Jul 31, 2008

Napkins & Body Wash

What a combo for the title, I know. I couldn't think of anything really snappy.

I thought it  was time for another green post. We've been doing a few things here in the luvs2knit house to help with waste. The first one is paper napkins. We are tired of throwing away napkins so I sat down at the sewing machine and threw together a stack of cloth napkins.


They were quickly thrown together so the top seam isn't invisible but we don't care because they're only being used to wipe faces and hands. I made some out of terry cloth (stripey ones) and some out of cotton it two different sizes. We wanted to see which ones we liked best. The cotton cloths are the winner. No I will no be creating more laundry by using these napkins. They'll be washed with the towels so I'm not creating another load of laundry thus wasting more water. I know I can buy paper napkins made out of recycled materials but the cloth napkins are going to cost less in the long run and create less waste at the landfill.

The second thing we've done is replace our liquid body wash with bar soap and our plastic shower puff with wash rags. We bought glycerin soap from The Body Shop (one of our fav places to shop). Their products are excellent. I have never bought a bad product from them. The bar of soap will last a lot longer then a bottle of body wash. Now the bar of soap won't last longer if it sits in water so we bought soap holders by 3M which are the best soap holders we've found so far. When you put them up they stay up until you're ready for it to come down and they won't damage your shower walls. We picked ours up for about $4.99 each. So they cost a little more then some of the other soap holders out there but they are well worth the extra cash spent. We've used quite a few of 3M's shower products with great success.

I'm not saying that anyone should do exactly what we are doing. Everyone should make their own decisions and do what works best for them. What works for our family may not work for others. We are making these changes because we feel that doing so is going to make a difference.

We have noticed a difference in how much trash is taken out. We use to take out a full 13 gallon trash bag out to the big trash can every night. Now we take it out every 2-3 days. No our trash really doesn't smell bad mostly because we rinse out food & drink containers before tossing them (if they're not recyclable). We also use our garbage disposal to get rid of most food waste although the food waste is normally very little. I've gotten the portion sizes down pretty pat for our household. Excess like spaghetti is always frozen for another night or eaten for lunch the next day. One of these days I'm going to get a compost bin going. By recycling more and being more conscious about what we are buying we have cut down our waste greatly. We've actually started looking at the recycle code on the bottom of plastics before we buy it....yes we've gotten some funny looks from our fellow shoppers. We've also found fellow recyclers too.

We bought the reusable bags for grocery shopping and I've noticed that more shoppers here on base are starting to do the same thing. It was also great to go to the BX and see that they had the reusable bags for sale too. Go check out this website to see some really go info on plastic bags. It's worth the read and a real eye opener. I can guarantee you that I won't be using anymore plastic bags. Yes the reusable bags are going to cost you money but you can continue to use them over and over again. I really hope that more US cities follow San Francisco's lead and ban plastic bags.

I'll leave you all with this shot of our tomatoes.


We were having problems with Blossom End Rot, which depending on who you ask can be caused from one of a half dozen reasons. So far the treatment we've tried has helped and hopefully soon we will have tomatoes. I really want some tomatoes! I guess this is a learning experience for next year.

Jul 27, 2008

Just Knittin' & Sewin'


Nothing makes a day better then a Venti Carmel Frapp from Starbucks. Yum! OK maybe hugs, kisses and giggles from my girls beat the Frapp but it's a close second!  ;~)

I've stayed pretty busy but that's nothing new. Things are never quiet around here. It's hard to believe that summer vacation is almost over and Kaity will be going back to school soon. Yikes! Must get school shopping done this payday. School supplies and new jeans are on the list of must buys! More good news, Bree has decided that she likes her nap in the afternoon a lot more then she wants to stay up an play. She's taken a nap every day for the past week or so.

I finished the sample knit for Madelinetosh and will show you all when I get the go ahead.

Here's what I've been working on since the last post.

Kaity's A Good Stripe Dress:


I'm making great progress with this one. I think this one will be long enough that she'll get a second summer out of it since the summers are shorter here. After I'm finished with the purple stripe I'm currently working on I'll have 5 more stripes to go, then the knitting the edging for the arms & neck and the collar.

My Phenomena socks:


They now have heels and I'm working on the cuff. It won't be long before I have these off the needles and on my feet.

I've also finished another test knit for Woolgirl and I'll show that to you as soon as I can. Most of my knits for Woolgirl are for kits and the sock club so I can't show those until they've been received by the members of those clubs.

The sewing machine came out for a little while too. I made some napkins to replace the paper napkins we use to use. I'm going to post about the napkins in my next post later this week. I also made the dogs some blankies for their kennels using some leftover fleece from a blanket I made Kaity when she was a baby.


This makes their kennels more comfy. I crocheted Zeus a blankie before we moved to Montana but apparently he doesn't like scratchy acrylic....he ripped it to shreds. He does seem to be pleased with the fleece blankie. We'll see how long this one lasts.

I've also gotten a few goodies since my last post. First up is some stuff I scored off of ebay.


I picked up some Patons Stretch sock and the pattern book which contains a good number of patterns. There are 3 patterns for crochet socks which is the biggest reason I bought the book. I'd like to try crocheting some socks. The booklet also has 5 different knit sock patterns, a knit patterns for fingerless mitts, headband, hat, and footless thigh highs. The pedicure sock pattern was a freebie pattern. The other is quite obviously Noro. I could not resist the Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. Hello this stuff is nice. The colors are mega gorgeous and the yarn is soft. You can now get the Noro Silk Garden at TLE. I picked mine up at ebay cheap ($15) and paid for first class shipping. I hate having to pay $6 for shipping** on a skein of yarn and right now I can't get several skeins of yarn to justify the shipping. I need to save the rest of my money for the big order I'm placing with WEBS. It's big enough to get the 25% discount.

**No this is not me complaining about web stores charging $6 for shipping. I have absolutely no problem with the shipping prices. I just saw the yarn way cheaper on ebay and took advatage of it. The total I paid was what it would have cost me without shipping from any of the stores that are carrying it right now.

My 7 Deadly Spins club shipment came in. Head over to Flickr if you want to see it. I'm iffy iffy on the project. I'll probably use the yarn for something else for me but Kaity likes the pattern so I'll get some different yarn and make it for her. Who knows, I may change my mind and knit it.

Meet the newest member of the luvs2knit family.


Kaity is now the proud owner of a Betta fish. He's been named Blue and both girls get a kick out of watching him swim around. He's a pretty blue and red. Right now he's in a 1 gallon aquarium but he's going to eventually moved to a 5 gallon tank.

That sums up what's been going on since my last knitting related post.

Jul 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

It's hard to believe that my baby turn 2 today!

At Birth:




Bree is modeling one of the dresses my mom made for her. We are going to celebrate her b-day on the 1st to give Kaity a chance to get something for Bree. It's important to Kaity that she select a present for her sis.

Here's a shot of all three dresses.


It was a toss up for Bree on which was her favorite, the Wall-E birthday card or the Tigger dress. She hasn't put the card down since we handed it to her but she wants to wear the dress. We've heard a combination of Wall-E and Tigger coming from Bree since we opened the box. Very cute and the bonus is they are tad big on Bree so she should be able to wear them next summer.

Happy Birthday Toot!

Jul 17, 2008

Very Little Progress

There are some seriously crazy people in this world. I love watching how things sell on ebay. The trends and everything and from time to time I get a good buy. We all remember the SweetGeorgia frenzy when she stopped dying. I saw skeins of SweetGeorgia going for like $60-70 for enough yarn to make one pair of socks. I wanted to try it but not bad enough to pay that much money after all it's just yarn no matter how pretty it is. Come to think of it I never did get any to try it.

Anyway back to what I was going to say, now the yarn to fight over is Wollmeise. Check this auction out on ebay. This one skein of yarn went for a grand total of $81 plus shipping. Crazy right? Figured you guys would agree with me. The laughable thing is I have this exact same type of yarn and color in my stash. This isn't the first time this user has sold Wollmeise. They sold two skeins back in April for $43 & $46. Yes, I was curious enough to scroll through the feedback. I'm nosey what can I say.

I remember when everyone was fighting over Duets socks yarn and now I can head over to TLE and buy it any time I want to. Yarn Pirate was another one. Anyone remember what other yarns have been fought over before Wollmeise came along.

I have very little progress to show you right now. The Phenomena socks are ready for the heels to be worked and I've added a few rows to Kaity's dress. Neither are far enough along to show you a pic. I do have one knitting pic to show you.


It's a teaser of the sample I'm knitting for Madelinetosh. Once I've gotten the go ahead, I'll post the whole thing here and point you in the right direction if you're interested.

Can I distract you with yarn?


I placed a small order with Knit Picks at the beginning of the month. Yes it takes that long for the stuff to get here. The funny thing is my stuff goes from Ohio to Utah. Yes that's right it has to go right past me so that it can be turned over to the USPS in Salt Lake City who takes foooooooorever to get the box to me. Talk about a horrible waste of gas. No wonder shipping prices have gone up.

Anyway I digress....I picked up a Yarn Harlot book and 4 skeins of KP Essential which will become socks for the girls. The other skien of yarn is Yarn Pirate bamboo/merino/nylon sock yarn which of course I did not pick up from Knit Picks. I got it for a really good deal from a Ravelry user who was destashing. I love bamboo sock yarns and the price was great.

Can I distract you with some more yarn?


This is the Colinette Jitterbug I picked up from a Ravelry user who was destashing. The color is Raspberry....yum! I love these colors. These socks will definitely be a simple toe up ribbed sock since the yardage is on the short side. This is a skein with the old put up not that the new yardage is much better. I wonder how long I can get the cuffs on these? I'll split the yarn into two separate yarn cakes and knit both socks toe up at the same time.

How bout cute princesses?


The girls were playing dress up the other day and I couldn't resist getting a photo of them. Every now and then they play together without fighting.

Cute dog distraction?


Zeus finally got a haircut! He looks so much better with his new do. Shadow the shaggy mutt is next. The hair is so long on the top of her head it's covering her eyes.

How bout one last distraction?


Just in case the dog, kid and yarn distractions didn't work I figured a shot of the tomato plants might help. They are getting huge.


Both plants are loaded with various sizes of green tomatoes. Most of the tomatoes are about the size of a golf ball while the rest are around the size of a grape. Plus there are tons of flowers so more are on the way. I can't wait to pick some. I love tomatoes!

Hopefully all the distractions helped! The next post will have more knitting in it then this one, I promise.

My wee toddler has decided that she no longer needs a nap through the middle of the day. No more quiet time for mommy! It really was a sad day in the Luvs2knit household. I've had 3 hours of quiet every day for over a year now.


Yes folks this cute faced turkey has decided for herself that naps aren't needed and that she's a big girl now. Course we still have the potty training to go through and the transition to a toddler bed. She still sleeps in her crib but I'm sure that one will end soon too. The potty training is slotted to begin next payday....course it's up to Bree to cooperate.

I knew this day was coming I just didn't think it would be here so quickly. We have a week to go before her 2nd birthday. My baby is growing up! Shawn ordered her a Wall-E cupcake set up from Wal*Mart last night. I'll take pics next week when he picks it up. We went with cupcakes so we could keep what we want and then Shawn can take the rest of them to work for the guys to devour in 5.2 seconds flat.

Happy Crafting!

Jul 13, 2008


Right now I'm lacking the thought power to come up with a great title. I need to put the bathtub crayons back in the shower so I can brain storm on the shower walls. Don't laugh till you try it! I use to write all sorts of stuff on the shower walls: grocery lists, blog topics, things I needed to get done, etc. I swear everything pops into my head when I'm in the shower.

The destash went great. I sold enough so now I have a padding of fallback money for "just in case stuff happens". If I don't have to use it then it will just sit there till I need it to buy something.....never hurts to be prepared. It doesn't look like I'll need it so I picked up two things in the Ravelry ISO/Destash thread that were to good a deal to pass up.

Lets see, what have I been up to. Guess I can start with what I've been knitting on.

I started A Good Stripe Dress (Rav)(non Rav) for Kaity the other day.


Since the original dress in the Interweave Knits Spring 08 issue used yarn that would cost a small fortune ($90)** I subbed it with Knit Picks Shine Sport which is working up beautifully and only cost me around $40. Kaity picked out the colors: pink, purple and silver. I think the dress looks like the color of the bubblegum I use to chew when I was a kid. Surprisingly enough this is moving along quickly even though it's been knit on US 2 1/2/ 3mm needles. I finally stopped knitting on it long enough to weave in all those ends that are hanging around. I've actually finished the last purple stripe and have swapped back to pink again. Right now I'm working on the increases for the skirt portion of the dress.

**$90 isn't horrible if I'm going to make a sweater for myself or Shawn which we would wear for years. Actually I'd spend more then $90. However, $90 is way to much money to spend on a dress that my daughter will only wear for 1, maybe 2 summers.

The Phenomena Socks are moving along.


I have about an inch to go before starting the heel. I'm going to work a short row heel and continue the ribbing up the leg.

I bought this from Woolgirl.


It came in over a week ago but haven't gotten a chance to blog about it since it came in after the last knitting post. It's a Duet kit that comes with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and a pattern written by Cat Bordhi just for this kit called Flying Carpet Socks.

My TLE sock club came in too. It's fabulous! If you want to see it head on over to my Flickr page.

My Art Walk Sock Club has also made it here. You can see this one if you head on out to Flickr. I had to stop this one for now. I'll start it again once we're done with the car registration, dogs routine vet bills, kids winter clothes bought, etc, ect, ect.

Finally I can show you the test knit I teased you with.


I knit these stranded socks for MadelineTosh. The pattern isn't available yet but it should be out by the end of the month (July). If you want to see some much better photos head on over to Amy's blog. These are by far the most beautiful socks I've ever knit.

I'm starting another sample knit for Amy. Once I've made enough progress I'll give you all a little teaser. It's a soothing knit!

I've finally decided on a pattern to knit for cousin M's baby. I'm going with Rambling Rows (Rav)(non Rav) and I pretty sure that I'm going to use the colors below.


What do you all think about these colors? It's Cascade 220 Superwash solids and paints. I thought about using a acrylic/wool blend but decided that I'd use wool again. I really like the way the Cascade 220 Superwash holds up with wear....definitely worth spending the little extra for.

Happy Crafting!

Jul 8, 2008

Vinegar, Herbs, & Soft Clothes....

...Oh My!!

When I swapped to the 7th Generation laundry detergent I stopped using the rest of my laundry products with the exception of my favorite Spray 'N Wash Dual Power liquid stain remover. With two kids there's no way I'm going without the stain remover. You find me some easy to use all natural products that work as well as my Spray 'N Wash and I'll swap. But I digress, back to the what I was talking about. I stopped using Clorox 2, fabric softener, dryer sheets and bleach. So far the 7th Gen detergent has worked fairly well at keeping static cling at bay but I've been reading that white vinegar makes a great fabric softener.

I decided I'd give the vinegar a try. The whole point to going green was to start eliminating chemicals in our life and become more environmentally friendly. The vinegar works great and the smell really does go away between the rinse and dryer. It has hardly any smell after the rinse cycle and after you dry your clothes there is no smell at all.

Now my cloths have no scent so I decided to make my own dryer packets out of cotton and lavender.

I based mine off this post but I used cotton instead of muslin or cheese cloth. The cotton works just as good and is super easy to get a hold of. I bought a half yard of three different colors from Wal*Mart and it cost me a little over $4. Now a half yard of cotton will get you 6-9 little pouches....depending on how big you make them. You squeeze the bag, then throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes and it will leave them smelling nice when they are done drying. I recommend making several bags to rotate through so you aren't using the same bag over and over again. I have three but will probably make a few more since I do quite a bit of laundry.

Here's what I did. Instead of making 2 squares to sew together I cut one stripe that was 11 inches long and 5.5 inches wide. I then folded the cloth in half with the wrong side facing out with the folded portion as the bottom of your pouch. Take your sewing machine and sew both sides leaving the top open. I then turned the pouch in side right and filled it with 1-2 ounces of your favorite herbs. I used lavender but there are plenty of other dried herbs you can use. We prefer lavender and eucalyptus but roses and chamomile would be nice too. After you get it filled, turned the corners in on both sides and fold a couple times like you're folding a paper bag. Zip over the top of the fold from end to end with your sewing machine to seal the top. When the bag is no longer producing much of a smell rip the seams out, crush up the herbs and toss them on your carpet to sit for a few before vacuuming up. Refill the bag and resew the top.

If you're looking for bulk herbs I get mine from Starwest Botanicals. They have tons of organic herbs. Some are sold in 4oz packets and some are sold in 1lb bags. They have fast shipping and their products are excellent.


If there is enough interest I will put up a step by step photo filled post on how I made my dryer bags. Let me know if you're interested.

On the growing side of things, our tomatoes are doing wonderful.


Aren't they getting huge! We bought these great tomato support things at Ace Hardware. They're called Ultomato. They made
a tremendous difference on how our plants were growing. The limbs were
starting to sag really bad and we were afraid the weight was going to
cause some of the limbs to snap.


There are blooms all over and a few of them are starting to form tomatoes. I have a feeling we're going to have more then enough tomatoes to share with our neighbors. I can't wait to have some fresh tomatoes from my own plants. Next year I'm planning on a small herb garden to go with the tomatoes. There's nothing better then fresh herbs from your garden to spice up your foods.

We've been working on moving to more foods that are organic. The more chemicals I can cut out of my kids lives the better. We don't mind if our grocery bill goes up because we are gaining the benefits of chemical free foods. I know it sounds crazy but the organic carrots we bought the other day tasted different the the carrots we normally buy. If you haven't tried organic milk you need to. Its super smooth and very yummy. For me to say milk is yummy is quite a thing because I hate milk. I can drink the organic milk because it doesn't have a funky taste. We've get Horizon and Organic Valley. Normally we pick up Organic Valley because it's a little cheaper but the commissary doesn't always have it in stock when we need it so we buy Horizon. They are both great brands. Getting the organic milk is a lot more then what we are paying for the regular milk but I think it's worth it. A regular gallon of milk on base costs around $3....give or take about 10-15 cents. A half gallon of organic milk runs around $2.60. To us the pros outweigh the cons so we pay a little more.

I'll be back in a few days with a knitting post!

Jul 5, 2008

Finally Have an FO

It's been awhile since I last posted. Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July (for those whole celebrate). We didn't go see the fireworks because they don't start here until 10:15pm and that's just way to late to be keeping the girls up. Their normal bedtime is 8:30pm so I doubt they would have made it that late anyway. Maybe Kaity would have. We told her that next year she could go if she took a small nap during the afternoon.

I need to rant about inconsiderate A**holes that decide it's funny to set off fireworks that they aren't suppose too. Honestly last night around 11:20pm we had a explosion that rattled our windows. It sounded like EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) set off one hell of a bomb. This wasn't a normal firecracker boom here it was a half stick of dynamite type boom. You mix stupid men*, beer, and fireworks and you get a recipe for destruction. I'm sure that I'll be hearing on the news that some moron blew his hand off. Guess what, I won't feel the least bit sorry for him! Thanks for allowing me to rant.

* No I do not think all men are stupid! There are some smart ones left in this world. If you want to see stupid men at their finest watch Jackass or Jackass Number Two. If you like crude humor and people doing ridiculously stupid things that cause them lots of pain or could get them killed then the Jackass movies are for you.

I finally have all my Country mp3s loaded into iTunes. I've been putting it off for months now because it takes forever to reload all of them since there is over 1100 songs. The stink part is that I've lost three complete albums and 7 single songs.....super sigh! Somewhere along the line iTunes deleted two different accounts that I had purchased music under. Without the account name (email address) and password the mp3 will not play. You need to unlock it. I don't share my mp3s so all the write protect crap makes my life more difficult. I think it's completely worthless when you can removed it for the price of a blank CD and about 10-15 minutes of your time.

Now on to knitting. Yes, I have been doing a little knitting.

I finished Kaity's Skirtsicle (Rav)(non Rav).


She loves it and I'm loving the fact that it's not on my needles anymore. I used a 16" US7 Knit Picks circ and Peaches & Creme, color Lemonade. It's a very simple pattern with just enough to keep it from becoming boring. I knit most of it in the car on days when we were out shopping.

I finished another hat for Kristy's Hat Quest.


There's a Ravelry group for this now. I used di.Ve Teseo and the pattern He Gives Me Butterflies (Rav)(non Rav). This is a super cute pattern that is knit flat and then seamed afterwards. I doubt it would be very difficult to knit this in the round.

I finally started a pair of socks for myself.....woot!


Their just a simple toe up 2x2 ribbed sock using my June shipment from the Art Walk sock club by Zen Yarn Garden. I used a Turkish cast on and will be doing a short row heel.

I picked up a couple of books.


Who can resist stitch pattern books? Not me! Closely Knit has some great patterns in it. If you're on Ravelry you can check out some of the patterns here.

I placed my 7th order a few weeks ago through Woolgirl and now I'm now officially part of the Wooly Woolgirl Club. You can go out to my Flickr page to see what I got.....don't want to spoil it for anyone who doesn't want to know what they might get. This box came as a complete surprise to me. I didn't realize the box had been mailed.

Bree has a new love....WALL-E!


We picked up a stuffed WALL-E from the Disney Store website. Bree loves WALL-E and has been hugging this plush since we gave it to her. Shawn and Kaity went to see WALL-E last night and really liked it. We've decided that Bree is just too young to go see it in the theater but we'll buy it when it comes out on DVD.

We just got a major smack in the wallet the other day. We found out that we can't keep our car registered in Idaho like we were originally told. The lady at the DMV that Shawn talked to gave him the wrong information. So we have to move our tags to Montana pronto because our tags expire at the end of the month. Now this would be super cheap for us if I wasn't on the title of the stupid car. Since I'm on the title we have to pay half the taxes and a bunch of other fees so instead of $4 fee they charge military to register our car. It's going to cost us almost $200. So gearing up for the possibility that we aren't going to be able to come up with all the money with this short of notice I'm selling some yarn out of my stash. If all goes well I won't need to use the money but I figured it's better safe then sorry.

Edit to add: That I've removed my destash page from Ravelry. Frankly it burns my butt to be called out on something that isn't even in the guidelines and that apparently some people are allowed to break. If you want it to be a rule put it in the guidelines and call everyone on it. Don't randomly pick people to reprimand. I listed my stuff on ebay and if it sells it sells. At least ebay's rules are clear cut and easy to follow. Needless to say I will not list stuff in the ISO/Destash group anymore.