan of them--it really would match.

I seriously doubt if you'd still have the time--or the creative energy--to concoct and crochet that beautiful afghan (or any of your other pretty things) if you were a decade-plus on in your stellar career at Tool & Die Mag. I am certain you'd have risen to Editor in Chief by now, but I'd hate to think of all the treats we'd have missed. But oh, the photo layouts! I might have even been a subscriber!

I love your photos so much. Sometimes I wish I had them all in an album so that I could go and look at each one and find some new tiny detail that I've overlooked.

It always makes me think of you living in a little movie I watch every day. There for my pleasure. Sometimes happy and sometimes sad, wistful, charming, crazy. Sometimes about pinatas.

Which we know are great.

I love the Lean Cuisine. Nice.

Y'know the main reason I came to take the crochet class with you was a) to meet you, but b) okay, it's a two-part main reason, to make a ripple blanket like I used to when I was a girl. My book projects are almost done and a ripple blanket is on the schedule for spring. You are driving me crazy with your gorgeous blanket. I can't wait!

i sincerely hope you're eating fudge ripple ice cream for dessert each night--just to keep your groove.

and man alicia, i'd like to have a sleepover in your house!

This has to be my favorite post yet. You are an incredible writer. I envy your many talents. Still loving the blanket, I must know what the stitch is to create the "ripple" I'd also like to know if you would come and redecorate my house? Please?

Oh my gosh, the hubby + I have very similar conversations...and I win because I am relentless. =) I'm loving your ripple blanket. And can you let me know about The Planet of Small Cute Chairs + Cakes? Big J are working on a planet mobile and Pluto is next on our list. =)

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About Alicia Paulson


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




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.