Sustainable Home Life

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.





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 greenlivingtips.com 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!
Tracey

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  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