Darlene Swaim, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Darlene Swaim, aka lotuslady tell us a little about yourself please Darlene.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

My mother taught me how to knit when I was around 8 years old and I taught myself to crochet when I was 11.

What made you want to start designing?

When I was growing up I was influenced by my father always drawing/painting/welding/doing something artistic. My mother did some knitting and weaving. Making things was just a natural thing for me. My desire to design was inspired by my father – I wanted to create things that were my own design, not just someone else’s design. Dad’s work was original, I wanted my own original work.
Dogs Love Christmas by Darlene Swaim

Dogs Love Christmas by Darlene Swaim

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I often design something specific for someone special in mind. I like coming up with a design that I know that person will enjoy. Then there are times that I have design because it just needs to be made, such as the dragon, phoenix and unicorn stockings. I enjoy that feeling I get when the lines come together to make the design just right.
Christmas Cardinal Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Christmas Cardinal Stocking by Darlene Swaim

What inspires you?

Caring. Connecting with someone, finding out what they enjoy.

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I would say part-time because health issues determine how much energy I have and carpel tunnel determines how much time I can put into actual knitting.
Christmas Phoenix Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Christmas Phoenix Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love to design stockings. I put the following statements on my stockings bundle page and it really says best how I feel about designing them – “I think of my stockings as an opportunity to make a piece of artwork that reflects a person’s personality. The stockings aren’t just decorations for the season, but decorations/art for the soul.”
Celtic Sheep Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Celtic Sheep Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I like keeping this in balance. I find that if I make time to make something for me, then I enjoy making things for others a whole lot more. I feel overwhelmed if I’m focusing on just making something for others. I have a grandbaby coming in January so I’ve been making things that my daughter requested, but I’ve made sure to balance it out with making a couple of things for myself as well.
Miniature Halloween Stockings Darlene Swaim

Miniature Halloween Stockings Darlene Swaim

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I do love a good pair of fingerless mitts.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

When it comes to making my stocking designs I love to use the Cascade 220 yarn because it’s sturdy and the stockings hold their shape well after blocking. For making something for me, I love yarns with a little silk or cashmere in them.
Dragon Spirit Stockings Darlene Swaim

Dragon Spirit Stockings Darlene Swaim

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Oh, this is tough, but I really love the dragon stockings….because they’re dragons. LOL.

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I’m hoping to challenge myself in the new year to apply some of my designs to something other than a stocking…such as a bag or a pillow, to design something that can be used year round.
Cats Rule Christmas Stocking Darlene Swaim

Cats Rule Christmas Stocking Darlene Swaim

What’s your favourite colour?

Ooh, this one is tough to answer as well because I love playing with colors, but I tend to love purples the most.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

Yes, this is my second year as a designer. I love how the main focus is on supporting each other as designers, not on our personal promotion. And there is a lot of support given to the participants as well such as sharing pattern suggestions, but also cheer leading their efforts.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Sarah – Sarah’s designs because her gnomes are bringing joy to so many people.

You – your designs– because your patterns are joyful as well, and you work so hard to be supportive during the GAL.

Darlene Swaim Interview Gift A-long 2019 1

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Facebook – Darlene Swaim

Instagram – darleneswaim – darleneswaim

Ravelry pattern store: My design store


Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!