Wednesday, March 21, 2012

English-Italian knitting glossary with abbreviaitions

Hello folks,

I have recently decided to combine my two great passions, knitting and foreign languages, to come up with a hopefully useful glossary of knitting terms from Italian into English and vice versa. I have also added an abbreviation glossary, with English and Italian  meaning plus the Italian abbreviation (where possible). I know there are a lot of these glossaries around on the web, but I never found one that I thought was really complete and exhaustive, so I decided to make one myself, and then thought of sharing it with other knitters around the world (if you even need to knit an Italian pattern, or translate your pattern into Italian).

Please feel free to download the glossary for free HERE. The download link is found at the bottom of the post, it's in red and it's called "glossario_maglia_EN-IT".

I would really love it if you sent me your feedback on it, any omission, correction or simple suggestion would be really appreciated. To do so, you can comment this post, or drop me an email at By the way, you can use the same email address if you wish to have an xls or ods editable copy of the glossary.

Monday, March 12, 2012

About shaving soap and other experiments

I have recently spent a lot of time knitting, which I love, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten about soaps!
In fact, I believe I'm getting so much better at making soaps, especially since my last two experiments were a great success.

 Firstly, a quick update on the wonderful Fennel Winter Treat. This turned out to be probably the best soap I've made so far; with the sweet smell of organic fennel, as much shea butter as your skin needs during the cold season not to get all chopped and dry, I have been using this soap every day this season, and now I couldn’t do without it! Plus this soap turned out nicely hard and bubbly, so it won't all melt in the shower as some of my previous soaps did. I believe I found the perfect soap, or at least a very good one!

Second of all, I also made another batch of shaving soap, but this time I changed a few things. It's still curing, so I don't know whether it will be as good as the first one I made, but it smells great and with paprika I gave it an interesting orang-y look that I'm very pleased with (the picture doesn't give it justice I'm afraid).

Here it goes:


Olive Oil                     60%                       600g
Coconut Oil               25%                          250g
Corn Oil                      10%                        100g
Castor Oil                     5%                        50g

Distilled water: 330g
lye: 135g (5% discount)

at trace: 10g of "allume di rocca" (I think in English this is called potassium alum, it's a type of potassium salt that helps healing the small wounds one can get when shaving. You can do without it if you can't find any.);
2 teaspoons of red paprika (don't put too much of it, it might irritate the skin!)
1 tablespoon of white clay
10ml of verbena e.o. (this has a nice mixed citrus smell including orange, lemon, grapefruit and others... men love it!)

Once it's cured, you or your men can use it with a shaving brush just like the old time barbers used to do. My husband and brother use it and love it, because even if it's slightly more complicated to use (it just takes a little practice, that's all) than ready-made shaving foam, it gives a much better result, softer skin and less irritation.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Hi everyone,

today I'll be talking about knitting for a change.
I have recently made earwarmers for my father, who loves them.

e=mc2 Einstein earwarmers

They are not perfect, but I think they're interesting, fun and quick to knit so I decided for the first time to try and write down the pattern and share it on Ravelry.

If you wish to you can download my pattern for free here: download.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back with a vengeance

Here I am again, I have been busy moving around, changing jobs and fighting the hot summer these months, so I haven't been able to experiment with my soaps. Also, as I mentioned before, I took up knitting, which is now another if my favourite winter evening activities. I will be posting knitting ideas, links and hopefully patterns soon in here, but for now let's keep it to the soaps.

A couple of months ago, I was finally able to make another batch of soap, since I finally got rid of most of the soap I had accumulated last winter and the weather was finally bearable so that I could take out my lye and oils and start mixing.
What I got is a nice, wonderfully smelling batch of soap full of the beneficial properties of shea butter, but also white and creamy in the lather.

Here's the recipe, as usual feel free to try it but please leave a comment if you do, and also feel free to suggest any changes/improvements!


fennel winter treat cp soap

olive oil           70%          650g
coconut oil      15%          200g
butterfat*        10%          121g 
shea butter        5%           50g (at trace!)

*this is common cow's milk butter, with 80% fat so I used 121g to get 100g of fat and the remaining 21g are water so I discounted the amount from the water amount

water 330 g
lye       140g (5% discount)

at trace I added the melted shea butter and 5ml of organic fennel EO plus half a teaspoon of sugar. I was also thinking that a tablespoon of white clay could make the soap harder and slightly esfoliating, but I haven't tried it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm back! :)

Hello everyone!

I know you probably thought I had abandoned this blog or my crafty hobbies, but I haven't. I've just been quite busy with my personal life lately, plus I have loads of soap to use up before making some now, so that's why I haven't updated this green-y place lately.

First of all, I'd like to thank all the 15 followers who very generously read my posts and keep updated on my experiments. If you have a blog/journal/website I'll do the same, and I'm sure we can learn from each other.

Second of all, just to let you know, lately I have been putting a lot of efforts on the knitting side (since it's still way too hot here to make soap). I'm already preparing some Christmas gifts, will be posting some pictures as soon as I have something nice ready. At the moment I'm working on a pair of cotton placemats, following instructions I found on THIS BEAUTIFUL WEBSITE; which I found on the amazing Knitting Pattern Central, a real goldmine of free information and patterns for us knitters (I'm sure you're all familiar with it).

So said, I promise I'll be back soon with updates on my works, possibly new recipes or pictures of how my soaps survived to the terribly hot summer we had here this year. And in the meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy rest-of-the summer! :-)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New season, new passion: knitting

Hi everyone,

I haven't been writing here for a while, I've been very busy lately plus I have tons of soap to use and give away and no more place to store it, so I decided to give up soapmaking for a while, at least until I can make room for some new experiments!
In the meanwhile, being kinda broke and unable to keep my hands still, I took up a new, amazing obsession: knitting! I have just started, so I really suck at it right now, but I'm loving it so much, and it's a much cheaper freetime activity than soapmaking (which I love as well, of course!)... so anyway, I haven't made anything worth showing you so far, at the moment I'm practising with lace patterns and double pointed needles, but as soon as I make something at least decent, be sure you're the first to know ;)
In the meanwhile, I suggest you try knitting if you haven't yet, because it takes you back some 50-60 years, and it's so relaxing and mechanical that it feels to me much like what Buddhist monks could feel while painting mandalas.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A good idea for hot summer days

Hi everyone,

since the disaster I made HERE worked out pretty well after the rebatching, today I'd like to give you the original recipe, so that you can try it yourself if you wish. I made this one HP, but since there is Aloe Vera so the water is discounted, I would recommend to try it CP, so that you won't get the unpleasant surprise to find your soap solidified on the pot. I would say this is a perfect refreshing recipe for the summer, or for people who practice sport since it also has great antiseptic qualities.

Here we go:


refreshing aloe vera and mint soap bar

20% olive oil                200g
45% grapeseed oil       450g
20% sweet almond oil  200g (of which 20g at trace)
10% coconut oil           100g
5% corn oil                    50g

132g lye (6% discount)
Water 225g

At trace I added: 75g of Aloe Vera (20% of the water amount), 1 tablespoon of green clay (for colouring and for a mild scrubbing effect), 20g of the sweet almond oil, tea tree (20%), eucalyptus (40%) and peppermint (40%) EOs.