Dec 24, 2019

Happy Holidays

Scraptastic Scarf
I wish everyone at this time of the year, Happy Holidays and all the best for the upcoming year.
May your days be filled with love, kindness, compassion, and generosity towards each other.

As a thank you for all of my readers and supporters. I have created  a promotion on my knitting patterns from now until the end of this year. December 31st 2019 midnight of EST

Buy two of my patterns and receive one for free.

Use the coupon code: Givingtree 

Link to the patterns page

Thank you for visiting.

Dec 16, 2019

Interview with a Designer: Crochet by Darleen Hopkins (Darleen Hopkins)

As in the previous years, I have decided to interview some of my fellow designers who participate in the GAL 2019.
I had a pleasure to interview Crochet by Darleen Hopkins, Darleen Hopkins

photo by Darleen Hopkins

Here is the interview:

1. What inspires you to design?

Everything.  An idea will just pop into my head and then will I try to figure out how I can transform it into a crochet pattern.  Or sometimes I get suggestions from others.  For example, my Patchwork Baby Kitty Blanket is one of those.  My youngest son suggested it.  And he helped me with some of the details as well. You can read about it here
Sometimes a need inspires me.  For example I got tired of my tea getting cold at work and decided I needed an individual mug cozy and voilĂ , the UNsqured Granny Tea for ME! Mug Cozy was designed.
A lot of my designs are silly or whimsical.  I have a goofy sense of humor and I guess that comes out in what I like make.

photo by Darleen Hopkins

2.If you could knit/ crochet one thing - anything in the world what would that be?
Maybe a temperature blanket or scarf or something with that theme.  I love the idea of it. I just haven't had the time to start one.

3. Describe your ideal day as a designer, what would you do and what would you prefer not to do?
I would NOT work the J-O-B that I have to go to during the work week.  I would not cook or clean or do laundry or any other household chore.  I would sit in my favorite recliner or maybe out on my screened in porch, and I would crochet and eat chocolate and drink coffee and listen to music.  I'd be able to crochet and work out the pattern for hours without my wrist or forearms hurting. And I'd get great photos on the first try.  That would be an ideal designing day. 

4. How do you start a project, with yarn, pattern, idea or what?
Usually I have an idea.  I’ll sketch it out with colored pencils and then I'll look to see if I have the right yarn in my stash.  If not, I'll search the web or go to yarn stores looking for the ideal yarn.

5.What inspires you to pick up needles and start on the project?
If I’m not too tired, I pick up a hook and get crocheting.  No special inspiration needed as I have so many ideas and/or projects going that there will surely be something to interest me to work on, if I’m not too tired at the end of the day. J

photo by Darleen Hopkins

6. What do you enjoy the most about the designing and what do you dislike the most?
I LOVE seeing photos of finished projects made from my designs. Please! Send me photos or post them to my Facebook page or make Ravelry projects with photos.  I LOVE it!! 
What I dislike the most is when people do not respect copyright.  So much work goes into publishing designs; whether it is for an online or in print publication or a self-published pattern by an independent designer.  Not respecting designer copyright is just wrong.  You wouldn’t walk into a store and steal a $4 skein of yarn, so please don’t steal a designer’s patterns by photocopying them and sharing them electronically.

7. Are there any particular techniques you find challenging or impossible to work with?
There are a number of different crochet techniques I would like to try.  Years ago I tried broomstick lace and was unsuccessful with it.  I'd like to give it another try now that I'm more experienced.  I think I was just too new to crochet when I first tried.  I would also like to try Tunisian Crochet.  I did a small swatch once but have never made anything using that technique.  Slip stitch crochet has also been a challenge to me.  But I have recently leaned there are special hooks for slip stitch crochet.  I didn't realize this when I first tried it.  I'd like to get one of those hooks and try it again.  

8. What is on your hook now?
I'm currently working on a new design for a blanket.  It's dog themed but that's really all I can reveal at this time. :)  I also have a couple of Mother Bears started and in various WIP stages.  I was hoping to finish them before the end of the year.  I'm not sure if that will happen but I'll keep working on them as time allows.  (  Another current project is my ongoing supply of dish cloths. I keep a bag with dishcloth yarn and a hook. It is great to grab when I'm heading somewhere and think I might have a few minutes to crochet.  They are nice, small projects that I can start and stop without having to worry about following a pattern. 

9. Do you work on multiple projects at the same time or single project?
Oh my goodness, yes, lots of projects at once.  I easily get bored when working on one project so I keep many projects going at once.  Only when I’m either close to finishing a design or have a deadline to meet do I concentrate on just one project.

photo by Darleen Hopkins

10. Is there something else you would like to share with the readers?

Thank you so much for interviewing me!  My name is Darleen and I’ve been designing almost as long as I have been crocheting.  I first learned to crochet was I was around 8 years old but it was short lived.  I re-taught myself in 2005.  My first projects were potholders that I made without a pattern.  I was just “winging it” and although simple, they were my first designs.  Now I have almost 100 published designs with probably 10 times as many ideas.  Most of my patterns are self-published but I have worked with a variety of professional publications, both in print and online. 

I started designing because I question everything.  When I was working on a pattern I’d be thinking, “what would happen if I did it this way?” or “how can I adjust this to be bigger or smaller or whatever”.  When crocheting I found I always wanted to change what I was working on.  Not that it needed to change but I was curious how it would turn out if I adjusted it.  I also like to be challenged.  Coming up with an idea and then figuring out how to manipulate the stitches to transform that idea into an actual object that could be touched was a challenge for me.  Once I realized I could not only come up with unique ideas but I could bring those ideas to life, I wanted to be able to make it so others could duplicate what I created.  And so I started writing patterns.  I believe the best part of designing is seeing the finished objects others have made from my patterns.  I get a rush every time someone posts or sends me a photo of something they made from one of my patterns.

Where to Find Darleen Hopkins:

Instagram: JUST getting started-

Dec 12, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Small Hearts Cozy and Snowman Bottle Cozy

Heart Cozy
A last minute quick knit for everyone on your list. Small heart cozy pattern has instructions for knitting flat, and in the round. the pattern has written direction, and chart.
It is a perfect pattern to use up small leftovers of yarn.

The pattern is available in my Ravelry store, on Lovecraft, or you can purchase it by clicking on this button:

Small Heart Cozy

Another last minute quick giftable knits are these adorable Snowman Bottle Cozies:

Snowman Bottle Cozies

Last year they were published in December Issue of I Like Knitting magazine.
Now the pattern is available in my Ravelry store, on Lovecraft, or you can purchase it by clicking on this button:

Thank you for visiting.

Dec 11, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Winter Trees

Winter Trees
These winter trees are part of a bigger project I started to work on in November. However my elbow prevents me from working on the project right now so the other parts of this project will be available when I can resume my work on it.

The pattern for these winter trees is available now on Ravelry, on Lovecraft or by clicking on this button:

Winter Trees
Thank you for visiting.

Dec 10, 2019

Work in Progress III and Gift-a-long 2019

This blog post should have been written out few weeks ago.

I should have posted about the beginning of Seventh Gift-a-long at the end of November. Before the official beginning of the wonderful collaboration of independent designers and all the activities that are happening in the group Indie Design Gift-a-long on Ravelry.

I was also planning to participate actively by knitting things from other designers' patterns. I have quite a few that I wanted to make. 

However injured elbow changed my plans. Things are much slower over here. Everything takes longer and knitting is in time out for next few weeks. Even sitting by computer is painful after a while, so I have limited working on the computer and social media as well. 

I will be posting another "Interview with a designer" blog post sometime this week.

In the meantime I am trying to catch up on publishing some of my knitting patterns, and republishing few for which the rights have returned to me. 

These adorable snowman bottle cozy were published last year in 'I Like Knitting" December Issue. Now they are available in my store on Ravelry and on Lovecraft website.
Snowman Bottle Cozy

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 27, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Bernard, the bearded dragon

Bernard, the bearded dragon is another of my toy knitting patterns.
I have used Cascade 220 Superwash yarn for the bearded dragon, but any worsted weight yarn will work.
The toy measures 17" ( 44 cm) from head to tail.
Yardage: 170-180 yards (156 - 165 meters) of MC, and 40 yards (37 meters) of C1.
When I was looking at pictures of real bearded dragons I saw several of them with a variety of clothing including cowboy hats. I just had to make the cowboy hat for my knitted bearded dragon.

The knitting pattern is available to purchase in my store  on Ravelry,
on Lovecraft website: link to the pattern
or by clicking on this button:

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 22, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Lotti's Cowl

In October I went to Rhinebeck. While there I found yarn that I wanted to use for this Lotti's Cowl.
In summer I was looking through some magazines and found an add for a fashion company.  I loved the colorful image and wanted to create something similar. I was looking for yarn, and while in Rhinebeck I saw Miss Babs Mad Hatter. It reminded me of that colorful image and I started to hold together three skeins of yarns. The Mad Hatter with two skeins of either white, blacks, and various greys to see what worked best. After some time I decided that I really liked the soft grey of Fleur de Sol and decided to splurge on this yarn.
Miss Babs yarn

This past Friday I CO for the cowl. I have combined two of my previous knitting patterns for Brioche stitch and created a sort of new pattern by using three skeins of DK weight yarn held together.
The two patterns I previously published are:
Calypso Dream Cowl
Brie's Cowl

Here is the pattern that is a combination of the two patterns. In the picture you can see the image from a magazine I used as my inspiration. I don't remember what magazine it was from.
Lotti's Cowl

Lotti's Cowl
written by Stana D. S.

Finished Measurements: 54" (137 cm) circumference x 8.5" (21.5 cm) high.

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza (100 Superwash Merino Wool; 560 yards / 512 meters per 225 g / 8 oz) 1 hank of Mad Hatter, 2 hanks of Fleur de Sol.

Recommended Needle Size: Circular Needles 29" US 10.5 / 6.5 mm.

Notions: Yarn needle, scissors, stich marker

K = knit
Ktog Sl st YO = knit together slipped stitch and yarn over
P = purl
Ptog Sl st YO = purl together slipped stitch and yarn over
R = round
Sl st = slipped stitch
YO = yarn over

Note: This cowl is knit in brioche stitch in the rounds with yarn held triple.

Gauge: 10 sts & 28 rows = 4" (10 cm) in brioche stitch.

With the yarn held triple and circular needles Cast on 140 sts, using the long tail cast on. Place stitch marker on the first stitch and begin working in the round.

Set up Round: * K1, Sl st YO; repeat from * around.
R 1: *Sl st YO, Ptog Sl st YO; repeat from * around
R 2: *Ktog Sl st YO, Sl st YO; repeat from * around
R 3 - 60: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2.
Bind off in K1 and P1 pattern, include with the K1 the YO as well.

Weave in ends, wash and block to measurements.

Nov 8, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Queen of Hearts Dishcloth

photo by Knitpicks
Another of my knitting patterns, Queen of hearts dishcloth was published by Knitpicks.
The pictured sample is done in their Dishie Multi cotton yarn. The pattern is free.

Queen of Hearts Dishcloth

photo by Knitpicks

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 3, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Stingray Hat

Stingray Hat and toy
Last month, I wrote a blog post about the stingrays and why I designed the stingray hat.
and finally today I have published the knitting pattern for the hat.
It is available to purchase in my Ravelry store, soon it will be in my Lovecraft store or you can click on this button:

Since this is a rather fun knit, I have created a promotion code from today until the November 7th midnight of EST. Use the coupon code Stingray when you buy the hat pattern add the toy pattern to your cart and you will receive the toy pattern for free.

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 2, 2019



Last week I have received an email from LoveCraft about creating a blog post answering the question to "Why Do You Make?" By creating this blog post I am entering their competition for Blog Personality of the Year, 2019.

I do not expect to win anything. I know my blog is not one of those famous and fabulous, whose daily readers are in thousands or more, but still the question about why do I continue to create has been on my mind lately.

I am not a well known designer who's patterns are "hot right now" and knitted by many people, but I have been creating all my life. I realize each and every time I think about why do I continue to create that it is for the pure joy knitting brings me.  The minute I take those knitting needles and a skein of yarn I let go of other things, and concentrate on creating one stitch at the time.

I wish I could show what I have achieved to my grandmother. She was the person who taught me how to crochet and knit when I was a little child. At first I preferred to crochet, and embroider, but then when I was about thirteen or fourteen I picked up the knitting needles and started my first sweater. Here is an old photograph of me proudly wearing that first sweater.

My first sweater

 After I finished that first sweater I continued to create many more.
Growing up behind the Iron Curtains gave me the opportunity to be a designer without actually realizing it. We did not have access to many knitting magazines or fashion journals. The limited access to everything encouraged us to make our own clothes instead of going to a store and buy them. My mom and grandmother were really talented seamstresses and created most of my clothes throughout my childhood and teenage years. I tried to sew as well, but I was much better with the knitting needles then with the sewing machine, so I continued to knit sweaters, and other accessories without using knitting patterns. I would draw a picture of what I wanted the sweater to look like and then I would start to play with yarn. I would make a small swatch, calculate the numbers, and then I would knit.

After the Velvet Revolution, and the fall of the Berlin Wall world started to open up. Would you believe that it is thirty years since that wonderful autumn?! I wish I could be back in Europe for the festivities and attend the various celebrations of this anniversary.

Falling in love is a wonderful time. It can make you move across the world. Even though I left my country to live on another continent I took with me my knitting needles and I continued to created. For many years I knitted for joy, and when my child was born I started to knit toys. I knitted various toys, creating them based on my child drawings, other kid's drawings, or simply based on their requests.

Loopy, a monster based on drawing by my child

In March 2011 a friend of mine helped me to start this blog. The link bellow will take you to the very first blog post.

It was about the same time another friend of mine asked me to read and explain to her a knitting pattern she was working from. About the same time I was asked if I could write up patterns for some of my creations. I tried and somehow it made sense to other knitters and they could follow my directions.
It has been an interesting journey ever since.
I created a children's book using my knitted toys and my photography.
See the Monster Al book. I also used Monster Al and his friends for my Thesis project to earn BA in Creative Writing.

Monster Al and his friends

I also managed to collaborate and work with various yarn companies. I have had many of my knitting patterns published in knitting books, and on various websites. As of today there are more than 250 knitting patterns available. Not bad for someone who loves to create with yarn.
I continue to create one stitch at the time, enjoying the knitting process more than writing the knitting patterns.

Scraptastic Scarf and Cowl

Thank you for visiting and reading.

Oct 29, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Voyager Infinity Scarf

photo by Knitpicks

This Voyager Infinity Scarf is another pattern that I created for Knitpicks.
It has been published as a free pattern for their 12 weeks of gifting. The scarf is knit in the rounds, starting with Provisional Cast on, and the BO end is joined to the CO end with Kitchener Stitch for Infinity loop. The scarf uses Knitpicks Capra yarn in five colors.

photo by Knitpicks

The link to the pattern on Knitpicks website is here:
Voyager Infinity Scarf

Link to Ravelry pattern page: Voyager Infinity Scarf

Voyager Infinity Scarf sample I 
Pictured above is my knitted sample using more subtle colors in browns, grey, white, and pink. There are so many different ways to play with this pattern. Pictured bellow is a three color sample, using the Jamaican flag colors. I have knitted this scarf as a special request for someone.

Voyager Infinity Scarf sample II

Thank you for visiting.

Oct 20, 2019

Rhinebeck 2019

It has been two years since my last trip to Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival.
My blog post about that trip is here:
Rhinebeck 2017

It was time to revisit the festival again.

Rhinebeck 2019

The weather could not be more beautiful. Sunny and warm, but still cool enough to wear something knitted. My Rhinebeck sweater was the Voyager Sweater, my first sweater knitting pattern. The progress on the project is here:
Voyager Seater WIP

Voyager Sweater

This year I was invited to a brunch organized by LoveCrafts. It was a wonderful gathering filled with interesting people and crafters. After the brunch it was time to head to Rhinebeck festival.
I met in person with few people I know from online world. I admired the creativity of others and their knitted or crochet items. I browsed a whole variety of yarns. I did not plan to buy anything, but in the end I picked three skeins of Miss Babs yarn. For a while I have a project and a design on my mind and I have been looking for a yarn to use it for this design, and I think I found it in the color combination of the subtle Fleur de Sol and a colorful Mad Hatter. I cannot wait to start this new project.


Thank you for visiting.

Oct 8, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Candy Corn Dishcloth

Candy Corn Dishcloth
My latest collaboration with Knitpicks is a fun and fast dishcloth pattern named Candy Corn.
Worked in garter stitch, with simple decreases and slipped stitch for a neat edge.

The pattern is free and available to download from Knitpicks Website:

Candy Corn Dishcloth

photo by Knitpicks

Oct 2, 2019


 In June 2015 I have published knitting pattern for a stingray toy.

Stella, the stingray
The pattern link is here:
Stella, the stingray

Last week I received a message on Ravelry from someone asking if there is a way to turn my toy into a hat. Sometimes I just love to have a fun and challenge myself to create something different.

This is what I have come up with:
Stingray Hat and Stella, the stingray toy

Yesterday morning I was trying to work on the pattern. Apparently our dog had a different plan for my morning.


After a good belly rub, and a hike in the woods, he was ready for some nap time and finally I could work on the pattern. At the moment the pattern is at a test knit stage and at the hands of the TE. 
Hopefully the final pattern will be ready for publishing by the end of this month.

Thank you for visiting.

Sep 22, 2019

Tutorial for Bind Off

The tutorial for the Bind off  I used to join the cast on edge to the bind off edge.
1. Position the cast on edge behind the work, making sure that all the knots are hidden inside, between the two layers of your work.
Step 1
Step 1. The yarn is held behind both layers of your work. With right hand needle pull through the cast on edge.

Step 2
Step 2. Pull the yarn through the cast on edge.

Step 3
Step 3. Pull the yarn through the first stitch on left hand needle.

Step 4
Step 4. Remove the stitch from the left needle.
After the first stitch is on your right hand needle, continue step 1-4 for the second stitch. then continue with step 5.

Step 5
Step 5.  Lift the second stitch over the stitch next to it on your right hand needle.

Step 6
Step 6.  Bind off.

Bind off joining both sides of your work.
Continue with steps 1 - 6 until your reach the end of your work. Cut the yarn, pull through the last stitch and weave in ends.

Scraptastic Cowl

The pattern for the Scraptastic Cowl is here:
Scraptastic Cowl
Thank you for visiting.

Knitting Pattern for Scraptastic Cowl

Scraptastic Scarf and Cowl

Scraptastic Cowl

Last year in September I finished the Scraptastic Infinity Scarf. It took me few years to actually make the scarf long enough to finish it, and I decided to make something smaller still using the small scraps of yarn from other knitting projects.
I probably started to knit the Scraptastic Cowl in January after I had enough tiny scraps and leftovers  of yarn to start the project.
Today is 86F (30 Celsius) and it is gorgeously beautiful early autumn day. Sun is shining, blue sky is perfect and I spent most of my day outside. Now that the sun is setting down and the weather cools down a bit I decided to write the pattern.

Scraptastic Cowl

Scraptastic Cowl
written by Stana D. S.
Scraptastic Cowl

Finished Measurements: My sample is 28" (72 cm)  in diameter and  9.5" (24 cm) high.

Material: Scrap Yarn from other knitting projects, preferably in similar weight. If using thinner yarn such as fingering weight, double the yarn. This is a fantastic project for all those tiny leftovers and small pieces of yarn that otherwise might be thrown out.

Recommended Needle Size: Circular Needles US 7/4.5 mm.

Notions: Yarn needle, scissors.

K = Knit
P = Purl
CO = Cast on
BO = Bind Off
St, sts = stitch, stitches

Pattern Notes:
This Scraptastic Cowl is knit in the rounds in double moss stitch pattern, using whatever scraps of yarn you have from other knitting projects. All the ends are conveniently hidden inside this double layered cowl. The CO edge is joined to the BO edge using technique similar to 3 Needle Bind Off.
Another option is to crochet chain through both edges instead of this BO.

Double Moss Stitch Pattern (worked in the round, over multiple of 4 sts):
Rnds 1 - 2: K2, P2.
Rnds 3 - 4: P2, K2.
Repeat Rnds 1 - 4 for the pattern.

CO 100 sts. Place the stitch marker, and begin working in the round, being careful not to twist the sts.
Work in the Double Moss Stitch Pattern using the various scraps of yarn in similar weight, connecting the scraps with a knot, and making sure the knots are all on one side.
Work in the pattern until you reach double the length of desired height of the cowl.
Make sure that all of the knots are on one side of your work. Pull the CO edge behind the live stitches on your needle, making sure that all the knots are on the inside of your work.
Start BO by pulling the yarn through the CO edge before the stitch on your needle.
I have created a picture tutorial for this BO technique.

Tutorial for the Bind off.

The pattern for the Scraptastic Infinity Scarf is here:

Scraptastic Infinity Scarf

Scraptastic Infinity Scarf

 Thank you for visiting.