In the Kitchen

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

Make your Own Kitchen Cloth: Part 2

DIY DISH CLOTH MAIN PIC.jpg

Earth day is almost here. Want to make a small change in your life that will lessen your carbon foot print? This is part 2 of crocheting your own dish cloth. Part 1 is right here I’ve been using Blue Sky Organic Worsted Cotton but you can use any sort of worsted weight. I like this cloths because it is pretty absorbent. Materials: size J crochet hook

1 skein worsted weight cotton

Instructions:

  1. after chaining 26 you will need to start working back.

2. Insert hook into the second loop from the end.

crochet dish cloth

3. Wrap yarn around hook towards you and under the throat. What’s the throat? See below diagram.

anatomy of a crochet hook
STEP 3.jpg
Step 2 make sure on top of the hook you see these two yarns, this stitch. This way you know you did not insert into the wrong section.

Step 2 make sure on top of the hook you see these two yarns, this stitch. This way you know you did not insert into the wrong section.

step 5.

step 5.

4. Now there are 2 loops on the hook.

5. Wrap yarn towards you around hook and pull thru both loops. You are back to one loop on the hook. Repeat steps 2 thru 5 until end of row.

6. At end of row the last stitch can be tricky. The entry is a bit tight. See circled stitch below.

Step 6.

Step 6.

Step 7. This is also a single crochet.

Step 7. This is also a single crochet.

Once you reach 5” high begin to bind off.

Step 1. Insert hook into loop as if you are creating a single crochet.

Step 2. With 2 loops on the hook pull the furthest loop from the head over the first loop and off the hook.

Step 2.

Step 2.

You are left with one loop on the hook. Repeat above steps until you reach end of row.

Step 3. You have reached the end with one loop on the hook. Cut your yarn from the main ball and pull thru the loop.

Step 4. Pull the tail thru the stitches 3 or 4 times. You can use a darning needle for this.


One of my favorite table top cleaners is from  Common Goods  that I get refilled army local General Goods Store,  Annies Blue Ribbon.

One of my favorite table top cleaners is from Common Goods that I get refilled army local General Goods Store, Annies Blue Ribbon.

Now get cleaning!

And to wash this cloth, just throw in with your other towels. I wash everything on cold and tumble dry or line dry.
Would love to hear and see what you made. What yarn did you use?

Thanks for reading and Happy Earth Day!

Tracey

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.


INSTRUCTIONS, Part 1:


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.





In the Kitchen, Sustainable Home Life

What do you scrub with?

Andy Warhol Brillo Soap Pads Box photo from  warhol.org

Andy Warhol Brillo Soap Pads Box photo from warhol.org

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.

Tracey

In the Kitchen

My Favorite Homemade Salsa

FAVORITE SALSA

 

Years ago I worked in Nantucket, Massachusetts for a summer. Nantucket if you do not know is a little island in the Atlantic off of Cape Cod, 30 miles out to sea.  I was in college and worked as a chambermaid, yes that's what I was called. I was basically housekeeping at a bed and breakfast called the Four Chimneys.  One of the many jobs we had was to put out chef made snacks around 4 pm with wine and beer for the guests.  The chef, who was a student at The CIA at The Hotel School at Cornell, made the most delicious, refreshing salsa I ever tasted.  I learned it was from a book called Home Cooking from Nantucket by Nancy Asche Ivas.  

Now closed, The Four Chimneys Inn

Now closed, The Four Chimneys Inn

Now when I mentioned in the beginning that years ago I worked in Nantucket, I mean about 25 years ago.  At 18 I moved to Nantucket for the summer.  My second time to the island; my first being when I was 11 with my parents just for the day.   People say Nantucket is magical, a happy place and I think it may be.  I introduced my husband to the island when he was my then boyfriend.  He proposed to me on the island, and then we got married on the island.  There is something beautiful about it.  It is 30 miles out to sea and has a rich history.  A small village island in New England that is only a 30 minute flight from NYC.  

nantucket map.png

Looking back on it do all roads in my life lead to Nantucket? Even when I lived on the west coast I came to this island for vacations.

This is a great recipe to pack for a picnic because you can  make it a day in advance. And also this will last up to 2 weeks. That is if you don't eat it all right away. 

INGREDIENTS SALSA

Your ingredients:

4 ripe tomatoes (hello summer tomatoes!)

2 jalapeños (get out to that garden or fire escape and harvest your peppers)

1 small can tomato sauce or 1/4 cup V8

1 teaspoon garlic minced

salt to taste

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped (window box herb garden)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 scallions

juice of 1 lemon or lime (optional)

1  1/2 tsp. olive oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients, I usually am in a rush and use a mini chopper but you can cut everything up by hand if you want.  If you want a chunky salsa you should manually cut up the ingredients.  Pour into a bowl or storage container. Store overnight so the ingredients can settle and do the work.  If you don't have over night time, you can also make in the morning or afternoon for dinner.  The salsa is still quite good but the jalapeños definitely need some time to heat up the salsa.  Enjoy!

Here is a link to the book  this can be purchased thru Nantucket Bookworks which is a small, independent book store on the island, and my favorite bookstore ever.

Enjoy!

In the Kitchen, Product

Tea Towel vs. Dish Towel

When I work at markets, which is a few times a year, many people ask what a tea towel is and what's the difference between a tea towel and a dish towel.  I usually respond with that a tea towel comes from the British tea time and it's a bit nicer way of saying dish towel .  Some believe that the quality of the towel is what distinguishes it.  Some towels are terry cotton (like a bath towel, a looped weave), flat cotton, linen or linen cotton. 

I found a very interesting article on Huffington Post.  It is  a few years old but still relevant. The author is Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson and she spoke with the American Textile Museum. 

Click here to read

I love the many historical reasons she discovered.  Tea towels are one of my main staples in the kitchen and in my Etsy Shop.  I find them to be totally utilitarian, a great gift when visiting friends for dinner or a longer period and a great gift to get people when traveling.  Are you as big a fan as me with tea towels?

Tracey