As I folded the laundry, I noticed that I have many handmade items in the kitchen. I’ve taken a period of time to reach this quantity, and spent very little money. I’ll go through the laundry here with you.
My oldest daughter knitted a woolen rectangle years ago, one of her first finished objects (FO) ever. It’s in the foreground. We use it under hot pans on the counter and dinner table because it’s larger than all our other trivets and hotpads. It’s felted a bit after multiple washings, and is a wool yarn from Lion Brand.
Another knitted FO, a dishcloth. It’s a star pattern (I never really saw the star). I’m not fond of it because its holes are too big, or there are too many. I have another, hole-ier dishcloth (a pretty trellis pattern), and both of them may end up in the “car wash rag” pile because they bother me enough. But first, I’d have to knit up replacements. I have at least a week’s worth of dishcloths so that I can use a new one every day. They are wonderfully thick. Dishcloths are awesome WIP’s (works in progress) because they are small and finished quickly, so new patterns are fun without being cumbersome. I can also get at least three dishcloths from one skein of yarn, which rarely costs over $2 when you use Lily Sugar n Cream or Lion Brand Cotton.
Above the dishcloth, I have a few cloth napkins. The inspiration for cloth napkins came from homeschool mom Bobbi. At a program with a title like “What happens to your trash after the garbage man picks up your bin,” she shared that by moving to cloth napkins, her paper towel use decreased significantly and rather painlessly. Food for thought that sat in my brain for weeks. Months, actually, because I felt pain when I saw the price tag on napkins in the stores. So my awesome sister gifted (what is now) half of my cloth napkins, eight total. I have made the rest.
The first “handmade by me” napkins are plaid. I have two of them, and my children prefer the flannel napkins. The newest additions were just made in the last couple days. I have finished three and have one more cut out. They are made with new fabric remnants, scraps from the recent star ornaments that I made, and an old bedsheet, and the inspiration for them came through Sew, Mama, Sew (I’m always finding good stuff there). Because I keep so many scraps, I could be making these ad infinitum.
The last item in the wash today was a potholder made from jeans. I have four of them and we use them all the time. (My kids have such great ideas.) I still have scraps of denim in a shoebox, so I could make these ad infinitum as well, but I have trouble getting the needle through all the thick layers. And binding was a pain.
Re-purposing fabric from jeans and sheets and saving scraps really seems like a Little House on the Prairie thing to do, and it seems very right. I have kept my hands and mind constructive and busy, spent very little money, and made useful FO’s that keep the household working well.