Monday, October 5, 2009

Going Green

Though it's been a while, I decided to take a little time to talk about going green. I know everyone is doing it, but does anyone realize that by going green is basically the same as what our grandparents and great-grandparents were doing all the time?

The ReadyMop pads and cleaning solution I posted before is just one step in combining the old with the new. It also saves me alot of money since I don't buy the solution or pads anymore. The solution only costs me about $1 to make by the gallon and I use it more than just on the floor.

I keep looking around the internet for different ways to replace what I use with cost effective alternatives. I'm still currently for an alternative for the dishwasher, since the baking soda/borax mix that is currently out there just doesn't get the dishes clean enough for me. The best I have been able to come up with is a mix of the soda/borax with GV dishwasher powder. When I looked over the box, it has both of those ingrediants in it, but also emzynes that help remove the food. So I've been using that for my mix.

My newest love is the laundry soap recipe I found. It came from the Duggers' website (18 and counting, or is 19 and counting now?). Their recipe for the powdered laundry soap works wonders here, but I ended up making a few changes to it.

For one, I use Ivory Soap bars. And the best way to shred it is to open the bars up enough to let them dry out for a week (or longer) first, then use a cheese grater to grate them. Then I mix it all in a clean Ice Cream bucket and use a 1/8c coffee scoop per load. It hasn't built up on the clothes and they smell nice and clean when it's done. I actually had enough to fill a one gallon ice cream bucket using 4 bars of soap. And it cost less than $10 to get that much. Plus I still have some of the borax and washing soda left over for other things.

As I find more out there, I will post where I find them and what I think about how they work.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kitty's Barefoot Sandals

Ok, I had to take a break from working on the sweater, especially as I have a lot going on in the family at the moment. Tonight, my thoughts turned to summer and warmer weather, so I started pulling out some patterns for Barefoot sandals. Well, the pattens I do have either take special elastic thread, or creating long ties that end up hurting the back of my ankle when I put my feet up. So after some thought and a little experiment, I came up with this pattern:

Kitty's barefoot sandal

Sz 10 Crochet thread-- Your choice of color, one ball will make too many for a sane person to keep track of
4 4mm beads in coordinating colors (or whatever beads you want, but it must be at least the 4mm size- though you may go bigger) 6mm or larger, only need 2
US 7 crochet hook

This was made to fit my big, sz 10 feet, but my daughter loves them as is for her sz 7, so adjust as needed for size of foot you are making them for.

Ch 25, join in to 1st chain to form ring
Ch 1, sc around chain until completely covered, sl st into 1st sc.
Ch 1, sc in 1st 3 sc of ring, turn

Ch 1 (does not count as starting sc) sc in each sc. Repeat this row until 37 rows completed, or until it will fit comfortably (w/o stretching) from second toe to ankle.
Next row: Ch1, put bead on hook, sc in first sc around bead to secure it. Sc in next sc, put bead on hook and sc in last sc. (If you feel better about it, you may string the beads on the thread before hand and just do a beaded crochet stitch, the choice is yours)
Optional—if you used a larger bead, then sc, add bead, sc.
Now Create a chain that will around the ankle and just touch the bead(s) on the other side, plus 15 chains.
Sc in 15th chain from hook, sc in each ch until back to the bead(s). Finish off and weave in ends.

When I made mine, I wove the beginning tail into the ring when I covered it, and used the end tail to go back through the beads a few more times to make sure the beads were secure.

To wear: Slip covered chain over toe, then wrap ankle strap around ankle and slip other loop over beads. Enjoy your new "sandals" this summer.

I've been the type of person that really don't like wearing shoes, though as I get older, I find I can't handle the hot pavement during the summer. My father always called me an Okie for not wanting to wear shoes all the time. So this is my answer to those that can't stand seeing me w/o shoes, while I get to relax with no shoes on.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lion Brand Casual Comfort Pullover

ok, I'm taking a break from writing patterns to finally work on a sweater. I asked Lion Brand if I can post some of the changes I've made to their sweater, especially since I cannot wear wool, and they have given me permission for this. I will update this with a picture when I'm done, as well as give you an amount of yarn I used for it. The orginal pattern can be found here, Casual Comfort Pullover. I'm making mine in the 1X-2X size,

So far, here are the changes I've made to the pattern:
Use Red Heart Super saver yarn, 5oz balls in Grey Heather-- So far, I've used 6 balls and still have some yardage to go, and I'm just finished the placing of the sleeves on the holders.

Where the pattern calls for using 2 strands of yarn held together, hold 4 strands.

Now, at the time I started this, Lion brand hadn't posted the corrections about using double pointed needles, and the cast on at the top of the body was too small to use with my 19 needles, so I started with the neck. So cast on 54 stitches, join w/o twisting and knit 5 rows.
Next row: Decrease 10 stitches evenly around.
Knit 5 rows.
Next row: Decrease 8 stitches evenly around.
Knit 5 rows.
Now this will put you at the top of the body with 36 sts on the needles. Knit the Set Up Round as written in the pattern.

From here, you will follow the pattern as written, except where it has you knitting into one strand for the increase, knit into 2 strands.

I also used 2 other circular needles for stitch holders, kind of "tying" them together after moving the stitches onto them.

Now I will add here that the orginal pattern calls for the sleeves to be sewn to the body after they were made, you know, where you picked up the stitches for the sleeves and started knitting them. I'm planning on picking up a few extra stitches here so I can elimate the need to sew that hole closed. I'm also planning on making them longer. As I get to that step, I will let you know what I did and how many stitches I added, as well as the length.

I'm hoping this will help others that have the same problem I have with wool, and give you another way to make this lovely sweater.