Lichen Woods

comments: 204


PATTERN:  B 16-3 Jacket knitted from side to side by DROPS Design
SIZE: 6-9 months (but I think this came out a bit bigger?)
YARN: Kitchen Sink Dyeworks merino fine in color Evan from Twisted

I have a little backlog of outfits to show you! This is the Lichen Sweater, and oh, dear, I am so happy with it. I confess that I am proud of this one. I think it is up there with my very favorite things I've ever made. It reminds me of lichen, and those square-dancing-skirt mushrooms we saw on our woodsy walk this spring. I wish you could touch it because it has such a lovely heft and texture, weighty but still thinnish and floppy.


This is a sideways sweater, so instead of being knit horizontally, and growing either from the neck down to the bottom or the bottom up to the neck, this one is knit vertically, in garter stitch, so each set of rows runs from the bottom of the sweater to the neck. Each "set" of rows consists of three short rows — one that goes up the first quarter of the length (and then back), one that goes up through the second quarter (and back), and one that goes up six stitches from the neckline (and then back) — and then a last row, which covers the entire length from the bottom up to the neckline edge. Each set of rows then has created a thin, pie-shaped wedge, and as those wedges stack up you get this wonderful, swingy, A-line, circular shape that I just love so much.


Oh, it was slow. Slow slow slow. There were moments when I thought I wouldn't make it through. Tiny yarn, tiny needles (for me, anyway), and garter stitch, which sits on itself  — stacks — in such a way that you feel like you are getting nowhere. What this sweater lacks in speed, though, I guess it makes up for in ease (skillwise) — knit knit knit, no increasing or decreasing and no purling, and once you've placed your markers (and, for the record, I ditched the plastic rings for loops of yarn pretty quickly, since I didn't have the snapping lock markers [need some of those] and these rings fell off all the time) you just go. No thinking, no reading the pattern, no seams — once you get to the side, you put some of the side stitches on a holder, cast on some more for the bottom of the sleeve, then go, go, go again. Finish the sleeve and pick up the side stitches again, and do the back. This kind of knitting has the same appeal as the Ripple, you know? It's even easier, because you don't have to even think about color — you just do the same thing over and over, with just a little bit of thinking. It can get boring, but that's what Hallmark movie marathons are for. And when you already have enough worries and other things to think about, this project has a soothing ryhthm that helps you put things back in perspective


I covered some little buttons with Tana Lawn, and added them to the yoke.


I also made a little smocked bishop dress out of a cotton-lawn orchard of [hazelnut] trees (fabric from Fabric Depot).


It all feels so full and warm and cozy (it's cold and raining here again today) that it makes me wish I had an outft like this to put on today.


I'm freezing!


That pattern is one of my all-time faves! All mine I've given away, what was I thinking? Paired with the dress, though- THAT is spectacular, truly. Can you see this with cream-colored cable tights??

Jessica says: May 19, 2010 at 08:36 AM

You amaze me Alicia! It is gorgeous! When I grow up, I want to be Alicia Paulson ;)

Jessica says: May 19, 2010 at 08:43 AM

Oh yeah and you need to get red patent leather shoes to go with the dress!

Utterly adorable!

Very cute! The color is wonderful. And it looks FAB with the dress. I love how you put things together. :)

All I can say is WOW! Beautiful job, beautiful colors and that dress - sooooooo cute!

this is so charming and lovely

This sweater and the dress too are probably one of the most beautiful outfits you've made! You should be very proud! What I see when I look at them is all the history behind your knitting patterns from previous sweaters you've made, your color choices based on your love of nature, your newly acquired smocking skills and now the love for your new daughter. I think you put yourself totally into this and it shows.

Absolutely gorgeous!

Ooooooh. MY. Goodness...


i am dreaming of fairy-hunting adventures in this dress.

Is it terrible that I've wanted everything you've made for the little one in my size?

I just love this.

Oh dear. I want this outfit for grown-ups! That sweater is just beyond marvelous. I love love LOVE it!

tacomapat says: May 19, 2010 at 08:57 AM

Alicia - this is absolutely fabulous. I want so badly to reach out and touch the sweater and the dress - what wonderful yarn and fabric - this is amazing. I could see this on my 2 year old granddaughter Mimzey. Thank you for sharing.

Denise Berger says: May 19, 2010 at 08:58 AM

That sweater is sweet.
I wonder if it would be as cute in an adult size.....

It looks SO cute with the dress, I'd wear it too if it was my size! :-)

I love the sweater with the dress- so great- have a lovely day.

Maryellen Quarles says: May 19, 2010 at 08:59 AM

the smocking is wonderful. I'd love this entire outfit in my size! I did try to find the fabric but it must be sold out (lucky you!).

The sweater, the dress...the whole thing is just so cute it actually hurts!!

All I can say is WOW.
I can only knit a rug or any thing flat. LauraQ

Rosa, Copenhagen says: May 19, 2010 at 09:06 AM

This is absolutely gorgeous!
I want one for myself.

OH MY GOSH! Seeing that adorable sweater with the matching dress took my breathe away!! Seriously I gasped!
Alicia, truly your finest piece of work EVER!

That is the prettiest little outfit! I want one for me! I can just see it with brightly coloured rainboots!

I also want a grownup version. This is so beautiful and inspirational.

Love, love, love the covered buttons. Somehow you always manage to take something special and make it even special-er.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

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