Monday, January 07, 2013
Songs my Mother taught me #3
Here we go around a juniper bush is a Christmas feast song where the children are singing about laundry. So do we do when we wash our cloths, rinse our cloths, hand up our cloths, roll our cloth, iron our cloth, wash our floor and go to church and home again.
Laundry was supposed to be done Monday morning, or late Sunday evening really. My mother was constant about keeping the Sunday holy, but before bedtime Sunday night she would put very dirty clothes to soaking the night over, likewise the whitewash to cook the night over. Next day she would scrub by hand every single item and put them over in rinse tanks, 3 at least, before hanging it out to dry in open air.
My mother had two children in 15 months and an endless row of diapers.
There was no folding, there were stretching, rolling and ironing.
Except for wool of course.
My mother taught me how to handle wool. Later on when we too had washing machine and dry tumbler, she would never, ever put wool in a machine. Even the bought wool under wear was washed by hand. Why??
Till her last year at home my mother preferred drying under open air to tumbler. She fell, of course, but that did not stop her.
Wool is both strong and delicate at the same time. If you wash it in say, warm water and rinse it in cold water, which will happen in a machine, it will inevitably shrink. Wool must be washed and rinsed in the same lukewarm temperature.
If you shrub, rub or centrifugate a wool jumper it will shrink, get knotty and out of shape.
Outside the home where I grew up in my red sweater.
After you have gently crushed and squeezed the wool garment, clean in mild, liquid soap or shampoo,rinse it at least three times in water of the same temperature. Never use fabric softener, but you may need a teaspoon of 7% vinegar if you are afraid the colors will bleed.
Then find a bath towel, lay e,t,c, the pullover on the towel, fold and roll it hard till its about dry. Especially jumpers should be dried lying. If you hang them, they tend to go out of shape. When dry, you may steam iron gently with a cloth between the iron and the jumper.
Some yearn says the are mashinewashable, believe me, they are not. Some machines claim to have a wool program. Believe me, it doesn't work.
How can I be so persistent? Because I didn't listen to my mother and ruined beautiful, home knitted garments.
Even at the home where my mother spent her last months they managed to ruin a beautiful, bought 500 dollars jacket of wool and silk. In a machine.
I've chosen to illustrate my point by showing a red jumper my mother knitted to me when I was two years old.
Mr. Nisse likes reading. Like me he's fond of John Cowart's books. And the sweater is still red.
I used it till I grew out of it, then I passed it to toddler Serina and some years thereafter the youlenisse (Santa Claus Norwegian style) was dressed up in the same sweater.
He's still going strong. the jumper had 60 years jubilee this winter.
Since the jumper is red I also sign this up for Ruby Tuesday 2.
Photo and poem © 2012 by Magical Mystical Teacher