Postcards from Rhinebeck ’14









IMG_6516.JPGIt was so good to get out of the city this weekend and head upstate to Rhinebeck for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The weather was the most perfect October weather you could ask for, by turns dramatic, steel grey skies with the woods all orange and red and gold and the clearest blue sky and sunshine with cold air and chilly breeze. It was perfectly cold and that meant that the hand knits could be worn comfortably, but not so cold that you needed a jacket over them. Florrie finished her Aunt Fred and it looked so great on her, I would have lost my marbles knitting a whole sweater in that fiddly sport weight wool. Kudos to her. I wore my Astoria cowl, it was snug and perfectly warm.

Florrie had much more shopping restraint than I did, I bought two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in a really pretty green/blue/grey colorway (Shaken Not Stirred), the line for Miss Babs wool was predictably long, a giant bag of Maple Cotton Candy, some Hot Maple Mustard (it’s seriously the best thing ever), a gorgeous cherry wood stirrer/spatula from Chester B. Basil’s stall, some beautiful grey/green ceramic buttons from Melissa Jean and on the way home when we stopped off in Tivoli at Fabulous Yarns I got a squishy red skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra.  I’m not sure if it was because it’s the third or fourth year that we have gone, or if it was in fact smaller this year. Not sure, but it was fun and we got to scratch a few goats and sheep under their chins, and see so much beautiful wool.

Until next year Rhinebeck, maybe I’ll get my act together in 2015 and have my own sweater to wear. 😀




Free Pattern: Astoria Cowl

astoria Cowl 4

astoria, new, york, city, cowl, scarf, knit, knitting, warm, wool, yarn, free, pattern, florriemarie, heidi, marie, robinson



Here’s a free new pattern for you for this beautiful, crisp September morning.

This textured cowl is a great beginning knitter project, or an auto pilot knit for a more experienced knitter wanting something easy and familiar to do with their hands. Its knit in the round so there will be no seams to sew, and the simple pattern is completely reversible.

Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter is a great vehicle to showcase texture, and it blooms and softens up beautifully once blocked. It’s still a wee bit on the scratchy side, as wool goes, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you have overly sensitive skin, but any yarn would be fine for this piece.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download for FREE on Ravelry

Pattern Notes:

Finished Measurements

7.5in (19.5cm) wide
28in (50.8cm) long, folded in half 56in (142.24cm) circumference Finished weight – 4oz (113g)

Suggested Yarn

Brooklyn Tweed (100% Targhee-Columbia Wool) 140yd (128m/50g)
Colorway shown: Snowbound
For project: approx. 320 yards (293m, 113g)


1 pair US8 (5mm) 16” minimum circular needles, or needles to obtain gauge.


9 stitches & 12 rows per 2 inches in stockinette stitch.


Stitch marker

Darning needle for finishing

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



Crochet: Barstool Covers




20140523-095049.jpgI have these two great metal bar stools at my kitchen table.  They’re the perfect height, and they spin! However they’re metal so they’re coooooold in the winter and in the summer, bare legs stick to them and its always a gamble when you’re getting down. One false move and they try to keep some of said skin. Ouch.

I was fiddling around with crocheted circles the other day, working out a throw idea and I had a brain flash. I could make yarn covers for the stools!  After a few false starts I got into the hooking groove and came up with this little beauty. It took a wee bit of pulling and tugging to get them on after hooking the decreases but they fit well and I’m not concerned about them coming off.  I’m chuffed.

I think for the second stool I will reverse the colors with dark radiating to light.  I’m so glad I learned to crochet.  If anyone wants the instructions I can post them. I haven’t written crochet instructions before so that should be fun! I’ll have to dig out my sharpies for a chart.  -Marie

Here & There: VKL Prep

We only have three more sleeps till Vogue Knitting Live NYC, as Florrie would say. lol We don’t have a lot of homework to do before we start. Really just making yarn cakes of the wool we bought for the color work class.


Down here in the city I am still running to and fro with meeting prep and lunch deliveries. While I’m downtown today I’m going to go to Purl Soho (believe me it was dangerously close when I worked out of the downtown store) to see about getting a last minute ball winder. Of course mine broke this week!   I need to rustle up some colored pencils for color work sketching.  I’m excited about the natural dye class, too.  I can’t wait!



Up here in the woods I’ve been doodling a little in preperation for the colour work class we’re taking. Tomorrow I’ll pack my bags and gather my supplies before heading to the Big Apple Thursday. I feel like a school girl getting ready for the first day. Pencils, check. Needles, check. Apron, Check. In a reverse of the norm I’ll be Marie’s house guest for a few nights, leaving the little ones at home with Dad.


Planning and Plotting

20140104-113811.jpg     This weekend I (Miss Procrastination) am working hard on a new collection of patterns. I had planned on releasing them at the end of this month, but after sitting down this morning and planning out the remaining work I have to do, I’m not as brash and certain as I originally thought. I suppose if you are saddled with the procrastination gene, its a bonus if you also have the brash self-confidence gene to back it up.  Its my “I can do it!” side that makes me think that, yes, just maybe, I can! So far this morning, to procrastinate, I have taken down my Christmas tree, packed away the decorations and tidied and vacuumed the dining room and living room… oh, and written this blog post.  Like a champ!

I have already written several of the patterns, and I just need to re-knit, chat with my test knitters and make sure the finished projects are ready for photos. But a couple of the patterns are still just sketches, notes and swatches.  Its officially Crunch Time!  So after I make some eggs and coffee for my at-home brunch I will have my nose to the grindstone and knitting like a madwoman to keep my deadline.  Do you think I can do it? Wish me luck! -Marie

PS – In case you were wondering…  the wool in the picture is Cascade 220 (aqua) and The Periwinkle Sheep (pinky-purple) Merino DK and yes, its going to knit into something wonderful! 🙂