Pre-Season Knitting

The other day I took up my needles after quite a long summer break. I was eager to knit, but having wool so close to my body when the temperatures were above 85 degrees was a little off putting.  the act of sitting on the sofa and knitting was causing me to sweat buckets.  Where’s that polar vortex gone?

I decided to keep it simple and made a cozy cowl using Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. I can’t wait for the temperatures to dip so I can wear it.  This was my first knit with BT and true to it’s name, it’s a loosely spun, rustic, tweedy wool, but it gets a really nice softness to it after blocking. It blooms beautifully and it’s a bit clingy back in on itself so it creates a fabric with really nice structure and great stitch definition. I have a feeling it will be a great choice for color work.
Now for the truly hard part… what do I call the pattern? I’m terrible at this stage of pattern engineering. Lol. -Marie



Postcards from Central Park













I went for a walk on my lunch break this afternoon.  I’m extremely fortunate to work so close to Central Park. Half a block away, as a matter of fact, and I don’t take advantage of that fact nearly as often as I should.  Last night and today were really the first truely cold days here in the city. It was 42 degrees farenheit when I left for work this morning.  There was no one on my block and I could see my breath.  Magic.  I love cold weather, so at noon I trekked out from my little office and walked the south east corner of the park and took some pictures.

As I started my walk I passed the newly gold-leafed statue of General Sherman in Grand Army Plaza. The fingertips of Victory, striding in front of his horse, were just beginning to glint in the sunshine. By the time I had made my way back around the entire statue was blazing in the sun.  Its amazing the difference a little gold leaf makes.

City leaves tend to turn the slowest, and often go from green to crunchy brown overnight. But there were lots of pretty colors on display today. School kids sat on benches along the glacial rocks eating their lunches and kicking their dangling feet. Ancient, old money, Park Avenue ladies were out on their daily constitutional.  A man going on loudly about the Euro into cell phone walking his two yappity chiuahuahs. A smattering of tourists and business people.

The one thing I saw but didn’t get a picture of, was a funny grey squirrel mama carrying a fuzzy little baby squirrel (a little late in the season for babies, no?) in its mouth, the teeny squirrel’s tail wrapped around her nose as she scampered past, up the path toward a tree.  I was so perplexed by seeing it that I didn’t think to take a picture until it was too late. At first I thought the mama squirrel was carrying a rat, it is NYC afterall.  So cute, and so weird.

I hope you’re having a crisp, beautiful October Thursday, wherever you are.   -Marie

Autumn Leaves Lessons

In the years since I have published Autumn Leaves Scarflette, my very first attempt at knitting pattern writing, I have learned more than I could ever express in one blog post.


I remember very clearly the night when I uploaded the original pattern. I was too chicken to charge any money for the download.  I imagined myself refunding money left and right if the pattern turned out to be awful.  I’ll never forget the pride and butterflies with which I uploaded my first PDF to Ravelry, and then the crushing disappointment when the negative reviews rolled in. Cringeworthy, yes. But its the reality of it, and I’m laughing at myself as I type this.

I seriously considered throwing in the towel and vowing to never publish again after reading comments like, “very poorly written pattern” and “full of mistakes”.

While those comments stung, they were absolutely not wrong.  My pattern was poorly written, and it was full of mistakes, and I had to face the facts.  One knitter commented in her project notes that she noticed row 29 had wandered off to have a lie-down. Looking back over the pattern it was true!  27, 28, 30… oh boy. How did I miss that? Though I did have quite a laugh at her phrasing.


I came to a crossroads.  I could slink away with my tail between my legs, or I could learn from this feedback and plug on.  After a short pout, I got over myself, and looked at the pattern again with fresh eyes. I poured over patterns from designers that I admired to educate myself on what makes a great knitting pattern, but I craved more information.

I checked out a few local colleges to see if they offered courses in the type of knitting I was interested in learning.  I wanted to know more about pattern writing standards, and grading knitwear sizes, technical editing and clothing shaping techniques.  Color work and cables and how to write cable charts, and how to write knitting charts in general.

Being in NYC I figured these things would be a cinch to find. But boy I was wrong.  F.I.T., nope.  Pratt, no.  Even local yarn shops only had beginner and intermediate knitting classes, nothing for a budding designer.  I found a few books and blogs that were helpful, but my real saving grace was Craftsy.  They offer video classes in exactly what I was craving to know. I was able to shape my knitting education into exactly what I was looking for.  I think Ravelry is definitely my favorite knitting resource and my favorite platform from which to sell my work, but for instructional videos you can’t beat Craftsy. Plus they have a platform for indie designers like myself where they don’t take a cent. And that’s pretty cool.


I’m still reading and knitting and frogging and watching videos, learning all the time.  I have revisited my Autumn Leaves pattern and tweaked it applying all the information I have gathered and now I feel that its finally the best version of itself.    I’m so pleased to be re-launching the pattern and I hope that you’ll knit one and let me know what you think. I can take it. I promise!

Download the pattern for FREE at Ravelry.

Autumn At The Croakery

Autumn has been blowing in the breeze for a few weeks now. I feel spoilt being able to watch the leaves change in the back garden of The Croakery.

Autumn at The CroakeryTaken on the 23rd September…….

Autumn leaves 5th Oct…Just two weeks later the vivid greens have all but gone

Autumn at The CroakeryOn 23rd September, Golden flecks of Autumn nestled amongst the green of summer past…

Autumn leaves 5th Oct…This shot on the 5th October shows a gold rush of leaves

Autumn at The CroakeryThe pond level has dropped a foot of so since this was taken

Autumn at The CroakeryThis tree was the first to begin it’s change, a branch dangles down, damaged last winter

Autumn at The CroakeryI love how the spectrum of Autumn colours can be seen in this one Maple

DSCF2881A late sunny days gives a glorious glow

DSCF2873Fallen leaves are one of my most favourite things about Autumn

Autumn at The CroakeryThe vast colour range on one little leaf leaves me in awe

Autumn at The CroakeryThey create a beautiful patterned rug on the grass

Autumn at The CroakeryThe Tiny Terror has an early appreciation of Autumn

Autumn at The CroakeryFire on the ground

Autumn at The CroakeryThe most beautiful objects really are found in natue

Autumn at The CroakeryBeneath the blanket of leaves, a little stream flows

Autumn at The CroakeryA golden carpet on the wood’s floor

Autumn at The CroakeryThe shadowy trunks will soon loose their camouflage

Autumn at The CroakeryThe compliments of red and green are even more stunning in nature

Autumn at The CroakeryEnjoying the crispy crunchy sounds of the leaves