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!


Maureen Jackson says: April 04, 2017 at 10:57 AM

Where can I buy this pattern? I live in the UK

Moira Anketell says: April 11, 2017 at 01:49 PM

Someone knitted this little cardigan for a baby and it's Noe been passed on to my grand daughter. It's a very pretty pattern and I'd love to knit one in another colour way. Your green version and the little smocked dress are gorgeous. Is the pattern available?

Moira Anketell says: April 11, 2017 at 01:51 PM

*now been passed on...

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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.