Thursday, July 24, 2014

Laundry Crisis Averted...

I am not prone to "cheating" on Stonemountain And Daughter Fabrics by spending a lot of time shopping for ready to wear garments. I can make just about anything for my wardrobe, but let's be real, some things are just not worth the sewing hassle.  Jeans, simple t-shirts and sweaters are among those things that I regularly purchase in department stores.

"Lobster" jeans from Cabi

Recently, I purchased some linen crop pants (hel-lo! something that I could have made!) from Tommy Bahama for way more $$ than I care to say.  I also ordered a couple of classic knit polo shirts from Land's End, splurged on a pair of lobster colored skinny jeans from CAbi and nabbed a cute lace tank from White House/Black Market.

I love all these garments, but what are the chances that 1) all of them would be dirty at the same time and 2) that I would throw them all into the washer...together.  Yep, those pretty lobster red pants were hidden in my carelessly thrown together wash load.

Let me just admit that I stopped letting Dave touch my laundry years ago just because of this very thing. Imagine my horror upon transferring my load to the dryer...all those pretty white things now a glorious shade of baby pink.  (BTW, the CAbi jeans are still pretty!) Luckily, I did not dry them but quickly threw the white things in the washer again with some Oxy Clean, which is touted to be a non-chlorine stain remover.

After the Oxy Clean? That would be a No.

There was also a cheap white cotton t-shirt in the load that I decided to experiment on...
with Clorox.  Didn't even phase it.  

I really didn't care THAT much about the other white things, but those linen crop pants are among my favorites. You can search Pinterest and find all types of concoctions that promise to remove stains and whiten.  But one friend mentioned good old Rit Color Remover as a possible solution.

Try finding Rit Dye/Color Remover. Target no longer carries it.  
The customer sales rep mentioned Michael's. That would be a No.

I remembered (or thought I had) in Winco.  After combing the aisles, I finally scored some color remover.  And just in case, I bought some more bleach, some whiteners and other products. My daughter read something about Peroxide and Baking soda??? Scary, but if I get desperate, maybe...

I went online to get some hints about how to use Rit's Color Remover. I remembered my Mom dying clothes on top of the stove...big pot of boiling water with constant stirring. And the process has not changed in 50 years.

I poured the boiling water into my kitchen sink and added the little magic packet.  The instructions day it takes from 10-20 minutes of constant stirring to remove the color.  Patience is a virtue and not one of my strong suits. But as I stirred the smelly ( perm solution??) brew, I could see the pink cast start to fade. on the t-shirt.  I bravely threw in the polo shirt with the navy polka dots, the lace tank, another printed top that had a tie dye pattern on the front and stirred for what seemed like an interminably long time.

Most of the "pink" fabrics were cotton and a couple had a little Lycra in the content, but all seemed to respond well to the Rit product...some just took longer. I think the polka dots suffered a little, but at least it's not pink.

It's working...
Use this BEFORE you try anything else

I made another batch of Color Remover for my precious linen crop pants. Miracle of all miracles, I may have saved my pants. I am working on getting the last tiny remnants of pink - it's barely there...perhaps if i hadn't used the laundry product first.  But they are wearable.

Untouched photo...LOL!

Yes there is a moral...several, actually.  I'm not blaming the manufacturer of the bleeding lobster jeans...consider it operator error. So take time to sort your laundry and save yourself some grief. And when in doubt, always be sure to check your labels for care instructions, whether you are buying ready to wear garments or fabric. FabricLady would probably say "That'll teach you not to buy linen pants when you can make them". And finally, don't be so hard on your too can make stupid mistakes!

Laurel. Pretty in Pink, but I'd rather have White!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

For A Paris Evening...

My friend Angel made this soft capelet several times and when I tried it on I was mesmerized with
how sweet it was.  Although she knitted hers in a yummy, more wintry yarn, I thought it would be perfect for a summer "Evening in Paris". The pattern is called "LuLu" French - the designer says it's her alter ego.

The model even looks like Brigitte Bardot...
I found a white cotton and acrylic blend - easy to work, forgiving. The lace pattern is not difficult (as lace goes) and it works up very quickly. What I love most are the little flowerettes around the yoke - so feminine.  The "sleeves" are added to the bottom of the capelet, and it is mildly restrictive for movement...but since I wasn't planning on doing anything too athletic other than lifting my wine glass, it should be perfect!

Finished and ready to wash and block. 

I use a large fiberboard coated with Contact paper to block my knitted garments.
I set them outdoors under a fan to hasten the drying process.

Because of the cotton blend (I hardly EVER knit with acrylic) I am hoping that it will remain soft and cozy...but not too hot!

My little French coquette, Colette, is right at home in my new LuLu. She is thinking that it will pair beautifully with some of my linen crop pants or soft maxi skirts. It would look awesome with any of  Suzan's travel pants, but alas, Zan, like the fringed linen skirt, I'm not making you a LuLu sweater. LOL!  In truth, I love to knit, but I don't get how women can be so selfless making knitted garments for friends and family - it's sooooo much work...I can barely get anything completed for myself!!

But hey, Zan, you can borrow it anytime:)

Speaking of SYW projects (that's "Slit Your Wrist") projects, I'm back to the Habu shawl...was thinking of giving up (and I still may) but I switched to wood needles, and it's working better. I haven't cried for an hour. Colette will love this one too and it also would be perfect for Paris evenings.

We'll see...sewing is so much easier!

Laurel. Selfish Knitter.

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