After several attempts, I have finally created the perfect loofah - at least, I think so. It's been a bit of a crafting adventure with trials and errors, but I am quite pleased with the end result. The first attempt (first pic below) was inspired by my math geek bf who introduced me to the concept of the hyperbolic plane. I still don't really get the exciting math behind it (something about lines? I dunno), but I thought gee, that sure looks like a loofah. So here's the first one, which was done in worsted weight 100% cotton yarn, single crocheted in spirals with lots of increases. It came out looking fun (albeit a tad small), but when I tried to use it in the shower, it acted much more like a washcloth than a loofah - by which I mean it ate my soap.
Enter Loofah number two. This time, I scouted out the interwebs for a thinner yarn, looking for sport or fingering weight, and preferably a cotton blend rather than 100% - perhaps some nylon or acrylic content to make it less absorbent and quicker drying. AnnieKints, a fellow etsy seller, had exactly what I was looking for. In her destash, she had one 50g ball of Bernat Cool Crochet, a sport weight, 70% cotton 30% nylon blend. Bingo.
So I crocheted up my second loofah with the new yarn, this time using a larger hook, double crochet, and more increases. And the conclusion is... it works. The yarn is perfect. It takes only a little more soap than one of the cheap-o nylon mesh loofahs you can buy at the drugstore. It doesn't get as sudsy as those, but it's plenty sudsy enough and sooo soft. I've been using it for the past few weeks and I love it - functionally. Aesthetically, it still left a little to be desired. I did it in spirals and just kind of ended when it seemed big enough, which gives it this weird lopsided look. It's good enough for me, but not good enough to sell.
So I started loofah the third, using the same cotton/nylon yarn, also using double crochet and the same size hook. It was coming out great, much rounder and loofah-y-looking than number two... and then... I ran out of yarn. Sigh. Fifty grams does not go nearly as far as I would like it to, and these loofahs use up a surprisingly large amount of yarn.
Sadly, there was no more of this yarn to be found on etsy, but I did find an ebay seller who had a bunch of skeins in stock. But it was a new auction with 5 days left. Boo. I prefer "buy it now" listings - yay for instant gratification - especially when I need it to finish a project I've already begun.
I won two of the four auctions, for a total of 10 skeins of this stuff - 4 in the cream color I was using and 6 more in 4 different colors, which just arrived today. Here's the whole lot, pictured with my mostly complete loofah number three.
With 10 skeins of this, and each skein making approximately two loofahs, I am soon to have loofahs out the wazoo (or is it up the wazoo? I dunno). The purple's pretty dark so I definitely want to test it myself to see if it runs before putting one in my shop. Also, I am intending to make the pattern available on here for free once I get it finalized. But first, I have to finish loofah the third, which is part of a shamefully late birthday present for my cousin (along with some whipped clean body wash from another etsy seller - GudonyaToo. I haven't tried any of their products yet, but it smells yummy)