Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I may never get to knit again

Ok, well, thats being a little dramatic.  I get to knit for approximately 30 minutes once a week.  So I should be able to complete at least one project by maybe the middle of the summer.

You see, there are so many things on the to do list that there just isn't a lot of time left over for knitting.  And its not just the 'have to do' list thats getting in the way.  Even the 'want to do' list is getting in the way. I have to get my living room feeling less claustrophobic.  The whole room has started to close in on me and its making me nuts.  To the point that I just want to box it all up and have the room be completely empty if thats what it takes to feel better about it.  And then I have to get my chaotic craft room/office under control.  Ever since we had to empty out the guest room to make it a nursery its been a disaster area, which is not at all conducive to effectively working.  Or crafting for that matter.  And then there is the garage.  And the lawn.  And the pantry.  You get the idea.

And then we move on to the want to's.  I want to make a fleece blanket for Evelyn.  I have wanted to make a fleece blanket for her since before I know she was a she.  I have been planning to make this blanket since I got pregnant.  I finally took the first step and bought the fleece, but that was a couple weeks ago now and it has just been sitting in the bag I brought it home from the store in, just one more thing sitting in my craft room / office.  Its not a hard project, it just requires time.  And space.  I need to lay out both pieces of fleece flat and pin them together.  Once that it done then its all about cutting strips and tying them together.  Not hard, just takes time.  And there is always something else needing my time.

And dryer balls.  I LOVE that the dryer balls are selling, don't get me wrong.  But if I have a spare moment, I don't pick up knitting needles, I just pick up wool.  At least people want to buy dryer balls in the spring, unlike knitting.  That is the main reason I am taking the spring off from shows.  Even if everything I knit is cotton people still don't want knitted stuff in the spring.  People don't know what they are missing, but oh well.  So yes, I have been making a lot of dryer balls and at least I get to play with color that way.

But really, that handspun cowl that only has three more rows left on it, I really just want to sit down and finish that.  But then I might feel guilty for not folding the laundry.  Or putting away the dishes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress

I am making progress on that project I am knitting with my first handspun.  I LOVE how the colors are knitting up.

I am going for the random or messy-on-purpose look here.  It seems to suit the unevenness of the yarn and playfulness of the many colors.  To achieve the messy look I am just doing YO, k2tog but changing up where the YO starts.  So basically if you looked really closely, every once in a while you would see a single knit next to a k2tog or a k3tog to change up the starting point.

I am just about to start the border again and the bind off.  I will have to take a picture of the completed project just to post because the weather has gotten so warm I don't know if I will get to wear it this winter or if I will have to wait all the way until next!

Not that I object, I am loving the warm weather.

Well, except for the painful sinuses.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cleaning Up

I'm still "making," even when I am not knitting as much.  Speaking of which, and I'll get on to the real topic in just a minute, I finally got up the guts to start knitting with that handspun I made so long ago.  It seriously feels like forever, I guess it was last spring though.  Anyway, it is on its way to becoming a cowl and I will definitely post pics when it is done.

So my wee one and my cloth diapering adventures have inspired me to become a little more green (or a little more crunchy, as some might see it) in the rest of my life.  I've often thought about making my own cleaning products, but never got around to actually doing it.  I mean, yes, I did basic things like run vinegar through my coffee pot and pour baking soda followed by vinegar down a slow drain, but I had never sat down and worked on figuring out how to replace all of my household cleaners with stuff I made.  Luckily, I have friends who are just as in to this as I am, some with more experience than I have, and I have some great reference materials.

Yesterday, armed with a 13lb bag of baking soda, 2 1/2 gallons of vinegar, a box or borax, a box of washing soda, some LemiShine standing in for citric acid, a few random bars of hotel soap, and various recycled containers, I had a couple friends over to get started because making things is always more fun as a group.

We decided to make the following things:
Dishwasher Detergent
Stain Gel
Diaper Pail Freshener
Fabric Softener

The first step was to pick some recipes.  I was armed with The Peaceful Housewife's e-book, The Green Grandma's book Vinegar Fridays, Home Ec 101, and a natural cleaners e-book I grabbed for free in the Kindle store one day.  We ended up using The Peaceful Housewife's recipes for the most part.  Vinegar Fridays is a great tips and tricks book with plenty of recipes as well, many of them very similar to The Peaceful Housewife's e-book.  The e-book is very clear and easy to follow, so it was easy just to bring it up on the screen and follow the recipes.  Vinegar Fridays is written more conversationally and covers much more, but it has no index so we went with what was easy for this first get together.  Buying supplies at Sam's Club and splitting the cost makes it even cheaper for everyone than it already is, so I recommend going that route if you and some friends want to try making your own cleaning products.

We started by making enough of each thing that we would each have a decent amount to take home and test drive.  The only one I have had the opportunity to try so far is the dish detergent, but I am a fan so far.  The hard water hear usually leaves me with cloudy glass ware, I've tried a few different detergents and wash procedures to try and fix this and this morning might be the clearest and sparkliest my glasses have been in a while.  I am excited to try all the others and I will try and be sure to let you all know how it goes.  I'm 100% positive I am going to love the diaper pail freshener because I already use the same thing purchased from The Peaceful Housewife's store.  I am planning to try the fabric softener out on a load of towels because that is usually the most static-y load of laundry I do.  We never used fabric softener before, but way back before the cloth diapering we used to use unscented dryer sheets and Jenny even has a solution for that (she basically tells you to make a dryer sheet out of the fabric softener that you just made and a washcloth.  Clever, right?)

I mentioned those recycled containers, remember?  Well rather than buy containers, wash out and keep things that open and close easily.  I like containers with screw on lids, like empty salsa jars, peanut butter jars, etc. just make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and completely dry before using!

So why didn't we make laundry detergent since that seems to be one that many people start with when they start making their own cleaners?  Well 2 of us already had 500 load supplies from The Peaceful Housewife, so I think we're set for a while!

Do you make your own cleaning supplies?  If so, what do you make and where do you find your recipes?