It’s in My Genes! (How I got this way…)

I love designing, pattern writing, working with all manner of textiles, and of course knitting, which I have done since childhood.  I have been passionate about knitting for all of my life. 

Although I am a fairly private person, after long deliberaation I have decided to blog as a way of better documenting what I make, as well as sharing it with more people, many of whom I would never have occasion to meet if not for the web.  

The name of this blog refers to my middle-of-the-night sessions (almost every night) where I knit, knit, knit, until forcing myself into bed, or simply sliding from the sofa into Dreamland, where the Sandman awaits.  I knit everywhere and always have it with me in the car in case of a breakdown or something.  It is bad to be stranded, worse to be stranded with no knitting!

Somehow, when most people are asleep, I find it easier than at any other time to draw on my creative reserves, to dive into that special place that I believe is within each and every one of us and come out with something made by my own hands.

Some of my purse patterns were published in the Winter ‘97 Knitter’s magazine, I have self-published several pattern leaflets and hope to do more.  I have given away more of my finished work than I can remember!

A word about some members of my talented family………..

My mother was a multi-talented artist in Bermuda, the birthplace of her father the late Dr. Braxton F. Cann, Sr.  Below is a photo of her in the late 1950’s wearing an necklace and showing off an appetizer tree, both of her own design.  

Gwen Cann, my fabulous mother!     

She died a couple of years ago after having lived a fabulous life creating art, experiencing plenty of drama, traveling around the world (more than once!), and with plenty of  passion driving it all. 

An exhibition of her art organized by her niece Conchita Ming and held last year in Bermuda featured art loaned to the exhibition by many of her patrons who live all over the island and abroad. She was passionate about living and learning, and passed that along to me, and to her granddaughter…and it looks as if her great-granddaughter (the little lady in regal attire in the next photo) has a nice dollop of it, too.  The drama gene is still alive and kicking! 

My granddaughter, Queen Isabella! 

On the day that this photo was taken she identified herself as “Queen Isabella,” so………we’ll let that be her BlogLand pseudonym for now.

                          Papa and the Sweet Cake                                             





My father, Herb Allen, is currently a very active clay artist and art collector in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He spends about 30 hours a week at the studio making very cool hand-built art pottery and wonderful beaded jewelry made of components from West Africa and elsewhere. 

His art has sold at various art and craft fairs as well as at the Cincinnati Art Museum Shop. 

Here he is in a sweater, one of the many I have designed and made for him over the years.  This shot has him coloring with the “Queen” a couple of years ago when they had their first meeting. She was almost 2 years old.

Daddy makes fabulous clay pottery with wild design themes, some of which I will feature in this blog from time to time.




12 Comments on “It’s in My Genes! (How I got this way…)”

  1. braxton Says:

    any talent in this family is definitely all on your parents and their offsprung
    love it all keep up the good work

  2. Julia Bulia Says:

    Hey Mama,
    I love your site. It is amazing and so are you. I think this is a wonderful idea and you should update it regularly. I am so proud to be part of your progeny.

    dottir thin

  3. Guy Says:

    Your Mother was my Birthday Soul Buddy. I miss her and I hope that more tributes and memorial honors can be done on her behalf. Thanks.

  4. John Sullivan Says:

    Hi Gogo,

    I am not officially in the world yet but i can’t wait to wear one of your work of art!

  5. Willa Says:

    Thanks for including me in your list of buds. Can’t wait to see some of your dad’s creations. You’re way ahead of me. It’s all I can do to post a message on your blog.

    I’ll think of you late at night


  6. Kathleen Says:

    How about some photos of your father’s clay art works.



  7. dehbi Says:

    Kathleen, I am going to get pic of some of his work up very soon, perhaps this weekend. I just need to get some good photo images. Stay tuned…

  8. Gerard "Gerry" Williams Says:

    gerry says: April 12, 2008 7p.m. – Truly inspirational. And, yes, no doubt, your talents are truly in your genes. I too am interested in your dad’s works. With your permission, I would like to bring your website to the attention of an artistic friend of mine, who resides on the Ranch. Her name is LaVonne Misner, a former teacher at the University of Minnesota. She too is a world-traveler and does some painting, and recently wrote and published a fantastic book describing thei seven-year sailing-trip, she and Tom, her husband took, traversing the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. the Caribbean, and South America. Tom and I play golf regularly. Great folks. I do believe you would enjoy them as much as I do,


  9. dehbi Says:

    Thanks so much Gerry for stopping by and for your kind words! Of course you can share this with anyone you like! Your friend definitely sounds like someone I should know!

  10. Herb Allen Says:

    Darling Daughter, You make me proud beyond words. How great you are! How exciiting your blong! Keep up the good work. Love you! Dad

  11. […] (as she calls herself), the self-named Queen Isabella shown elsewhere in this blog (See It’s in My Genes! on the […]

  12. braxton Says:

    you and your immediate family are talented; the rest of us are talented admirers
    love you..keep up the great work

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