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.