Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crocheted Bath Puff

As I suggested last post, one of the best ways to make changes toward a sustainable lifestyle is by reducing the things on which you hate to spend resources (time, money, natural resources) and substituting something that works better.  I find it a challenge to eliminate expenditures on disposable items and replace them with more durable alternatives.

Take the simple bath puff.  A nice, moisturizing body wash is a luxury I enjoy, but I find that I use less of the product if I put it on a bath puff rather than a wash cloth.  However, commercial bath puffs are scratchy and fall apart fairly easily.

Enter the crocheted bath puff.  I found this idea on WikiHow, a fabulous resource for finding instructions on how to do a wide range of things.  http://www.wikihow.com/Crochet-a-Bath-Puff  Since I have been experimenting with crocheting flat circular shapes (that is, doilies), this is a fabulous way to "do it wrong" on purpose and wind up with a bath puff.  If you are familiar with circular crochet, you will understand that putting two stitches into every stitch will create a very curly shape very quickly.  If you have wanted to learn to crochet, this is actually a very easy project with which to start.

I like this project because it is so easy to hold the growing puff in your hand, making it a great choice to work on in places you might not otherwise crochet, such as an airplane, a commuter train, or even on the beach.  I suggest you use a light solid or ombre color of cotton yarn as shown in the instructions; light colors look better as they lighten.  Cotton yarn wears like iron, even as it lightens with each successive wash, so you will have these for years.  And unlike commercial bath puffs, you can pop one in the wash each week and be sure you have a fresh, clean puff.

The Analysis:

Fast:  I crocheted one of these in three hours while I watched mindless TV; this is pretty fast for a crochet project.  No, it is not as fast as picking a disposable one up at the store.

Cheap:  I caught a sale on 2oz. balls of Lily Sugar and Cream yarn for $1.29 each.  This compares favorably with the $1.17 I paid for my last disposable puff.  I tend to buy about four disposable puffs a year if I use that variety, for a total yearly expenditure of $4.68.  I made two crocheted puffs so I could alternate in the weekly laundry, for a total of $2.58.  If you figure it out on a cost per month, the crocheted puffs will have paid for themselves in just under seven months; everything after that is pure profit.  No, 39 cents a month won't let me retire in the Florida Keys, but it is a start. 

Good:  Softer on my skin, better for the environment:  I like these little guys.  I even think they look a bit like pieces of coral, so they remind me to put that 39 cents in my Key West fund each month.
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