Posts filed in: July 2010

Booklist Help?

comments: 32

Hi! Any librarian types feel like looking over the booklist and helping me figure out which books are for Littler Kids and which are for Bigger? I'll warn you that this list is almost 20 pages long, contains just title and author (and some are a bit obscure), and it's in a rough PDF format right now. I tried to include as many of your suggestions as I could (unless they were late/not clear, etc.), but I won't be adding to or making any big changes to this. This is just a List of Children's Books that Some of the People Who Read This Blog Like. But it would be nice to have it split into two sections, for younger and for older readers, so if you have knowledge of such things in general, let me know and launch the draft in your direction and you can see where I need to switch stuff around. I looked up all of them on Amazon/Powell's, etc. for title/author stuff but I didn't always write down the age ranges and . . . there are close to 300 books on this list!

Leave a comment if a few of you (I just need a few :-) want to look at it this weekend and I'll email you, 'kay? Thanks!

***Update: Okay, that was quick! I think we're good to go and have enough — thanks guys!!! You are awesome.

Bluebell Sweater

comments: 91


PATTERN: Eyelet Yoke Baby Cardigan by Carole Barenys
SIZE: 12 months-ish
YARN: Garnstudio DROPS Merino Extra Fine

Here is my little Bluebell Sweater. I wasn't sure this one was going to work. I used size 4.0mm needles on my first try and it came out huge and disproportionate. I don't know why I used those needles. Sometimes I'll just get a bee in my bonnet to do something and pick up whatever needles are available (I think the 3.5mm's were in use on something else, maybe the lace) and just start . . . knitting? Weird. But you know how that goes? One time about twelve or thirteen years ago, right when we'd first moved here, I was sitting with Andy in a bookstore downtown at about 8:40 p.m. looking at a cross-stitch book. Suddenly, I got that look (oh, he'd seen it before): I HAD TO HAVE Aida fabric and some floss to start the project immediately. Uh oh. We went tearing out of the store, raced to the parking garage to get the car, and sped down the expressway to the craft store several miles away (in Hillsboro, which was the only one I knew of at the time [which also just completely cracks me up] ). We got there about two minutes before they closed and we ran through the store to the far corner. Andy got there first and began to chuck things (i.e.: a roll of fabric, a hoop, floss [which doesn't exactly "throw"] ) down the aisle for me to catch and put in the cart. I was calling out DMC floss numbers for him to pull. We were laughing so hard and the things were flying all over the place. This is how we party on a Friday night, people! When we had it all, Andy shouted, "Go, go, GO!" and we tore back across the store (with the rickety cart about to explode into a million pieces) to the cash register/goal line. The teenage employees gave us wide berth, deciding we had lost our minds. Or maybe they'd seen this before. Because who among us hasn't gone cross-stitch mental at least once??? Just admit it!!! You know you have!!!

It wouldn't even be the first time that, after such a performance, someone's said to me, "Wow — I didn't even know you could run!" See that? I can. When there is a good reason!

Thus it goes when the bee enters the bonnet. You must make. Too bad I didn't race to the store this time to get more 3.5mm needles. With the sweater, I was literally on the second sleeve a week later (i.e.: about 80% done) and just knew it was all wrong. So, frogged. That's what you call Learning the Hard Way.


So these photos are of the second sweater: exact same thing, just done on two-sizes-smaller needles. I still think it looks a bit wide (measuring out to 26 inches around, I think it was) but it came out prettier than I thought it would at many points. This is a sweet little pattern, by the same lady who wrote the top-down raglan sleeve sweater I made a few weeks ago.  These top-down seamless sweaters are soooooooooooo nice to do. In trolling Ravelry now, I am almost loathe to make anything that isn't some kind of seamless something. Some people just can't stand seaming sweaters. Turns out I am one of them.

Blue Like the Sky

comments: 33


Exactly like the sky. It's gorgeous here today! Hip hip hooray!

Whew, you take a long weekend off and your body starts to sink into whatever quilt-covered seating it can find and suddenly . . . you're sitting in a chair with your feet on an ottoman for four days. It was great. I think the most strenuous thing I did was bake more shortcakes and knit lace. And sell approximately 3.25 huge boxes of books back to Powell's, thus clearing our bookshelves quite wonderfully (for more, probably). I'm sorry it's taken me so long to finish the booklist I promised to finish a million years ago. I've been lazy, but it's the chair's fault. The chair has a hold on me and she's not giving up without a fight! And we can't seem to get Wi-Fi outside anymore. . . .

I did go to IKEA for breakfast with Andy on Friday. We decided that it was finally time to rip out the carpet in the studio and put in some sweepable flooring. Having carpet (here when we moved in) in a sewing studio is bad news. Pins fall on the floor and can't be swept up. They're like tics. They work themselves into the carpet so thoroughly you can hardly believe it (this is that very short, looped kind of carpet — whatever it's called). But getting new flooring requires moving everything out of the studio, and currently there are so many crazy shelves/cabinets/storage thingies it looks like some rickety, ramshackle corner of Sweethaven (remember this, from the movie?) than anywhere else. That means — opening up vats of elbow grease (I am so horrendous at moving, and if memory serves I think I usually always start crying about 3/4 of the way through, so that'll be fun) and: No sewing for a bit. . . . Hrmmm. But with all the imminent construction around here this summer, it seems there is no time like the present, and it just has to be done.

In knitting news, I frogged the sea green lace, which I was finally able to "get" after numerous contortions (both brain and body), and decided to go with a yarn that has more "tooth" it. Not sure if this was the best idea, but we now have about five or so inches on the needles so there won't be any more starting over with this one. It's finished-sweater or bust.

Quilt Catalogue

comments: 79


Quilts. There've been a couple of them around here. This one (oh how I still love that one) and this one and this one. This dog just cracks me up so bad. I can't count how many times a day stuff like this happens around here without documentation. The skeptical eyeball. What is that. It's honestly impossible for me to even believe how hot it was here. That didn't happen. There's no possible way it was 107. That must have been some other Portland, Oregon.


In my mind, this new quilt keeps being called the Swedish Summer Quilt. It feels like that to me. This is a mini version of a bigger one I am also going to make with the same-ish patches. This one here is for a friend. I'll tell you more about it after I give it away.


We use our quilts a lot. They're on every bed, folded on top of every cabinet, scattered on floors. None are precious. All are walked on, drooled on, slept under, and frequently barfed on (as in, when the dog drinks an entire bowl of water and then runs full tilt directly onto the bed [in which you are probably still sleeping] and barfs on it. Then it is washed in hot water and dried vigorously with hot air). We have a few outside-only ones that we keep in the car, for picnics and beaches and woods and parks. I like to think that quilts are one of the things I bring to a friendship. As in, "You bring the volleyball, I'll bring the quilts." We need another heavy one that can stay permanently on the hammock, since this red-and-blue one (thrifted for $12) doesn't really belong there (goes in the car), but the new feather bed (the awesome old one got ruined by being left in the rain one too many times) is too lightweight and flops around. The blue-and-green cheater quilt (also thrifted) seems to have completely disappeared this year. Can't find it anywhere. And it seems that this one and this one that I made back in college have finally bitten the dust and are completely falling apart this year. (Interestingly, I see that every time I take a picture of a quilt there is a dog laying on it. . . . Perhaps this is part of the "problem.") Instead of regret, the shredded seams inspired a sort of thinly veiled jubilation: I will make more! [dances quiltish jig]. Actually, Andy says he wants to make the outside one. Apparently all members of this family are total hedonists when it comes to sitting comfortably. Future baby already has three (plus three crocheted blankets), waiting for her. This morning I sat on the chilly porch at about 6:30 a.m. (I have to get out there early if I want any peace and quiet before the hammering starts), wrapped in Bridget's Grannies (which I finally blocked yesterday). The afghan is the perfect porch-sitting size. I thought about what size to make Swedish Summer II, which will really just be for me.


I still haven't decided. This little one I am quilting by hand and my fingers are about to fall off.

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.