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!


tracy_a says: May 19, 2010 at 10:50 AM


They are both so pretty!

Adorable~Love the vertical, really eye catching! Now to see someone's precious little one all decked out in it! absolutely dear. your work has been so inspiring...still making me think that it's not too late for another little one.

I love every precious detail!!!

I thought the sweater was stunning, and then I saw it paired with the dress--they just took my breath away!


puglette says: May 19, 2010 at 11:48 AM

what a lovely sweater! i love everything about it, the color, the stitches, the way the rows stacked against each other. and the combination with the dress...heavenly! i agree on the cream tights and red shoes, a nice dark red, little mary janes.

michele (maryland) says: May 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

OH, you are breaking my heart here, girl. This little outfit is just beautiful. You should be very proud.

Jan Richards says: May 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Wow, this is a beautiful outfit for your new little one. Great combination of the sweater with the smocked dress. How lovely.

Gorgeous! I love the color of lichen you chose! Would love to make a grown up sized one if only I were talented enough to adjust patterns that way. Thanks so much for sharing. Love your blog.

Just lovely!

melinda says: May 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Geez, so cute! I can't wait until we can see her wearing all these sweet little outfits!

my, my, my....makes me pleased to 'know' you....

Barbara Robson says: May 19, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Won't it be fun when we start seeing these little outfits on a little girl!

lovely:) Why am I not a little totler?!;)

I am oh so tempted to pick up knitting again thanks to your fantastic creations! My 7-yr-old is begging me to so that I can help her out. Lots of sewing going on and work on fall designs though. Your blog is truly cozy, and beautiful, and inspiring, and brilliant, and....

Alice S says: May 19, 2010 at 12:55 PM

You just amaze me. I love your taste. Its simple yet elegant. Your little girl is very blessed.

Alicia, these are adorable! And I love the colors together-- wow!

That is a beautiful garment! The pattern is easy enough that I could probably do it. Man where do you find the time to complete all of these projects? I think they are all so wonderful.

Your knitting looks beautiful and so does your smocking -- I do believe you've attained domestic goddess status.

this is my most favorite one! ANd with the dress, too adorable for words.

I saw this on ravelry and instantly fell in love. It is insanely gorgeous, my favorite colors and just perfect.

Christa says: May 19, 2010 at 01:14 PM

Love this, I smock too so I always love seeing sweet smocked dresses. but this whole outfit is just so sweet, the colors are great. It has sucha nice modern twist to the smocked dresses I am use to seeing

Alicia, this is gorgeous. It is a rainy day here in Oregon and this little outfit made me feel quite cozy!

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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.