Lichen Woods

comments: 203


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!


I think this outfit is the most adorable thing I have ever seen!

Susan M. says: May 19, 2010 at 09:32 AM

Your little Posie is going to be very cozy in this! Very unique and original.
Now work out this pattern in adult size...and you'll sell out.

Tanya B. says: May 19, 2010 at 09:32 AM

I've been reading your blog for a few years, and I'm sorry I've never commented. I just wanted to say how very, very thrilled I am for you and your growing family. :-) :-) Even better is how you share the handmade things you're preparing as you lets so many people out here really share in the happiness/excitement/wonder. I'm thrilled for you, and thrilled for the little girl who will enter this home of great love and happiness.

By the way, I've heard that a sweater is something a child wears when the mother feels chilly. Or, is freezing. ;-)

Susan M. says: May 19, 2010 at 09:33 AM

P.S. I love your new header!

Oh the cuteness! Simply adorable and I love the colors. It all comes together so beautifully.

That is a gorgeous outfit! I would wear it in a heartbeat. Fantastic colors!

Individually, they are works of art; together they become truly divine! Ugh. Absolutely heartbreaking. So beautifully done!

This is my favorite! I want a grown up version of exactly this, and then the same in pinks, and then the same in blues, ... I could live in this dress and sweater combo for the rest of my life and be utterly happy. You amaze me.

Love it love it love it. Perfect for going to story hour at the library. You're going to have to make her her very own library book bag.

Oh, what a darling outfit. Please post a picture of the whole dress. You did an outstanding job and pride is something you've earned.

Congratulations on a fine job!

this is so far beyond is cute plus! with the adorable dress, i am in love. i want it...for me! with tights and clogs and tea. beautiful...

that is the cutest outfit I have EVER seen! Love it!

I just love it. those little covered buttons pushed me right over the edge! those colors are my favorite. swoon-

My lord, you are amazing.!!!!
can you tell me the name of the fabric, I must get some!!!

This whole outfit is really beautiful. Your work is outstanding. Wow!

Oh my, these are sooooo beautifully simple. I love the buttons. I love the colors. Geesh, I'm just in love I guess. Thanks!

Seriously. I want everything you make in my size. You create the most darling things.

tacomapat says: May 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I am so in love with this sweater that I ordered the free pattern and the yarn for my granddaughter. You continue to inspire, Alicia.

so beautiful! You make me wish for a little girl, so I could sew dresses. I manage to make my munchkin look cute in a more boyish way:
It was also a fun, but mindless, bit of knitting to while away the lazy evening hours.

Alicia, this is the most adorable outfit you've ever made, and that's saying something! I would hang this on my wall as art. You are going to have the best dressed girl of all time. She's going to be so into fashion I'm going to nominate her for Project Runway 2030 right now.

Susan, Tsawwassen BC Canada says: May 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM

OMG, that is utterly adorable!!

This is really darling. You should be proud!
How do you like the DROPS patterns? I have several in my to-do list, the BabyDROPS patterns and photos are so unbelievably cute, I almost can't stand it. One of the baby models from that same collection (check out little 16-12) is a dead ringer for my youngest, which makes me feel like I *have* to knit them all. But the patterns themselves are sort of...brief? You make this one sound easy. I'll have to check it out!

Tina Mack says: May 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I'm speechless...except for WOW! I mean really, .....WOW !

That sweater is adorable! And coupled with that dress, it is too darn cute. Can't wait to see the girlie inside of it and I'm sure you can't too. =)

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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.