Making these eco-friendly, reusable makeup wipes is a great way to learn to knit or to use-up leftover yarn. If you know how to knit, then you might already be riffling through your stash in search of every last piece of cotton and/or linen yarn to use. You could even use this as an excuse to buy a skein of that gorgeous linen you’ve been eyeing forever. You know it will get softer and softer with every wash, right?…have I hooked you yet?
For new or non-knitters:
You are probably looking at these and thinking: there’s no way I can do this. Maybe you’re remembering that scarf you tried years back that just kept getting wider and wider (as you accidentally added stitches), never really growing in length. It may still be laying at the back of a closet somewhere.
Reusable makeup wipes are different, though. You can definitely do this. Why should you trust me? There are several reasons. Most importantly: these are makeup wipes and no one has to see them but you. If they get wider, are a strange shape, or have holes, they’ll still work. Unlike the dreaded First Scarf. They are also small, so you can actually finish one in much less time than the (probably still unfinished) First Scarf. Last, even if you make just one (one, tiny, little, square), you will still be helping the environment. That’s worth a try, right?
Here’s what you need for reusable makeup wipes:
- 100% cotton and/or linen yarn in DK, Worsted, or Aran weight
- Size US 4 knitting needles (straight, circular, or double-pointed) (size US 5 or 6 will also work with the heavier yarn)
- Large embroidery needle
We’re not going to worry about gauge here (did I just hear a gigantic sigh of relief? Oh yeah!) because if the reusable makeup wipes vary a little in size or density, they will still work. That’s the greatest part about making your own: pretty much no matter what you do, they’ll turn out fine. I made these with size US 4 knitting needles and different yarns:
The Aran sample on the right is a little shorter because I ran out of that yarn. It may not be square, but it still makes a great makeup wipe #stashbusting.
Stitches you will need to use:
- Knit stitch (k)
- Purl stitch (p)
- Cast-on (CO)
- Bind-off (BO)
There are some great online tutorials if you need help with any (or all) of these stitches. My personal favorite is knittinghelp.com for just about everything. You can search on their YouTube sidebar for each of the stitches you need to learn, and the videos are very straightforward.
If you’re confused or worried this is too complicated:
You can actually fake both the cast-on and bind-off stitches for this project. Shhhh…don’t go telling any expert knitters I said that, though. You absolutely should not try these fakes for garments, but I used them for years as a child to make things for my dolls and stuffed animals before I actually learned how to knit properly. I think it’s more important to start knitting than to be paralyzed by fear or confusion, so here are my secret fake CO and BO directions:
For a fake CO, leave a long tail and loop the yarn around the needle, one loop for each stitch. Knit each loop for your first row. You may need to keep looping as you knit the first row because sometimes the yarn twists and the loops disappear. Once you start the first row, the stitches you knit will hold.
For a fake BO, cut a long tail after the last row, thread the embroidery needle, and draw the yarn through all of the stitches on the knitting needle, leaving it loose. When you slip the knitting needle out, the yarn you drew through the stitches will hold them in place. Leave the tail loose so the top of the makeup wipe doesn’t draw-in, then tie it off.
Once you get the hang of the knit and purl stitches, definitely go back and learn the proper cast-on and bind-off techniques. Your knitting will be much better and you can move on to more complicated projects.
Reusable Makeup Wipes Pattern:
Using DK weight yarn, CO 16 stitches. Knit 4 rows. Begin pattern: *Row 1: knit. Row 2: k2, p12, k2*
Repeat from *to* 8 times total. Knit 4 rows. BO 16 stitches.
Leave a 3″ – 4″ tail. Cut the yarn. Thread the embroidery needle with the tail yarn and make a knot through the previous stitch. Then make a loop with the remaining tail and tie it tightly. Cut any extra thread.
To secure the tail at the cast-on edge, thread the embroidery needle with that tail and make a knot through the previous stitch. Tie it tightly, and cut the remaining yarn.
Congratulations! You’ve just finished your first reusable makeup wipe, and possibly your first knitting project ever!
Alternate yarn weights:
If you have Worsted weight yarn, use the pattern above but CO 14 stitches and purl 10 for the main pattern rows instead of 12.
For Aran weight yarn, CO 12 stitches, purl 8 in the pattern, and only work 7 repeats of the pattern.
Are you wondering about the loop at the top? I added that step because I found that the makeup wipes got bunched in the corners when washed in a lingerie bag and didn’t get completely clean. Using the loop, I thread them onto a flexible, stainless steel key ring and throw them in with the main wash:
You could also use a Carabiner or D-ring, but it might be a bit louder in the dryer.
If you have enough yarn of the same color, you can make coordinated sets. Even if they’re not exactly the same size or shape, think of all the disposable cotton rounds you’re replacing! I made my first few reusable makeup wipes more than a year ago and they’re still going strong.
I hope you enjoy learning to knit and using leftover yarn with these makeup wipes. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments. Don’t forget to subscribe to Creatorvox to get new posts right in your email. You can also follow Creatorvox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more tips and tricks between posts. Thanks for reading, and happy making!