Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Darleen Hopkins, who is a crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift A-Long.
Hello! Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m a crochet designer who designs a little bit of everything. I believe life should be filled with laughter and love and my designs reflect that. I’ve been married for going on 23 years now and have two boys/young men. We live in beautiful north Georgia, US and can often be found hiking in the gorgeous nature that surrounds us. We have been fortunate to have completed three cross-country road trips and have traveled, with the boys, to 49 states! I’m not sure if I have actually crocheted in all those states, but it’s pretty close. Now that the boys are growing up, my husband and I talk about traveling the US in an RV. If we ever get one I’ll be sure to get one with plenty of room for yarn.
How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
I initially learned to crochet when I was a child. My sister taught me what she learned from lessons she took at the local library. I never did much then but retaught myself in 2005 using a booklet/hook kit. It came back pretty quick. In 2008 I taught myself to knit using online videos. My dad had mentioned he tried to learn to knit in the 50s because he wanted a pair of knit argyle socks but wasn’t successful. So I learned and made him a pair for his 80th birthday. He just turned 90 and still wears them. I haven’t knitted since as I have been too busy with crochet.
What made you want to start designing?
Once I started crocheting I immediately began to experiment with patterns. I’d want to see what would happen if I tried a different stitch or technique. Then I started crocheting silly hats for a group that collected them for children going through chemo treatments. They were hats that I made up making whatever came to mind. I received a lot of complements on those hats and realized others may want to make them as well. So I wrote out the patterns. Then a friend of mine was getting married and I designed a throw blanket as a wedding gift. On a whim I submitted the design to a crochet magazine and it was accepted for publication. There was no stopping me at that point and I’ve been designing and writing patterns ever since.
I crochet when I can and love the creative outlet design offers me.
What’s you favourite part of the design process?
What inspires you?
Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?
Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?
Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?
I wasn’t able to do much designing in 2019 but I did manage to publish a pattern that had been “in the queue” for some time. The Cute as a Button Baby Blanket (see above). Aren’t all babies cute as a button? And I’m working on a design for dog lovers. It’ll be a blanket but that is all I can reveal at this time. I hope to publish it in early 2020. (link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cute-as-a-button-baby-blanket)
What’s your favourite colour?
I love blues and anything that goes with blues-greens, purples and berry colors.
Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
In general I’m really inspired by the first time participates-the ones who worked hard publishing patterns so they would have the minimum number of patterns available in order to participate. It’s a great motivator as the event can be a lot of fun for all involved. Another great thing about the Indie Gift Along is learning about other designers. I’ve discovered some amazing, talented people every year. One designer that really stood out to me this year is Irina Mulyavko. Her amigurumi work is about the cutest I’ve ever seen. (link:https://www.ravelry.com/designers/irina-mulyavko)
How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/stores/crochetbydarleenhopkins
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crochetbydarleenhopkins/ (still new on Instagram and would appreciate some love!)
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