Thursday, February 26, 2009

Make your own deodorant

So how do you do it. It's quite simple actually, as long as you have all the right things for it and it doesn't hurt to have a microwave.

I followed this recipe from the Angry Chicken, an inspiring craft blog.

I got the ingredients a long time ago but just finally made it few days ago. The ingredients are easier to get than the ones for the homemade laundry detergent (which btw I forgot to add that you can add essential oils to the detergent if you like a scent, which I don't so I totally skipped them) at least in Iceland.

So here are the ingredients:

3 T (matskeiðar) Shea butter
3 T Baking soda (matarsódi)
2 T Corn starch (það er hægt að nota kartöflumjöl í staðin fyrir maísmjöl)
2 T Cocoa butter
2 vitamin E caps (just squeeze the oil out)
Essential oil (I used tea tree oil, which I love the scent and it's antibacterial)

The Shea butter and the cocoa butter are the hard to get items, the rest can be bought in a grocery store except for the essential oil. The vitamin E is good for your skin, but I'm sure you could skip it. The baking soda eliminates odors and the corn starch gives it the necessary consistency.

If you are in Iceland and you are wondering where to get shea and cocoa butter look on my bookmarks on cosmetics. You will also find some more bookmarks for making your own lotions and soaps and things like that.

So what is my verdict on the deodorant. Well, it is supposed to be a cream deodorant but since it is still winter in Ohio, the house is cold and the deodorant is solid. In the summer it will probably not be as solid (same goes with the coconut oil I use as moisturizer. It is white solid now but it was a clear liquid last summer.). I have to scrape of pieces. It would have been better to put it in a container I could have gotten it out of then I could have applied it like a regular deodorant.

But it works really well. I am impressed. I have been doing some intense work this week, which includes sweating and the new deodorant has really kept me odor free. Plus it feels good. I have to admit that it's been a while since I shaved under my armpit. Hey! I'm from Europe and it's winter so I'm not wearing sleeveless anything. Well, mostly I'm just lazy though. But what I wanted to say is that the deodorant works great nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Soon we will return to our regular programming

ETA: As I've gotten more experience with this detergent I've changed the recipe and the dosage.

I'm finally getting a camera. I can't wait. I just put the order in and I will probably be getting it next week (I got a free shipping for 7-9 business days). When I do I have a large backorder of knittery things that need to be photographed and bragged about, he he.

But back to the homemade laundry detergent. I came across a post on a Ravelry group called 'Recaiming the home' and I noticed that people seemed to be very happy with it and that it didn't seem to be too complicated to make.

The laundry detergent consists of:

1 cup Fels Naphta soap (shredded)
1 cup Washing soda (Sodium carbonate)
1 cup Borax (Sodium borate)

If you live in an area where you have soft water you could use only half a cup of the washing soda and the borax (I'm sure).

I found the washing soda and the borax in Kroger, but I looked all over Athens, OH and found no trace of Fels Naphta so I ended up ordering it (this place had the best deal on shipping). When I finally got it (took about a week) I grated one bar in the grater (same as you where grate cheese or carrots) and then I put it in the blender (I don't have a food processor) to make it into as tiny pieces as I could. Then I just added the washing soda and the borax.

The best thing is that you only need one tablespoon per regular laundry so it lasts for a long time. I had a fantastic experience with it. The clothes came out sparkly clean so not only is it inexpensive but also effective. I've never seen so much difference between using commercial brands.

I doubt very much that any of these products can be found in Iceland. You can't even find decent size baking soda there, only spice containers :( And on the subject of baking soda (matarsódi) and washing soda (þvottasódi) it it not the same thing but very related. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (natríum bíkarbónat) but washing soda is sodium carbonate (natríum karbónat).

I also made some deodorant the other day. Next time I blog I'll have more experience of it and I will share my thoughts on it then.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Still no camera!

One thing I don't understand is why a good digital camera has not shown up at my house yet. Doesn't the universe know I need one?

There are some cool blog-worthy stuff to report such as a homemade laundry detergent which works like butter.... (or actually much better because I wouldn't recommend using butter to wash my clothes).

But not now. Soon, I promise.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I took inventory on my yarn today. I actually have a stash now. A lot of it was acquired some way or another (gifted, swapped, bought) last year. So I counted about 180 skeins/hanks/cakes of yarn, plus some crochet thread and leftovers. OMG. I've become a yarnie! In 2006 I didn't even have a stash. About 90% of it is wool (or wool/nylon wool/silk blend) and 10% of it is cotton. I don't count a bag full of acrylic which was gifted to me (leftover stash) that I plan to use to make toys with since it's leftovers and I didn't look at my leftover stash at all. There is barely any unusual or luxury yarn. There is a little bit of linen, little bit of hemp but no mohair, cashmere, alpaca, angora, bamboo or likewise. I guess I just really like wool :) There are a bunch of alpaca farms here close and I must get a local alpaca fiber at some point, but I don't remember ever having alpaca at all nor cashmere. But I've had angora and bamboo that's knitted up now.

What does your stash say about you? I don't think I'm the kind of person that is not likely to try new things and I really enjoy the finer side of life. But at the same time I'm terribly practical. I guess I'm saving the fancier fibers until I can actually afford them. We'll see then.


There is this interesting trend in Iceland of knitting with plötulopi, the unspun wool. People have started to experiment with it and use it in more unorthodox ways. Usually it was knitted with three strands held together for classical Icelandic sweaters. Now people have started knitting it with two or even just a single ply and on bigger needles so the resulting fabric is thin and flowing. Same with eingirni, the lace weight. People have started knitting it with bigger needles as well and knitting sweaters and dresses, not just shawls.

I heard a story today that is something that would only happen in Iceland (?). A guy came in to a workplace cafeteria in a nice looking (handknit but bought) sweater. He was promptly asked to remove the sweater (or else!) and a group of women studied the sweater and counted out the stitches. Yeah, this would never happen in the US, that's for sure. Apparently the man didn't really mind. Maybe he's familiar with knitters?


I was going to take pictures of some of my knitting today. It was nice out warm (above freezing) and sunny. Maybe even too sunny. We didn't last long outside today even with the nice weather. It was just too bright. Probably even too bright to take decent photos?


Oh yeah. And my Sunrise Circle Jacket (SCJ)- it's on hold now. As I was nearing the top of the back something didn't feel right. A quick search on told me that the author is going to release the pattern after a review and there seems to be an error in the back part of it. I love Ravelry :) First hand information at your fingertips. I love the project though but there are so many other projects that I can't wait to start. I had a hard time deciding but after talking to my mom today I decided to go ahead and do a vest for Kamilla. Same as the one I made for me but based on this pattern. I decided to make it into a vest, since that is more practical and she could get more use out of it. Lately they've worn outdoor vests indoors due to the cold (the houses here are poorly (or barely) insulated, I have to explain this to the Icelandic readers, since cold houses don't exist there). The dress looks great too, but I opt for the practicality. I'm making it out of purple plotulopi, single strand on 4.5 mm. My SCJ is knit with two strands on 4.5 mm giving a very dense fabric. It's an interesting difference between the two projects.