Embroidery, knitting, sewing, spinning, weaving…

September 26, 2017
by Opal @ThreadLover

New handcraft adventures: Sewing a leather backpack

I’ve been searching for a sturdy backpack for several months. I much prefer them over purses and since I have my Franklin Covey Classic planner (which goes with me everywhere when I’m out), I’ve been carrying it around in the bookbag that I have, which honestly won’t last long. I didn’t make That bag.

I saw a few backpacks that I sort of like, but for over $100, I wasn’t ABOUT to make the purchase even though I had the money to do that. This morning, my daughter said, “Mom, why don’t you just make one?” Hmm, now why didn’t I think of that earlier?

I do have a backpack pattern that I customized. I also have a thick leather jacket that I won’t ever wear and so I’ll be cutting that up and I’m lining it with this cotton fabric.

I’m thinking that I’ll use the Harry Potter fabric as a lining, but who knows… I might change my mind again about the lining. Regardless, not too much money will be spent, and the Harry Potter inspired fabric is 50% off. You now that appeals to the minimalist frugal side of me. The main investment will be my time.

August 29, 2017
by Opal @ThreadLover
1 Comment

Franklin Covey Classic: I’m loving my planner

Wow, the time is flying by so quickly. I’m a person that likes to plan. I find it much better than the ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’ approach that I observe with some people and keeping on top of what’s happening in my life, ensures that I won’t forget. Another thing with planning is that I rarely write things down digitally. I much prefer the pen and paper approach. It’s what I’ve done for years. Yes, I’ve used digital calendars/planners, however, I simply don’t like using them.

Early this month, I started looking for a refillable planner, something a bit ‘nicer;’ than simply writing things down in a notebook. During my search, I discovered the Franklin Covey planners. The brand name isn’t new to me, however, the journalist that avidly talk about their Covey’s, write and YouTube their love of this planner was. While I really liked how the Franklin Covey planners looked, I was unwilling to pay the Franklin Covey price for a leather bound refillable and off to eBay, I went and I found this lovely planner. Do you see the hangtag? It says, ‘Attitude is Everything’ and isn’t that the truth? If we have a pessimistic attitude, can we really be surprised if the various obstacles we encounter in life are (seemingly) overwhelming and if we continue to complain is it any wonder that we might find that people don’t want to be around us?

The seller advertised this as used with some scuff marks. However, after observing the numerous photos they showed. I suspected that the ‘scuff marks’ could possibly be erased by using a good leather conditioner. When I received my order, two days later, I discovered that I was right. Since purchasing, I’ve used this planner every single day. I love this planner.

Currently, I’m working on inserts. I’m unsure why the lines on the left aren’t appearing, but they’re there. As you can see, I’m not making anything too fancy… yet and you know what? I really might not want to do so with this planner.  I’ve seen some planners that looked like scrapbooking gone wild. While that’s nice, it’s definitely not my style. 🙂

July 17, 2017
by Opal @ThreadLover

Cardmaking: Prismacolor Premier – 150 Color Pencil Set

I really enjoy sending personalized letters. I enjoy receiving them also. To be honest, I send out much more than I receive, and I’m fine with that. I’m particularly fond of handcrafted cards. I create my own also, but (admittedly) my handcrafted cards are severely depleted. I haven’t made any in several months and since I had been sending out cards and not making any, my card stash was depleted. I might have had five cards ready to send. A few weekends ago, I started making more cards. I didn’t have a lot of time and so I might have completed two cards?

A few handcrafted cards

Fast forward to the present and I now have created around 16 handcrafted cards and envelopes! A few of those cards are for Christmas. My daughter and I do enjoy that time of year and while we don’t get caught up in the commercial aspect of the holiday, we enjoy the extra time that we do have to spend together. Since she’s now being homeschooled, I imagine this year will be a bit different since the majority of her schooling will be done at home. She is taking a few homeschool co-op classes.

Prismacolor Premier – 150 Color Pencil Set

But back to my handcrafted cards. Since some of these cards (ok most of them) take a lot of time to make, I don’t send these cards to everyone. I only distribute them to people that I know will appreciate them. Cardmaking is the one craft where I don’t think of myself as being proficient and so I do watch a lot of videos and ask my artistic daughter for feedback.

At the beginning of July, I purchased a set of Prismacolor soft core pencils.  Since I had chosen ‘same day’ delivery, they arrived a little after 5:00 p.m.! That’s an awesome feature of Amazon Prime! This is a want that I’d been sitting on for a few years and since they had an amazing deal on their 150 color pencils, I made the purchase. I had a set of Prismacolors before, but it was a much smaller set and I’d given those away to a friend but held on to my Faber-Castell Polychrosmos (oil based) set. Prismacolor’s are wax based pencils and I do enjoy using them, but my preference is still my Faber-Castel Polychrosmos.

July 11 was Amazon Prime Day and it is also the first time I actually purchased something. I only bought two products and the total was $26.34. The items that I purchased were already budgeted and so I wasn’t spending unnecessary money. Since I knew date for PrimeDay, I just held off purchasing the items until then.

One purchase (item needed for car maintenance) wasn’t on sale.

But, the sketch pencils that I also purchased for my daughter, were! Initially, I wasn’t going to tell her about the pencils and just let it be a surprise; however, since I wanted to make sure that I bought the correct drawing tools, I showed her the items and it met her approval. I didn’t want her using the items, if they weren’t what she liked, to be polite. Both items should be here tomorrow. We’re both excited. With my Toyota Prius, I do the basic car maintenance myself. Taking car of the basics saves me from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.

June 23, 2017
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitting: How to knit the easiest socks in the world

Several month ago, I stumbled upon this video about sock knitting. They’re using DPNs and knitting one sock at a time. It’s their preference. My preference is knitting four at a time. Two pairs of socks are completed. Which means my daughter receives a pair and so do I. I imagine when I reach a certain number of handknit socks for both of us, I MIGHT go back to knitting two socks at a time. Then again… maybe not. We’ll see!

May 10, 2017
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitting: Hand knit socks completed

Finished! A few days ago, I finally got around to completing these hand knit socks.

Handknit socks are the only type of socks that I wear. My daughter enjoys them too and has a nice selection. I find that hand knit socks are extremely comfortable. They feel like a soft hug for your feet and last a long time. I normally knit socks with size 0 Hiya Hiya circular needles. Sometimes, I’ll go up to a size 2, but that’s rare.

These socks were knit toe-up, two at a time. They were knit using size 000 and size 0 Hiya Hiya circular knitting (sock) needles. I used lace weight yarn to create these socks.

I must say these socks took a long time to knit (perhaps two months) simply because I didn’t have too much time to knit.

I normally can complete a pair of socks in a week. However, I managed to squeeze a few moments whenever I had the chance. There were some days when I was only able to knit for perhaps three minutes.

How do I spend my free time? The majority of my free time is spent with my daughter and working on crafts. Now and again you will find me online and on the rare occasion watching something on TV, but those activities are way down the list since I much prefer entertaining myself with a craft such as knitting, spinning, weaving or soapmaking and of course top on that list is spending time with my daughter.

In the above picture, you’ll see socks that I had started. I will be frogging (ripping out the stitches) those socks and and recreating new socks for my daughter. Why? She loves the color.