In which I shrink the cashmere
Updated: May 3
Bit of a first world problem, but devastating none the less...
In some regards, I am an extremely thrifty shopper. I'm absolutely addicted to eBay, I love having a rummage in a Charity Shop and a good hand-me-down of kids clothing never hurt anybody! In other respects, I can be extremely irresponsible, much to the Husband's dismay. In fact, by approximately the 6th of every month, he has to say to me "we can't spend any more money this month!" I think I've entered into a bit of a cycle of splurging on everything at the beginning and then having nothing to see me through until the end. From the 20th onwards, I'm virtually ticking off the days on the calendar until payday. Recently, I've sold quite a lot on eBay, but, unfortunately, I've also bought quite a lot as well (mostly for the kids, I hasten to add). I haven't really made any money, but I haven't spent any from our depleted bank account either, so I think I deserve a pat on the back for that.
A couple of months ago, someone offered me a lovely bundle of women's clothing, for a very good price. It would have been churlish to say no (honest). The bundle consisted of many items that I would never normally have chosen for myself, but I was delighted to find that I absolutely loved them all. There was a teal faux fur jacket, something I previously would have thought of as far too ostentatious, but to my surprise, I absolutely loved it. It was so warm and cosy. The whole family were coming up to me and stroking me like a cat (slightly irritating, but they were obviously in complete agreement that I should keep the coat). I still haven't decided whether or not I actually have the nerve to wear it out in public yet, but time will tell. A cropped leopard print jumpsuit: sounds horrendous, but it looked fabulous. Again, something that I would never normally wear, but once I tried it on, I found it to be really flattering and now that animal print is back in fashion thanks to the Netflix phenomenon that is "Tiger King", I am considered to be "on trend!"
By far the biggest prize amongst this bundle, were two lovely items of cashmere. One, a navy blue sweater that complemented many of my outfits (most of which seem to be blue) and a grey cardigan, slightly oversized, but not too much, as I'm quite short (5ft 3") and anything remotely baggy makes me look like I'm dressing up in my Mother's clothing!) The cardigan was so comfortable, so easy to wear and above all, both items were amazingly warm (I tend to feel the cold severely and it's not unusual for me to wear thermal tops under many of my outfits, even in Spring.) I knew I needed to look after these garments, cherish them and take great care when washing... The sweater already had a paper receipt pinned to it from the dry cleaner's, so I knew how I should be treating them - but, I decided that this would prove to be far too costly. I would wash the items at home in the washing machine instead. I'm not completely mad, obviously I consulted Google first! And for the first few washes, this proved to be successful; I used Woolite, I selected the wool cycle at 20 degrees and the slowest spin setting possible.
Now, I don't know why, believe me when I say I have questioned myself over this many, many times, but one day, I decided I would try washing them on the delicate cycle instead of the wool cycle. BIG MISTAKE. They came out like baby clothes; teeny, tiny little pieces of wool, the knit all matted together and sleeves that would now stop well above my elbows. I was devastated! I nearly cried. I immediately sought out the Husband for a bit of sympathy and advice. He looked at me like I was a cretin. "Oh dear, that was silly, wasn't it!" Extremely helpful, thank you. Cue more furious Googling. Apparently, you can soak the items in a bowl full of tepid water with hair conditioner, then press the garment between two towels and gently try to stretch it back into its previous shape. I did achieve some stretch! Unfortunately, I also popped off a button! I washed it again in the washing machine on the previously successful wool cycle and hung it on the line to dry: something I have already learnt you should never do with wool jumpers, unless you want to end up with a hem that's short in the middle, a foot longer at either side and sleeves you need to roll up about 10 times! This basically achieved nothing. So now the Daughter (she's 10!) has the privilege of wearing the cashmere, which I don't find particularly pleasing. I was facing a bit of double edged sword really: I couldn't bear to throw the items away, but I can't help scowling at her as she skips down in the morning, all warm and cosy and fashionably attired, while I'm making do with my threadbare, hole ridden, £5 cardigan from Primark....
Have you suffered any similar laundry related disasters? Please share in the comments below.
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