What a Nice Day

comments: 41

CrochetbagMy mother-in-law arrived Tuesday night and her visit's already going too fast. When she's here, we always have a lovely blend of doing lots of things — and not doing lots of things. Yesterday we had lunch with Andy at the hospital in the new Kohler Pavilion (an incredible view of the city and environs), then stopped and got some new yarn (because it's always more fun to have a special project for vacation), and then picked up supplies to make Ivonne's Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms, and Chili Pepper (my new favorite pasta dish — Ivonne, you've done it again). Then Andy, who felt he could easily trounce us in Uno, cheated his way to second place; Yours Truly quietly worked her way to nice solid lead and poor sweet MIL got stuck picking card after card after card because she could not get a green for anything. More tonight.

My mother-in-law and I are very in sync when it comes to hanging out working on projects. I hadn't bought yarn in quite a while, but I wanted to head up to Close Knit, a sort-of new yarn shop in the Alberta district of northeast Portland. I'd been struggling for a while in kind of yarny nowheresville, trying to find a LYS (local yarn store) that felt good in every way — big enough inventory to inspire, not too crowded, nice employees who don't make you feel like you're annoying them (or embarrassing them) when you go to buy your apparently uncool yarn choices, or whatever (ugh — hate that). Sally at Close Knit is a dream. I love her. The store is a lovely blend of well-displayed gorgeous yarns, tons of very inspiring samples (check out the sweet little short-sleeved cable-knit sweater on the mannequin by the register — ooooooh), vintage toys and other props, and helpful, friendly people. I can't tell you what a good time we had there yesterday. We came home with this wonderful, fuzzy kid yarn called Oh My! from Plymouth. I'll keep you posted on what we do with it.

Crochetbag3I'd forgotten about this bag until my mother-in-law pulled out her knitting. I made it a couple of years ago for her, when I was in a period of felting a lot of crocheted popcorn. It's one of my favorite things to do, actually. Well, crocheting bobbles in general is pretty fun — why is that? — but felting them is really fun. This bag was done in the round from the bottom up. I cut dozens of 18"-strands of yarn, and worked each bobble with a separate strand. I didn't have a pattern for this, just sort of did it as I went along, but maybe I'll write a pattern for it this fall. I'd kind of like to make one for myself. It's kind of a nice little size, and I actually don't have a knitting/crochet bag. . . . Big surprise. I grab my crochet and carry it from room to room in one hand (coffee cup in the other) while everything falls all over the place. What a genius.

Nevertheless, I was "talented" enough to win some free passes to a special screening of Little Miss Sunshine tonight, courtesy of the lovely ladies at Portland Picks. They were awarding them to the first twenty people who wrote in to say what their pageant talent would be, were they to compete in such a thing. I was very excited when I saw the opportunity, because I'd been dying for someone to ask me that question. My talent: Setting up the sprinkler so that it gets water exactly where I want it on the lawn/garden without missing any spots, and not on the driveway/sidewalk/porch. I have always known this is my special talent, and feel quite proud to be recognized in this way! Thank you, Kathi! See you at the theater! Anyone else going tonight?

What would your talent be?


A good friend went to a screening last night and LOVED it!!! I hope you guys do as well.

LOVE the bag - I'd love a rough pattern or notes for it - I love pom-pom fringe and this bag looks just like pom pom fringe gone wild! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

P.S. - beat their socks off at UNO!

Well no, I'm not going to the cinema tonight as I'm many thousands of miles away.
But I'm just so chuffed to see a post with the word 'bobble' in it several times. I LOVE THAT WORD!! I even had a cat called Bobble.
Thank you for that angel, a delight to read.

I have to admit, the first thing I noticed in the top photo was the Breyer Appaloosa on your shelf...I've collected them for years but had to sell most of them after high school (no room in my new place).
But of course, THEN I noticed the beautiful crocheted bag...I really, really must learn to crochet one of these days.

my talent would be propping and jamming just the right amount of pillows under my legs, behind my head, and around my arms, with just the exact amount of foot peeping out from under my blanket to keep me from being too hot while i lie on the couch and watch diagnosis murder. it's called perfect tv watching comfort, and it's an art!

I love your bag (well, your MIL's). That is too cute. I crocheted and felted one that ended up being more like a basket! It is great because I just move it around the house when I am working.

Hmmm, my talent... I am not sure, the only thing that comes to mind is being able to knit really fast because I shove one needle under my left arm and never move it and my tension never gets too loose or too tight. I can't think of anything else (except, I never use measuring cups, spoons, etc when I cook.. I could just like my grandma).

Your mother-in-law sounds like a lovely woman. :)

My talent is loading the dishwasher. I can fit anything in there, and it all comes clean. Woo! I hate washing dishes by hand.

This was too fun - again.

1) Thanks for pointing out that yarn shop. It looks fun! Next time I come to Portland I plan to visit it. Each time I come my goal is to visit a different yarn shop or quilt shop. My favorite so far is Abundant Yarns & Dyeworks in Sellwood. Just opened last fall. SO VERY NICE! Nice staff people too. Good thing I don't live close to it or I would be broke.

2)I LOVE that bag! I want one! I suddenly feel the urge to crochet again even though I've been knitting like a madwoman. I encourage you to write up a pattern and share it and also submit it to a knitting/crochet mag. That's adobable.

You're obviously a woman of very MANY talents. Including the sprinkler setter.

Not to totally copy everyong but I love reading your posts, each one is a delight. Love you talent. Our favorite thing to choose is what would our super power be if we were super heros.

That bag is awesome! I can't believe I haven't tried felting yet...I'll have to add it to my list of projects to try.

And I just have to say...just seeing pictures of your house make me relax. The light is always so perfect, and all the pretty colors are just soothing. I have yet to achieve that in my own home...but I'm working on it. ;)

I love that bag, and you'll probably love Little Miss Sunshine. It's one of the best movies we've ever seen, but it's a tough movie to tell people about because the smallest detail gives a lot away. Enjoy!!

Ooo loving that bag Alicia!!! Isn't Close Knit the yarn shop next to Bolt Fabric Boutique? If so, my friend and I checked it out when we went over to Bolt a couple of weekends ago to get the pattern I needed for the t-shirt sewing class (which so far is awesome, btw). That yarn shop is so warm, cozy, and inviting! I just wanted to buy everything in there! Made me want to take up knitting again...think I see picking up the One Skein book in my near future since I never can seem to finish a project that takes more than a skein of yarn. LOL!

Adorable bag! Enjoy the movie, heard great reviews for it.

That is such a lovely bag! I'd love to have one like that. And thank you for linking that pasta recipe, I'll have to try it!

Felting - it's so amazing how that happens. I haven't experimented muxh with texture but that sure looks fun!

The bag is too cute...I would love it if you wrote the pattern and sold it! The polka dot effect of the bobbles is wonderful.

Emily Tharpe says: August 10, 2006 at 01:07 PM

my talent would have to be making the "perfect Friday lunch" for my boys to take to school! many searches for special things to include! Tomorrow is the first "test"!

My talent for sure would have to be making the biggest mess out of the fewest possible items. I'm a complete genius at it, but my year old is learning fast and will probably nab my crown any day now.

Love the bag and the recipe. I am in a bit of a drought menu wise. Thanks!

beautiful bobbly bag. will look forward to seeing your pattern.

I, too, saw the horse before the bag. Mine is a Clydesdale....

I love the bag, especially the way you spiraled the color. I agree with the person who said it
was adobable, only I think it is actually spelled "adobobble." :-)

As for my talent, well, I have so many. ;-) I am good at filling the dishwasher, as someone else said, but I guess I'll say that I am really good at collecting perfect leaves every fall. I bring them home, tape them up (by their stems) on the kitchen cupboard doors, enjoy them like crazy, and then replace them with new ones the next day when they are dried and shriveled.

I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying the rigatoni. It's a fantastic dish! It sounds like you and your mother-in-law had such a lovely day ... you're always such an inspiration when it comes to enjoying the time we have!

I loved the bag and it brought to mind something I've been meaning to ask ... can you recommend a good how to knitting book? I'd love to learn ...

Awesome bag! I would love a pattern, sadly I can't make things without patterns. I too noticed the Breyer, I was lucky enough to keep my crazy horse collection and now have a cabinet full in the living room and boxes upon boxes in the basement! Kind of sad, that, horses in the basement, not out where they should be. But one can't have everything strewn all about ones house.

The bag is so great! And your MIL, the yarn shop and the pasta sound like the perfect combo.

you are talent, my dear. thank you for the daily inspiration. my talent is sinking three pointers. but it's a waste because i can't dribble at all.

Your banner has to be my favorite blogging banner EVER. Gorgeous!!!

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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 aliciapaulson.com




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.