Get Ready! It is coming soon!!!!

On your mark, get set….

Mark your calendars-The Third Annual Indie Design Gift-A-Long (GAL) will be here in just 2 weeks and will run from Thursday, November 19th at 8pm (US-EST) through the New Years Eve party, Thursday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST).  What is a GAL?  Find out more about it from last year’s post or check out the Ravelry group, Indie Design Gift-A-Long. Keep watch for more information as we get closer to the start date.

PSST-Can’t wait for the sale?  All Crochet by Darleen Hopkins patterns on Ravelry are Buy 2 Patterns, Get a 3rd for FREE!  No special sale needed!

TheFunBeginsNov19

Hot pad crochet pattern. Christmas candy, gingerbread man and snowman

Summer 2015 Wrap Up

Better late than never…

Wow, you know you are a little behind in posting blogs when you find one from -3 MONTHS AGO-that was never finalized and posted.  Well, here it is, a little late and a little out of season.  I’ll try to be a little more timely with the next one!!

August 2, 2015
It seems so odd to me to be thinking that summer is almost over on August 2, but it is; summer vacation anyway.  I’ve lived in Georgia 18 years now and I still haven’t gotten used to kids starting school in early August.  But we have open house tomorrow and the first day of school starts on Thursday.  My oldest has already started his high school marching band practices (Nov. 1 UPDATE: one football game left in the season) and I’ve had my youngest “training” for middle school cross-country all summer.  The first meet is just 3 weeks from tomorrow! (Nov. 1 UPDATE: He has completed his cross-country season and won the Coach’s award for being a good example and having a positive attitude! So proud of him!) Our summer has been busy with a nice family vacation, some friends over for sleepover parties, a camp here and there, getting wisdom teeth removed for one child and the other getting braces, and teaching the oldest to drive (wow!).  With all this, I did manage to squeeze in a little crochet time.

Hot pad crochet pattern. Christmas candy, gingerbread man and snowmanOwl crochet pattern amigurumi by Darleen Hopkins

In May the Peppermint Pals Hot Pad set was released and I was very excited to complete my charity lapghan for donation to the local nursing home in May as well.

Shawl-Moxie Crochet PatternShells of Love crochet baby blanket

June was a little quiet while I worked on a hat for Halos of Hope but July was BUSY! The Owl Always Love You amigurumi pattern was released in July as was my 4th shawl, Moxie. In addition, the Shells of Love baby blanket pattern was updated. Phew! July was a busy, busy month.

Yesterday, August 1, I posted a holiday stocking pattern for testing and hope to have it available by September 1. (Nov. 1 UPDATE: It is now available! It is hard to think of Christmas when the summer bugs are still singing but the holidays will be here in just a few short months.

The two months of no school and my adjusted work schedule have been nice but I am looking forward to the routines that the school year brings us.  I’m always sad when the summer bugs (the singing ones, not the biting ones) go away.  I love listening to them while I crochet on my back porch.

Some of my designs

Farmstand Watermelon Basket Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins August 2016 Photo by ILikeCrochet.com #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
August 2016
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Winter Sky Cowl, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
February 2017
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

pretty-in-pink-eyeglass-case

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
April 2017
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Spiced Cider Set; hat and button-up scarf, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
October 2016
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Watermelon Placemat Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins August 2016 Photo by ILikeCrochet.com #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
August 2016
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Watermelon Napkin Ring Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins August 2016 Photo by ILikeCrochet.com #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
August 2016
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Fresh Air Scarf crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins August 2016 Photo by ILikeCrochet.com #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
August 2016
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Blue Rivers crochet hat pattern by Darleen Hopkins, photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
December 2015
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Lime and Lemonade coasters crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
August 2015
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Tuxedo Bib crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH, photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
June 2015
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Sunny Days Baby Mobile crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
April 2015
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Owl Always Love You crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
February 2015
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Pepermint Pals Hot Pad set pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH photo by ILikeCrochet.com

Pattern by Darleen Hopkins
November 2014
Photo by ILikeCrochet.com

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From February ILIkeCrochet.com. Click photo to subscribe.

Review-I Like Crochet February 2015 Issue

Live. Love. Crochet. is Spot On!

Owl Always Love You crochet amigurumi pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Now available for instant download.

ILikeCrochet.com’s slogan is Live. Love. Crochet. Not only is this true for everyday life but it is perfect for the February 2015 issue.  February is the month we celebrate those in our lives that we love with lots of pinks and reds and hearts and – in this issue – lots of owls!  If you have followed my blog, you know I like to make hats, particularly silly hats for the little ones.  This issue has an adorable Little Hootie hat that I will be making in the very, very near future.  Another owl themed pattern in this issue is a cute owl candy holder.  This is a great way to dress up a candy bar for your sweetie.  And when the candy is gone, I bet the candy holder would make a great bookmark!  The last owl, and personally, my favorite, is the amigurumi Owl Always Love You.  I’m a little partial to this cutie as he is my design-shameless plug, I know.  But, he is adorable and really, who can resist an adorable owl?

Whispers, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf

Gift-A-Long Designer, Sarah Jane Jackson

Sarah Jane Jackson, Crochet Designer

Frostberry Hat crochet pattern by Sarah Jane

The Frostberry Hat Crochet Pattern by Sarah Jane

I’ve not had the opportunity to meet Sarah in person (I’m in Georgia, USA she’s in Queensland, Australia) but  was first introduced to her when I tested The Acacia Cloche pattern of hers in 2011.  She was so sweet and friendly during the test that I was more than excited when I had an opportunity to get to know her a little bit better through an online designer forum.  In the last year, I’ve made two more of her patterns, The Winter Tracks Hat and The Frostberry Hat.  Her designs are beautiful and stylish and always current with today’s trends.  And of course, exquisitely modeled on her lovely children.

Let’s get to know a little more about Sarah.

The biggest thing about me I guess is that we have 8 children! 7 of them at home, the kids at home range in age from 23 down to 4 and 5 of them are boys (which always leaves me short of models!). It’s busy but housework seems to have become more optional as I get older, leaving me enough time to crochet ;). My youngest starts school next year and I am hoping to turn designing into a decent part time job…..we will see how that goes!

How long have you been designing and what led you to design?

Evening Delight Shawl by Sarah Jane

When I first learned to crochet I only knew chain, so I used to design things made with chains and find a way to link them together. I didn’t learn to read patterns until I was about 20 so I have always designed. A few years ago I came across a little ad on a website looking for sample knitters/crocheters and designers, I sent off an email and haven’t looked back since…..I stumbled across Ravelry about 6 months later and that was a match made in heaven, I couldn’t believe that there was actually somewhere I could sell my own designs!

Why crochet? What is it that interests you?  What do you enjoy most about the craft?

I have crocheted as long as I can remember with a few breaks for other types of craft. I always come back to crochet because I love the portability and convenience, Also the sheer creativity in being able to take a piece of string and a hook then being able to turn it into something beautiful, it thrills me every time!

What inspires you and/or your designs?

Steam Punk Corset Crochet Pattern by Sarah JaneJust about anything, colour, fashion and yarn I think would be the top 3. I am often inspired by a stitch pattern I love and want to find a way to use and I often want to create a certain ‘look’ with what I am making. My steampunk collection was the result of chasing a type of style or ‘look’.

How many WIPs do you currently have and do you think you will ever finish all of them?

Hmmmm I am not counting my wip’s…I might give myself a heart attack.  I am sure I have more than I actually remember! I always have at least 3 things on the go at a time and there are a few that are in time out or hibernation. I am pretty ruthless though, if I get bored with them or decide I won’t finish then I rip them out.  I am often ripping something out if I am not happy with it. The ladies in my craft group have been known to almost cry when I start ripping something that is almost completed (this happens more often than I like to admit).

What was the last thing you crocheted for yourself?

Winter Tracks crochet hat pattern by Sarah Jane

Unfortunately here in Brisbane most of my style of crochet is not really wearable although I try and wear at least some of my hats. I haven’t finished anything specifically for myself yet but I am in the (very slow) process of making myself a summer top. I’m not quite sure I will ever get it finished though as the colour isn’t thrilling me at the moment.

Thanks Sarah!  I anxiously await some more of  your designs.

The hat at above is Sarah’s Winter Tracks Hat.  It is the second time I made this hat.  I accidentally left the brim off this one but it still looks fantastic anyway.  See below for links to where you can find Sarah and her designs.

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-jane
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sjack44/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahjaneDesignscrochet
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/Sarahsshoppe

 

Whispers Crochet Shawl Pattern

Peppermint Pals Hot Pad Set from http://www.ilikecrochet.com/issues/december-2014/?mqsc=DAHOPBL111414

I Like Crochet – Holiday 2014

Checking out the 2014 Holiday issue from ILikeCrochet.com

Have you had a chance to check out the 2014 Holiday issue from ILikeCrochet.com?  I have to admit, I have had access to this issue since November but have been so busy that I am just now getting a chance to really check it out and it is great!  As a contributor, I am honored to have my  Peppermint Pals Hot Pads included.  It really has some great patterns, articles and tips.  There are a number of hat patterns-I do love hats-shawls, scarves, baby items and tops.  And if you have time before the holidays, some great holiday themed items as well.  Check out those stockings on the cover!  Adorable!

Peppermint Pals Hot Pad Set, crochet pattern

Peppermint Pals Hot Pads Now available at CrochetByDarleenHopkins.com!

I’m picking out yarn for a couple of hat patterns-did I mention I like making hats?  to use in my stash busting in the upcoming year.  Two hats from this issue have been marked high on my to-do list, the hat from the Wistful Wisteria pattern set and the Butterscotch Cream hat.  I’ll be sure to post photos of the finished items.

Shawls B2G1

Gift-A-Long Designer, Denise Balvanz

Denise Balvanz, Knitting Designer

Reindeer hat crochet pattern by Denise BalvanzI had the pleasure to interview Denise for my second post in the Designer Interview Series.  Most of her designs are knit although she does have the cutest little crochet reindeer hat I have ever seen.  Seriously, do they get any cuter than this? Denise is also participating in the Gift-A-Long this year and has hand-picked a couple of her favorite designs that would make great gift ideas for the holiday season.  I am in awe of her colorwork and a huge fan of the Roses Christmas Stockings series, see photo below.  With great pleasure, I’d like to introduce Denise Balvanz!

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Amaliya Knit Pattern Set includes caplet, hat, mittens and fingerless mitts.

Amaliya Knit Pattern Set includes caplet, hat, mittens and fingerless mitts. Modeled by one of Denise’s beautiful daughters.

Most people who meet me remember first that we have 8 children! Most of them are grown now but we still have 7th and 12th graders that we are homeschooling. I have sewn and knit a lot of clothes for growing children! Over the past 10 years I have taught at my LYS, spent 3+ years working with a small US-based Norwegian yarn distributor where I packed orders, set up a retail website, helped proofread/tech-edit the patterns she was translating and ran the business when she was out of the country, and most recently, spent more time designing patterns and knitting for fun!

How long have you been crocheting/knitting and how did you first learn?

My love of fiber crafts started when I was quite young, maybe 6 or 7 years old. I remember a friend of my mom’s helping me learn to knit when we were on vacation. My grandmother was a knitter and crocheter too but mostly I am self-taught.

What other crafts do you enjoy?

If it involves fiber I have probably given it a try; embroidery, counted cross stitch, needlepoint, macramé (hey, it was the 70’s). My biggest loves though are knitting, crocheting and sewing.

How long have you been designing and what led you to design?

I have a bent toward entrepreneurism. I was a custom dressmaker/alterationist for 25 years as my children were growing. Then about 10 years ago, I walked into the LYS and was asked if I would like to teach some classes. Some of my designs were patterns for the classes I taught at there.

I have never been good at following a pattern without making at least a few changes to it. My first designs for my own use came about because of that. Except for the stranded patterns that I generally chart first, I design a lot of things on the needles as I knit. My knitting friends are always amazed at that. I have the ability to “see” the knitting in my head as I knit and even as I read a pattern.

What inspires you and/or your designs?

Endless Roses Christmas Stocking knitting pattern set by Denise BalvanzI love clean, classic styles; cables and textures; and the 2-color Norwegian designs. Working with a Norwegian yarn line and visiting Norway in 2010 were highlights of my designing career. I am hoping to use more of the ideas from the Norwegian traditions in my future designs.

Thank you so much Denise!  You can find out more about Denise and her beautiful patterns at the following links:

Ravelry — DeniseInIowa,
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/denise-balvanz
Website — http://denisesneedleworks.com
Blog — http://denisesneedleworks.blogspot.com/
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/DenisesNeedleworks
Pinterest — http://www.pinterest.com/DeniseInIowa/

Shawls B2G1

Gift-A-Long Designer, Cynthia Levy

Cynthia Levy, Knitting Designer

Twisted Maze Socks, knit pattern by Cynthia Levy http://www.ravelry.com/people/redtigerOne of the great things about the Gift-A-Long on Ravelry is the opportunity to get to know other designers.  Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Levy, a knitting designer.  Many of Cynthia designs incorporate amazing and lovely cabling.  She has published a number of beautiful knit sock patterns as well as some quick-to-knit designs that would be perfect for the holidays that are fast approaching.   After you get to know her a little bit better, check out her gift suggestions and get stitching!

How long have you been knitting and how did you first learn?

I’ve been knitting ever since I was a pre-teen figure skater.  I considered it essential to have a sweater and mittens to coordinate with every skating outfit and the best way to collect them was to make them myself.  The first thing I actually remember knitting was a fair isle yoke sweater to match a skating skirt.  My mother was used to my habit of jumping right into a complex project, instead of ever starting a new hobby with something simple, so she agreeably purchased the yarn and delegated any necessary assistance to my grandmother.

What is your favorite design of yours, why?

Snow Flurry Mittens Knit Pattern by Cynthia Levy (Redtiger)

Snow Flurry Mittens by Cynthia Levy (Redtiger)

One of my favorite original designs is Snow Flurry Mittens.  I live in the Canadian sub-arctic and -40C is normal winter weather.  Anything warm and cozy is bound to be well loved by me.  The pattern was a bit of a challenge to get just right so I’m quite proud of it.  The snowflake pattern is worked with the mitten held inside-out, so that the pattern stitch can be easily accomplished in the round, and a variety of needle sizes are used to accommodate the gauges of the various stitches.

 What is your favorite project of yours, why?

I absolutely adore Julia Farwell Clay’s Bartok Tunic pattern published in Interweave Knits Spring 2013.  I fell in love with the pattern the second I saw it.  I made my tunic in the yarn and colors specified in the magazine, but shortened the length and narrowed the sleeves.  It’s the most comfortable sweater ever and garners compliments everywhere.

 What are your favorite knit tools or notions?

stitch markers https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/caliopesfibreI have a real weakness for double-pointed sock needles.  My current favorites are Knitters Pride Karbonz and Kollage square needles.  And I have recently become a fan of pretty stitch markers.  I recently acquired some stitch markers from Caliope’s Fibre that make me happy whenever I look at them.

 When you aren’t knitting, what are you doing?

If I’m not knitting or designing, I’m probably toiling away at my more than full-time day job.  But if I’m not working or knitting, I certainly won’t be idle.  My husband is a private pilot so our summers are dedicated to enjoying our little Cessna floatplane.  My other activities include pottery, quilting, weaving, tole painting and stained glass, as well as fishing, camping, hiking, gardening, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Too many interests, too little time!

 Where can we find you?

Eye of the Helix Sock Pattern by Cynthia LevyThe best place to find me is on Ravelry as redtiger.  I spend way too much time gazing at all the great patterns and yarn displayed there.  My original designs are available through my shops on Ravelry, Craftsy and Patternfish.  I’m also on Twitter as Redtigerdesigns.

 

Thank you Cynthia!  Your designs are beautiful and inspiring.  I’m a huge fan of your gorgeous cabling.  Keep warm (-40C !!!) and happy stitching!

Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/bundles/3358 #giftalong2014

It’s HERE! Ravelry’s 2014 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long!

What is a Gift-A-Long?

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/indie-design-gift-a-longIt’s a chance to save some $$ on your favorite gift patterns, participate in knit/crochet-a-longs, share photos of your finished projects, see what others are making, win prizes and HAVE FUN!  In other words, it’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

From November 13, 8pm EST through November 21, 11:59pm EST 293 indie designers will be discounting between 4 – 20 of their patterns 25% off for this event with coupon code “giftalong2014” (Ravelry only).  Click here for a list of participating designers.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, please join a relevant KAL/CAL.  (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.) KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes (check out the Prizes thread for details) and digital prizes (1,866) but you gotta post to win!

Almost 300 independent designers from Ravelry have banded together to offer their best gift patterns at a discount of 25% off (you gotta use the coupon code “giftalong2014” to get the discount) from now through Nov. 21, EST.  In addition, all patterns by participating designers are eligible for the KAL/CALs.  All self-published, paid for designs are eligible to win prizes.  Last, designers will be monitoring the various KAL/CAL to see if there are any questions.   And did I mention there will be prizes, lot’s of prizes-almost 2,000-with lots of chances to win.  KAL/CALs will run until December 31st, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting.

Save 25% on the following Crochet by Darleen Hopkins patterns.  Remember, you have use the coupon code “giftalong2014” to get the 25% off.  I can’t wait to see all your finished items!

Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/bundles/3358  #giftalong2014Black Raspberry Shawl 25% off

Whispers Shawl 25% off

Charmed Shawl 25% off

Big Kahuna Unisex Slouch Hat 25% off

The Cubed Hat, Super Slouchy and Relaxed Beanie 25% off

Piranha Monster Fish Hat 25% off

Mr. Springy, The Robot Hat 25% off

Waiting for Spring, Flapper Hat 25% off

Patchwork Baby Kitty Throw 25% off

Owl Drool Bibs 25% off

Oink! Oink! Pig Hat 25% off

Kissy! Kissy! Fish Face Hat 25% off

Nighty, Night Baby Blanket 25% off

Shells of Love Baby Blanket 25% off

Bobble Head Blanket Buddy 25% off

Lil’ Oinker Drool Bib 25% off

Join Ravelry, join the Gift-a-Long, get your patterns and have fun!

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins

The Spirit of Gifting-A Touching Story

The Spirit of Gifting-A Touching Story

P1010644 (600x419)Every Christmas I try to make a special handmade gift for my boys.  See photo at left for last year’s Minecraft Creepers.  Earlier today I purchased a pattern to make this year’s surprise and I’ll start working on it tonight after they go to bed.  We are fortunate enough where these handmade gifts are special treats for our kids and although they receive plenty of store-bought gifts, they always really enjoy the crocheted creation they know will arrive.  A few minutes ago I read a very touching story of a family who hit hard times and the store-bought gifts weren’t so easy to get.  Crochet helped this family bring Christmas surprises to a couple sweet children.  The sweetest gift though, was the gift from the son.  If you have a couple of minutes, please check out this story,  written by Crochey Day and posted in Crochetvolution Winter 2012.  You can find it here:  http://crochetvolution.com/winter-2013/the-year-there-was-yarn-for-Christmas  You may need a tissue, I did.

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry