Surprise #1:

Although Christmas is still a week away, it’s already spring in the publishing world. The digital edition of the Spring 2015 issue of Crochet! Magazine was released yesterday (print version available Jan. 7), and it includes one of my designs. I was so pleased with how the fashion photos turned out. Thanks to the photographers and staff behind the scenes at Annie’s who make our projects look fantastic!

Emery Hoodie


© Annie’s

Surprise #2:

The other day I came across this Facebook post from Creative Knitting Magazine:

Can you guess which knit e-pattern is #1 right now at Go here to see all Top 40 knit e-patterns and to order these:”


© Annie’s

I clicked on the link and to my surprise there was my Double Triple Cowl design sitting at #1!  It’s still in that position today.

Surprise #3:

The heavy rain storms that pounded California last week made it to Colorado, with enough moisture left to dump snow in our mountains and along the Front Range. It was a surprise to wake up one morning to a landscape of white. During the midst of the snowstorm the bird feeders were crowded with finches, juncos, chickadees, doves, blackbirds and a bluejay. I managed to photograph this little guy doing his busy hopping-dance back and forth in the snow along the deck rail under one of the feeders looking for spilled seed. He didn’t stay still for a second so I was surprised to capture these images:

snowbird snowbird 2 snowbird 1

Surprise #4:

A hole in my knitting from one lousy dropped stitch. I decided to knit a version of one of my own designs recently published, the Gallant Bloom vest in the new book “Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now“:

Gallant Bloom


© Sixth&Spring Books/Cascade Yarns

I had a quantity of Red Heart ‘Shimmer’ on hand in stash and since the color is green with a hint of metallic sparkle I thought it might be a good project for the holidays. I was about halfway through, speeding along up to the front/back dividing point when last night I discovered the hole several rows back. Alas, I spent an hour trying to repair it by just dropping down to the spot and restoring the stitches but it became more than just an easy fix. Perhaps today I’ll be frogging back and redoing the rows.

vest green 3 vest green 2

At least I have a few days to complete this before Christmas. Then I can look forward to 2015 and other new design releases and surprises to come.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Surprise #5 — Mr. Bluejay, who has been squawking and making a ruckus out in the yard for several days while avoiding the camera, suddenly appeared on the deck and stayed long enough for this photo:

bluejay 1


P.P.S. Surprise #6 — the finished Christmas vest!

vest green 10


Comments (2)

The owl, the mule and the raccoon

I should never go away, however DH and I had planned for several weeks to travel southwest from Colorado through Santa Fe, New Mexico and on down to Williams, Arizona in order to take the Grand Canyon Railway Tour to Grand Canyon National Park. Even though I knew there were three design commissions lurking in the wings with deadlines that would fall after we returned from our travels, we went anyway … and as it turned out, we are very glad we did!

If you’ve never taken the delightful two-and-a-half-hour train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, I highly recommend it. Package tours are available that include lodging at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (2 nights, including 4 meals) and, if you choose, an overnight stay at Maswik Lodge in the national park, plus a bus tour of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

train front canyon at abyss

This was one of the most enjoyable vacations we’ve ever had. It was also one of the most successful as far as non-injury … we made it through the whole week without tripping, falling or being blown into the Grand Canyon by gusty winds! We also timed our travel perfectly to avoid the arctic blast that hit Colorado the day after we left on the road trip.

Since we traveled many miles by car, there were several hours of knitting/crochet time available (not so when we were out of the car, however — too much to see and do!) I managed to complete a “travel” baby set consisting of two baby hats and a baby washcloth in Lion Brand Yarn ‘Casey’.  The patterns are Better Late Than Never Beanie, Knit Hat (for anyone) and Baby Washcloth.

baby set 4

Grand Canyon National Park was a special place this time of year, less crowded, relaxed and quiet (except for those pesky winds — we had to hold on to our hats and the overlook handrails for safety.) After arriving at the Grand Canyon Railway Depot in the national park, we hopped on the Freedom Tour for an hour-and-a-half bus ride to various scenic points along the South Rim. After all the tours were over, the next day we were able to explore more of the park on our own, using the numerous shuttle buses that take you point-to-point, with pickup every 15 minutes along the route.



And that’s where the owl comes in …

While we waited at The Abyss shuttle bus stop, a little owl flew overhead and landed in the tree above us. DH and I were the only two around to spot it so we were able to get some good photos as it posed for several minutes. When the bus arrived, the driver was amazed to know there was an owl out in the daytime. She quickly took a closer look and got a photo, while several tourists on the bus ran out to take pictures too. The driver radioed the sighting in to park headquarters thinking it might be one of the endangered spotted owl species. I showed her the photos captured on my digital camera and she suggested I send them in to the National Park Service/Grand Canyon National Park, which I did after we returned home. While waiting for identification of the owl, I did some investigating on my own and determined that it looked like a Northern Pygmy Owl. A few days later, we were told yes, it was a Northern Pygmy Owl and that they are common in the daytime (and I must say, very cute!)

owl 2   owl 1

To us, the unexpected owl discovery was one of the high points of the trip. Of course, there were gift shops along the way and I couldn’t resist bringing home one of the soft-toy mules (the gift shop clerk called him “Brighty”) …

IMG_1771 brighty

… plus this raccoon discovered in another shop, the cutest one I’d ever seen. He was the only raccoon in a huge display of assorted plush-toy critters. I told myself if he was still sitting there unsold on the last day of our stay in the national park, a few hours before we had to board the train for the return trip, I would pick him up and bring him home. Here he is!


Now that our travels are over I’ve begun tackling the design commissions that await my attention. It’s difficult to come back from a road trip vacation where you’ve been dining out every meal and haven’t had to cook for a week! At least I have something to look forward to: several new pattern releases scheduled for publication in various books and magazines in 2015 (watch for them next year on my Ravelry designer page) so that will motivate me to finish the commissions at hand. Plus, while I’m knitting and crocheting, I can daydream and relive our fun railway travel experience, the visit to spectacular Grand Canyon National Park and the marvelous owl encounter!



owl 3

P.S. … Not to mention the blue-eyed horse!

blue eyed horse



Of broomsticks & other things

Halloween has come and gone but my mind is still on broomsticks … broomstick lace crochet, that is! It’s amazing, but in 45 years of crocheting I had never tried the interesting technique of broomstick lace. A tutorial by Brett Bara on Knit and Crochet Now! caught my eye so I watched it as well as a Craftsy tutorial before giving it a go. Decided to try a practice piece with 20 stitches using a size I/9 (5.5 mm) hook for the crochet and size S hook for the ‘broomstick’. Worked the piece to scarf length, then added an open shell border all around. In the fine-weight yarn I was using (Loops & Threads ‘Woolike‘), it took a little while to get the hang of it but the result is a scarf as light as air. It was fun and I can see the possibilities for new designs some day!

My First Broomstick Lace Scarf

broomstick 8broomstick 5

At the same time as I was venturing into this new-to-me path of crochet, I was preparing to receive items from some crocheting friends for the 2014 Snug Hugs for Kids Crochet & Knit-a-Thon winter clothing drive. Never did I imagine that together we would create a mountain of donations for the cause this year: 92 hats (knit, crochet, loom-knit) along with some purchased scarves, gloves and baby blankets. Halloween morning was spent tagging everything before packing three boxes full and dispatching them at the post office by early afternoon. The mountain is on its way to Snug Hugs for Kids!

snug 2014 4snug 2014 1snug 2014 3snug hugs 2014 1

After the broomstick lace scarf was finished and the Snug Hugs for Kids boxes had been dispatched, I sat down to relax by browsing and reading on my NOOK. I’ve been keeping an eye on the web for any news about the release of “Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now” since one of my designs is included (Gallant Bloom). The book seems to be available from many sources now, including this listing on the Vogue Knitting site:


Photos © Sixth&Spring Books/Cascade Yarns

I’m pleased to say that more design commissions have been accepted so I’m looking forward to 2015 when they will make their debut in public. There will be a variety of new knitting and crochet designs appearing in various magazines, books and calendars next year. Can’t wait to see them (they’ll be posted on my Ravelry designer page when released) but until then will stay occupied with yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks … and the occasional ‘broomstick’!

ETA 11/3/14: My second broomstick lace practice “experiment” — Little Orchid Baby Blan: ch 60, placed loops on size 35 knitting pin ‘broomstick’, used size J/10 (6 mm) hook for the crochet. Worked in broomstick lace until piece was square, then added border all around: 3 rnds double crochet (working in sps between each dc), finished with open shell border, wove ribbons through middle dc round. Only had 1 skein of RHSS to work with, thus the blan is little (22″ square) … but cute! (see more on Ravelry)

orchid blanorchid blan 1broomstick orchid 3




When I saw notices that “I Love Yarn Day” would be celebrated on October 10, 2014, it occurred to me that I have another reason to celebrate in 2014.

Designs by KN is celebrating ten years of knit and crochet pattern design! Yes, it’s the tenth anniversary (2004-2014) of one designer’s journey, resulting in over 300 patterns created for the enjoyment of knitters and crocheters everywhere. I can’t quite believe it but am oh-so-grateful for the people and opportunities that have made it all possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make this dream come true.

Some “firsts” from the past ten years have been posted on the Designs by KN Facebook page so I’ll share them here as well:

2004 – First published pattern: Patriotic Mini-Sock Pin in Joan Hamer’s Pine Meadow Knitting News

Patriotic Mini Sock pin with quarter

2007 – First cover: #13 Tasseled Earflap Hat in Knit Simple

Knit Simple Cover Fall 2007 resized fix

© Knit Simple/Soho Publishing

2009 – First Place, Crochet: “Crazy Lady” Hat in Pattern-a-Day Calendar

Crazy Lady Hat double strand 3

2009 – First pattern for a yarn company: Montera Cob Toque in Classic Elite Yarns Web-letter

Cob Toque CEY 107

© Classic Elite Yarns

2010 – First pattern with over 2300 faves on Ravelry: Provence Summer String Bag in Classic Elite Yarns Web-letter

CE Provence summer string bag

© Classic Elite Yarns

2011 – First pattern published in a book: Lacy Gaiter in “Knit Noro


© Soho Publishing

2014 – First pattern to appear on both a cover & on the runway in a TNNA fashion show: Abelona in Classic Elite Yarns booklet “Sunny Day


© Classic Elite Yarns

It’s been an amazing ten years of design surprises and I hope to continue sharing new ideas over the next ten! For starters, here are some that are in line to be released:

A vest design (Gallant Bloom) in book Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now (release date Nov. 4)


© Sixth & Spring Books/Cascade Yarns

Back view:

long line lace vest back

An accessory design in 50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit (release date May 2015)

Layout 1

© Sixth & Spring Books

A garment and an accessory design in Crochet! Magazine  (spring & summer 2015 issues)

An accessory design in Creative Knitting Magazine  (summer 2015 issue)

A garment design in Classic Elite Yarns October 2015 pattern booklet

I hope you enjoy them as much as I loved creating them. Thank you again for ten years of interest in DBKN patterns!



Stack up the hats!

As mentioned in a previous post, some friends and I donate hats to the annual Snug Hugs for Kids/Crochet & Knit-a-Thon winter clothing drive for Children’s Home + Aid in Chicago, sponsored by Merlin 200,000 Miles Shops.

snug hugs 2014 1

Never mind that we are in a different state altogether, far away from Chicago, Illinois. This is one of the charitable causes we have enjoyed contributing to for the past several years. They make it easy to participate from afar, and once you fill out the registration form they provide tags for your items which you can attach before sending them in to the clothing drive.

snug hugs 2014 2

This morning I began stacking and tagging the hats I made this year. They will be combined with contributions from friends for shipment in early November.

snug hugs 2014 5

The stacks shown include the following DBKN patterns:

Knit Hat (for anyone!)

Crochet Hat

Cat and the Hat Beanie

Better Late Than Never Beanie

Double-Double Crochet Hat

Rib-Look Newborn Baby Cap

Pinky’s Wings Beanie

Chunky Cap

snug hugs 2014 3

Snug Hugs for Kids is a great cause that will welcome your donations … no matter where you live (of course, if you live nearby you can participate in the Crochet & Knit-a-Thon in person.)

snug hugs for kids tag

Thank you!



Autumn, apples, and other things

Have been enjoying the fresh crops of apple varieties appearing in the supermarket. We don’t have an apple tree of our own and are far from one of our fave autumn apple-buying destinations (Oak Glen in California) but the changing of the seasons brings with it the urge to eat apples, not to mention other healthy fruits. With that in mind, I took a peek through the Designs by KN projects and discovered several photographed with yummy fruit. Here’s what I found:

Provence Summer String Bag … with apples

summer string bag blue 5 summer string bag blue 2

Go Green! Lacy Shells Bag … with bananas, cherries, oranges, and apples

Rayon of sunshine bag 4 rayon of sunshine bag 6

Kind’a Crazy, Kind’a Cute Candle or Silverware Cuff … with nectarines


Touch o’ Ruffle Table Mat or Dishcloth … with oranges

Touch o ruffle dishcloths 2 tog

Since the weather is changing to cooler days, what better accompaniment for fresh fruit than a hot cup of tea? Here are some teacup photos with related projects:

Ruffly Coasters

Ruffly coasters red w tea ruffly coasters 3 A Ruffly_coasters_blue_green_1_medium

Old World Motif Table Mats

Old World Motif mats 2 IMG_1688_medium2

Totally Texture Table Mat

Totally Texture Table Mat 1

Ice Chip Mitts

Ice Chip Mitts with cup

Touch o’Ruffle Table Mat

touch o ruffle dishcloth white w teacup

With hot tea, one must have scones, of course!

Peachy Keen Placemat

Peachy keen placemat kitchen

Hope you enjoy making some of these knit/crochet project ideas. There are many others on my Ravelry designer page and coming in future issues of books and magazines, such as:

Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now  (release date Nov. 4)

50 Garter Stitch Gifts to Knit   (release date May 2015)

Crochet! Magazine  (spring & summer 2015 issues)

Creative Knitting Magazine  (summer 2015 issue)

Writing this post is making me hungry, so I’ll sign off for now and go slice up an apple and fix a cup of tea. Enjoy the fall season!

P.S. Not to be outdone, the cat decided to squeeze herself into a photo also:

Jasmine … with nectarines

Jasmine in backpack after Rockies game res



Cats & Hats

Changing leaves, cooler temps, rainy days … all harbingers of the fall season which officially arrives this week. Fall is the time to think about hats. At our house we also have cats.  I’m not one for dressing up my cats in outfits but once in awhile they are just so photogenic and handy that in the past I’ve captured a few photos of them modeling. So here are some hats … with cats:

Bill in Knit Hat (for anyone!)


Andrew and the Cat & the Hat Beanie

Cat and the Hat beanie fix

Andrew with Colby’s Cap

Colby's cap gold band with Andrew

Andrew and the Blue Cloud Baby Hat

Baby Blue cloud hat & Andrew fix

As the seasons change and the weather gets cooler, you might be itching to knit or crochet some quick accessories for fall. Here are some ideas:

Knit Hat (for anyone!)

Knit Hat for anyone in fall 1 crp Knit Hat for anyone tan stripe on K 1 A res

Ridgewood Beanie

Ridgewood Beanie orange on K outside 1

Dissolving Lattice Hat

Dissolving Lattice Hat outside 1

Recedere Hat

Cabled Arrows Hat back outside

Diamond-Edge Hat

diamond edge hat ora on K 3 fix

#13 Tasseled Earflap Hat

Tasseled Earflap Hat for KS 2

Double-Double Crochet Hat

Double Double Crochet hat brown beige on K

Chenille Glam Roll-Brim Hat

Chenille Glam roll Brim Hat on K 1

V-Stitch & Shell Cap

V Stitch Beanie green

Better Late Than Never Beanie

better late than never brown orange stripe

“Crazy Lady” Hat

Crazy Lady Hat double strand 3

You can check out many more knit/crochet project ideas on my Ravelry designer page, the DBKN Facebook page or the DBKN website.

Happy fall knitting & crocheting … from DBKN and the cats (Andrew, Bill & Jasmine)!

Andrew getting sleepy resized bill 1 Jasmine on Feb 23 2012 res 2



Return to fall

Been gone awhile, on travel and working on this and that. Just returned from a second trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where the Magic Kingdom was decorated for fall. What you can’t see in the photos was how hot, hot, hot and humid it was, with monsoon rainstorms every afternoon. Despite miles of walking in hot weather, weird heat rashes on lower legs, and swollen ankles/feet, it was a good time spent with family visiting all the theme parks again: Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and of course the Magic Kingdom … several times.


While on this trip, there was absolutely no way I was going to do any knitting or crocheting, not only because there was no time but also because of the heat. All we wanted to do was get inside “cool” rides, restaurants and gift shops as soon as possible to get a little relief before venturing out to the next attraction. We felt exceedingly sorry for the Disney cast members and characters in costume enduring the high temperatures and humidity (how do they do it?) but everyone remained courteous, friendly, upbeat and welcoming throughout our stay.

Now that we’re back home in cooler/drier Colorado and have caught up on sleep, bit by bit we are returning to a normal routine. I for one have to pick up where I left off, as some new design commissions with deadlines await completion. Since the leaves are already changing here, the urge to knit and crochet is also returning. I’m excited about the new designs I am creating (they won’t be published until fall 2015) but one design completed some time ago will be appearing soon in the new book “Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now” releasing on Nov. 4.


Photo © Sixth & Spring Books

Until then, though, here are some fall-themed free pattern ideas from DBKN. Enjoy the season!


coos prr orange sassy stripe done

 Blue Bug Bookmark

blue bug bookmarks 3 A

Better Late Than Never Beanie

Vanna's choice striped hat multi

K’s Care Square

K's care square halloween 2

Cat & the Hat Beanie

Cat and Hat Beanie orange flat

Diamond-Edge Hat

diamond edge hat ora on K 3 fix

Cozy Comfort Shawl

Cozy Comfort Prayer shawl persimmon chair 2

Knit Hat (for anyone!)

Knit hat for anyone orange w blue stripes flat

Cottonfish Bib

Cottonfish Bib flat B 1

Butterscotch Basket

Butterscotch Basket 4

Rippling Waves Baby Blanket

orange yellow rippling wave blanket

Acorn Bobble Hat

Acorn Hat back indoors

Stash Bustin’ Tote

Stash Bustin' Tote 1 brt

Double-Double Crochet Hat

Double Double Crochet hat brown beige on K

P.S.  Fall is also time for the Snug Hugs for Kids Crochet & Knit-a-Thon campaign which I and some friends have donated to for the past few years. All year long we create hats and scarves for the clothing drive, then I collect and ship them in November. It’s a worthy cause that we enjoy contributing to. If you’re interested, there is still time to participate so read more about it here.

snug hugs for kids tagSnug Hugs for kids donations 2010 1snug hugs 20132011 Snug Hugs for Kids donations 2 brtSnug Hugs for Kids 2010 more hats



Nothing to say

I have nothing to say, since I haven’t accomplished much in the way of knit/crochet projects this week. However, good news was received: another design acceptance. The project is scheduled for publication in summer 2015 so I’ll have more to say about it then.

Whenever there is “down time” from other priorities, I generally turn to working on charitable donation projects. Stacks of hats are growing, destined for this year’s Snug Hugs for Kids clothing drive.

Hat stack crochet hats for charity stack hats 1

(stacks include Knit Hat (for anyone!)Crochet Hat, Double-Double Crochet Hat, Recedere Hat)

There may also be a few pairs of C.O.O.S. (Choice of Options Socks) and some loom-knit or Bias Scarves completed by the time the Snug Hugs for Kids donation collection rolls around in October/November:

socks 1  socks done north pole socks 4  Heart Sole socks

scarf done 2 bias scarf done 2 bias scarf 4

Recently I posted on the Designs by KN Facebook page about Warm Up America! patchwork blocks that can be knitted or crocheted for assembly into blankets for those in need.  Using some of the yarn from the latest Goodwill haul (see previous post), I made some blocks with the intention of sending a stack into WUA. Sidetracked by other events, I was only able to produce four blocks. Since they came out a little wonky, I put them together into a pet pad for the Snuggles project instead:

pet pad 2

I have nothing to say other than I’m waiting, waiting for results from design submissions. Some completed projects are in line for publication and some have already been released. The most recent are the Double Triple Cowl in the current issue of Creative Knitting ….

2175340727_12_Double Triple Cowl (1)


Photos © Annie’s

… and eight DBKN designs in the 2015 Pattern-a-Day calendars:

Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar 2015

knitting calendar 2015

Crochet Pattern a Day Calendar 2015

crochet calendar 2015

Scheduled for November release is a new DBKN design in the book “Vest Bets: 30 Designs to Knit for Now“:


© Sixth & Spring Books

And that’s all I have to say!


Comments (2)


On a recent two-day getaway to ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, we did quite a lot of walking, first along the Arkansas River riverwalk while waiting for the train to pick up passengers for the lunch tour, then later on up and down the streets of Breckenridge where we lodged overnight in a hotel, then the next day a walk around the lake at Keystone Village. Last March, we took our first-ever trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where we found ourselves walking, walking, walking, at least 10 miles a day. Guess what? We have a second trip to WDW planned and we know we will be walking, walking, walking again. Yesterday I ordered two new pairs of walking shoes in preparation.

The subject of walking set me off on a walk down memory lane through some of the earlier Designs by KN patterns. This week on the DBKN Facebook page I posted a selection of four combo patterns that involve both crochet and knitting in one project, either in the body of the pattern or as a trim. Here they are:

Shortie Combo Cap (crown crocheted, side ribbing knitted)

Shortie Combo Cap top view on C resShortie Combo Cap back view on C res

Drop of Color Shawl (body knitted, edging crocheted)

drop of color shawl 1 Drop of Color Shawl on K arm

Seeded Rib Eyeglass Case (body knitted, edging crocheted)

Seeded Rib Eyeglass Case 5seeded rib eyeglass case 1

Frilled Party Shawl (body knitted, edging crocheted)

frilled party shawl orig Frilled Party Shawl on C crop

Here are some views from our walking tours of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad out of Canon City Station along the Arkansas River, the town of Breckenridge and the lake at Keystone Village:

Royal Gorge Route Railroad out of Canon City, CO

royal 9royal 10royal 1royal 2

Breckenridge, CO

breck 12breck 5breck 6breck 8

Keystone Village, CO

breck 22breck 18breck 23breck 26

The walking continues now that the getaway trip is over … we need to get in shape for the mega-exercise ahead on our next visit to Walt Disney World!

epcot flower 3epcot11day 2 pm 7last day magic kingdom 11day 2 pm 14wdw day 2 26brown 8animal 1day 2 pm 17last day magic kingdom 22

Knit and crochet projects will be packed for the trip, although it’s doubtful if there will be time to work on them. Still … have knitting and crocheting, will travel! Check out the possibilities on my Ravelry designer page.

Summer String Bag on a road trip

Summer string bag on the road 3Summer string bag on the road 2



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