Embroidery, knitting, sewing, spinning, weaving…

January 27, 2018
by Opal @ThreadLover

Lazy Saturday: Knitting my king-sized blanket

Progress for my king-sized knitted blanket

While sitting down, this king-sized knit in progress (100% wool) blanket is almost touching the floor.

I’m still knitting slow and I’ve found a way to knit without moving my left arm/wrist. Which is great news for me since that means no pain. I’m using a modified version of Irish knitting.

Once the blanket is complete, I’ll either knit or crochet a floral pattern scattered over the entire knitted blanket (think of embroidery that is placed on top of an item) and also crochet or knit a lace border on the top and bottom of the knit blanket. So, there’s still much to do before this (kip) is finished. I’m also thinking of backing this blanket, so… that adds even more time. I’m fine with that, I’ve already decided this will be an heirloom blanket (for my daughter) so why not add the extras?

So many stitches…

The cast-on was 400 stitches and I’m knitting the seed stitch. Thus far, this knitted blanket has over 100,000 stitches and I’m not even at the halfway mark. The king sized blanket in progress is being knit with my Hiya Hiya Steel Sharp interchangeable cable needles and the cable length is 120″ (two 60″ cables plus one cable extender made that possible) which gives me plenty of room to fit all these stitches.

The knitted blanket smells like Lavender and Cedarwood essential oils

When I’m not knitting the blanket, it’s kept in a large zippered project bag to which I’ve added a few strips of cotton that have had drops of lavender and cedarwood. So yes… this blanket smells like both. It’s is delightful. Both oils are relaxing which adds another wonderful attribute to the blanket.

Handcrafting in the Bible

Below, I’ve shared an excerpt from my favorite handcrafting passage recorded in the Holy Bible.


Curtains of Linen
26 “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.
2 The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall have the same measurements. 3 Five curtains shall be joined to one another, and the other five curtains shall be joined to one another.
4 You shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set, and likewise you shall make them on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set.
5 You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite each other.

6 You shall make fifty clasps of gold, and join the curtains to one another with the clasps so that the tabernacle will be a unit.

Exodus 26:1-6

January 19, 2018
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitted blanket: My third color change

I’m slowly making progress with my king sized knitted blanket. Of course, it’s going to be a long-term knitting project and I’m fine with that.

Fisherman’s wool – Brown Heather

A few days ago, I swapped to my third (and my second solid color) color of Fisherman’s wool in brown heather.

Paton’s Royal Purple worsted wool and Fisherman’s Wool, Brown Heather

Initially, I was going to do a much larger block of the brown heather, but after a bit of thought and chatting with my daughter, I’ve decided to only knit a thin strip of brown heather and alternate between another knitted strip of matching blue worsted weight yarn throughout the entire project.

Folded king sized knitted blanket (in progress)


I also decided to knit the seed stitch for the entire blanket. Initially, the alternate colors were going to be a knit cable stitch, but… I decided to stick to this stitch. It’s an easy knit stitch to create.

Simple, but elegant… seed stitch! 🙂


• Row 1: *K1, p1; rep from * across.
• Row 2: *P1, k1; rep from * across.
• Repeat rows 1 and 2 for the entire pattern.

See? The stitch is simple but it’s so elegant.

The bulk of this king-sized knitted blanket will be knit in Paton’s royal purple worsted wool. Originally, I was going to purchase all the yarn at one time, but… I thought since the yarn was being knit in Paton’s worsted wool and it’s readily available at the local craft stores that have weekly coupons that start at 40% off, it made sense to take advantage of the coupons offered at AC Moore, Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics (you can use them interchangeably between all three stores) and save even more money. You can only use one coupon per visit. My daughter has been purchasing a skein of yarn also.

Slow knitting…

Admittedly, it’s a bit frustrating that I can’t knit like I normally do, because of my arm/wrist issues, however, I’m not complaining. There are so many reasons that I am thankful so why should I complain. As a Christian, I’m reminded to give thanks in all things (I Thessalonians 5:18) and while at time it can be a challenge to find ways to be thankful. The few times I feel the urge to complain, I’m instantly reminded of all the reasons why I shouldn’t complain. 🙂 I still am blessed with a lot that I take for granted, such as getting up each morning. Having a home, transportation, food and the list is seemingly endless.

12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
16 Rejoice always;

17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:12-18
New American Standard Bible

January 15, 2018
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitting: Long term project; Queen sized blanket

I’m slowly making progress with my knitted blanket.

Well, it’s actually a king size blanket. The width is 102″! I must stay that it’s coming along quite nicely and while I still must go slow because of my left wrist issues, I’m enjoying this knitted journey.

Currently, I’m unsure of what colors I will use. Initially, I was going to do the body in dark purple and then, I thought of making a progression blanket, to reflect all the color changes in the sky, but do it in reverse from just before dark to bright sun and fade back to the early morning light, but now… I’m unsure again. Well, I have plenty of time to make up my mind of what this blanket will become.

January 6, 2018
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitting: KIP – Seed stitch knit blanket (queen size)

Yesterday evening, I started my long-term knitting project. I’m knitting a queen size blanket.

That afternoon, my two skeins of Patons DK superwash ‘Welsh Coast’ yarn had arrived in the mail and once the yarn had been rewound on my yarn ball winder, I started knitting. I cast on 400 stitches and decided to utilize the simple seed stitch for the stitch pattern and although I was going to knit the entire blanket using the ‘Welsh Coast’ yarn, the fact that the yarn ball was so small ( a little over 100 yards) quickly made the decision to go an alternate route. Why did I only order two skeins of yarn? Since I placed the order online, I wanted to see if the color in person matched what I saw online and it did. I thought that there were at least 200 yards per skein, but I was wrong. That was my fault, I didn’t read the description closely. I just assumed it would be the same yardage as I’m used to with their worsted weight wool.

Last evening, I started knitting with the second (and my last) ball of yarn and so early this morning my daughter and I went to AC Moore where I purchased three balls (all that they had left) of Patons Royal Purple in worsted weight. Since I had a 50% off Michaels coupon, I was able to use that coupon on one of the yarn purchases.

In total, I’ve knit a little over 12,500 stitches and as you can see I have many more stitches to knit before I’m finished this blanket. I think the earliest I could finish this project is four months from now, by that time, we won’t have below zero or single digit temperatures and so I won’t fully appreciate the warmth of a 100% wool blanket until it gets cool again, but I will still utilize that blanket. To compensate for the different weight of yarn, once I swapped to worsted weight yarn, I dropped down a needle size (size 10) and I’m not seeing any difference on the edges.

My Hiya Hiya cable extenders and end stoppers arrived today for my Hiya Hiya Sharp (Large) interchangeable knitting needles and so I was able to add another cable (34″) to my 60″ cable. Which gives me a total of 94″ of cable. I’ll purchase another 60″ cable and swap out the 34″ cable.

January 4, 2018
by Opal @ThreadLover

Knitting: Purchasing a few extra tools and handcrafted cold processed soap using animal fiber

It appears that I’ll be starting my knitted blanket tomorrow. This isn’t the first time that I’ve started a knitted blanket, but it’ll be the first blanket that I complete. The others that I started, I wasn’t satisfied with. What makes me think I’ll complete this one? Well… it’s part of my ‘wrist therapy’ and my therapist gave me the ‘ok’ to engage in this activity and so I’m slowly making that attempt.

However, when I looked at my Hiya Hiya Steel sharp interchangeable knitting needles, I realized that I hadn’t purchased the cable converters for the Hiya Hiya large set and so I quickly remedied that and…

Hiya Hiya stoppers for the large interchangeable Steel Sharp set

I also noticed that I didn’t purchase the Hiya Hiya stoppers. End stoppers are something I normally don’t use, but… I did find with the other knitted blankets that I was knitting, that occasionally, when I set my project to the side, that my knit in progress would tend to “creep” to the end of the needles. No thanks!

In other news…


I’m planning to incorporate some of my spinning fiber (grey merino fiber if you want to be specific) into an upcoming cold-processed soap. The protein in the fiber tends to add a bit more bubbles. Silk is something I’ve seen used a lot by soapers and of course, I Googled since I do have a fair share of sheep, camel, goat and llama fiber and what do you know? All types of fiber are used in soapmaking.

Beer soap made with Guinness Draught Stout

I’ve been soaping for years. I started “assisting” my mom when I was very young, perhaps seven or eight years old? I continued soaping into adulthood. Artisan soap is the only type of soap I use. On Christmas day 2017, I made my first beer soap. No…. the soap does not smell like beer, but the addition of soap has produced a delightful lather and stable bubbles. True, I already get that from the soaps that I create, but the addition of the beer seems to have added more. Interesting…