By the Chimney, with Care

comments: 31

Pho_stock_illus_lg Oh, how I do love felt. It's so warm and beautiful and colorful and fun. I especially love it when I can make it out of sweaters that someone has already thrown into the washing machine, probably on accident, and donated to Goodwill. I just want to extend a big thank you to those unlucky peeps, and to my husband, Andy Paulson, who apparently invented going to Goodwill, as he informed me this weekend as we made our way around Puddletown to various locations. (In case you didn't know, as I really didn't, who invented the art of going to Goodwill, it was he, so don't go thinking you might have been the first, or even possibly that someone else was the first, because you weren't, nor were they, it was Andy.) Anyway, there are not many things better than pulling a big huge fluffy load of wool out of the dryer on purpose. Hence were born these stockings, which cheer me so.

Thank you (and here I utterly forgo all sarcasm) to everyone for your incredibly sweet comments on the posts below. I am moved and humbled to read them, and your further insights into the topics are fascinating, funny, encouraging, and so valuable to me -- thank you. As promised, I have some answers to some of the questions people asked in comments that I thought I'd post here, honestly not knowing what the proper etiquette would be, so I hope this is okay. . . .

About the turquoise felt bag: It's one of my first, actually. It's crocheted then felted from either Cascade 220 or NatureSpun -- I can't remember -- worsted weight, and I was inspired by a pattern in the Fall/Winter 2005 issue of Family Circle Easy Crochet. As with so much that I make, I didn't use the pattern exactly. And I used half-double crochet, which I think goes (grows) faster than single, and I like the more textured result. I actually prefer crocheted/felted items better than knitted/felted. I like seeing the original stitches a bit, and crocheting results in a thicker finished thing, which I like too. But anyway, I'm sure this issue is still out there and you'll probably have better results if you pick it up and use their pattern than if I try to remember mine, which pretty much results in the same shape. A sack is a sack, after all. I've done a few others that live in the shop only, made out of stripes generated by the Random Stripe Generator, at right. This web site is absolutely addictive if you like stripes. If you haven't tried this thing, I urge you to play around with it a bit, especially if you're trying to use up your stash.

About the sour cream apple pie recipe: It's the best, most beautiful, and yummiest pie ever, but that's just my opinion. A few months ago, in an effort to find a way of automating our shopping list and easing our problems actually making dinner instead of, say, popcorn, I found a recipe-management web site called I can't say this is the best one by any means because I really have no idea, but I think it's quite cool. They have a library of 140,000 recipes or something that you can access and share, and you can store as many of your own personal recipes as you want -- providing you have the energy to retype them (which I am in the process of doing. Even though they have it set up so that you just type the first few letters of an ingredient and it fills the rest it for you, this still takes quite a while, and it has the maddening habit of capitalizing random words, which drives me crazy, but I let it go, sigh). The reason this is all worth it, though, is the shopping list function: You add recipes to your "calendar" and it automatically generates a shopping list that is cumulative and organized by grocery aisle. Nice. You have to buy the software -- I can't remember how much it was, maybe $30, but I think as a member I can send you some kind of coupon for friends, so let me know if you want to try it. I originally got the recipe for this pie from my chef-friend Kristin via a 1992 issue of Gourmet, but I just use packaged pie dough -- like the Pillsbury kind. Don't try to stuff it into a frozen pie shell because it will overflow and start a little fire in your oven, like it did in mine Thanksgiving of  '96, and give your pie a barbecued taste, which is not what you're going for with this creamy delight. (If you're going for flashing lights, sirens, and four enormous firemen with axes and boots tromping through your studio apartment where you are cooking a surprise dinner for your boyfriend who had to work on Thanksgiving and was feeling a little homesick, this being Missoula and home being Chicago, then use the frozen shell. The performance will leave your nerves so jangled that you'll completely lose your appetite, and wind up getting up, starving, at 5 a.m. the next morning to enjoy a giant and private piece of pie while sitting on the sofa while said boyfriend sleeps [he having missed all the nerve-jangling action and proceeding blissfully to eat himself into a nice tryptophan-induced 10-hour slumber], thinking to yourself, "Hmmm . . . this tastes like . . . hamburgers.")

I digress. What I wanted to say today was really only this: I have a TON of wool felt, on the bolt, from National Nonwovens, in just about every color. I bought it several years ago and have since had to admit that I won't use it all in a thousand lifetimes, and I'd like to share it*. I have scraps and I have yardage, and if you need some (and, as above, who doesn't?) please let me know. I'll bung some in a box and ship it off to you and then you can figure out what to do with it. You'll actually be doing me a favor, I swear, since I just bought a few scrap bags from the Denyse Schmidt web site and I'm going to have my hands full with that, any minute now.

*Note added later: I'm not selling it -- I'm just going to give mixed pieces of it away (for a little while, at least) so we don't have to worry about colors, how much, etc. I'll just surprise you. It's an early Christmas present! Just leave a comment and I'll email you when I get a sec.


I'm a new lurker to your blog- I live south of Portland and cannot WAIT to visit your shop! In regards to the felt you have- how much would you ask for a box of it? I'm new to sewing but would LOVE to make little felt stockings for an advent calendar for my kidlets! Seems like a good starter project for me. Thanks in advance for any info!

Those stockings are fabulous. I am sorry Andy, but *I* definitely invented the art of Goodwill hunting. Particularly the search for shrunken striped gap sweaters (of which I have about two garbage bags full in the basement).

I would love a piece or two of felt, and you wouldn't have to ship it. I would probably even turn it into stuffeds for Posie (if you're still interested).

I would love some wool felt. I lurk around your blog almost daily and think that the picture you posted today of your stockings is just about the prettiest ever. I'm currently using wool felt for several projects and just can't stop touching it! Its so wonderful!

I would love, love, love some wool felt. I'm playing around with waldorf-type toys for my kids, so this will be perfect!!

I love your stockings and have *loved* that felted bag since I first stumbled on your site. Wonderful!

Are those stockings really from old sweaters? They are gorgeous!

If you have any left, I am certainly up for some wool felt! Many Christmas projects in the works that would love the addition of some felt.

Hi! I have recently found your blog but have been inspired by your shop and your pink studio pics for awhile! If you still have a bit of felt available, I would love some. Thanks so much :)

Wow, great stockings! I was planning to make all the stockings for my family for Christmas this year; thanks for the inspiration.

I would love some wool felt if the offer is still good. Thanks.

I love going to Goodwill. That's all I'm saying! And I love barbecued pies. And you.

Oooh, I can think of a few things to do with some nice wool felt. Pretty please?

I've recently become a daily visitor as well. & what providence -I am also in need of some 'earthy' felt colors. I just returned frustrated from a felt shopping trip this morning!

Love, Love, Love your stockings. Such a great idea.

Veronica TM says: November 17, 2005 at 11:06 PM

I would also love and appreciate the wool felt. Thanks so much for offering!

I would love some too! I live in the UK, so happy to send you a little thank you surprise back. But if you have already run out... don't worry!

I'd love some too! Is there anything you need from NYC?

I'm sure you're already full of requests, but if you have any left I'd like a bit. I've never worked with wool felt before, as down here in south Louisiana you don't see much wool at all!

Wonderful wonderful stockings! and the pie does sound sooo yummy. Would love some felt if some is still available. Thanks!

oh, my! any left? you are so generous. i'm in portland, too, so you don't have to send it if you don't want. what a treat!!!

Alexandra Ogilvie says: November 18, 2005 at 12:01 PM

Hi-- I am so inspired when I visit your site. I love your use of colors & your obvious love for your dog makes me smile. Although I don't think I could do it the justice you could, I love some felt to play with if you still have some left. Do you have any cats? I make cat toys & would love to send you one in return.


To make those beautimous stockings....did you just trace around your foot? The pale pink one in front looks exactly like a foot in a high heeled shoe! Also, are the felt bits you are so generously giving away only for those with blogs? If not, I would LOVE to have a few! Thanks!

i would SO love some felt... i will pay for shipping,even.
i just found your blog and am so in love with it - i find myself nodding and saying, yep, exactly so many times. i cannot get over the stockings! i want to post this photo as a decoration to cheer me up (not that i am in need of cheering, but you can't be too cheery, eh?)

Hi Alicia! I'd love some felt if you have any left. I can stop in the shop to pick it up too. Thanks!

I love your stockings! They came out so adorable! And that story about the pie had me laughing out loud! I'm going to cook my first entire-all-by-myself Thanksgiving dinner this year and this is just the sort of thing I see happening to me, so I'm glad to see that it is survivable and you can end the day with hamburger pie!

I've been lurking around since I found you via the Yarn Garden. I love reading your blog! Thanks for the random stripe link. I'm making socks to whittle down my stash and it's a perfect tool for all these bits and pieces-thanks!

Everyone wants the felt! I do too, but I live in Copenhagen (Europe!), so it's probably going to cost you a bundle to send it. Perhaps we could do a little trade, I have some Faroese and Icelandic yarn lying around... :)

I would love some wool felt. How generous of you!

I really enjoy reading your blog, and will have to pop into your store next time I'm in Portland.

Me too! I'd love some wool felt - scraps, pieces, whatever! I'm always looking for odd pieces for applique and embelishments. Thanks so much for the offer. Love your blog - read it often but haven't commented until today.


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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.