The bloody scrubbies – stress testing sustainable crochet scrubbies

in needleworkmonday •  2 months ago  (edited)

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Look I crocheted some fossils. These are face scrubby fossils. They are made from organic sea shell which will purify your face by cutting away everything that’s reaches more than 2 mm over your skin. Like your nose or your eyelids… This purification will draw a bit of blood which then smoothens the whole process... It’s a bit like a Korean skin care routine only faster. You skip all steps besides the exfoliating. Or wait you can use the sea shells as organic and sustainable razor replacement, if you like/must shave your whole face as a beauty routine. It’s only a bit rougher as the razor, but so ecological (Just that you know: I have my face full of peach fuzz and a full grown mustache like Hitler over my lips 😂😂Thankfully in blond)

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AHHHHH who put this words images into my head. Why do I contemplate using sea shells, how did I get there? Nevertheless, I am a bit proud that I managed again to write a bloody introduction 😂
It all started so nice, with this lovely photo of my cream and blueish puff stitch scrubby. Maybe it even started earlier, precisely last week, with @cryptocariad's post about how to crochet reusable face scrubbies at home (yeah,… with that intro you are perhaps not so happy for the mention @cryptocariad … sorryyyyyy 💕😱💕) She gave us a nice link with a puff stitch pattern and I was so drawn to the thick and cushion like stitches, I had to try it out. Besides, on most days I use mascara and remove it with a washcloth which afterwards:

  1. Does not look good
  2. Is very scratchy on my skin

So, fluffy and puffy scrubbies it should be. But all the cotton yarn in my stash is super stiff and unpleasant to face and hands, which is one reason I seldom use it. There is still this striped summer cardigan waiting to be finished, but I really despise to work with the cotton yarn (and the fit will be much to wide and to short, so the poor yarn is not the only culprit…)

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Back to the scrubbies. On Thursday opened I a new shop in town. A Netherlands bargain shop which also has yarn in - for this price - good quality. Especially their tweed yarn, a sturdy blend of wool and acrylic is lovely and I have used it in several projects e.g. the big miette. They now have two more varieties one in mustard (I did not bought it, but dream about it) and a pink/coral version which I posted on Thursday. But that’s not all. As a opening surprise they introduced a new yarn blend, a mix of cotton and acrylic in three variegated versions and three matching solid colored ones. And this yarn is soooooo soft!!!!! What a luck, a washable yarn in powder colors perfect for the reusable make-up cleaners.
I bought two skeins and got one for free and directly started to work on the scrubbies. I used a 5 mm hook and this pattern as a guideline. I made some bigger ones with three rows of puff stitches and some with only two rows. I tried once to finish the scrubby with a single crochet row, but I did not like the finish and ripped it out.

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While crocheting happily away I thought this will make a nice present for my make-up using friends and while pondering this, I also notice how long I need for all these puff stitches. As a lazy person clever strategist I wanted to try out a faster pattern with less yarn overs. So I used a cluster stitch instead of the puff. Meh… not so cool. I think this scrubby would work ok for removing things from your skin, but it is not as soft and cushion like as the puff stitch variety. I would not recommend it for your eyes.

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With the stitches all done stage two will now start: the high-pressure test. (I exaggerate, as I mostly use water soluble mascara and a bit of eyeliner) We are back to the Korean my skin care routine which consist of a handful of warm water over my eyes to dissolve the mascara. After this I used almond oil to remove every bit of tint from my eyelashes 😂 (I have almost transparent eyelashes) The almond oil I applied on my biggest puff stitch scrubby and a bit of rubbing, of the mascara went. The scrubby now jumped into the washing machine and I hoped it will not disintegrate. I washed it on 30 degrees C as I had some more delicate blouses and pullover to go with it. To avoid bacteria growth in this tepid water I dumped some laundry disinfectant into the machine. 1,5 h later this emerged:

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I am not happy. Do you see all the grayish stains? This cute shell colored puff stitch scrubby is still dirty. I am disappointed… sigh. I will give these pads another chance to get clean in a 60 C° washing program (and perhaps shrink, as the manufacturer recommends washing their yarn not exceeding 30 C°). I hope I can tell you something more encouraging next week.

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So, after this failed scrubby experiment I am thinking about a knitted project with this soft cotton yarn. I made a small tension square and was amazed how nice the yarn draped…. But I cannot envision a garment in these colors. Alas, I found a wonderful shawl pattern in The Knitter called Vashti It has a floral lace part and the whole shawl tapers to one side. I have the perfect amount of yarn left over from the scrubbies (read: I secretly casted on this new shawl project – please don’t fink on me)

If you anyhow want to crochet these little pads as they also make wonderful hanging ornaments you can follow @cryptocariad‘s explanations in English or @grizzabella‘s post in German and English.


Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community.


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  ·  2 months ago (edited)

This post contained some typos in its mentions that have been corrected in less than a day. Thank you for your quick edit !

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absolutely! thank you <3

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I enjoyed reading about your experiments using the cotton yarns, @neumannsalva... Thank you also for the mentions :D

Remember I said I do not wear make up so I actually don't know how 'successful' these things are.

For the record I tend to use 60 degree temperature washes for longer more soiled items and sometimes use fabric softener - it's all non-bio liquid washing liquid as well because of my eczema issues.

It's all worth a try but experimenting is certainly an essential part of the process hopefully leading to progress; whether knitted/crocheted or sewn surely better in the long run :D

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I will try out to wash the pad hotter. I already embraced the idea that 40 degree is much to cold for getting the stains out. As I seldom wash my knitted garments (@marblely knows about my angst to destroy my handmade items by washing)... But I think I have to take heart and try it out.

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It's good to experiment with different types of yarn to see how they behave before making a big garment, @neumannsalva - I have learnt the hard way :D

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My way is normally to close my eyes about the label of the yarn and hope for the best and than afterwards I am too afraid to wear and wash the garment... every time 🤢🤪

This was a really interesting read @neumannsalva , all new to me!
I've never heard of sea shell scrubbing routine...
Never heard of reusable crocheted makeup removal pads...
Good to see how your experiment turned out with the washing of the pads, I was actually wondering if they'd wash well, especially at lower temperatures.

Loved the colours and the puff stitch you chose!

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Oh noooo I invented this sea shell routine 😂😂😂 I am currently reading a fantasy book and it is a bit bloody. I think this inspired me 😋 But the Korean skin care and the razor skin care are for real. THis seems to be something many people do daily.
And with the washing... sadly now you know, they do not wash well. I will perhaps try to use another soap and higher temperature. Hopefully it works.

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So you are an inventor now :-DDD you should start a new sea shell skincare brand ;-))))

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Well, traditional cotton yarn (like you use for potholders etc.) gets hard after being washed several times - but only if dry. I think it still gets quite soft when wet but I never tested that.

Regarding hygiene: Instead of using chemicals in the washing machine there is a way that I use for all my scrubbies, regardless whether I use them on my dishes or my body. You make it dripping wet, put it on a plate or a small bowl and then in the microwave on highest energy for 4 minutes. I'd have to look for the link but that kills more than 85% of everything that lives in it. Caution - let it cool down before touching it, it's boiling hot!

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Very good idea, only I do not own a microwave :-D But you could possibly do this also on a stove I guess. I will try out if the stains could be washed out of the pad on a higher temperature.
The disinfectant is only alcohol, so not too bad for the environment.

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Another way to reduce germs is ironing though I only read about the effectivity for thinner fabrics like sheets.

And: Perhaps a soak in dishwashing liquid might work better with the mascara. I'd try that :)

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I will try the dishwashing thingy (du meinst doch einfach normales Spüli?)

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Yep. Spülmittel ist hauptsächlich fettlösend und ich denke Mascara wird eine Art von Ölbasis haben.
Diese ganzen Fettlöse-Spezialsachen für die Wäsche kannst dir sparen wenn du statt dessen nen Spritzer Spüli auf nen Fettfleck machst + einweichst.

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Ich hab mich vor allem auch mit Öl abgeschminkt.... ich denke deine Theorie stimmt :-D

Your little scrubbies are looking so cute and fluffy. The colours are really cool, I really like them. I used extra dark cotton, which can be washed at 60°C, so that - hopefully - I don't have any stripes on it after washing or so that you just can't see them so well.

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Thank you for the compliment 🙏
You were a bit more clever to choose a yarn which is washable very hot 😂 I got carried away by the softness of the yarn and the cute colours and did not think about the cleaning process.

My cotton knitted dishcloths are quite durable. I even rescued one from the garbage disposal and it was still intact! Cotton yarns vary in softness, so keep experimenting. Try hemp or linen, too--they just get softer and softer.

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Yes, I heard that about linen. But it's difficult to find here and expensive.

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I am with @muscara ... linen and hamp yarns are quite expensive here. But I will try again with washing it hotter and by using a different soap

Oooooh! original idea !!! you are well done: watch your face very carefully. Once I bought waterproof mascara because I was afraid that the usual mascara would flow in our heat. I had to then remove this mascara from the face with the skin :)))) nothing helped, even the special milk for removing makeup. I think that such a pad would be very helpful. I like the idea of ​​using it as decoration! and I really liked your little square :)

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Thank you 🙏 I will experiment a bit with these make up pads and see if I can wash them a bit better. And with the mascara... oh noooo. I hope your face recovered fast 🥰 I seldom use waterproof mascara, as I also find it hard to remove and sometimes its also not too good for the eyes.

You are soooo cute @neumannsalva!! I love your fluffy and puffy scrubbies! The colours are so soft and aaaah... But the washing part can be a pain. I usually use cheap acrylic yarns for mats and things that will get dirty and will need to be hardy enough to withstand rough washing :D And you won't feel painful if it gets overly stained and unable to wash anymore. But acrylic is not nice on the skin. Cotton yarn might be difficult to wash off stains since it is not as hardy (based on the cotton yarns that I have... haven't found one that is hardy). How about hand washing with baking soda or something? And I like your knitted piece. You really have a good eye for colour. I likeeeeeee! 😍

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Thank you so much for the compliments, I am blushing a bit 😍 And with th acrylic yarn you are right, I originally wanted to use it, but found it not soft enough and the yarn I have is too fluffy. It’s not good to get lint into your eyes. @muscara recommend to wash the make up pad in dishwashing liquid, I think I will try this.
And I also love the yarn colours, but the shawl ... sigh.... we spontaneously have now 20 degrees. Not sure if a shawl is such a good project right now 😂

This was a good experiment to try. I have always wonder how crocheted dishcloths would hold up after taking on major stains. I do love the fluffy design of these. Hmmm maybe these made in a darker color would suffice? Of course you could still clean them but the “stains” would be hidden with the darker colored yarn.

I love surprises and discounts, you got a heck of a deal. I love how the yarn is matching the shells, so pretty. Do let us know if you experiment further ;)

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Yes I was super curious too as I often am afraid to wash my knitted and crocheted items. And I so want to get rid of this angst, as it leads to me seldom wearing the handmade things.... I think the darker colours are no option, as I want to see if the scrubby got clean. I am perhaps a bit fussy with things which touch my eyes 😂
And the discount was really nice and such a fortune as I searched for exact this kind of yarn 🧶 🌈

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I don’t blame you, I definitely understand about being fussy with things that touch your eye.