Posts filed in: February 2011

Silver Snow

comments: 233


PATTERN: Clara by Karin Vestergaard Mathiesen
SIZE: 12-18 months
YARN: Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Silverfox

Thank you very much for sharing our walk with me yesterday. It was really a very magical day. By nine a.m. all of the original morning snow was gone and the sun was shining as if there had never been a cloud (or a snowflake) in the sky. But then, later in the afternoon, the whole thing started up again: Tiny flurries buzzed the yard, and then larger flakes started to fall and stick, and then a full-blown snow squall enveloped our neighborhood. Clover and I sat on the sofa and watched from the window; it was like being in a snowglobe.

Taken from our living-room window, around 3 p.m.

Oh, how my heart twirled! It lasted maybe another hour. All the little girls across the street came out and threw snowballs at each other and chased each other through the yards. They reminded me of squirrels, playing up and down the oak trunks, wild in their delight. It was the lovliest of days. I really don't think I'll ever forget it.


I finished this dress last month and for some reason just never got around to posting about it. Apparently I was waiting for a fairy-tale snow to come and enchant me with its charms; the entire time I was working on the dress it seemed like a fairy-tale dress. When I finished it I was simply flabbergasted that I was able to make something like this. It felt conjured more than knitted, though I knew that there were parts of it that had been so hard, where I'd had to rip out and redo more than once, where every stitch was hard-won and utterly prosaic. But I couldn't remember where those parts were (and I definitely can't remember now). (Lord, please let that be a metaphor.) I just sat and looked at it for a whole night. I kept shaking my head. Really? How did I do that? Since I don't even really know how to knit?


That's sort of what I've been telling myself all these years, anyway. Knitting was so hard for me, and came so un-easily to me, that even though I've been able to knit and purl more or less without complication since about 1999 (I started trying to learn back in 1994 or so), I still never really think of myself as someone who can knit. I know that's strange, and not meant to sound falsely modest, but it's true. That is my perception. A year ago I wrote the story of how I eventually learned to knit. I think it is one of a small handful of things I've written in my life that help me tell the story of myself to myself. Eventually I will amend it to include what knitting has meant to me this past year. This dress will figure into that part of the story, how the whistling work of these days and their many stitches gave us hope and happiness. And confidence, when it was sorely needed. When I finished the dress, I hung it on the wall next to the sparkly lights on my side of our bed and we looked at it for a long time. For someone who doesn't know how to knit, I will admit that I felt very proud.


*For those who have asked, you can buy a kit for the dress from the US yarn distributor here. I bought the kit but didn't use the recommended yarn. Unfortunately I don't know if the pattern is available on its own; I have called Isager to see if it is and have not heard back. I am sorry but that's the best I can do, as this is just something I knit for myself and is not my original pattern to distribute or otherwise make available. You will have to contact Isager with any questions about the Clara dress pattern. Thank you for understanding.

**Update, 1/4/2014: The pattern is now available here:

The Snowy Morning

comments: 69




There was snow in the yard. That was my dream, and it came true.


I put on some warm clothes and Clover and I headed out. Seven a.m. Still blue, almost-dark. So quiet. No cars. Crows. Snowflakes. Snowflake sounds.


We walked through the neighborhood. It seemed like we were in the forest, really.


I felt so connected to the dog. It was like we were moving together. Like we were seeing it the same way. Wanted to go to the same place.


We walked and walked and walked. Streets twisted and turned. Then the snow really started coming down. For a few minutes it was actually hard to see. My camera was in my pocket then. The flakes were as big as flowers. It felt like we were in a play about snow. I was so happy.


We kept walking. We saw a lady with her coffee mug, walking to the coffee shop. We walked with her for a bit. She went in the shop and we turned. Waved goodbye. Little yellow lights on all the coffee-shop tables.


Looking at the pictures made me cry. I don't know why. The beauty. I'll never forget the walk.


These Purples of Which I Speak

comments: 71

From The Young Victoria

From Bright Star

From Bright Star

From Emma

Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who was organized enough to keep a bulletin board full of inspirational images. I always think those look so pretty whenever I see them. I do have a bulletin board but it seems to get covered with awesome things like inches-to-centimeter conversion charts, cards reminding me of when my next dentist appointment is, and claims forms for packages that got destroyed at the post office. NOT ROMANTIC.

The weather people continue to insist that we are getting snow tonight. I was rather over that whole thing and ready to start seeking out bluebell woods and Johnny-jump-ups, but what can you do. I'll sew. It would be nice if I cooked some actual food instead of going out for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, pretty much one or the other every day. I have been Mrs. Social lately.


comments: 78


PATTERN: Chauffe-coeur by Astrid LeProvost
SIZE: 2 or 3, maybe?
YARN: Mirasol Miski

I've been watching a lot of movies with beautiful fabrics and beautiful shawl-type things in them lately. The Young Victoria, Bright Star, Emma. There were so many beautiful shades of purple in The Young Victoria. It got me thinking about purple. Violets and mulberries and grayish-lavenders and slatey plums. Pluots. I see that I need to pay more attention to these colors. I have neglected them; they are not the colors I normally choose, but for some reason lately I am quite drawn to them. Plans.

This little shrug is called a heartwarmer, of chauffe-coeur in French. The pattern comes from this book that's written entirely in French, and I'll just say that yeah, I pretty much wung it. It's a simple shape, and I had a pretty good idea of how it was going to work. French knitting patterns are totally hilarious to put into Google translator. I don't think it helps at all! I had a lot of high-school and college French, so I sort of piece it together in my way. It's a clever little shape, and buttons (with flat, round oyster-shell buttons) on the sides in the back, though I forgot to take a photo of the back. Here is my Ravelry page.


The yarn is baby llama, which I've never used before and oh wow, is it ever scrumpdillyumptious. It's even softer than alpaca. I think it was a bit floppy for this pattern — my guess is that it will really sag — but it was gorgeous to work with, and made my hands very, very happy.


PATTERN: Solveig by Citronille (made longer than the pattern)
FABRIC: Moda Regent Street Lawn in Petite Floral (I got this at Fabric Depot sometime in January, but last time I checked they were out of it)

I really really really really really hope fabric designers start making more little calicos. They don't seem to be very popular right now. They are always popular with me.


Yummy little berry purples.


Some fabrics just make me so happy. This is one of those.


comments: 43



Folk Coat Show

comments: 91


PATTERN: Swing Thing by Theresa Belville
SIZE: 2-3 years
YARN: Garnstudio DROPS Nepal in Gray-Green 7139
BUTTONS: Orange Gerberas and Leaves wooden buttons from Apples and Eggs

The adorable Amy, Rob, and Dax the corgi came for dinner a few weeks ago (which reminds me that I need to remind Andy about that pizza post he was going to write). Clover, naturally, lost her mind with excitement. After several hours of being chased around the house, Dax effortlessly performed several tricks to the bewildered amazement of all of the Paulsons (including Clover Meadow). On command Dax sat, stayed, rolled over, played dead, danced, and offered his little paw in a delicate shake, then trotted away modestly to enjoy his treat. We sat, mouths open, deeply impressed. Andy (middle child) was immediately motivated to display Clover's skills to the crowd. He called her over to the living room and asked her to shake. Instead of offering him her little paw, she became a misguided tornado of earnestness: she fell over, sat, barked, laid down, rolled over, turned in a circle, knawed on his hand, collapsed to the floor, jumped to her feet, and barked again (it was more like a shout) in his face, all without ever really giving him her paw. She basically did everything she knew how to do and then some, all at the same time, kind of like if you'd said to your kid, "Sweetie, why don't you show our nice guests how well you play the clarinet?" and instead of picking up the instrument she started riding a unicycle around the house, speaking fluent Ubbi Dubbi, scratching her stomach, dribbling a basketball, and making cappuccinos for everyone in the room. It was hilarious. I sat on the edge of the sofa and smiled sheepishly as if to say, "Kids — what can you do?"

Anyway, ever since we've been trying to teach Clover the "give me your paw" thing for reals, and I think it's finally sticking (although it's still more of a pawing kind of thing as she lifts up her paw way too high and then tries to scrape my hand off as if she's digging a hole, but, you know — some kind of progress, at least). What any of it has to do with this swingy little knitted coat I don't know, except that . . . No. It has nothing to do with it.


Except that I'm showing it off. According to my Ravelry page for this, I started it on December 18 and finished it on January 19. I have several things that I actually did finish that I never did get around to posting about, so I will try to trot those out and show them off (hopefully they'll behave) over the next few days to try to maintain this effort at housekeeping I am making. Thank you for all of the comments on the little hat yesterday! I'm writing a pattern for it and am almost finished, so I expect to have that ready for sale next week (hopefully along with some finished hats, as well — fingers crossed!). I've also gotten a lot of questions about whether I am ever going to finalize the patterns for last spring's Tulipfield dresses (Anneke, Mina, and Saskia) and the answer to that is: Yes. I really am! I have to first knit the taxes and then I will work on those patterns next.

Little Hat

comments: 89


It's a very quiet day here and I am working on designing a little hat pattern. I have so many different projects I started back in December (and before that) that all need finishing. I start things because I don't want to forget that I had an idea that I wanted to start. Then I have about seven WIPs hanging around all over the place. I'd better finish some stuff before I do one more new thing.

Sweet Day

comments: 40


Cold, rainy, and windy outside. Warm and pretty in the house. I am grateful.


We made two extra lasagnas to freeze and bake at a later time.


Candlelight, dinner, glass of milk. I love milk with lasagna.


And you saw this one coming, right? Analog version, by candlelight.

Table for Two

comments: 48


Andy has the day off today — joy! — so we are going to make our go-to romantic dinner, Rozale Lasagnas. That's what we call our version (named after our old apartment building in Missoula, where we first made these together for Valentine's Day 1996) of these. There's nothing else to do today but that. How I dearly love cooking-together days. The perfect Valentine, really.

Wishing you a day filled with love! xoxo

Knitting Guy

comments: 120


Seeeeeeeeerious cuteness. When she props her head up with an ottoman like this? Melt melt melt. And man knitting? Quadruple melt. I think I took this picture of these two last weekend. I believe Andy is knitting the actual egg white here (note briefcase to left of chair :-). Thank you for all of the totally hilarious and sweet comments yesterday! We were in the studio all day just cracking up every time one came in. Andy said, "You're friends are so nice." :-) So nice.

Andy is one of those people who picked up knitting in about four minutes. Prolly less. He asked me how it worked one time (probably ten years ago now), I showed him, and then he was knitting. A hat. And about five minutes later, socks. About five minutes after that: "Oh, I don't like how this pattern is written. I'm just gonna do it my way." I stared, goggle-eyed. "You what?" Sure enough, socks and hats flying off needles, along with various little creatures and now eggs and French fries. No prob. Can't find a pattern for a French-fry-sauce-dipping cup? No worries. He'll figure it out. Andy knitting is really an audio-visual-physical experience. He knits so tight I just about fall off the couch laughing every time I see him do it. He asked me to show him how to bind off recently because he couldn't remember. I picked up his needles and I literally could not get the stitches off of them. "Why'd you do this so tight?" Him: "So it wouldn't all fall off the needles!!!!" Me: " It's not gonna . . . nevermind. " All our bamboo DPNs (double-pointed needles) are shredded. Blunt and splintered. I gently suggested metal but he likes the nature. He's picky about some things, not about others. Yarn weight and needle size mean nothing. Not a thing. If it's the right color, he will use it. If the needles are at hand, he will use them. This frequently means he's knitting worsted-weight on, like, size 2s or something [pan to me, falling off couch laughing again]. There is talking: "What is this? Oh, okay, knit 3, knit 1 front and back. Wait, what? Oh okay, got it. Oh, you dont want to be knit? It's like this yarn doesn't want to be a fried egg or something! It's like you don't want to be a fried egg or something! That's fine. I won't increase you. I don't care. I've got a few extra stitches on here anyway. So I don't need you. That's totally fine." Keeps knitting (more-or-less) happily. Then, almost every time: Crack! [sound of needle breaking, broken needle being held up, goggle-eyed look given, laughter]. Almost every other time: Aaaaaaghhhh! [gasp, broken frizzy yarn being held up, goggle-eyed look given, utterly amazed look received, laughter]. And on and on like this. I was roaring. A few extra stitches on here anyway!!! OMG [knitters, feel free to guffaw here]. So adorable.

Maybe he's just trying to make me laugh. Works. Everytime. 

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.