Hot Stitches

comments: 75
























Well, I've been trying to write this thing for five days!

Summer is nuts. It kind of leaves me speechless. Yesterday my car thermometer was consistently showing it was over 100 degrees. My bad foot hates hot weather and so do I. I had to take Amelia with me to Target to get a bunch of stuff for our vacation: coloring books and new toothbrushes and ever more sunscreen and mosquito spray and a new backpack and all that kind of junk. It filled up half the cart. How we're ever going to pack it all I do not know. Pushing the cart with her in it out to the car was as far as I wanted to walk without air conditioning. This was all after cleaning the house, watering the pots, having a morning play date at a friend's house, going to swimming lessons (on the other side of town), eating lunch at the bakery (where she ran around the bakery or sat under the table), and driving down SE 82nd Avenue (ugh). I remember at our wedding, Andy's sweet little grandmother, Ruth. I happened to be standing near her when someone said to her, "Oh, Ruth! Isn't this wonderful! You must be having such a great day!" And (it was also about 90 degrees out that day) she goes, "Oh, yes. Get in the car, get out of the car. Get in the pew, get out of the pew. Get back in the car, get out of the car." All with a twinkle in her eye. This week my eye has more of a rabid, possibly heat-stroked, unblinking glare in it. I got to sleep in to a whole 5:30 a.m. this morning (yes, we generally get up at 5:00 due to Andy's work schedule/our child, the human alarm clock). Amelia came bounding upstairs looking like a wild animal, her hair literally going in every direction, part of it held back by the two mini-braids I never took out before bedtime last night. I said, "You need a bath. Go tell Daddy you look like Nell." Summer.

Knitting. I knit like a woman on fire. It's like some kind of homeopathy, wool + heat, like eating spicy food in India. I knit an entire extra-large sweater in a week and a half. Could not, would not stop. I am so proud of my sweater. I love how it came out and it was such a great experience. I love knitting fair-isle. This is the second sweater I've ever made for myself. I've started two more sweaters for myself (pictured above, and on my Ravelry page). I must be asserting myself somehow. Lord, please, please let it get cold enough to wear sweaters. Soon. Or ever.

THANK YOU for the recommendations for new yarns to try. Thank you, thank you! That is such a rad list, and I'm so excited to explore your suggestions. Some of the yarns you like are familiar to me, and many are brand new, so I will have to order some samples and make some plans. I didn't have enough time to do that before planning my vacation projects, but oh, this fall. I can't wait. I wanted to wear the sweater to the Avett Brothers show at Edgefield the other night (it was actually cool and beautiful; what a beautiful night in every way that was). It wasn't quite cold enough, but maybe at the lake in a few weeks. . . . Anyway, thank you for your very helpful suggestions lately. I truly appreciate them and will let you know what I come up with.

I did get to go to Powell's one wonderful afternoon and get some cozy mysteries. That was FUN. That was so much fun. I made a handwritten list of all of the books and authors you suggested and then I just went up and down the aisles, seeing what they had. I chose authors that I had 1) never read before and 2) had the first book in whatever series they've written available right there on the shelf. If the first book of the series wasn't available, I usually moved on (not every time, in the case of Jeanne M. Dams โ€” the covers were so good). Did you ever notice how impossible it can be to figure out what the first book in a mystery series can be (without the benefit of the internet at your fingertips)? It's so weird. Why is that. Anyway, I got a whole big bunch of books. Can you tell I'm excited to have some time to read? I hope I get to. I can't wait.

I hope you are all well! I'm sorry I haven't been here as much as usual. I don't have any dedicated childcare this summer and my time on the computer is so limited. That'll change in the fall, but for now, I'm waving as I race by: Hi!!! I hope all is well with you!!!


Busy and fun! Exactly what summer should be like.

Hope you enjoy "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" by Laurie King. I haven't read it in years. It was a suggested read by a librarian and now I share that suggestion whenever anyone asks for a good mystery.

Stay cool, keep reading, breathe, relax and enjoy your vacation with the fam!


i just dig you and your blog so much.

That second picture from the top of Amelia is EVERYTHING!!! If you were thinking of getting an updated painting done of her, that would be my pick - such a character, and a charming, easy beauty.

flying by as well ... - she looks like a little girl now! Is that her Big Girl Bed???!!!! Aaaaahhhh!!!! - How could I not have recommended Miss Fischer's Murder Mysteries?!?! Please tell me you've watched the show! It's excellent, in/from Australia and SO fantastically costumed! So much so that they have museum shows of the dresses! I Love the whole thing. I can only imagine the books to be half as good. It's on...Netflix, I believe?

Fall is coming. fall is coming. It is. We'll get there.

Your little one is looking more like a little girl and less like a toddler these days! My goodness how time flies!

Kendra Hume says: August 01, 2016 at 09:03 AM

It was good to see you both on the way to the pool the other day. Let me know you got this message. I have tried over the years to contact you and donโ€™t think it worked.

Kendra I enjoy reading your words. You make me want to read, knit and soak up the goodness of life. I am going to learn how to knit socks this fall. Enjoy everything. PEACE to you and yours.

Have a great vacation! I love the drawing and that little bunny! So cute!

Your posts always make me smile. I am quite envious of your speed on knitting. I really should buckle down and finish the aran I started 2 years ago. Ready for this winter. Your jumper is gorgeous. I totally understand how wonderful that pile of books must feel. I find the first one in the series difficult to spot too sometimes. End up comparing publishing dates! Good thinking with the headphones I always forgot. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Susan Pease says: August 02, 2016 at 11:43 AM

I love the sweater, so delicious. Your daughter is cute as a bug! And so full of spirit. Have a wonderful vacation...can't wait to see pictures! Happy reading a teacher, my summers are all about books...slow down August, I'm not ready yet.

I love coming over here just to read about your life, and sigh. My summer has been very busy like that too, and I don't like it. I just forced myself to sit down and sew this week for a few minutes. Otherwise it's not going to happen. Enjoy your vacation!

Jeannette says: August 02, 2016 at 11:08 PM

the radiating gold strands of her cowlick match the helix of the center of the pink flower matches the yoke. and she now looks more like andy than seems possible.

I so enjoy reading your posts. Your photos capture so much beauty! Do you use a DSLR most of the time?

I just treated myself to looking at this post again, and what really strikes me is how your darling daughter has crossed over from looking like a toddler to a little girl. Isn't it astounding how that happens!

I love your knitting!!!!!!

I've been reading your blog for years. I take a break every once in a while when life gets super busy, but I always come back and each time I do, well, it's just a breath of fresh air. I absolutely adore your writing style. You capture moments, times, seasons so well. Thank you for writing and continuing to write. Enjoy your trip! (and let's look forward to FALL!).

First, she's such a KID now!
Second, hot weather is the total worst. Worst.

Just found your wonderful blog! Blew me out of the water to see a pic of some of my all time mystery favs. Then, the bunny your daughter plays with. You must be a Nancy Atherton fan! If not, better run to the library. Aunt Dimity and rabbits and beautiful gardens all go together.!!

I'd love to hear the description of that dear little drawing.

Ha, I have those squirrels! My favorite toy left from my 70's childhood. And I'd like to know which sunny day you found Sellwood pool that uncrowded! :)

Amy Senecal says: August 08, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Have you read Amy Snow? I thought of you so often while reading. It just seemed like your style to me for some reason. I don't know how it would be classified, but it reminded me of a modern day Jane Austen for some reason. And a bit of mystery on the side. Very enjoyable.

I see from your floats in that picture that your white yarn is chainette! I adore chainette yarn. I think it is the cotton candy of the yarn world, looking so much bigger than it becomes once it is in your hand. Supremely warm, undeniably cozy. Can't wait to see your finished sweaters!

Oh Aliciaaaaaa, where are you?

Yes! We have that squirrel set too. The Woodsey family :) It's mine from childhood and my daughter has been enjoying it and the book that goes with it.

The bibliophile mysteries by Kate Carlisle are awesome.

That art work is crying out to become an embroidery ๐Ÿ˜

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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.