The Washing Machine Review

Firstly, the washing machine, in the event of anyone else considering spending their winter wood savings and the car wof money on a new one.It looks like this:
See the lights and the little electronic screen? It tells you how long the cycle has left to go. It does seem to have some excellent little features like a strong door hinge and tray for the detergent and a filter that you can fit a container underneath should you need to. But the main thing is that it GOES. A significant feature which the old one did not possess.

When we bought the last one, five years ago, the salesperson said he thought there was such a focus on minimising water use that the machines did not use enough water for effective rinsing. At the time, our boy was three and had really terrible eczema. I always used the extra rinse function, sometimes rinsing additionally after that. With the new machine, somewhat awed that it was a Miele, I left out the water plus option initially, thinking they would have it all sussed in their basic programmes. But I'm using it routinely now; the water efficiency vs effective rinsing proved similar to other machines. It made a fantastic job of cleaning the curtains. The manual even had instructions for cleaning curtains. The highest spin setting is 1100 rpm whereas our old one was 1000 rpm. This does mean fabric comes out very lean and dries faster, especially on tumbe drier days (which you may not have so many of, because you may not live so close to a rainforest as I do). It does mean, though, that if you put a tissue in by mistake, then it will be rammed tight against the fabric by the fast spin and be rather difficult to get off.

So there you go, a review of a domestic appliance, backed up by multiple actual uses, by that messy woman on the Coast.

In other news, the children are back with us. We stopped off at the Maruia Springs natural hot pools on the way to collect them from my parents. Then we went to the pub while they were at church (Vigil Mass). It's lovely to have them back but I got so soft in just four days and was totally knackered tonight by all that cooking and washing. They did get involved in some painting for a bookcase for their room today:
I think Brighid was in charge of the pre-cleaning of the wood. She chooses to have her hair like that. You might observe that I'm too lazy to brush her hair properly and look after her like other proper mummies and you might be right. I could also observe that she gets to define her own style with a little less influence from rigid societal norms than could otherwise be the case, a free spirited approach. Of course I do talk a lot of bullshit and I haven't brushed my own hair today, let alone anyone else's.

This is the lounge, all wild thinged and hot chillied. Unless you are drunk, probably too drunk to read my words, you will notice that the curtains are still on the back of the couch (they are clean though) and the furniture is still crowded into the middle of the room, as though the paint is still drying. Time. I want to clean the windows before the curtains go up. Time will tell if this is too ambitious. I will take another one in the daytime, as that one makes the far wall look orange which it is not.

Completion. Is this is a theme? yeeee-eeee-eee-0-ees. That O in the middle is a yawn. I have finished the short tie of the never ending purple crossover cardigan. I want to wear it, not endlessly knit it. Fingers crossed. No not crossed. I won't get any knitting done that way.

I'm far more interested in sewing at the moment but as I don't have the skills to make a winter jacket, I still have to finish knitting as above before Autumn, preferably before work starts again at the end of this month. I brought back this pattern from Mum's:
It's reversible and the timing (pattern published in 1975, size 4 shown here) suggests Mum made it for me. I fancy making it for Brighid. When I've finished knitting and when I've made her flourescent pink tutu apron for her birthday (following these instructions). I think she has too many clothes but my mother pointed out that most of them have paint on them. Oh. Anyways, she (Brighid) is quite easy to sew for, seeing as I'm currently liking this sewing thing.

Another woollen blanket story. Ages ago, my Mum gave me her woollen blanket from when she was at boarding school. Her grandparents had bought it for her. It is made in Kaiapoi, at the woollen mill there which processed the fleeces my father's uncles and grandfather produced on their farms in North Canterbury and not far from where my Dad was born.

I found it yesterday in the big shed (which is smaller than your kitchen most likely, but the other sheds are smaller again) and the neglect was apparent. Earlier mishaps have been darmed carefully, presumably by my Mum:
So I checked out the wool cycle on my fancy new washing machine and then I felted it on a 75 degrees celsius hot wash and tumble dried it. I wanted to be sure that I'd killed anything eating it that might want to live in my linen cupboard and cause further unhappiness. It came out of the drier looking and feeling lovely. I think the initial weave must be quite sturdy as felting doesn't make much difference. I shall think of some stunning use for it at some point, surely. I don't want to make knick knacks with it; I want to make something I will use and will last and carry the blanket through into another family history story.

I cut a lot of comfrey and put it in the compost. Scratchy itchy stuff. I harvested our broccoli. It was small and ravaged by insects which had left brown scars on the plant and lots of egg sacs. We ate it at lunch time. Then at dinner time we had some of my Dad's broccoli. His was juicy and lush and huge and tasted fantastic. Hmmmmm. I dug out the area which had been housing the poor broccoli plant and buried bokashi in it and then covered it in pea straw.

I liked Rosemary McLeod's article in today's Sunday Star Times. Perhaps I should write and tell her, because twenty years ago I disagreed with her so much that I refused to read her for a long time. I'm distantly related to her as well - I found out when I read her wonderful ode to working class fabric craft: Thrift to Fantasy. There are of course some bloggers rather irritated by McLeod's article, like Linday Mitchell. The concept of structural inequalities seems so difficult for some people to grasp. But then you don't grasp things if your fists are clenched shut.


Anonymous said…
ER (now 4) has a little outfit (gotta call it that - a top and matching baggy panties) very similar to your new pattern. She wore it as a baby with leggings and skivvy underneath. She wore it as a two year old looking very cute no longer in nappies. She wore it as a three year old because she still loved it. She is still wearing it as a four year old, though I suspect it is the last summer the buttons will do up. It is reversible and has two pairs of pants - one to match each fabric, though she has never worn the polka dot side outwards - coz she loves the little rabbits on the other fabric! Her legs are very long and look ridiculous, but I rejoice that she is no slave to fashion!!!!! Good for $2 from the op shop;-)
As for the blanket? What about using it as a quilt backing? I know it's more normal to put a layer inside the top and backing, but then you wouldn't see it. You could sew the top onto the backing and then bind it with something.

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