Posts Tagged With: diy

Just for Knits and Giggles

The Herban Cowboy and I like to sit around in the evenings and watch movies together.  We’re both writers and performers, so we love to analyze a good show to death.  We discuss acting, character development, writing, plot devices, and whatever else strikes us.  It’s fun, but there’s not a lot to DO while you’re watching movies.  Except eat.  Which I discovered I was doing way too much of.

I needed something to do with my hands besides cram food into my face hole.  So I decided to try knitting.

Not knowing anything about it, I decided to start small.  I got a stack of books from the library, chose a simple scarf, got a pair of needles and a ball of yarn.  When something confused me about the written instructions in the book, I looked it up on YouTube, which contains thousands of knitting tutorials.

Works in progress.

It is now almost a year later and I can’t stop knitting.  It’s like a groovy meditation: the steady click of the needles, the endless repetition of stitches, the counting and measuring.  I love building something step by step, stitch by stitch.  I love that the end result is practical and useful.  I love thinking about the recipient as I’m making their gift.  How did I make it 40 years without discovering this obsession?

I started with scarves and moved on to hats, fingerless mittens, headbands, sweaters, bookmarks, dishcloths, and finger puppets.  Every gift that every friend has received from me in the last year has been some kind of hand knit thing. I even opened an Etsy store to sell my overstock (it’s Herban Cowgirl Knits in my blogroll in the right sidebar).

This is the listing that gets the most hits on my Etsy site. I’m pretty sure it’s the quality workmanship and beautiful fiber choice, not my spectacular cleavage.

Once people found out about my new addiction, I got lots of knitting gifts.  People gave me knitting books and patterns.  My Mom brought me yarn she found on sale.  My Mother-in-law gave me a whole bag full of knitting needles.  A friend gifted me with a giant plastic zip bag full of yarn she needed to get rid of.

Most women have dresser drawers full of clothes. My drawers are full of yarn.

At any given time, I’m working on 4 or 5 different projects.  Something for my Etsy store, something for me, a new technique I’m learning, gifts for friends and family.

I get better and faster with each project I knit.  I’ve also watched an embarrassing amount of TV.  I’ve discovered there are a surprising amount of X-Files episodes I’ve missed.  And that the Golden Girls never once jumped the shark, not in 7 entire seasons.  And that I can’t watch enough Doctor Who.

A little help from Loki, the new kitty.

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Categories: Just For Fun, Stitchin' Bitchin', To DIY For | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Homemade Laundry Soap

I just sat here for 15 actual minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post.  Clearly I have failed, but decided to press on anyway.

Back when the Herban Cowgirls were blogging at “Hex and the City” I did a post about homemade laundry detergent.  <http://herbancowgirls.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/the-neverending-laundry/>  That was nearly two years ago, and I’ve been washing with my homemade soap ever since.  And I have spent less than $10 on ingredients in that time.  You heard me.  Ten.  Dollars.

Today I’m making a fresh batch, and I’m using this recipe from the Simple Dollar:  <http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/04/09/making-your-own-laundry-detergent-a-detailed-visual-guide/>  I finally found washing soda in my area, so I’ll be interested to see if I can discern any difference between my old formula and the new recipe.

The cleaning cabinet in my kitchen. Washing soda, borax, and baking soda nestled in between the kitchen towels, cloth napkins, and cleaning rags.

I love my homemade laundry soap.  One batch lasts months, my clothes don’t have an artificial perfume smell, and it costs pennies a load.  I keep the big batch in the bucket I make it in, but I’ve got an old detergent bottle that I pour some into to work from.  It is kind of a pain to pour off more detergent from the giant bucket, but it’s way less of a pain than driving to the store and spending up to $12.99 when the bottle runs dry.

Herban Cowgirl Laundry Wash

Once last summer, my shirts got a bit “pitted out” (South Georgia summer is harsh y’all).  I broke down and bought a bottle of commercial laundry detergent, thinking my clothes just weren’t getting clean enough.  The laundry came out with shirts that smelled like armpits and perfume.  I was so annoyed.  I ended up tossing one shirt as a lost cause, and alternating vinegar and baking soda treatments worked on the rest of them.

In short, I love my homemade laundry soap.  It easy, cheap, and quick to make.  Win.  Win.  WIN.

Categories: Possum Living, The Homestead, To DIY For | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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