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Monday, February 4, 2019

Using a Snow Day to Make Gifts for Valentine's Day

This is what we woke up to today. Beautiful! And it made me slow down for a day and cancel errands. What to do on a snow day? How about making a couple of Valentine's gifts.

I've always given my family members a small gift for Valentine's Day. It's usually a handmade gift. The budget for gifts just after Christmas is often very small, so handmade certainly fits the bill. The two gifts that I am making today are for my daughters. In thinking what I could possibly make from the supplies that I have at home, I thought about these -- knitted, reusable make-up remover pads. My thinking was that these would be a perfect use for the odds and ends of the all-cotton yarn that I have leftover from making dish and spa cloths two years ago. Each of those cloths used 2/3 of a 2.5 oz skein of cotton yarn, leaving me with a few 1/3 skeins in different colors. I thought that surely I could get 3 or more make-up remover pads out of those 1/3-skein remnants of yarn.

I didn't know if anyone else ever made these before, but I checked online just in case. And sure enough, lots of people have made them -- lucky for me, as I could follow someone else's pattern and not have to figure it out myself. The pattern that I chose is this very easy pattern. I will say this much though, if I could crochet, I would crochet round pads, as I think they would look prettier. But as I only knit, these had to be squares.

So, I've put in a couple of hours of knitting this morning and have made 4 lavender and 1 ecru, so far. My plan is to make about 7 of each color and give each daughter a full set to get through a week. In my knitting today, I discovered that 1/3 of a skein will make 4 of these 4-inch square pads. The small ball of yarn in the photo is a 1/3-skein remnant, just to give you an idea of how little yarn one needs to made a single square. (I had two of the lavender yarn remnants before beginning today.)

As I was knitting, I thought of several aspects of this gift that makes me happy. These will be totally free to make, as I am using the leftover bits from other knitting projects. Using up the odds bits of yarn that I have means that I am not generating any new waste in the from of packaging or manufacturing. They are reusable, to be washed after each use. They can be tossed into the laundry with towels, sheets, pjs, etc. Judging by how well my knitted dishcloths have held up, I expect these make-up remover pads will last several years. As a reusable product, they replace a disposable item that would end up in the garbage (cotton balls or squares). In addition, as a reusable item, they will save my daughters a few dollars as they will not need to buy the disposable, commercially-made product. And they are made by me. A handmade item from me adds an extra measure of love to my gifts.

After I finish knitting both colors, I will finish the ends then package up. Stay tuned, you know how much I like packaging and presentation. I have an idea that I think will be really nice, and also won't cost a thing by using some odds and ends from home.

So, this is how I spent my freebie snow day.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great idea to save money. I never thought of making knitted cloths that could replace disposable makeup squares. Every family could surely appreciate receiving this, also because it is earth friendly. Best yet as you mentioned, it uses up our scraps, so destash, and no further money outlay.

Have a nice day,

Kris said...

That sounds like a perfect day--knitting at home on a snowy day. I like to imagine people using the gifts I knit. I'm sure your girls will appreciate them!

You could probably make them round if you found a pattern with increases and decreases, but the square shapes will be easy to store.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sweet! I'm sure your girls will love them. : )
Jo Ann

Live and Learn said...

I, too, like the aspect that you are using up odds and ends of yarn that you already have. It's often hard to find a good use for them. I'm sure that your daughters will appreciate them. Are you making some for yourself?

Linda M said...

I was the person lucky enough to win your spa/dishcloths....they are awesome and I think of you each time I am using them. They are gorgeous and real workhorses! What beautiful craftsmanship!! So, your daughters will be delighted with this gift....that will keep on giving a long,long time.
I don't know but do crochet. I am sure I could do this in crochet with all the bits and bobs I have. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The makeup removing cloths are lovely! I'm sure your girls will be thrilled. I can't wait to see the packaging you have in mind. Having never learned how to knit, these cloths make me wish I could.

I didn't get to post earlier, but I'm sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. You and your family are in my prayers.


Frugal in the USA said...

Nice gifts for your daughters. I use the leftover cotton yarn to make washcloths for myself, a rainbow effect. I don't mind if they don't match perfectly.

Alice said...

What a great idea! I'll ask my girls if they think that would work for them. I make dishcloths so I think I could try my hand at this too!

Looks like you had a lot of snow! We're in Michigan and had a very difficult week last week with lots of snow, ice, and very cold temps (-8 temps but wind chill temps up to -40 to -50). But the weekend gave us high temps and everything melted but it was very moist everywhere and yesterday it rained very hard. Now we'll be back to freezing rains and another difficult weekend. Ahhhh, Michigan weather!


Anonymous said...

Darling, Lili! I've never heard of that, though I crochet dishcloths, scrubbies, and washclothes. What a great idea!

I chatted on e-mail with a neighbor during our last snow, and she was spending the day making crafty Valentine cards for her grandkids, and I spent mine catching up on hand-written personal letters.

I like that winter weather sometimes makes us slow down and refocus. :)

Take care-- Sara

Lili said...

Thank you, YHF. I wish I were a better knitter and could tackle more difficult patterns. But I do think these will be nice enough and fill a need. I've got to work on learning how to crochet, though.

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
I thought about increasing and decreasing stitches, but I don't feel like I'm a very competent knitter. I think you're right, the squares should store nicely in a stack. I am going to try and crochet a few for myself, and see if I can't use the learning process on something that only I will see.

Lili said...

Thank you, Jo Ann! I do hope so.

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
I plan on making a few for myself, too. I am going to use mine as an opportunity to learn to crochet, either in rounds, or to edge knitted squares, making mine a bit smaller, too.

Lili said...

Thank you, Linda. I'm so happy to hear that you've enjoyed having the knitted cloths. Good luck with your crochet. I think crochet pads could turn out quite pretty.

Lili said...

Hi Angie,
Well ,if there was ever a project for learning how to knit, I do think this might be close to the easiest, as they are very small and the pattern is extremely simple. I'm thinking this might be an ideal project for me to learn how to crochet.

Thank you for your prayers and kind words. It still feels surreal at times.

Lili said...

Hi Sandy,
That's a brilliant idea -- rainbow cloths! I may try something along those lines with the very last bits of the yarn that I have left, after finishing my daughters' gifts.

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
I kept hearing about the horrible weather that you had in your region. I can't even imagine those temperatures. I hope that you could stay indoors through the worst of it. Spring can't be too far away, or so I hope.

Lili said...

Thank you, Sara. What fun both you and your neighbor had during your recent snow. Making Valentine's cards is always such a fun activity. I do need to catch up on correspondence, myself. Good for you!! Have a great evening!

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to learn how crocheted compares to knitted squares. Crochet is very lacy and if stitched tighter or closer, the drape and softness would be lost. Another idea would be to weave the squares. Last year, I wanted to practice weaving, so my husband made a small 3 inch loom (all it took was a few short pieces of wood and some finish nails). I may try weaving some squares with cotton yarn to use as make up squares. The advantage with weaving is it allows me to color change easily. Handmade cotton squares could be the next big trendy thing. Great idea, Lili.

Lili said...

Weaving squares sounds like a very interesting idea. I'd be interested in knowing how they turn out.

Anonymous said...

I'll email to you some pics of 3 inch squares that I had woven and crocheted. I was going to make a sampler book of different small sized crocheted Afghan and woven squares. I left the project to do some utility blankets and never went back. But your post reminds me to try with cotton yarn again.


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