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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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