Learn New Hobbies With The Library: Thread & Yarn by Jennifer McConkey

Cloth face coverings are still recommended by the Center for Disease Control, and many people have decided to improve their sewing skills and make their own custom masks.

If you want to learn to sew so you can make your own masks or other craft projects, the Highlands County public libraries can help.

To get started, you can take “Sewing 101” through Universal Class. Just go to myhlc.org, click on “Language & Learning,” click the black box that says “Universal Class” to get to the website.

Call (863) 402-6716 if you need help using Universal Class.

The libraries also have plenty of resources to help you with other needlecrafts, from embroidery to knitting, and more.

And if you want to sell any of your craft creations, you might be interested in the “How to Start a Craft Business” course on Universal Class.

Sewing, Quilting & Other Needlecrafts

Even if you’re already good at one needlecraft, there are plenty more to try. See what books you can find to expand your horizons or improve your skills.

Here are some of the many library books available:

-“Embroidery: Techniques & Patterns”

-“The New Vogue Sewing Book”

-“Sewing Tiny Toys”

-“Quilting 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily Through Step-by-Step Instruction”

-“Crazy Quilting in a Weekend: 25 Home Decor Projects That You Can Make in no Time”

-“McCall’s Big Book of Needlecrafts: Quilting, Applique, Patchwork, Needlepoint, Embroidery”

You can also take “Fashion Design 101: An Introduction” as a free online course through Universal Class.

And you can borrow the e-book “Whip Up Mini Quilts” through the Crafts section on Overdrive. Just go to myhlc.org, click on “Ebooks & Audiobooks,” and then click the button for Overdrive.

Knitting & Crocheting

Whether you’re new to working with yarn or you’ve been a pro for years, the libraries have plenty of books to help you improve your skills.

Check your local library to see what’s available or request one of these options:

-“The Complete Book of Knitting, Crochet, & Embroidery”

-“The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches: Over 900 Great Stitches Detailed for Needlecrafters of Every Level”

-“How to Knit: The Definitive Knitting Course Complete With Step-by-Step Techniques, Stitch Library and Projects for Your Home and Family”

-“Simple Knitting: 30 Quick-to-Knit Projects for Stylish Accessories”

-“Chunky Knits: 31 Projects for You & Your Home Knit with Bulky Yarn”

-“Crochet!: Techniques, Stitches, Patterns”

-“Decorating With Crochet”

There are also several e-books on Overdrive about knitting and crocheting. After signing into Overdrive, click on “Subjects,” scroll down to the nonfiction section, and click on “Crafts” to see what options are available.

And if you’re new to knitting or need a refresher, try the “Knitting 101” course available on Universal Class.

More Ideas

And you can always check out books on other crafts, like:


-Loom knitting

-Cross stitch

-Latch hook

Keep checking future issues of the newspaper for other hobby resources, like scrapbooking, landscaping and poetry writing.


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Needlecraft projects can make great gifts. The above crochet projects were made by Sebring Library Assistant Jennifer McConkey

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Pictured above are Sebring Public Library staff members wearing masks sewn by coworkers Kim Stone and Estela Prieto-Formisano.