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Et viola - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Et viola
Good karate lesson last night. Because I'd moved my lesson at the last minute (bad j4!) I ended up sharing a lesson with a blue belt and a brown belt (that's the two grades below black) who were revising stuff for their upcoming gradings. Which meant that while they were going through a lot of stuff I already knew (the syllabus is cumulative) they were going through it at a much faster pace -- hard to keep up with but sometimes it's useful to try to push myself a bit more. I thought I was doing pretty well at nearly-keeping-up until I realised they'd already been going for 2 hours when I started... and in this heat! Phew.

Rest of the evening was moderately productive: phoned a friend, phoned my mum, told my mum it was unlikely that I'd make it home this weekend to sort out books and stuff which have been tagged for possibly getting rid of (or at least relegating to the loft) but I do want to do it a.s.a.p. to free up space in their house. There's certainly no more room for books in sion_a's house so they can't come here!

Phone-calls dispensed with, I had an unsuccessful attempt at ironing my 1950s rock'n'roll skirt (which I want to sell on eBay) -- it's made of Shiny Stuff which seems to be completely iron-resistant. Gave up on that and fiddled (hah!) with stringed instruments instead. Tuned my old viola (not the nice one that nou gave me, but the orange-varnished one I bought for 20 quid from my school) to C-G-C-G (instead of the usual C-G-D-A) just to see what it was like playing it like that, and found that it made it much easier to improvise random folky stuff. Which was nice. I still can't improvise well, but I'm really just trying to get through the mental block that says if-you-can't-do-it-well-don't-do-it-at-all -- I figure you have to do it badly first.

Current Mood: timewasting

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Comments
juggzy From: juggzy Date: May 19th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Shiny material - suspect that it might respond to a moderately hot wash and hung up to dry without creases.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 19th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Label says handwash only... I suspect some application of wetness is the answer, though. Is steam-ironing likely to damage it?
juggzy From: juggzy Date: May 19th, 2004 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Hand hot might do the job. If it's that spongy shiny stuff, steam ironing might not be the ticket; might melt it. You could try it on an inside seam first if you really wanted to go that route. Better, I think to try the washing first, and hanging it up so that it decreases under it's own weight.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
It's just ordinary satiny shiny stuff, not spongey. So I had a go at ironing it dampened on the inside, and it's sort of de-creased now, enough that I should be able to sell it to some other bugger who can take on responsibility for ironing it. :-)
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: May 19th, 2004 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a shiny half-circular skirt. As with most things, I ignore the "handwash" label and bung it in the machine on the wool/delicates program. Then I steam-iron it on the lowest heat setting. Neither of these things has hurt it yet (and it has a melted hole from a cigarette, so it definitely doesn't do well with heat!).

If your iron won't do steam on the wool/nylon/silk (one blob) setting, lay a tea-towel over the garment, sprinkle water on, and iron through the tea-towel. This is tedious (I used to do it for my (wool) school uniform skirt, complete with pins to hold the pleats in place, and it took forever!), but it does work.

Good luck!
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Just dampened it on the inside and ironed it in the end, & it seems to have worked, more or less.

I've often wished that I understood a bit more why things are given the washing instructions that they are -- so that I could make a more sensible judgement on whether to take notice of it or not. I mean, what I want to be able to determine (on a case-by-case basis) is: if I ignore the washing instructions, what will happen? Will it just wear out or fade a bit quicker? Or will it melt, or disintegrate, or shrink to the size of Barbie clothes? Or what?

I don't remember ironing my school skirt but they were made of such hideous hard material that I suspect they just needed sanding down occasionally... Oh, actually, I do remember ironing the pleats, so I must have done it once or twice. The material really was completely indestructible, though -- you could file your nails on it!
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: May 23rd, 2004 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I've often wished that I understood a bit more why things are given the washing instructions that they are -- so that I could make a more sensible judgement on whether to take notice of it or not.

Well, my experience goes...
1. Knowing what the fabric is is good (should say on the label, unless you've got hold of a hand-made thing). Whatever a care label may say, wool, velvet and silk *can* be washed in the machine (on the delicates setting) - in general. Occasionally you'll come across something that has some kind of special finish which the machine will kill. But anything like that probably cost a bomb to begin with.

2. If you don't know what the fabric is (garment is hand made, frex), you have to go by trial and error. If I don't care that much, I'll stick it in the machine on the delicates setting and see what happens. I haven't ruined anything yet...but it may be a matter of time!

But in my experience, manufacturers seem to say hand-wash or dry-clean only on an awful lot of things for which this is not warranted. Now, I'll grant you, pressing my velvet blazer was a pain in the neck, and having the thing dry-cleaned would have been way easier. But washing and pressing it myself was just so much cheaper.

As far as I can tell, "dry-clean only" often means "you'll make a pig's ear of pressing it, so let the experts".

I mean, what I want to be able to determine (on a case-by-case basis) is: if I ignore the washing instructions, what will happen? Will it just wear out or fade a bit quicker? Or will it melt, or disintegrate, or shrink to the size of Barbie clothes? Or what?

In general, my experience has been that washing the thing on the delicates program and ironing it on the lowest setting is not harmful to most things. And when in doubt, I *always* use the delicates setting; wool will shrink in some areas and stretch in others (so you can end up with a sweater that barely covers your boobs, but is wide enough for three of you and has sleeves long enough for an orang-utan!) if you wash it or iron it too hot, while synthetics tend to melt when attacked with a too-hot iron (which makes an awful mess of the iron as well as ruining the garment!).

Overall, I'd say take instructions with a pinch of salt, but experiment on clothes you don't care that much about. I've been lucky so far; the worst I ever did was melt a teeny bit on the collar of my cloak when I was applying iron-on decoration to it.

acronym From: acronym Date: May 19th, 2004 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
do it badly first

See also blues guitar, which you've heard me bluff :) - I idly play blues when I can't think of anything better, so that's the cumulative result of a lot of very bad missed riffs...
teleute From: teleute Date: May 19th, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rock and roll skirt is there a photo? what colour? what size? would I like it??

*and breathe...*
j4 From: j4 Date: May 20th, 2004 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
It's bright orange, the label says size 12 but I'm a 10-12 and I can barely do the button up. No idea if you'd like it! I'll take a photo when I've got it a bit less creased.
teleute From: teleute Date: May 20th, 2004 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
it sounds cool :) I know I can't get into my old one, because I've put on weight (more importantly, inches at the waist) and i could barely get into it when I was at college. A new one could be required. Is it plasticy shiny material?
j4 From: j4 Date: May 21st, 2004 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Not plastic, no, more like satin.
teleute From: teleute Date: May 21st, 2004 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)
oh fabulous! want want want!! would you sell it to me?
j4 From: j4 Date: May 21st, 2004 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure... er, no idea how much for, though. I was just going to bung it on eBay and see what I got for it. Let me take a photo first (will try to get round tuit over the w/e) though, you might decide it's not the sort of thing you want at all! Also I will measure the waist so I can tell you what it is in inches rather than a misleading dress-size.
teleute From: teleute Date: May 21st, 2004 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
sounds good. If it's an elasticated wast, could you do both unstretched and stretched measurements? What were you thinking for a starting bid? how old is it?
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2004 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Right, photo at http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~janetmck/skirt.jpg. It is a full circle of fabric but I didn't have anywhere convenient to spread it out to show that...

Waist measurement is 26" (so no wonder it doesn't fit me, it's 2 inches too small) and it's not elasticated.

Absolutely no idea how old it is; I bought it at a bric-a-brac market and the person who sold it to me described it as a "50s rock'n'roll skirt", she was probably being creative with her description. I'd guess 1960s-70s based on the font on the label, but that really is just a guess.

No idea what I'd've started the bidding at -- this is why I've never got round to selling anything on eBay.
teleute From: teleute Date: May 24th, 2004 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* sadly thats about 2 inches too small for me too. I've put on much poundage since I came out here. But thanks for letting me take an interest :-)
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