17 August 2010

Just FYI...

I must admit, this entry isn't about a finished project, but a problem with a work-in-progress that I have at the moment, which makes this post still relevant.

I know a lot of knitters feel like they can only use wool or mohair or some kind of super expensive yarn. If you are one of those knitters, please ignore this post. For the rest of us, who feel acrylic yarn has it's place in the craft world, please, read on.

This is about Red Heart yarn. Although not my favourite yarn to work with, it does have it's place. Afghans can be thrown in the washer, and one doesn't have to spend a ton of money to work on a project. At $2.40 a skein, it makes perfect sense to the economical knitter who knows whatever will be knitted will be put through a lot of use. With that being said, don't forget, I would LOVE to knit an afghan entirely in wool, and maybe one day I will, but I digress from the main point.

My mom had bought a skein of Red Heart a within the past year or so, and knowing there was no apparent dye lot, I bought another skein to continue my blanket, and I noticed, after almost having the bottom portion of the afghan finished, that the new yarn was slightly lighter than the older yarn. I almost cried because I knew I would be pulling my afghan out for the 30th (yes... 30th!) time. I decided to write to Coats and Clark to give them a chance to redeem themselves, since they might not have realised there was a problem.

I got my response yesterday. Apparently, they switched manufacturers, which meant the dye lots were slightly different, so there are both the old and new dye lots in stores. Realising my frustration for pulling out my afghan yet again, they are sending me a complementary replacement skein. Which means, I will continue to use their products in the future. And it may take some time until only the new dye lot is floating around out there. So, if you are making something, look at the dates on the skein and buy all of your yarn at once. It will save some frustration and a lot of time. :)

15 August 2010

Cross-stitch: Eeyore Sketch

I finished another project this morning. This time, it is a design that looks like a sketch of Eeyore. I saw this kit in Michael's craft store and picked it up because it was the first time I ever saw it and it looked cooler than just the regular cross-stitched Eeyore. This design is primarily done in back-stitch, but that is fine, because it makes it look more like a sketch.

Here is the final project for your viewing pleasure:

Since I bought it, I hadn't seen another in the store, so I am glad I picked it up when I did. The design should still be available from Janlynn Designs. Take a look here and there are many more designs other than Disney characters, just do a quick search of what you're interested in.

** Characters are copyrighted by Disney and based off of the characters of A.A. Milne and illustrations by E.H. Shepard. Counted cross-stitch kit published under licensing of Janlynn Designs. All rights reserved. Photos are my own.**

Cross-stitch: Stylish Silhouette

Maybe it's not the best idea, but I tend to only post my finished projects. Since I am avid hand crafter, it should be no great suprise that I am guilty of craft polygamy. I don't support polygamy, except in terms of crafting, I think there should be an exception. I tend to get bored with the same old routine and before I knew it, I had about 7 projects on the go, with 4 of those being cross-stitch projects. Now, I am proud to say, that I only have 6 WIPs left.

So without further adeiu, I introduce to you: THE STYLISH SILHOUETTE! (finished 6. June 2010) (as with all of my posts, click to make it larger)

I joined a forum in my beginning times of cross-stitch for a little more help and motivation. It is called "The Cross-stitch Forum". The ladies on the forum are very helpful and nice. I saw that there were multiple people starting this pattern and since I am a huge fan of blackwork and peacocks, I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, being in the USA, it was close to impossible to find Cross-stitcher magazine which is a publication of England. Having no other option, I contacted the ladies on the forum and one of the members sent it to me in exchange for some blending filaments.

I fell in love with this pattern and it stitched up so quickly. With that being said, it took almost a year, but I hadn't been working on it constantly. I was yelled at in Magdeburg for working on it and since starting my job in Köln, I hadn't had much free time at all. I decided, that in my days off, I would get some work done on it. I finished it up last night because I made it my goal to finish it before the Final Seminar in Berlin.

If you want this pattern, you may be able to find it on Ebay or something. I don't plan on parting with it anytime soon. Sorry...

** Pattern copyright of owner and can be found in Cross-stitcher February 2009. All rights reserved. Photo is my own. **

Cross-stitch: part 1

Thanks to Nancy, I am addicted to cross-stitch. It's one of those things that looks really really difficult, but it's not. I was under that assumption for a while... and I learned it in one day. All you're doing is making x's that are really close to each other. In the end, it looks like something. I find that making something is a better way of passing time than doing nothing. Nancy, being a great friend and an excellent pattern designer, taught me how to cross-stitch on a Friday after Dr. Field's Dialectology and Sociolinguistics course - better known as LING 360.
Nancy makes a lot of great patterns. After making a practice pattern that Nancy created to help me learn how to cross-stitch,  I convinced Nancy to send me the pattern she made of Garfield. It turned out like this (finished 24. January 2009):

It was a difficult pattern. The ears and tail were particularly hard to follow because I couldn't discern outline from half cross-stitch, but I did figure it out, I think. As for a first project, it looks pretty nice. And, someone from Deviant Art added it to their favourites.

Garfield was a total confidence booster. After making Garfield, I couldn't find a kit that I liked at the time, so I started designing my own things. I decided to make something nice for Nancy's birthday. This is what I came up with (finished 31. March 2009):

Ok, so the cats look less like cats than was intended, but it is still pretty cute. And, I had to learn how to make french knots to do the lettering. I am proud of it nonetheless - and even more so that she and her fianceé have it hanging in their apartment!

** "Garfield" and "Pookie" created by Jim Davis. Pattern created by and copyright of Nancy Cavallo. "Friends Like Cats" pattern created and copyright of Brittany Grasser at Kveldulv Designs. All rights reserved. Photos are my own. **

Knitting: Lacy Scarf

Knitting is one of those crafts I told myself I would NEVER do. My mom always knit sweaters for me growing up and I thought that if I did it, it would be weird. People my age didn't knit. To my surprise, there was a resurgence in popularity because people like Paris Hilton among other celebrities were found to knit in public. My mom tried to teach me and I was determined not to learn. It wasn't until two of my college friends knit so I caved in, and asked my mom. After much confusion and twisted stitches, I consulted YouTube for knitting tutorials.

Although not my favorite craft, I find knitting the most versatile because you can make the same things you can with crochet (well.. not doilies...) and you use much less yarn. I may not knit very often, but I do knit and I only have one project that I finished to-date. So here it is:

Lacy Scarf (finished 24. August 2008):

This lacy scarf pattern came from Ella Rae designs for Queensland Collection which is book 7. You can pick up a copy here. The designs in this book are so nice. My mom and I both were drawn to this pattern and worked on it together. The picture here does not do it justice - I folded it so you can see the pattern and it looks like it may be uneven, when in fact, it is not. It turned out better than I expected, especially for a first time project. And, yes - those are my feet in the picture. A better picture will be on the way, when I remember to do it.

** Lacy Scarf Design copyright of Ella Rae Designs. All rights reserved. Photos are my own. **

14 August 2010

crochet: Amigurumi

Crochet is more versatile than one may think. It is one of those crafts that seems to be stigmatized to be only for old ladies named "Ethel" who want to make doilies. The fact of the matter is you can make cute stuff with crochet. A friend of mine who was really into Japanese culture told me about "Amigurumi" which is are stuffed crochet toys originally made in Japan. I decided to try out the patterns I found on the Lionbrand website.

Pan Bambusowy (finished 9. July 2008):
Pan Bambusowy means Mr. Bamboo in Polish. I neither know Polish, nor do I have a bamboo plant, but this little guy stole my heart. I got the pattern from Lion Brand which is offered as a freebie here. The good thing is that this pattern was relatively simple and stitched up rather quickly (2 days for me). The down side is that Fun Fur is absolutely horrid to work with. Sure it looks funky, but contrary to it's namesake, it is NOT fun. Honestly, Fun Fur looks cheesy in itself, but I must admit, this is a proper use for it.

Herr Löw (finished 20. July 2008):

Like Pan Bambusowy, Herr Löw is another crochet stuffed toy that was created from the Lion Brand site. Freebie Pattern is offered here. I had many problems with the way the pattern was written. It may be labeled as beginner +, but keep in mind, the techniques used were somewhat advanced. The ending result was cute, I must say. 

aww how cute!!

** PS - I'm not a spokesman for Lion Brand, they just have cute patterns! Lion Brand requires that you sign up for their newsletter to download the freebie patterns. It's free and quite painless. **

**Both patterns copyright of Lion Brand. All rights reserved. Photos are my own. **


Welcome to Kveldulv Designs! Kveldulv is Norwegian for "Night Wolf". I chose this name because I like wolves and I am currently learning Norwegian. I think this name fits rather nicely with me and what I want to do.

This blog is a showcase of my finished needlework projects (ie: knitting, crochet, and cross-stitch), so updates will be spaced apart from each other. It also serves as a nice way for interested crafters and designers to see what you can do with needlework. And maybe it will give younger people some motivation to learn a needlecraft. I plan on adding my own contemporary twists to crafts that have been around for many many years.

Some of the patterns I made myself and others came from kits, pattern books, or magazines and proper credit will be given. Absolutely no copyright infringement has been intended.

I also do not intend on selling anything as of yet. If you would like one of my own original designs after it has been posted, please contact me. I haven't priced anything out, and am willing to work on the price, but please keep in mind, I will not accept really low offers. Use your head people; these projects take a lot of time and money to finish. Rome was not built in a day, and my projects take more than a week to finish. Please keep this in mind because low offers will be rejected.