Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Progress Report

The project with the cool colors is finished and off to the buyer.

Meanwhile, I received an offer for another project and that is well under way. The yarn for that project had to be changed, and the buyer made a great choice. In addition, the order for the yarn was delayed a day or 2 due to Superstorm Sandy, but arrived safely. While waiting for the yarn, I worked out the details of the stitch pattern and construction.

I was also hard at work on a pair of socks for Randi's birthday (remember the barn jacket?). I threw in 2 pairs of tatted earrings for good measure.

The earrings were fun and pretty quick to make. I'm planning to make several for teacher's gifts this year.

I hope you've made a good start on your own holiday crocheting/knitting. Leave a comment and tell me what kinds of things you are making for gifts this year.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 8, 2012

After the Sale is Made

I heard from a buyer last week who wanted to buy a project from a proposal I had submitted.

What's next?  What happens after the sale is made?

I received the yarn for the project on Friday, and this morning I started to work.  I pulled out my swatch and the notes I made.  First, I reviewed those notes for gauge, stitch pattern, hook size, etc, as it has been a while since I worked up the proposal. The buyer didn't ask for any changes to the basic design, just changes in colors.

Next, I began a draft of the pattern. I started at the "top" with the skill level, the Materials section, the Pattern Notes, Special Stitches and the Stitch Pattern. This gives me a head start on all those little details.

Then, I took out graph paper and created a symbol chart of the stitch pattern.  The buyer didn't ask for this, but it helps me visualize--as I mentioned, it's been a little while since I've worked on this--and makes sure I've got the pattern down before I begin calculations for actual stitch counts.

After the symbol chart, I wrote out the words for each row of the pattern.  I will go back and add the actual stitch counts, but for now, this gives me a good basis to test the technical part of the pattern while I'm stitching the model.

Next, I calculated the dimensions using the gauge, and came up with actual stitch and row counts. This is not a garment, so sizing will not be a factor.  I had certain dimensions in mind, but the stitch pattern and the number of colors involved dictates the number of rows.  I needed to think about whether the finished size would be appropriate for the project--little decisions here and there need to be made!

The next part is not as technical in nature.  I made the original swatch in 3 colors, but the buyer wants to add a 4th color. Now there are possibilites for color arrangement (oh what fun!).  Color changes are the norm; most of the time the buyer will give instructions for substituting colors for the original colors, or if not, I go by light/dark. In the case of the Red Twig Socks, I swatched in purple and black, so I followed the light/dark plan for the butter yellow and burgundy that the editor wanted.

In this case, I could arrange the colors in an ABC sequence, or ABC, then CBA, or maybe I could arrange them as ABCBABC, or even ABCCBAABC.

The choices I make will affect the pattern writing; the ABC sequence would make the easiest pattern to write (and to follow), but would that make the project POP? 

I'm swatching color sequences now . . .

Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Patterns @ Crochet Me!

Two patterns that were published in the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet are now available for sale in the Crochet Me shop--the Barn Jacket and the Red Twig Socks.

Both are quite special to me, but for different reasons. I designed the Barn Jacket as a birthday gift for my best friend, Randi. While we met in sunny Florida, she forsake our heat and humidity for a colder climate.  This gives me a chance to design things that I wouldn't get to wear "down" here.

The Barn Jacket . . .

And here is Randi in her jacket . . .

The Red Twig Socks were just downright fun! And quite a challenge. The calf shaping uses short rows and results in the interesting coming-together-of-the-pattern down the back (reminds me of a vintage stocking worn by a movie star with the seam down the back of the calf). 

The color combinations for this sock are exciting and endless.  In addition, the light and dark colors can be switched to create a different look (a great way to make use of the left over yarn from the first pair).

I'd love to hear your thoughts about each design.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Circular Tunisian Socks

In an earlier post, I showed you the new design, Tunisian Tapestry Socks, I have that is included in the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet.  Those socks are stitched using Tunisian crochet in the round with a double-ended hook, and have great color play.

But . . . what if you don't want the color play? What if you have a varigated or self-striping sock yarn?

You can still use the double-ended hook to make a fabulous pair of socks.  I made a pair of socks for the oldest Lovely using a skein of Tofutsies yarn.  I wound the skein into 2 equal balls of yarn, and used 1 ball for the forward pass and 1 ball for the return pass.  I simply used the Tunisian Knit stitch throughout.

This is her favorite pair of socks, and it is hard to get them off her feet to wash them!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tunisian Tapestry Socks!

My Tunisian Tapestry socks are included in the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet. This is a fun technique that allows you to place color changes where you want them with little to no fuss! The stitcher chooses which color a stitch will be by the type of stitch she chooses. In this pair of socks, the darker zig zag lines are created by making a Tunisian Reverse stitch, while the lighter colored stitches are created using a Tunisian Knit stitch.

The technique involves using a double-ended hook and 2 contrasting colors.  The work progresses in the round, with no joining. The forward pass is worked in one color (the lighter color for these socks) and the return pass is worked in the darker color.

The heel is worked back and forth in a traditional Tunisian stitch, decreasing 1 st on each side to create the slant.

The foot is worked in the round, but using the Tunisian Simple stitch, causing the neat look of the vertical bars in the lighter color and the body of the foot in the darker color.

These socks work up quickly. I love that!

I'd love to know how you like this fun technique.

Happy Stitching!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Fun

This is our last week of summer break. Open House for both schools is this week and school starts next Tuesday.

So, no crochet, no knitting . . . no work today. Just a recap of our recent camping trip to St. Augustine.

Our tent was big and roomy. We've used it only once before and our memory on how it went up was fuzzy. It has a screened porch on the front, but we weren't able to squeeze all of the airbeds into the sleeping area, so we had to move one of the girls to the front porch.

We took our bikes and enjoyed riding to the beach area, and around the campground, checking out sites for future visits.

We took one day and visited the lighthouse museum. Doc and I started going to St. Augustine in . . . well, 20 years ago when we lived in Gainesville. So much has changed and there are so many improvements that it was like a new adventure for us as well as the girls. We all climbed to the top of the lighthouse—an amazing view.

After seeing the lighthouse, we rode into the city of St. Augustine. We had a great seafood lunch, and then hit the main drag for shopping. Along the way, we met up with one of the old Spanish Guards. That is the Oldest Schoolhouse in the background.

Later, it began to rain, and then it began to pour. We headed back to the campsite to find that we had left the windows unzipped. One of the airbeds was pretty wet, but the rest were ok. We spent the evening reading and listening to the staccato beat of the rain.

The next day cleared and we headed to the beach, where there was much fishing and shell collecting. And there was actually fish catching.

We ended our trip by roasting marshmellows, eating s'mores, and telling a ghost story.

Next week . . . back to work!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Designing, Why It's Called Work

A few months ago, I sketched out an idea for a garment on a paper towel (no joke!) and I've had it tucked in a notebook all this time. I've looked at it a few times in those months, but moved on.

Yesterday, I was reviewing the next editorial calendar. I took a few hours to absorb the information -- theme, colors, the adjectives they used to describe the "look" they were after. That is a chaotic phase for me; drawing out a sketch, then jumping to the computer to search for images (not necessarily crochet or knit images), pulling out a stitch dictionary, back to the sketch pad. I feel disjointed and awkward during that time, and yes, a little like Marty chasing his tail.

Then I hit on an idea. I shouted "Eureka!" The sketch on the paper towel had found its time.

I knew exactly what I wanted to work on. Anxiety receded. Excitement set in.

Work -- Phase 1 
I began to swatch. Swatching tells me a few things: how the stitch pattern will play out, gauge, how color changes will affect the overall look, and shaping.  This phase is fun, but can be intense (concentration is needed).

I swatched until I had the color work done, and then it was time to work on the shaping for armholes and neckline -- a bigger challenge, given the stitch pattern I had chosen.

I slept on it.

Work -- Phase 2 

This morning I've done a lot of staring, wheels turning trying to get some traction on the problem. Again, I had the idea and continued to work on that swatch, developing the idea and the shaping. I was pleased as punch!

Work -- Phase 3 

Next, I've pinned the swatch to my dress form (Rebecca). She's wearing it pretty well, but now I can see more issues. Color changes need to be modified, armhole shaping can be refined and the idea needs to be placed in a different spot.

Now What? 

So . . . I'm not done yet.

Why am I going to all this trouble to work out details if I haven't sold the piece yet? Wouldn't a sketch be enough?

Yes, well . . .  maybe.

The issues that are left to be resolved involve design elements. Those design elements are opportunities to set my design apart from the other hundred or so that will cross that editor's desk. What makes my piece special, interesting, or something that will give the reader of the magazine a chance to learn something new?

Remember, the proposal is a selling tool. It's an opportunity to SHOW the editor something great, not just tell her.

Happy Stitchin'!

Friday, July 20, 2012


I got a note back from an editor about one of my submissions . . . a rejection, but this editor had some information as to why the design didn't work. In addition, she said "If you'd like to re-submit, I'd be happy to look at it."

Well, yahoo! Of course I'd like to re-submit! I've been busy swatching up something else in record time because there are still deadlines to be met.  Will the editor buy this new idea? I don't know.  But if I DON'T re-submit, I know I won't make a sale.

The same thing happened to me a few years ago, when I was a VERY new designer. "We are under directions not to buy any more ponchos, but if it was on something else . . ."  I didn't take the hint and I didn't re-submit my idea "on something else". I know that was a lost opportunity.

Rejections come for all kinds of reasons--some I can control and some I can't. So, when one comes, I have to look at what I can DO about it, and move on.

Moving on means getting out the next editorial calendar or call for submissions and working on ideas; more swatching and sketching.

Keep on keeping on.

Happy Stitchin'

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Developing Ideas

I'm still swatching and sketching for proposals. Most of the time that process is exhilarating, but yesterday was discouraging.

I woke up with ideas dancing in my head. I grabbed for the sketchpad and captured them before they danced away. Then I started to swatch, and that was the 1st discouraging part. The images in my head were so clear, but nothing that I tried with yarn and hook came close to them.

In and of itself, that is discouraging, but then 2 little heads popped around the doorframe and wanted to eat (gee whiz, I fed them yesterday!?). And during lunch, they had smiles and expectant looks on their faces when they asked "Mama, what are we going to do today?".  They've been good; they've been patient with my work, but gosh-darn-it, the ideas were begging to be born. The 2nd discouraging part.

Next comes the balancing act, the dilema of any person who works at home. Work hours aren't well defined, at least not in the summer when there is no school. I find that the stitching of a project is more easily scheduled around children and housekeeping. I've usually worked out details and counts before I start so the actual stitching is just execution.

But design requires thinking, pondering, stitching, ripping, stitching some more. And there is an urgency about it; I'm driven until I have that design nailed. Stopping before it has been born is frustrating, and I fear that I'll lose it.

Yesterday, I stopped. It was raining and the car is in the shop. The girls needed . . . me. So, we watched some episodes of Factory Made on the Science channel and had a good time learning.

Ahh, but today is another day.  I'm off to hunt for that design  . . .

Happy Stitchin'

Friday, July 13, 2012


In my last post, I talked about coming up with ideas, and then putting those ideas into a format that can be a tool for selling the designs. Now I'm going to expand on those ideas.

This week, I've been working on some ideas for a yarn company. The owners were looking for small projects -- items that could be made somewhat quickly and with 1 to 2 skeins of their yarn.  With that information bubbling in my head, I thought of 2 items that would work well with those parameters.  I got out my sketch pad, and made a few sketches, then set to work with hook and yarn.

For these projects, I stitched the entire piece -- they were small, and a shape I was having fun with, and I wanted to work out any bugs in the ideas before I started working with the yarn the owners had given me.

I don't always stitch the entire project first. I usually play around with a stitch pattern, and/or color work and when I feel comfortable with the results, I go on to the next step, which is to turn these two pieces into something that can be put into a proposal. And that can be challenging.

The swatch needs to encompass all of the important details--shaping, color changes, edging, stitch patterns--AND be small enough to fit into a file folder.  Here is a picture of the swatch included in my proposal for the Sand, Sea and Sky Table Runner that was published in the June 2011 issue of Crochet World.

This one wasn't too difficult, but the pieces that I'm working on now are worked in the round. I'm going to submit this proposal electronically, which means that I'll scan or take a picture of the item/swatch.

In addition to the swatch, I always include a paragraph that gives details about the construction, the yarn, and anything special that relates to the piece. This is my chance to tell the buyer what makes my design worth their attention AND why their readers or customers will find this design appealing. Maybe it's a 1-skein project, maybe it's a great texture or interesting colors, or maybe it's an unusual construction (the Red Twig Knee Socks in the Winter 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet). But this is my opportunity and I don't want to squander it.

Here is the proposal for the Broomstick Lace Cardigan that was published in the March 2011 issue of Crochet! magazine.

Putting together the proposal requires a different kind of creativity.  And, I admit, I agonize over this process.  Maybe I take it too seriously. But, I'm not just trying to sell the design, I'm selling myself as well.  With each proposal, I want to say "I can do a jam up good job for you. Please hire ME" and that means that my proposal needs to be as good as my finished project.

So . . . that's what I'm doing this weekend. How about you?

Stitching' I hope.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crochet is a Business

Crochet is a business . . .  What makes it a business? What makes me a professional?

The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) defines a professional as a person who is deriving income from crochet. 

I learned to crochet when my 2nd lovely came home from China in 2004. I sat down with a book, a hook and a ball of yarn one night after they had gone to bed. Two hours later, I had it! My technique was poor, but I had a rectangle of crocheted fabric.

The session that night ignited a passion; I found I crocheted everyday and when I wasn't crocheting, I was reading about crochet. My first love was throw rugs, and soon all of my friends had a rug and rugs adorned every room in my home.

I had always loved going to arts and crafts fairs, so the next logical step for me was to set up a booth and sell my rugs. I knew that I needed to design my own rugs (copyright laws prohibit making and selling items from another designers work), so I started coming up with original designs for rugs.

I had a great time and I made some sales, but certainly not what I'd hoped for. It seemed that folks loved my work and they loved my designs, but they wanted to make the items themselves, rather than buy from me. I was rich on praise and compliments.

Which steered me toward the idea of selling my designs to someone who would publish them. I submitted 2 designs and they were rejected, just as I expected. But I kept submitting and eventually an editor bought one of my designs. I was ecstatic!

My business shifted from selling products at fairs to creating designs for publication.

Back to my original questions . . . what makes it a business, what makes me a professional?

For Patsy Harbor Designs to be a going concern, a real and viable business, I must . . . keep on keepin' on. 

First, I have to treat it as a business, and that means that I have to manage my time so that I am productive toward growing my business. I have to swatch and sketch, even if I don't feel like it today. I have to keep up to date on the yarn market (what's in and what's out). I have to be aware of styles and trends, as well as new techniques.

Second, I have to submit my ideas . . . consistently, timely, and in a professional manner. I'll write more on putting together a proposal later, but that proposal (or submission) has to be done well. It has to showcase my idea in a sample of the finished item. It doesn't have to be a complete model, but the swatch needs to be big enough for the editor to see the characteristics of the fabric as well as any details (shaping, edging). The proposal has to include some discussion of the techniques used, the method or direction that the item is worked . . .

Basically, the proposal is a selling tool, and that requires me to wear a different hat than the one I wear when I'm designing.

Third, that lucky day comes when the editor contacts me to buy the design. Yippee! Then I must put on my stitching hat (while keeping up with the designing and submission process). The yarn comes to my door and I work on the model.

Fourth, I've got to finish the model (with my highest quality of work) by a DEADLINE.

Fifth, I've got to write a pattern that is accurate, that is clear (so everyone can follow it), and that is concise (so it doesn't take up too much space).

Being a professional means I have to WORK, not just play with a hobby. Being a professional means that I might work while I'm watching TV, but I'm not just sitting around watching TV while my business grows on its own.

I love designing. I love being to able to make money while doing something that I'm passionate about.

I love that crochet is a business.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Professional Development Day @ Chain Link 2012

Most of my local friends and my family don't crochet or knit. They dutifully ask how the conference was "Oh, you went to that crochet thing." They nod their heads when I describe the classes and the shopping -- even the fashion show. But I always get blank looks when I mention Professional Development Day (PDD). The implication being that "how can you possibly be a professional" (that's something my grandmother did) or "how much could there be to learn about crochet".

The truth is that crochet and knit are my business, and when you think along those lines, there is a whole lot to learn about running a crochet and/or knit business.

This year, the program centered on a New Professional who had "help" from a series of experts on topics that ranged from, submitting proposals, an editor's critique of those proposals, working with contract crocheters (those who can stitch a sample or model for you), working with tech editors (those who review your pattern for accuracy and clarity), to self-publishing issues.

The professionals in the room also ranged from designers (like me) to contract crocheters and tech editors and those who teach at the local and national level. Many of the speakers wore more than one hat -- there were those who were teachers and designers; and designers who published in magazines and books as well as self-published. 

While this was my 3rd PDD, I still found information that was new to me, or relevant to me as my career has grown.

As with any other business owner, I take time to set goals for my business; to think about the direction that I want to grow my business, as well as how to market my designs and myself.

Tomorrow, I'll talk a little about what makes me a professional . . . .

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nifty Gadget

One of the fun things about the conference is the shopping. Lots of vendors set up booths; it's like having many LYS + all in one place. I visited the Seabury Organizers booth and came away with this cute crochet hook caddy. It has a matching carrying case, which is quite convenient when on the go. I can tuck my caddy into the carrying case, along with scissors, markers, and tape measure.

They also carry caddies for knitting needles as well as project bags and embroidery thread holders.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chain Link 2012

I attended Chain Link 2012 (a/k/a The Knit & Crochet Show) in Manchester, NH last week. As with the 2 previous conferences I've attended, it gave me a much needed boost. There's not much that can compare with being surrounded by stitchers who share the same love of learning and creating.

Even before I arrived in Manchester, I connected with Vashti Braha on the 2nd leg of my flight. We were seated across the aisle from each other. Although we had only met briefly in 2008, we chatted like old friends. She was teaching 4 classes at the conference and shared swatches from her classes. She was very excited about the often-overlooked slip stitch, and after seeing swatches for her classes on Slip Stitch, I could see why.

Vashti publishes a newletter every week or so, and you can check out her website to subscribe.

I shared a room with April Garwood (Banana Moon Studio), as I did last year. April made it to Manchester in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. She arrived at the hotel in the midst of a power outage (around 2 AM).  The front desk was unable to tell her what room we were in, so they were escorting her to a room they knew to be empty when she remembered to call me.  While numbers are my "thing" when woken from a dead sleep, I rattled off a room # that didn't exist! She did arrive and we chatted until 4 AM!

Needless to say, we were quite tired on Wednesday for Professional Development Day.

More on PDD coming up . . .

Happy Stitching!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tunisian Butterfly Purse

I'm excited about a new design!  The Tunisian Butterfly Purse is available for purchase at Ravelry.  Every little girl needs a special purse to stow her important "stuff", and this purse is sure to delight the little girl in your life.  Choose colors that will match her favorite dress (just in time for Easter!).

This project is great for the beginner as well as the experienced crocheter. It is stitched in Tunisian crochet and is a good learning tool for working with different colors in Tunisian crochet. It works up quickly!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Heart U Pillows

I had such fun working on these pillows! They are both worked sideways and shaping occurs at the beginning and end of RS rows. Make one for that special someone and slip a Valentine card into the pocket.

These patterns are free and are available at the Caron website.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Photo Friday

A view of the horizon in the Great Smokey Mountains.

Lots of inspriation here: shapes and colors.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sources of Ideas

In my last post, I talked about crochet as a business and the need for ideas.  A great source of inspiration for me is stitch patterns and techniques.  I take out random balls of yarn and play with the stitch patterns to see how they behave, and to find out if they are "more trouble than they're worth". I seem to be drawn to those that contain color changes as well as those that allow me to paint with yarn.  Examples are my mosaic designs-- the Mosaic Diamond Rug, the Shadow Mosaic Rug, and the Christmas Star Rug. In addition to the color possibilites, the mosaic technique results in some great texture. Contrasting colors work well with this technique.

Another technique or pattern is the use of cables. Crochet cables consist of a combination of raised stitches (i.e., the long double crochet or long treble crochet). These stitches pass over the stitches of the previous row and twist in various directions.  And example of this is my Cables and Bouquets Afghan.

The technique or stitch pattern serves me as the beginning point, the seed. Next comes the "what"; the item to apply that idea to. I gravitate toward rugs and socks, so I will usually turn to those types of items first. Or I might be in the mood for a sweater, so I will start sketching the stitch pattern with the layout of a cardigan or pullover. Here is the original sketch for the Cables and Bouquet Afghan.

From the sketch, I begin to swatch and revise the sketch if needed. If the swatch works out, then there is more high-powered thinking which involves calculations. But we can discuss that on another day!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crochet is a Business

I joined the Twitter community this summer. One of the subjects that always interests me is #crochetisabusiness or crochet is a business.  Most of my social circle are non-crocheters or non-knitters, so their interest in my work is minimal. But when I am able to get a conversation going about design, they are always surprised to find out that it really is a business that requires a broad range of skills as well as talent. And, as a business owner, I must wear many different hats to make it work.

The first hat, of course, is the ability to design a crochet or knit piece. The cornerstone of a design is a good idea. And where do those ideas come  from?

Anywhere and everywhere. Some designers start with a yarn, and let that yarn "speak" to them, telling them what it wants to become. Some start with an image, such as the mountain stream in an earlier post, or a mosaic on a subway wall.

I usually start with something that I need or want. My watch band broke. Ordinary people would buy a new one, but a designer looks for a way to make one. First, I searched online to see what types of patterns were available (hey, maybe I don't have to design one after all!). There were a few patterns, but none really said "I'm IT". Yesterday I walked to Michael's while waiting for car repairs and while there, I saw a leather band. The Muse jumped on that image. When I got home, I dug out a ball of Bergere de France Coton 50 in navy. I sketched a little, then stitched.

The end result is not a fabulous design -- yet. But it is functional and a good jumping off point for more inspiration.

The design process is just that -- a process. And one that doesn't always result in success on the first attempt. Sometimes ideas need an incubation period; maybe more images are needed to make that idea complete.

The process also contains contains an editing phase. Ellen Gormley of GoCrochet posted about taking that idea or project from a good idea to a great one. What needs to be added, what needs to be taken away, does the stitch pattern do this design justice, does the yarn enhance or detract from the design?

I love it when those questions are answered and I can move on to the next idea.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Photo Friday

I participated in the Great American Teach-In this year and spoke to the classes about the design process. The first segment of my presentation was about ideas -- where do they come from?  The conclusion was . . . everywhere! 

Take a look at this beautiful mountain stream and see what your muse comes up with.

Happy Stitchin'!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another New Design!

This cute little lady buy backpack has adjustable straps. The eyes are the closures for the flap so your lady can keep all of her valuables safe.

This pattern is available for free from Red Heart yarns.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another New Design!

My Mosaic Shadow Rug in included as a web bonus in Crochet World magazine. The first crochet project I worked on was a rug and that started a long love affair for me. They are like a blank canvas to be filled with color and texture.

This rug has both. The mosaic technique allows the stitcher to place different colors in specific spots while working with only one color at a time. Color changes are made by double crocheting over the opposite color (essentially covering up the previous color). These raised double crochets create a rich texture that will make you sink your feet into the rug and never want to leave!

Happy stitching!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Designs Out!

I have 2 designs included in the Winter 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet.  Both of these designs were exciting to stitch!

The first is the Barn Jacket. It is stitched in a Tunisian Crochet cluster stitch for the body of the jacket and sleeves, with roll back cuffs and a stand up collar stitched in Tunisian Knit stitch.  The edging at the hem and each front immitates knit garter stitch and is done by slip stitching in the back loop only.

Details of the collar and cuffs:

And the 2nd design are the Red Twig Knee Socks.  These socks have an interesting method of construction; the leg and instep are stitched lengthwise rather than in the round. Short rows are used to make the sock wider at the upper calf, and they all taper to a center back seam.  Next, the heel is worked in a traditional manner (that may be the only traditional part of this sock!). The sole is worked back-and-forth, joining with the sides of the instep.

If you like a challenge, these socks are for you.  Color combinations are endless and exciting.

Happy stitching!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We welcomed in 2012 at Rick's on the River in Tampa listening to the Backwater Blues Band play. In addition to fine music, it was the Night of the Fedora.

I found the girl's fedoras at Justice for Girls while Christmas shopping, and I made Doc's fedora using a pattern by Mary E. Nolfi of  I met Mary at Chain Link this summer and she always had on the most gorgeous hat. She makes them from paper raffia, which gives the hat a lot of body. In addition to hats, she has a great selection of bags.

2011 was a great year for Patsy Harbor Designs. I sold 12 designs (one is my first knit design!) and attended Chain Link where I met and made new friends as well as learned a facinating new techique. 2011 also brought the Friday Morning Knitting Club--a group of 10 2nd graders with boundless enthusiasm, lots of smiles, and sometimes . . . fumbly fingers.

It's time to set goals and engage in serious business planning for 2012.  Can't wait to see what exciting things 2012 will hold!

Happy stitching to all!