DIY, Eco, In the Kitchen, Sustainable Home Life, Tutorials

Make your own Kitchen Cloth - DIY tutorial - Part 1

For the past few months I have been carrying a project bag in my purse. Harper is now 5, so after school pick up we usually head to the playground. She plays, I sit and crochet. Also, this uses up small amounts of yarn and is a small enough project to carry around. I’ve been using organic Blue Sky worsted cotton. It’s incredibly soft not to mention eco friendly. So if you want to make someone a housewarming gift or new baby gift these cloths are perfect. They make great wash cloths, so soft on the skin and feel so durable. I use a few for my face cloths, Harper uses some in her bath and now I am making crocheted ones for the kitchen.

Ok so THE CONS: I do realise that sometimes a knitted or crocheted cloth won’t scrub like a sponge. It may not provide the scrub one needs on a soup caked pot. For that I will use my spaghetti scrub that I mentioned in my last post.

Another CON: at first I had a hard time using nice cotton for the kitchen, but honestly it’s nice because it’s durable, good for the environment and fair trade. So I should just get over myself and use the beautiful cotton yarn. I bought the yarn for these reasons.

PROS: you get to use up all your scrap and leftover yarn, you won’t be buying sponges anymore and you get to do some crafting. t

I experimented with a few size hooks, the same yarn and the same pattern with a little variation for size of the cloth. I used 2 hooks, a size J, 6” by Addi and Chiao Goo bamboo hook in 5.5 mm.


1. Make your foundation chain of 26 stitches. Make a slip knot with your yarn, looks like a pretzel. With your right hand pull the yarn tail over the rest of the yarn, create a loop. The left side lays on top of the yarn and the tail part will lay under the right side of the pretzel.

Make your slip knot, notice that the tail right side is under the yarn.

Make your slip knot, notice that the tail right side is under the yarn.

Step 2, slide hook into pretzel knot.

Step 2, slide hook into pretzel knot.

Pull slip knot on hook by pulling the two tails.

Pull slip knot on hook by pulling the two tails.

Slip knot hugging your hook, time to start the chain.

Slip knot hugging your hook, time to start the chain.

Starting the chain. With your left hand, ring finger and thumb hold the slipknot, the yarn is over your index finger. With your right hand, hold the hook and the yarn on the hook. Wrap yarn over (yo) and under the hook, then slide loop that’s on the hook over the tip and the yarn you just wrapped over. This is one stitch of the chain stitch. Continue this for 26 stitches. I have done the sample in green but the actual cloths I made are in white and pink.

After chaining 26 it should look like this.

After chaining 26 it should look like this.

In the next post I will continue to show you the pattern of making the dishcloth.

Sustainable Home Life, Eco

How often do you Throw out your Kitchen Sponge?

twist sponge, one of the better and safer ones. loofah on top and sponge underneath.

twist sponge, one of the better and safer ones. loofah on top and sponge underneath.

Do you use a sponge in your kitchen? How often do you replace it? I’ve heard kitchen sponges are harmful, for us and the environment. When I started to read up on it, oh wow and very gross. One, the unfriendliness to the eco system and two, the bacteria that sponges hold. So much dangerous bacteria that people who have an illness already can become more sick. NY Times has a very enlightening article on the bacteria that you can read here. So yea sponges hold a lot of bacteria and using the microwave or dishwasher to clean them doesn’t work. So we humans came up with anti-bacterial sponges. Yay! No…. Once again humans are trying to make life easier but is harming the environment as a result.

Sponges are made of plastic and have a chemical called Triclosan. This is registered with the EPA as a pesticide. It destroys fragile aquatic eco systems especially algae that other animals may depend on. So you have a sponge that is “anti-bacterial”. It tells you on the packaging. How often do you replace your sponge? Some replace once a week, we replace ours when it’s pretty exhausted looking. So it gets thrown out, makes it way to a landfill or waterway. Because it is anti-bacterial, sewage and waste water treatment plants can’t remove it. As of 2009 it is one of the main chemicals found in US streams. I learned this on a very good website on eco issues. Another negative of the kitchen sponge is that sponges are made of plastic and as you know plastic doesn’t break down.

So what do we do?

You can buy a cellulose sponge. Cellulose sponges are made from 100% organic or bio-degradable materials. Cellulose is sourced from plantation forests or recycled. If you buy a cellulose sponge be sure to read the packaging to make sure it was not impregnated with polyester, another form of plastic. Cellulose sponges do break down and pure cellulose resists bacteria.

Another option is popular brand that you can find in most stores called Twist. They have a wide selection from loofah sponge to the raviolli sponge. Yes, raviolli. All made from natural fibers: hemp, agave, loofah and cotto

Wood brush: great for cleaning those tough jobs, made with a wood handle and natural tapioca fibre bristles, with a replaceable head. The online store, Wild Minimalist, carries an awesome selection of supplies to make a zero waste life.

wood handle dish brush from Wild Minimalist

wood handle dish brush from Wild Minimalist

Another alternative is making your own. In my next post I will show you how to easily whip up your own kitchens scrubbers while on the go.

Thanks for reading!

I receive no payments or products for the businesses I mention. My opinions are thru my own experiences.

In the Kitchen, Sustainable Home Life

What do you scrub with?

Andy Warhol Brillo Soap Pads Box photo from

Andy Warhol Brillo Soap Pads Box photo from

What do you scrub with? Now when I say that I am referring to your dishes, pots, pans. I grew up using brillo, well watching my mother use brillo and then eventually I used brillo. We do what our parents did right? That steel wool with pink powder caked on it, such a heavy, dried soap feeling. Up until last year I still did occasionally use brillo. Up until last year….. so what changed. And please note this is not a paid advertisement. I am getting no money for this. Just sharing something I like that is part of my journey for a more sustainable home and life.

I belong to a subscription service called Mighty Nest. Each month I am sent an item that is eco friendly, green and helping me live a healthier life. I have discovered so many items thru Mighty Nest. That I probably will share here so I am not going to tell you about them now. Sorry.

May I introduce you to the Spaghetti Scrub. It’s more like fettuccini and it has nothing to do with pasta grains. It comes from fabric and peach pits, which blows my mind!

the spaghetti scrub  photo from Mighty Nest

the spaghetti scrub photo from Mighty Nest

At first I was hesitant to try it, I don’t know why. Maybe it scared me a bit which I know sounds bizarre. Maybe I thought it would disintegrate once I used it. It doesn’t. It’s oddly sturdy and is way better than brillo. And it lasts and lasts. We are a family of 3 and cook dinner at home about 4 times a week. I use this scrub for pots and pans. Ours lasted a little over 6 months. And on the hands it is softer than brillo.

spaghetti scrub

How is it eco friendly? You don’t need to use soap, you can if you want but you don’t need to. It comes in brown paper packaging that is recycled and can be recycled again. Most sponges come in plastic wrap that end up in the landfill as well as that sponge.

Here is my second scrub that I just received. I was going to give it to someone but I decided to keep it for myself and buy more as gifts. I will try to remember and update this post once my scrub has disintegrated. But as I said, it takes awhile.

If you ever tried one or something similar I would love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading.


Books Reading

Happy New Year and Gettin’ Cozy!

Start the new year positive. That’s what everyone says.  And it is a good thought, a great idea. Begin with a new slate.  It was challenging to do that this year while sitting on the couch battling a bad virus of drippy nose, post nasal drip and sinuses in such pain all I could do was squeeze my head.  Most Christmas holidays I end up getting a cold. Body exhausted from holiday prep and work. I think most people are worn down. It’s a busy time of year for me, with holiday craft and maker markets and custom orders, daily life unravels quickly.  Secret Santa for my daughters class, Secret Santa for my family which means I also have to do not only my secret Santa but my daughters.  I used to enjoy Christmas, so much that my sister nicknamed me Tracey Christmas.  The songs, the decorations, the nutcracker, the smell of Christmas trees, making a wreath.  I loved and still do love it all.  Now life gets too busy where we can’t enjoy life.  What can be done differently in 2019?  I don’t do resolutions but it is a nice time to reflect, recharge and reacess.

Which leads me to clean up time, clutter clearing and destashing. Maria Kondo is the latest craze. I bought her book two years ago.  I read some of it. And now she has a Netflix series.  My husband and I watched episode one. His closet now looks like he is leaving me. He is very good and getting rid of unnecessary things. And apparently he’s not the only one. According to the news, people are clearing out so much that charities are overloaded.  That’s always a problem in Brooklyn.  We have so much that charities want new with tags or refuse your items. How can we get rid of stuff, and keep a clear area. Lessen our footprint.

So what’s my point? What is my point. Carbon footprints. I really don’t want to show you my messy, overcrowded studio.   If I do will it make me more accountable? Maybe. But I do need to get rid of stuff, fabrics. We all do. Our local weekly farmer’s market has a regular vendor who will take your unwanted fabrics and recycle them. Another book I read recently that I really enjoyed and was relatable to me is American Cozy by Stephanie Pedersen.


This is based on the other latest craze hygge. Although it is hygge inspired and is an inspiration read for us American who are clutter bugs. I don’t want bugs in my studio and when there is so much crap everywhere I feel like I may uncover some critter every time I move a large container of fabric. So I am getting rid of stuff, I just need to. For my own sanity.

So 2019 what are you going to be? Lessen my footprint. Make an effort to do so.

Do you have any decluttering, how to deal with the emotions of throwing out fabric?


Fabrics, Market

This Saturday, Stuff You Should Buy

stuff you should buy

This Saturday is one of the best markets in the area and it’s supporting a NY Public School, Stuff you Should Buy, will be held December 8th from 10 am to 5 pm. The next best thing besides there being 75 awesome handmade vendors? There is an area to drop your kid off for crafting and you go do the shopping.

And….a little peek of some new product I will have with me.

So I hope to see you there. And for an extra 20% off tell me you saw this post and what do you think of those old llamas?!    Tracey

So I hope to see you there. And for an extra 20% off tell me you saw this post and what do you think of those old llamas?!