More February Flowers

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Oh, I've been poorly. Sick all week. Hot, cold, sore throat, headache, so tired, no sleep, lots of sleep, achy. Ugh. I actually felt too gross to knit. I'm feeling better, a little bit better, but not great. I started the above, Pickles' Thousand Tiny Tulips, yesterday. It was a rough start, with incorrect counting on my part (duh), too-big needles to start (corrected), some wandering off before finishing an entire row (nope) and coming back and re-starting at the wrong place in the pattern. Pfffft. I really wanted to do it but I was outmatched, even by simple counting. The yarn, however, the yarn. Pickles' Summer Wool. It's 70% cotton, 30% merino. The palette is gorgeous. I've never liked knitting with cotton before but this is so nice (except that there are little tiny fibers in it that I have to pick out — not a huge deal, but they would definitely scratch her if I left them in). The fabric is smooshy and super soft. She's rejecting all my knits lately because I just can't find something soft enough for her. She says they feel soft enough on the skein but then when the sweater's done, she wants to take it off. If she won't wear this, I'll throw up my hands in defeat. I made Amelia another ballet wrap, this time in baby alpaca (and she's still saying that's too scratchy). I wish I had made it out of Summer Wool. For those who asked about Amelia's cowl in my last post, the pattern was this one, but I didn't follow the pattern exactly. I can't seem to tell you what I did do, because for some reason I can't find this on my Ravelry page and I made it years and years ago. I don't even know what yarn I used. Malabrigo, or maybe Madeline Tosh? That one she actually will wear.

Last weekend Andy put up wallpaper on three walls in our house — one in the dining room, one in the living room, one in the kitchen. All of them are from Brewster and the collection is called Andover Miniatures VI. I've been wanting to do this for ages and I really love it. A true testament to Andy's incredible cheerful spirit is that he actually enjoyed wallpapering for two straight days. I did it for approximately seventeen minutes over the two days and it was sixteen minutes too much. He is amazing. Thank you, sweetheart. I love it.

Amelia and I made Valentines inspired by these yesterday. I think they're very sweet. I wound up doing most of them while she brought half of her dollhouse stuff over to the table, plunked it down on top of all the craft supplies, and preferred to play rather than craft. I tried to get her to sign her name and I think she made it through two. (Andy had more success with it this morning than I did.) I sat at the table all afternoon making twenty-eight Valentines. It was really fun, but it was a lot. They're suncatchers, so I need to hang some on the window. Today it is beautiful and sunny, but all week it's been pouring rain. I've never seen so much rain. I got to teach Amelia what the phrase "sheets of rain" means first hand, because we literally couldn't see across the street. Flooding, sinkholes, landslides. We've got it all here this week. My sister Susie lives way out in the country now, up on Dairy Creek, and she slept over a few nights this week because she wasn't sure she'd be able to get out of her area and go to work. It's intense.

I love this Irish soda bread from our local bakery. Love it. I just started watching The Great British Baking Show and it's really fun. It reminds me of that recent Onion headline: "Mom Just Wants to Watch Something Nice." And I do. :)

Took a break from working on the quilt kits while I was at my worst but received five eBay boxes of fabrics this week, all stacked up in my office, waiting for me, so when I'm up to it it will be full-steam ahead. Thank you for all the suggestions on displaying these kits when it comes time to sell them — I was thinking along the exact same lines, so that's good. Fabric previews coming up. Stay tuned.

Oh jeez. It's pouring again.


Sorry to hear you're sick again. I well remember when my kids were smaller wondering if this sharing of germs would ever end - and it finally did. Andy did a wonderful job on the wallpaper. I love how very intentional everything looks in your home - and lovely. I'm currently looking for some bulb lights similar to yours for our kitchen as well; I'm missing the warmth the Christmas lights exuded!

I, too, just discovered The Great British Baking Show on youtube, and, similar to your site, it provides a welcome respite from a flood of unpleasantries in the news as of late.

M. Michael Payne says: February 10, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Unfortunately machine carded, machine spun fiber tends to be scratchy because a machine cannot pick out guard hairs from the fiber. They get cleaned out...mostly...but there's always some get left in and when carding and spinning they get cut into tiny pieces and like getting a hair cut, those little cut pieces poke. Hand carded, hand spun fiber is usually softer because while spinning those bits and pieces get pulled out (by hand) and the fiber is softer. You can test if a yarn is going to be soft enough for Mimi by putting the yarn ball up next to her neck, or under her chin. She can feel if it's soft enough. Usually the scratching part is the edge of the neck seam or the neck itself where it touches the skin and presses, rubs and irritates. Try a ball against her neck and see if that helps. Grandma

I just love your blog. Thank you for being YOU.

Sorry you've been under the weather, I do hope you're all better soon. Love that first photograph, oh so adorable. I do love how little people put an outfit together. Perfection. I can't wear wool at all, but I'm fine with any combination of cotton, silk, linen. There are some lovely non-wool yarns out there. Hope you have a good weekend and that rain stops soon. Well done Andy on the wallpapering, nice job. CJ xx

I love your wallpaper. We are hoping to do beadboard/wallpaper to our dining room and seeing your photos makes me more excited. I recently watched the two Christmas specials of the baking show and it was fabulous. I hadn't seen it before.

Ballet in snow boots! What could be better? Such a lovely front walk you have, but that rain looks cold. Sorry you are unwell. Valentine's Day is so much fun. Enjoy. Amazing wallpaper work too.

Too sick to knit!!!! Girl you are feeling badly! Hope you are better soon. I think your little ballerina might tolerate 100% merino wool??? I usually get mine from Morehouse Farms or KnitPicks and both are deliciously soft.

Linda Stewardson says: February 10, 2017 at 01:33 PM

The picture of Amelia in her ballet outfit absolutely melts my heart.
So innocent and so adorable.

The scratchy may be the alpaca - no matter how well carded it is my skin just doesn't like it, and the same is true for mohair - look for a wool silk blend or a really tightly spun wool for something smooth and soft - try 3 Irish Girls yarns or Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR, or the classic that is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Love love love all the new wallpaper! It looks beautiful :)

Andy did a fabulous job with the wallpaper! It requires such exacting patience. He's a keeper! Hope you are better soon.

Sorry you're feeling poorly again.. I'm exactly in the same place.. sick. But I had to volunteer yesterday at the falls anyway as I had to bail last month due to illness. LOVE the wallpaper you put up. Like old time calico fabric. Love seeing Mimi enjoying her ballet clothes and classes. Good to start her early.. I tried too late to get my daughter to try it and got a flat NO! from her. I'm tired of the rain too.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

If you enjoy the Great British Bake Off then look out for the Sewing Bee and the Great Pottery Through Down (my personal favourite). Love to you and yours from Rebecca, Abingdon, England

I remember those days of Valentine crafting. You need to start in January and have Mimi sign 2 a day. Feel better!

I am just starting my Sweetiepie ABC sampler that I ordered from you last winter! It has been a LONG time since I have done cross stitch but it all quickly came back and I am enjoying it. I also wrapped my embroidery hoop as you suggested and am amazed by it--I had never heard of this previously but saves so much tugging on your fabric! Here in Indiana, we have some 6-week virus going around--uggghhhh--I am on week 3! Love your post and all your pictures--as usual.

sorry to hear you unwell, and I hope your on the mend soon. I love the little dancer in her gumboots!

And your wall paper is just beautiful. I too have a good natured husband that Im eternally thankful for. Who puts up with my ideas that start with "Lets do...." or "I would really like to do....."

Oh that rain! We are in the middle of summer here and a bit of a heat wave at present with with the last few days hitting between 40-45 degrees.

And I have the urge to cook comfort food, and its simply too hot to turn on the oven.


The Great British Baking Show was my saving grace during my post-election isolation phase. I literally watched the three seasons available in the US on constant repeat. It was the only thing I wanted to think about. So fun and pure and smart and safe. The tent is my happy place.

I love your wallpaper! Such nice and cozy floral prints! Perfect for your.cozy home!

Such charmingly old-fashioned wallpaper, too! Beautiful. Every other person I know is sick, it seems. I'm glad you're feeling better now.

Glad you're watching "The Great British Baking Show". I just loved it and especially when they did the american version for Christmas this past December. Hope they'll do another season this year. The british bakers are fun to watch!

I binge-watched the Great British Baking Show for months- and I wish I could get more episodes on Amazon Video, because it is awesome. The lighting, the humor, the bakers, the bakes, Mel and Sue. I love it so much. The only dodgy thing is that it so rarely rains on that show- in England!

I love your wallpaper. Thank goodness for cheerful husbands, because I hear ya--why is it so onerous putting that stuff up? I can stick things to things...well, luckily my man is cheerful too, and that's the only way we get anything done around here.

I'll agree with other recommendations about alpaca. It feels great in the skein and some people aren't bothered by it, but I find it terribly irritating, and I can wear very rough wool right next to my bare neck. Mohair, alpaca, llama, camel--all of those are really tempting in the skein, but they feel Very Terrible when I put them on. Keep trying with soft wools, though--Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Woolfolk. You'll find one she likes. Good luck! :)

Sounds like it's time to head up into the mountains to the snow! Feel better soon!

Thanks for telling us the pattern. You seem so nice but definitely extraordinarily creative

There's only one thing better than seeing Amelia in her ballet gear, it's seeing her in ballet gear with gumboots. Love it! Sorry to hear you're under the weather, health-wise and rain-wise. Spring must be just around the corner. I know this as there's a slight scent of autumn in our summer morning air here. When I was convalescing recently I enjoyed old series of the Great British Bakeoff (it really doesn't matter how old the series is) and now I have just discovered podcasts of BBC Desert Island Discs. This is THE best. It's comforting and you can do other things while you listen.

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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.