Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kingston crop top


(Pictures sans buttons) 

2-3 years
Fits a 23 to 25 inch chest 
2 inches in length from underarm to hem
8.5 inches from underarm to sleeve cuff

sts per inch
rows per inch

US size 5 circulars and dpns

1 skein Berroco Sox in color 1477
(440 yards fingering weight)

5 buttons, stitch markers, row counter, yarn needle, stitch holder or scrap yarn

K1FB - knit into the front and back of the first stitch on left hand needle, creating an increase of 1 stitch.
PM - place marker

Cast on 62 stitches on circular needles.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit 8, K1FB, PM, knit 22, PM, knit 8, K1FB, PM, knit 22 stitches. Do not join in the round as this sweater will be worked flat for now.
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit across increasing 1 stitch before and after each marker. This means you will add 8 stitches.
Row 6: Purl

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until there are 78 stitches each for the back and front, and 66 stitches for each sleeve.

Place the body stitches on hold. Switch the 66 stitches for one sleeve onto dpns and distribute evenly, placing a marker for the beginning of the round.
Rows 1 - 5: Knit
Row 6:  Decrease 1 stitch on either side of the marker, meaning you will decrease 2 stitches.

Repeat rows 1 - 6 a total of 9 times (54 rows total).
There should be 48 stitches remaining after decreases are complete.
Knit 2, Purl 2 for 12 rows and bind off in pattern.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Place body stitches onto circular needle.
Row 1: Knit across, picking up 2 stitches under each armpit to close up the gap
Row 2: Purl

Work in knit 2, purl 2 rib for 12 rows and bind off in pattern.

Pick up 56 stitches along the left front sleeve edge.
Knit 2, purl 2 for 6 rows.

Row 7: *Knit 8 in pattern, bind off 2* across 'til the last 6 stitches. Knit these 6 in pattern.
Row 8: Knit 6 in pattern, *Cast on 2 stitches, knit 8 in pattern* 'til the end of the row.
Knit 3 rows in k2, p2 pattern and bind off.

Weave in ends and attach button. You're done !

Monday, May 13, 2013

Homemade Beauty Products

Since we learned all about how horrible fluoride really is (it's the one and only ingredient in rat poison!) my hunny bunny and I have been making our own toothpaste. It's super easy, and we were both impressed by how white it made our teeth. We are have both smoked on and off for 10 years or more, and the following recipe changed my smile from yellowish to white, while removing 90% of the brown nasty stuff between hunny bunny's teeth. It's been a solid 9 months since either of us has brushed with anything else.

If the baking soda makes your mouth feel dry, drink a big glass of water afterwards, or increase the amount of coconut oil used.

baking soda
hydrogen peroxide
coconut oil - we use the solid form
a few drops of peppermint oil (optional - I leave it out, but some people may prefer the minty taste)

 You can mix all the ingredients together in a food processor if you have one. If you are lazy like me, I keep the baking soda in a glass jar in the bathroom. Dump about a tablespoon in the lid, pour a few drops of peroxide, scoop up some coconut oil on your toothbrush and stir it all together in the lid. Exact amounts aren't so important, just experiment until you find what suits your taste. If you are using this for children who swallow everything, leave out the hydrogen peroxide. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial so it'll still do the job.

So once your mouth is feeling fresh, now you decide to go chemical free and pamper yourself a little bit with homemade shampoo and sugar scrub. Not only will it save you money, your body won't be absorbing all the icky chemicals from that storebought crap. Think about it. You shower to get clean, get all the dirt and bacteria off yourself, and smell and feel good. Rather than cover your body in chemicals you should be using wholesome ingredients with naturally beneficial properties. Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs what you put on it just the same as if you ate whatever it is. So you don't want to be using poison every day.

Shampoo for Dark Hair
3 ounces liquid castile soap
2 bags black tea
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive, sesame, or coconut oil
1 tablespoon rosemary

Boil the water and steep the tea and rosemary in it for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can add the rosemary to a teabell so you don't need to strain it out afterwards. Pour just the liquid into the bottle of your choosing. If you decided on coconut oil you may need to melt it before adding, either way go ahead and dump in the rest of the ingredients and shake well. If you find your hair is 'crunchy' after washing, add more water to the bottle.

My mother used this shampoo and she said it helped cover up her greys and extend how long her dye jobs lasted. Unlike some other homemade shampoos, this recipe will produce suds as you wash. We are all used to our commercial soaps foaming and sudsing, and are conditioned to feel that if it doesn't produce soap bubbles it isn't getting clean. However suds are not an indication of cleaning power. That said, I am calling myself a hypocrite because i like shampoo that lathers, although the lather serves no purpose (it's the castile soap that does it).

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup water

Mix together and shake before using. It's that easy :)

Sugar Scrub
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir the brown sugar and cocoa together, then add the olive oil. Mix in the lemon juice which acts as a natural preservative. This gets messy so definitely use it in the vicinity of the bathtub. You can store this for up to a month.