Archive for Knit & Crochet Patterns

Winter’s white

Although it’s not officially winter until December 21, one could make a case that it’s already arrived with much of the country stuck in the deep-freeze. Here in Colorado a blanket of frosty white snow covers the mountains and plains, with icy roads causing challenges for drivers. We had to drive in it early yesterday morning when it was 10 below zero on the way to a scheduled medical appointment. Thankfully the procedure went smoothly with good results and when we came back outside the sun was shining brightly, creating the look of sparkling diamonds in the snow.

One look at the landscape here and all you see is white, white, white.  That got me thinking about white knit and crochet projects. Here are some I’ve designed and created:

Chunky Cap for Crochet Today!, Jan/Feb 2008

Crochet Today chunky caps mag page res

Photo by Paul Amato, copyright Crochet Today!

Lacy Baby Hat

Lacy Baby Hat TLC Amore white flat

Touch o’ Ruffle Table Mat in 2013 Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar

touch o ruffle dishcloth white w teacup cropped

Cotton version of Ribbed Pulse Warmers

pulse warmers white with blue beads fix

Easy-Knit Shawl

Easy Knit Shawl on E 3 crop

Recedere Hat from Knitscene Winter/Spring 2010

Recedere hat in fluffy on deck

Lacy Fans Shawl

Lacy Fans Shawl back on C fix crop

Winter white version of Basketweave Pocket Scarf from “60 More Quick Knits

basketweave pocket 501 on K A fix crop

Winter white version of Bulky Ribs at Play Hat

ribs_at_play_hat_winter_white_rib_twist_hat_6_medium

Twisty Lace Basket Trim

Twisty lace basket trim 1

Cross-Cable Cap

cross cable hat white flat fill crop fix 2

Crocheted Angel Ornament

crochet angel

The snow is beautiful to look at but combined with sub-freezing temperatures it makes life difficult for everyone. One of our cats (the mostly-white one) likes to go outside to do his business but can’t in this below-freezing weather so he’s very grumpy about having to use the indoor litter boxes:

andrew 1

Flocks of birds have been at the feeders eating all the seed we put out. Some of them look as grumpy about the cold and snow as our cat does:

bird snow 13

I’m not grumpy about the weather as long as I get to stay inside to knit, crochet and design. At least it looks very Christmas-y around here!

Liquid Gold Chain Mesh Scarf in front of white Christmas tree

Liquid Gold Chain Mesh Scarf on white tree fix

Grab some soft white yarn, knitting needles and/or crochet hooks, and enjoy winter’s white if you can …

apr 14 snowstorm 5

snow deep by Pioneer ridge res

snow march 23 13 3

snow porcupine

andrew snow

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Easy

Taking it easy this holiday season. As our small family ages, it becomes more about sharing time over dining out together (or in the case of out-of-state family, sharing time through phone calls or cards) rather than buying and exchanging gifts. DH, DD and DM buy what they want for their own gifts and I’m happy just to receive a new supply of tea and fruitcake. Being the make-it-yourself kind of person that I am, the thought of going out to stores to shop is the farthest thing from my mind. I’d much rather be watching the bird life at feeders in the yard or watching sports on TV while working on a knit or crochet project than be part of frenzied crowds shopping at the malls. And so I take it/make it easy by creating items from my existing yarn stash. Since I’ve just completed a number of complicated new design commissions (to be published in 2014), it’s nice to take a breather with some simple creations like these:

Simple Crocheted Scarf turned into a cowl (used up two partial balls of a very soft yarn, joined ends with slip stitch to form a circle, trimmed edges with short eyelash oddments. Measures approx. 6″ w. by 22″ circ.)

cowl 1

Scrap yarn color-blocked version of Soft Seed Stitch Scarf

soft seed st scarf  2

Easy to crochet Rib-Look Newborn Cap

newborn cap 2

Scrap yarn color-blocked versions of Knit Hat (for anyone!)

hats together 1

Fluffy variations of Cat and the Hat Beanie

fluffy hats 2

Kid-size variations of Cat and the Hat Beanie

hats 2 1

Felted versions of Majestic Tweed Slouch Hat

felted slouchie 2

purple slouchie 1

Scrap yarn color-blocked version of Pinky’s Wings Beanie

blue pinkys wings 4

DH laughed yesterday when he heard my announcement: “I hung a wreath on the front door. That’s the extent of my holiday decorating — I’m done.”  Yes, as the years go by it seems I’m becoming more like my “bah-humbug” dad. But I do believe in the true meaning of Christmas and giving of the work of our hands wherever/whenever there is a need. So while I fix another cup of tea and enjoy a slice of fruitcake (an early Christmas gift from DM) …

Joy tea 3

… I’ll dig into stash and start another easy-to-make project. Hope you enjoy doing the same (even if you don’t like fruitcake!)

Scrap yarn windup from tote bag

P.S. If you’re into a little more holiday decorating than just hanging one wreath on the door, here are some easy ornament ideas to knit or crochet:

Holiday Decorations

Knit ornaments outside

Crocheted Ornaments

Crochet ornaments best 4 fix

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Set the table

Will you be doing lots of dishes this holiday season? There’s still time to treat yourself to some new cloths like these:

My Fave Dishcloth

My Fave Dishcloths 5

My Fave Dishcloths spring colors 5

Wedgy-Edgy Dishcloth

Wedgy edgy dishcloths many

Crocodile-Tiki Cloth

Crocodile Tiki Dishcloths 2

Blue (or Lime) Twist Dishcloth

Blue Twist Dishcloth with other cloth

Lime Twist dishcloth crop fix

If you have guests coming over for meals and parties, you might need some coasters under those drinks:

Ruffly Coasters

Ruffly coaster red w tea fix

ruffly coasters 3 A

Ruffly coasters blue green 3

These will take longer to knit but perhaps for Christmas dinner you can set the table with some Peachy-Keen Placemats or Kind’a Crazy, Kind’a Cute Silverware Cuffs:

peachy keen placemat blue A

Peachy keen placemat kitchen

Kinda crazy kinda cute cuff 1 tan

I just completed another new design commission (scheduled for February 2014 release) in time to enjoy the holiday later this week. Hope you enjoy your holiday festivities too. Wherever you travel (or even if you don’t), keep a knitting or crocheting project nearby for spare moments of stitching, as I did with these projects that accompanied me on previous road trips:

C.O.O.S. on the road

COOS on the road in car Teton trip

COOS on the road w maps

Chunky Cap on the road

chunky cap made on way to Steamboat

Ballet-Style Slippers on the road

Ballet slippers blue in car fix

#2 Cloche on the road

cloche on road yellowstone fix new

Wooly Wave Scarf on the road

Scarf in car 2 res

Summer String Bag on the road

Summer string bag on the road 2

Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Summer string bag on the road 3

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Seeds

I used to despise seed stitch. I could race like the wind through sections of “knit 2, purl 2″ but when it came to “knit 1, purl 1″ it seemed to take forever and I avoided it as much as possible. How funny that now I find myself using seed stitch liberally in my designs! It’s become one of my fave fabrics for borders as it lays flat and has such a classic, refined texture. Having just completed a design commission where seed stitch was used, I decided to look back over past designs to see how many incorporated seed stitch fabric to some degree (knitted or crocheted):

Soft Seed Stitch Hat & Scarf Set (crochet)

Beautiful Cec fill

Emerald Isle Lap Blanket (knit) from the book “50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Giving

6_StPatsAfghan_00019_small2

Photo copyright Sixth & Spring Books

C’s Birthday Scarf (knit)

Cabled Seed Scarf on C 2

#34 Anklettes (knit) from Knit Simple, Holiday 2008

KSH08GIFTS4

Photo by Rose Callahan, copyright Knit Simple/Soho Publishing

Seed & Tweed Baby Set (knit)

seed tweed new 3 fix soft

Toddler’s Pinafore Dress (knit)

Toddler Pinafore Dress 1

Seedstripe, the Natural Lamb Toy (knit)

Seedstripe on rocks

#16 Basketweave Pocket Scarf (knit) from the book “60 More Quick Knits

60 more quick knits basketweave pocket scarf

Photo by Jack Deutsch, copyright Sixth & Spring Books/Soho Publishing

Moving on from the past to the future …

There are so many new DBKN designs scheduled for publication in 2014 that I can’t wait for next year. When you design for publication, you have the joy of working with fabulous yarns to create a vision from your own mind. Once you send your projects off to their final destinations, it’s a long wait until you see them again. You hope your work will pass muster and make its way through professional editing and photography onto the pages of a magazine or book, but you never quite know how it will all turn out.

One thing I do know about some of my upcoming designs: they incorporate seed stitch. Get those knitting needles ready! (Crocheters: not to worry … there will be new designs for you too.)

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Chainmail

Sometimes something old can be turned into something new in an unexpected way. In this case a thin boucle cone yarn sitting in stash since 2005 provided inspiration for a new version of my #23 Mesh Cape from the Vogue Knitting Crochet 2013 issue. It was a bit of a challenge to attempt using this novelty fiber blend (acryl/poly/lurex, originally intended for weaving) to create this piece but I persevered and was pleased with the result. Despite some abrasion from the yarn traveling over the tension finger, I was able to crochet the cape in just two days. Due to the lurex thread and overall blue/gray/multi colorway, the finished piece reminded me of chainmail, thus the name “Chainmail Cape”!

mesh cape done 1 mesh cape done 2  mesh cape done 4 mesh cape done 3

As I posted in the notes on the Ravelry project page, perhaps it can be worn at a Renaissance festival or ye olde merrie feast or in a play or in an historical reenactment … or as something special at a holiday party.

The original version of the cape appeared in the ‘Glamour Girls’ section of the magazine:

VKCRO13_23D

Photos by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com, copyright Soho Publishing

There is even a live view of it on YouTube:

VKCRO13WOOL 01

I had the supreme pleasure of creating the cape with this luxe, butter-soft ‘Melange‘ yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas:

blue sky alpacas melange yarn 2

Soft and dreamy alpaca yarn is a far cry from the bumpy boucle cone yarn I just finished working with for the chainmail version, but satisfactory results were achieved from both ends of the fiber spectrum:

mesh cape boucle cone 3

Now it’s time to move on to a new design commission which I’m very excited about. You’ll see it sometime next year, along with at least twelve other new DBKN designs scheduled for publication in 2014.

Chain on!

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Seeing red …

… and orange … and pink. It’s rather humorous but if you take a look at the current status of my Ravelry designer page, you’ll see the top row of new designs is all red, orange and pink! To fit in with the color scheme, I popped in a profile pic of the hat that started it all, the original prototype version of the #13 Tasseled Earflap Hat, which went on from this humble beginning to become a star on the cover of the Fall 2007 issue of Knit Simple magazine. This first iteration was done in vivid pink …

Tasseled earflap hat pink original 1

but was transformed into a “cover girl” in a beautiful dappled green shade of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Duotones:

Knit Simple Cover Fall 2007 resized

Photo by Paul Amato, copyright Knit Simple/Soho Publishing

The pattern is available as a free download on the Vogue Knitting site, with this view taken in a golden autumn setting:

KSF07_13-240

Photo by Rose Callahan, copyright Knit Simple/Soho Publishing

Fast forward to November 2013, and over 280 DBKN designs later. I haven’t had time lately to blog or create any new knit/crochet projects since this charitable donation was dispatched to the Snug Hugs for Kids Crochet & Knit-a-Thon (see previous post):

snug hugs 2013

snug hugs for kids 2013 hats

However I have had the good fortune to see the release of the latest hat design in the book “Cozy Knits” (how funny that, just like the first prototype version of the earflap hat design in 2007, what goes around comes around and here is a new one six years later … also in vivid pink!)

Saltwater Taffy Cabled Hat

Cozy_Knits_-_Saltwater_Taffy_Cabled_Hat_beauty_shot_small

Photo copyright Joe Hancock

Time is flying by and soon it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas, then on to 2014. I’m looking forward to the new year because a number of completed design commissions (12 so far) are scheduled for publication then. Anticipation will grow as one by one they are released in various publications. By that time we may all be seeing red … and orange … and pink … and many other colors of the rainbow when the new patterns are released. Stay tuned for updates on the Designs by KN Facebook page, website and Ravelry.

ETA: Quick stop at a Tuesday Morning store yielded 5 balls of brightly colored Ferris Wool: 3 golden yellow, 1 aqua, 1 black, which I quickly knit up into this version of the Chrysalis Poncho from the Willow Yarns catalog …. in one day!

chrysalis poncho done 3

chrysalis poncho 2

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Return to My Mountain

No, it’s not Return from Witch Mountain (it’s almost Halloween, after all) but rather return to My Mountain. You may recall a previous post about a hat design contest sponsored by the yarn company Schachenmayr to promote their “My Mountain” line of yarns for creating crochet and knit hats to accompany their outdoor clothing and gear. I submitted entries in the contest and although none of them made it to the semifinals, I now have four new designs to share!

Today is the day to release the newest one. Since it’s very cold (in the mid-30′s) and gray outside with a threat of snow, this is the perfect day for a bulky bright hat:

Diamond Mountain Hat

diamond mountain hat 5 (2)

diamond mountain flat kitchen

The hat was created with the “My Mountain” yarns Bravo Big (neon orange, neon pink) and Bravo Big Color (Fire Mix). It’s knit seamlessly in the round, decreased slightly at the top with eyelets added to accommodate a crochet chain tie embellished with fluffy pompoms on the ends.

One of the rewards of entering the design contest was that all entrants received a T-shirt, regardless if their hat designs were selected as semifinalists or not. My T-shirt arrived last week, another bright spot in the day:

my mountain tee alonemy mountain logo

Thanks to Schachenmayr and “My Mountain” for the T-shirt and the fun yarns to design with!

Two other hat design contest entries using the same yarns as the Diamond Mountain Hat above (Bravo Big and Bravo Big Color) are now available as free patterns from Designs by KN:

Bulky Ribs at Play Hat

ribs hat 1

Chunky Honeycomb Hat

chunky honeycomb hat 1

There is one more which I hope to make available at a later date. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these bright spots of color (see more project ideas on my Ravelry designer page.)

Happy Halloween … whether it’s on Witch Mountain or My Mountain or Diamond Mountain!

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Betwixt … and a treat

I am betwixt design commissions right now but received a treat yesterday: notice that another design submission has been accepted for publication in 2014. While awaiting supplies to complete the project, I am spending time knitting and crocheting items for donation to charitable causes.

Time marches on and soon trick-or-treat night will be here. The candy is ready for kiddos who ring the doorbell, and DM is looking forward to visiting that evening to help hand it out. I told her she could wear this Halloween-themed shawl I just completed, to join in on the fun of dressing up in costume:

Easy-Crochet Shawl

fall shawl done 3 fall shawl done 5

The giant rust-colored ball of Red Heart ‘Comfort’ yarn discovered at a Tuesday Morning store a few weeks ago was just right for creating this “fall shawl.” Because Halloween is almost here, I trimmed it with some black Lion Brand Yarn “Wool-Ease” from stash.

For the past 20 years, my own Halloween costume has been this ancient Snoopy & Woodstock sweatshirt. I wear it every year. It always brings smiles and comments from trick-or-treaters when I open the door to greet them:

happy halloween shirt

Over the past few days I’ve been posting on the Designs by KN Facebook page about various projects in fall colors. Here are a few:

Squares for Warm Up America

Advanced crochet V st squares outside 5

Granny’s Cup Cozy

grannys cup cozy 3 grannys cup cozy 6

Diamond-edge Hat

diamond edge hat ora on K 3 fix

Stash Bustin’ Tote

Stash Bustin' Tote 1 brt

Blue Bug Bookmarks in Halloween colors

blue bug bookmarks 3 A

Other project ideas appropriate for the season are:

K’s Care Square (A.K.A. “Scare Square”, complete with black spider!)

K's care square halloween 2K's care square halloween 1

Knit Hat (for anyone!) 

(Pumpkin hat??)

Knit Hat for anyone orange on C 2

Table Runner Stole

Table Runner Stole

Glove Cuffs

glove cuffs new 1

C.O.O.S.

coos prr orange sassy stripe done

Men’s Fingerless Mitts

Mens fingerless mitts black on M 1 fix crop

Chenille Glam Roll-Brim Hat

chenille Glam roll brim hat on rock

It sure is pretty outside right now, with all the trees and shrubs ablaze in autumn colors. Alas, the colorful landscape will soon be gone, as snow is predicted to arrive here Tuesday evening. It won’t be enough to affect Halloween trick-or-treaters on Thursday night but it will be a reminder that we are betwixt seasons. Those who like to ski (that would be DH) are looking forward to the treat of fresh snow at the ski areas. Let ‘em have their fun in the white stuff. Personally I’d rather stay indoors to knit, crochet and design.  Stay tuned for more new DBKN patterns coming soon (the latest has just been released in the new book “Cozy Knits” (see previous post about the Saltwater Taffy Cabled Hat.)

tree fall 2013 2

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Black, white & pink

This was the scene greeting us when we woke up this morning:

snow 1 snow 2

The first snow of the season arrived overnight. Colorado ski areas are rejoicing, as two of them were able to open this week (Arapahoe Basin and Loveland.) Here at home, the white landscape is dotted with a huge flock of blackbirds seeking food. Our bird feeders have been getting wiped out daily. I fill them over and over again as hordes of doves, goldfinches, house finches, sparrows, blue jays, chickadees, juncos and even a flicker or two have been attracted to the feeders as the weather turns colder.

dove with stick 3

Way back in 2006 I made these black & white (well, actually cream) chunky cabled hats.

Mega Chunky Cable Hats Cream Black

Mega Chunky Cable Hats

Years went by (have I said before that if you’re going to get into the business of designing for publication, you need a lot of patience?) One day an email arrived announcing a new book being planned, calling for design submissions for easy, quick-knit projects, “things you could knit while traveling.” I submitted a proposal with photos of these hats, and surprisingly it was accepted. Time went by, the commission was completed and then began another long wait until the book was published. A few days ago my contributor copy arrived on the doorstep. It was a happy day when I opened the mysterious package to find this fabulous collection of 50 knitting projects inside:

Cozy Knits by Tanis Gray

51unJwat6ML._SY300_

The next day my particular hat project appeared on the Ravelry designer page:

Saltwater Taffy Cabled Hat

Cozy_Knits_-_Saltwater_Taffy_Cabled_Hat_beauty_shot_small

Photo copyright Joe Hancock

The hat looks so cute on this beautiful model. I couldn’t be happier with the photography, the pattern presentation and the opportunity to contribute to the book. Thanks to Tanis Gray for the invitation and for putting together this excellent volume.

The yarn used for the hat sample is Cascade Yarns “Pacific” in color #51 Honeysuckle Pink, lovely to look at and lovely to knit with:

Pacific51s

Photo copyright Cascade Yarns

It’s nice to know that today has gone from wintry black …

snow 9

… to soft white

cable swatch

… to cheerful pink.

chunky cable tassel

Enjoy the new book and fun pattern ideas inside!

ETA: Decided to make a red version of the hat too. Very comfy!

saltwater taffy red flat

saltwater taffy red 13

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The power of one

One family member  …

… making mention of charitable-cause knitting/crocheting to one neighbor

… who donated one skein of yarn

… to one knitter/crocheter/designer who loves to knit/crochet/design with anything

… led to a bevy of donations for the 2013 Snug Hugs for Kids Crochet & Knit-a-Thon!

One skein of Red Heart Super Saver Multi (colorway: Stars & Stripes), combined with assorted scraps from stash, was converted into many hats for kids and teens:

rhss stars stripes w hats

snug hugs for kids 2013 hats

Included in the donation to Snug Hugs for Kids will be:

Better Late Than Never Beanies

red beanie 3  white beanie 1

Knit Hat (for anyone!)

   knit hat white 1

navy hat 1

hat white swirl 1

Crochet Hat

rwb hat 5

crochet hat w rib

Last week I used remaining credit on a Michaels gift card to purchase one giant ball of Lion Brand Yarn “Pound of Love.” Again, the power of one … one ball resulted in these items completed so far (with half of the ball left over to produce more.) This set is going to Colorado flood victims, via other family members who are helping with relief efforts in the flood-affected areas:

Bunny-Ear Blankie in Blue

(substituted a shell border all around instead of the “bunny-ears” in the original version)

bunny ear blue 10  bunny ear blue 1

Rib-Look Baby Hat

(“Pound of Love” yarn combined with a bit of contrast yarn from stash)

rib look hat 5

So in this case, one + one = nine!

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