Signs of Spring

comments: 64






















I'm mildly aghast at how much knitting I've done this winter.

The lavender vest was actually finished in November. The lavender cardigan-in-progress I just started last week. It's called Gilipeysa and will be a steeked lopapeysa cardigan, made not with lopi wool but with the Summer Wool. Yoke colors in olive green and cream. Ribbon to trim inside of button band to be chosen from the above, but will likely be the third from the right (and those were from here). For those who asked about how I added the ribbon to my Cricket sweater, I actually used a piece of purchased bias tape (I think it was from Fabric Depot, ages ago) and followed dear Mrs. Cleaver's tutorial, which is very good. Her sweet Little Buds sweater (the greenish-blue) was actually made (I just looked it up) right before she was born, when I knew she was coming but still didn't really believe she would be ours. Oh, knitting. You do help with everything, dear knitting.

Today is the first day that it hasn't been pouring cold rain in as long as I can remember. Spring is just starting to make herself known here, especially now that there isn't cold, pouring-down rain falling on my head every minute. Buckling a kid who won't sit down into a car seat twelve times a day basically sucks when cold water is pouring down on your head every minute of every day. I know I shouldn't complain about rain since I spend every minute from July through September longing hopelessly for it. But honestly, Portland, you have been trying my patience in a million ways lately so thank you, I say petulantly, for the one non-pouring, almost-sunny day out of about the past fifty thousand. Or so.

Quilt kits are in the homestretch, you guys. I'm hoping for next week? I have a few more things to do. You see, I have ZERO concentration at night. All I ever do after Amelia goes to bed is knit and surf Etsy for old patterns and eBay for used kid's clothes (because Amelia now has almost nothing that will fit her this spring) and watch Rosemary and Thyme episodes on YouTube. That's it. I've tried to change this but I'm so fried at the end of the day. I've been trying to stay up a little later, past 9:00 p.m. (seeeeeeeriously), but we get up so early around here that it is almost impossible. Ah, well. I've never been a night owl. But it is hard to only ever have about two hours a day, other than when the kiddo's at pre-school, to myself. When Andy's home I have a little more time. But a lot of the time the three of us do stuff together, then. Well, it's all good. It's just hard to balance everything. I don't know how people do it. I don't seem to do it very well. I get tired. There's really a lot to do. I really need to start the taxes, too. Ugh.

If you've been reading this blog for a while you might have heard me mention cherry soap, specifically Crabtree and Evelyn cherry soap. This was my favorite soap back in the 'eighties, when I was a young lass. This soap was discontinued sometime in the early 'nineties and I've never stopped longing for it. Occasionally, through the years I would surf eBay looking for some and could never find any. Well, I finally found some a few weeks ago and was practically sputtering with excitement. I've never hit that "buy now" button so fast in my life. ALAS, the soap came and the scent is completely gone. SOB!!! This is what you get when you buy twenty-five-year-old soap, I guess. But was there ever a prettier box in the history of the world???


Michele Holmes says: March 11, 2017 at 06:19 AM

Sweet Mom-of-a-young-child, you must just simply, realize at this point in your life, that the majority of your time is not your own and accept it. I know this can be frustrating (our boys were born 14 months apart), but this is the reality of your life right now. REJOICE!!! Rest in knowing it is perfectly fine to not be "productive" according to everyone else's level of productivity (or even your own before Amelia came to you). What I most regret is not playing enough on the floor with our boys when they were little ... certainly NOT my "lack" of productivity as a stay-at-home mom. Amelia is your priority blessing right now. Your business pursuits will still be there when your time returns to being your "own".

I can usually count on a smile or two or a thousand when I visit you . . .
Oh my . . .
Crabtree & Evelyn Cherry soap . . .
Fragrance that vanished
Little dancer
Bun topper
More bird
Head tilt . . .
Just the best ever . . .
Hope sun wins over rain . . .
Come on sun
just for a few days

Beritbunny says: March 11, 2017 at 07:36 AM

What sorrow for your soap scent--but you found it and you BOUGHT IT!!! Hooray for that!

I'm on the lookout for one of your quilt kits; I hope you'll give some advance notice. The bit you wrote about it being a story you've been telling in your head (Or somesuch)--I read they with a strong feeling of resonance. The word "counterpane" popped into my head the other day about it. If I'm able to secure one, that's what I'm calling it!

Also, I haven't any children (and even though I have insomnia seasonally) I'm quite useless for Accomplishments after dark. :)

M. Michael Payne says: March 11, 2017 at 07:42 AM

Just relax. Another year or two and you'll have more time, and then too much time as she'll have her friends and just pass through on her way to be with her buds and you'll blink and she'll be off to college or a job and time will have to be filled with other things. It goes way too quickly.
I love that vest you made. Beautiful!
You get my age and being in bed too long causes aches and pains. You never sleep late unless you're sick, you stay up late because you can't sleep, nor do you feel tired, you take naps in the afternoon because you just can't keep your eyes open. Enjoy the chaos, even enjoy the bad weather because like you say, it's hot in the summer. And I agree, rain on the head and down the back of the neck is miserable but getting home to a warm house and snuggling with a baby girl is so much more wonderful after such a miserable morning. Don't you think. It's the awful times that make us appreciate those moment of warmth and fun. Hang in there, girl. You're gonna make. love you. Grandma

when you have children, evenings must be for rest and mental recovery :) love all of your spring tidbits! sorry about the soap, but i really enjoyed the way you shared the experience and ended with "this is what you get when you buy twenty five year old soap"..... love it. :) i love the way you find beauty and humor in everything.

I'm dying over here because I'm making each of my preschool girls a Maggie Rabbit for Easter. I'm knitting them sweater dresses and knitted coats, from your patterns, for over their Liberty print dresses. I come to your blog, and sweet Amelia looks just like a Maggie Rabbit! I don't know why I'm surprised, but I sure am amused :). So sweet.

"The pressing things are rarely important and the important things are rarely pressing." Don't know where this quote comes from - just a reminder.
The quilt kits will get done when they get done - smile.

What a beautiful post, Alicia. Watching life through your lens is simply lovely - thank you for sharing.


Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, those ballet pics slay me. She's so awesome. And yes re the zero time ever ever ever. It stuns me that you find time to knit! I, too, am useless after 8pm. Thinking of you!!!!!!!!!!xx

I love how I can see Mimi improving in ballet...pulling her chest and arms up out of her belly, concentrating! I spent many years studying ballet and your pictures bring floods of memories. The fabrics are so familiar. I sewed for three little girls in the 80's...calicos and sweet prints. Almost always classic dresses like you make.
I would suggest you carve a bit away from your soap bar with a veggie peeler...see if the scent is locked inside.
You are NOT non-productive! You are rearing a child...important work. Revel in it!

Your cherry soap is my Cox's Orange Pippin soap, also from C&E back in the day. The lovely packaging art was probably by the same artist. And, oh, the fresh apple-y smell! The smell of living in Manhattan in the 80's, the smell of two pregnancies and births, the sweet memories of happy days. Amazing how a scent can bring it all right back. I like the suggestion above of scuffing up your soap in hopes of restoring some of the scent. It's worth a try!

Pamela Soper says: March 12, 2017 at 01:41 AM

Hi, I know that L'Occitane make a range in Cherry Blossom that not only smells divine looks so pretty too. Happy shopping.

Oh how I love Rosemary and Thyme!!!!!!!

Amelia is so big, so grown up, I still can`t believe it. Such a beautiful girl. And I love that outfit with lavander vest, so good for spring! And I`m totally jelouse, you have all those great birds near you! We like birdwatching, alas we don`t have much of them and espesially in winter.
Thank you for sharing all this, I`m waiting for your posts every week, you just make ordinary things look so wonderful. Everyday housekeeping things that suddenly became special in my own life, thanks to you.

I am swooning for the plant between Amelia's finger wearing of the daffodil cup and the cherry soap pictures.
Anthriscus sylvestris "ravenswing"? Please do tell.

I have to thank you for nudging me to FINALLY checking out jane brocket and yarnstorm. I checked The Gentle Art of Domesticity from my library and have yet to leave that rabbit hole. I almost squealed when i read her little chapterlet on her knitting bag......made by you!

I think you could/should write a US version of most defintely have the voice and spirit to do so.

I still look for Lazy daisy dishes at the thrift for you....sigh, but everything so picked over these days.

Thanks for all the joy your posting brings me.

The cutest photos ever! Stunning! The real spring of life!

theveryflowers says: March 12, 2017 at 01:35 PM

I have been hoarding and wearing Crabtree & Evelyn's Summer Hill since I was 13. That, and their Patchouli which is the best ever of all time, except they discontinued that one, and I cherish every tiny drop of every bottle I come across and collect.

Ohhh Alicia. I often think about my lovely cosy single bed from when I was a child. Snuggled on top with a blanket and a few cosy pillows to read with a drink and a snack.... that is a simple pleasure I miss from my childhood. The photo of Mimi above has made me feel nostalgic again ❤

I have three kids (one a baby) and a husband who is gone exactly half of each month.
To knit a row or two a week feels huge. I mostly fall asleep putting the kids to bed each night.
I also don't know how anybody finds time to be creative. Buttt... I'm blocking two baby sweaters as I type this. Knit baby things. That's how I fit it all in. Baby things get knitted so quickly.

Crabtree and Evelyn really needs to get back to its roots.

Thanks for the shout-out on my tutorial! I'm glad it was helpful. I love picking the perfect pretty ribbon for my cardigans.

And I am so with you on that end of the day crash. For me, it's the Great British Baking Show and knitting. I've been letting myself nap (with Little Miss Cleaver) a lot on the weekends recently. I'm way less productive, but she gets so excited about it and I figure that will only last so long and I so tired! Then I'm too awake to fall asleep at a reasonable time at night.

I'm so craving spring and being outdoors with my hands in the dirt. I've felt so cooped up of late and there's a foot of snow in the forecast for tomorrow....

As far as scents go, I've never stopped longing for Laura Ashley's Emma perfume. I think a tear rolled down my cheek when I found out it was being discontinued. I see it on ebay but I never buy it because it would probably smell like rubbing alcohol at this point. Why do they have to discontinue scents!?! I feel your pain and sorry you got disappointed.

Laura Nelson says: March 13, 2017 at 11:35 AM

Sounds like its a blur. Even your weather. Spring is such a long, long time coming here in Maine. We are bracing for "stella", jeez...naming winter storms seems silly. And now they have actually used a new word...get really. It means when the barometric pressure drops more than 4 degrees an hour and precipitates "great activity". I have actually witnessed thunder and lightning in the middle of a snowstorm -usually in March or April. They are predicting 12-24".
I think Portland bursting in drop dead gorgeous blooms is so everything.
And I cannot believe how much you get done, she is growing soooo fast.

In regards to your March 1 post, have you and your little dancer seen this? It's even older than your cherry soap.

Your pictures are always breathtaking. They breathe live.

Leslie Budd says: March 13, 2017 at 03:16 PM

I have always loved Crabtree and Evelyn's Goats milk soap. Never saw the cherry....but I bet it is a great smell. I also love Amelia's sweater vest and leggings....wish they had all of that in my size!! I also love how Amelia carries herself in dance class. Her posture is perfect. So glad you are all a family and that you share it with us!! Hugs!!!

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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