March 9, 2004
Yup. I've put it off as long as I can. It's time for me to replace the clogs that felted into foot -frisbies. Stupid clogs. Here's the first of four pairs. Four pairs...I may die of ennui.
You know how some knitters have a speciality? Like, some only knit socks, or scarves, or sweaters? Do you think that there is anybody who just knits clogs? Do you think they have to get drunk just to make it a little interesting? Don't get me wrong, I love this pattern but I've made so many pairs that it's starting to make me a little weird. Plus, I can't help but think that I'm being punished by the clogs in some way. The first several pairs I made went really well. I realize now that the clogs were lulling me into a false sense of security, waiting for me to love them and trust them. the minute that I did, it all went badly for me.
I made Ken a pair that didn't felt evenly, and I ended up felting by hand in the bathtub for a good long time. The pair that over-felted, several underfelted ones. Then the catastrophic "foot disk" episode. Big fun. At that point I decided that I must need more information. (Chronic low self esteem...I always think its my fault), so I carefully read this really good article on felting. Reassured, confident and cocky I waltzed into the basement...approached my trusty washer, gave it a pat and pitched the green lopi clogs for Yvonne into the beast. I followed the directions for "free range" felting and after 32 minutes (precisely) I had wicked cool clogs, just like I used to. That's right, the clog curse was lifted. I scooped all the loose green fibre from the washer just like Rob the Felting King directed me to...and carried on gleefully with my life. Since my life is laundry, I was back at the washer shortly.
All seemed well until I returned to the washer an hour later. The load was sitting there...half drained and ignoring all requests to finish draining. Bad. If you have a family of five then you understand that a broken washer is an emergency. Badly rattled, I ran upstairs and called my appliance guy (he's on speed dial) and got him over here. While I waited for him I wondered what it was going to cost this time. I've replaced the belt, the motor, the %^&*(^!! (I think that's what Joe called it) and most recently, the pump. I'd replace the entire washer but we renovated the kitchen after we put the washer downstairs, and in a tragic move, put a cupboard in a place where it prevents the washer from clearing the basement door. So it's me and this washer, until I move or die. I'm a little attached.
Joe and I hovered over the washer guy as he examined the casualty. It was when the guy said that it was the pump, that something clicked. Didn't the article say that if you don't take all the loose fibre out of the water that you could clog the pump? But I did take out all of the loose fibres... I know I did. While the guy disassembles the pump, I swing back and forth between feeling awful that I've killed the pump with the green clogs, and telling myself that I scooped all the fibre out....It can't be me. All along I keep looking at Joe, who is looking at the washer and seeing dollar signs. The only thing that would be worse than me killing the pump with green clogs is finding out that I killed the pump with green clogs in front of Joe. Please...let there be no proof.
The washer guy finally pulls the pump out of the gored washer, and in a horrible, heart-stopping moment, begins to pull what are (very obviously) green lopi washer rats out of the pump, while telling us that it will cost almost $300 to replace the burned out pump. Joe looks at me and says nothing. The look in his eyes says it all. $300 clogs. The clog curse lives on.
Posted by Stephanie at March 9, 2004 11:21 AM
$300? Ouch :(
But you did the right thing. The rats were green - they HAD to be drowned.
Ouch... well, at least you know you TRIED to get the green stuff out. It's not like you just totally forgot or didn't know.
Oh Steph! You poor thing. I've seen my husband's variant of the $300-clog-glare (usually when yet another box of yarn mysteriously appears on our doorstep), and if Joe's is anything like that, I can only imagine . . . Maybe it's time to start felting clogs at the laundromat?
Hang in there!
Oh no! What a terrible story!
(But, God help me, I find it very funny too. I'm bad. :P )
On a related note: do not ever, ever try drying a chenille sweater in a machine. Especially not another person's machine.
The horror of green rats! Hopefully the clogs were well appreciated!
Sorry to hear the drowned rats made their way to the pump. I used to free range felt until my washer broke and my husbeast bought a new machine. Now they all get wrangled inside a pillowcase.
Sounds like your free range felting days are over. I also use a zippered pillowcase.
When we lived in the Boston area, our house was old and had a toilet that needed lots of fixing. After one visit (but far from the last one), our plumber said "this toilet has more new parts than a new toilet". Sounds like your washing machine!
This is the reason I have TWO washing machines. Of course, the good frontloader is leaking - and now I have to get it fixed. Next time I buy a maytag, not an asko.
The other good thing about two washers is that morgen is pretty good about not putting her dye experiments in the wash with my white shirts.
Usually the whatever-you-call-the-tube that the water drains out through gets clogged before the pump goes bad. Our machine wouldn't drain once, when our kids were tiny, and DH pulled that piece out and found jammed together in there baby socks, one of his socks, small clothes, every imaginable small item you could think of: they had simply flown over the top of the drum in the spin cycle till there were just too many of them partying at once. He flushed it out, reattached it and we were okay that time. Try to keep the little things towards the bottom of the load.
It's all Joe's socks' fault. They clogged it first and wore the thing out.
By the way, that pump should be under warranty. If not, a polite complaint might at least get you a discount.
It's all about plausible deniability. Which is hard to achieve with green rats. Beige, maybe. Black, sure (blame it on Joe's clothes), but *green*? Not so much.
Simply adjust your colour scheme and you should be alright in the future.
hi stephanie!! love your site! you always have me laughing when i read your words i look forward to reading more about your knitting adventures. the slipper piece i loved as ive done about 20 pairs and i took out 2 washing machine pumps...rrggg..trying to find the perfect felting bag to keep all the fibers contained...hope to catch up with somewhere soon until then im enjoying your web genius!!! xo colleen
Point out to Joe how much more you need a properly functioning washer than a pesky husband.
Remind him that many people (and no doubt their spouses) found you extremely attractive when you posted that photo of you and Ken.
Conclude with the likelihood of the pump's refusal to handle any more of HIS torn gitch, which no doubt caused the whole sad debacle.
$300! That has to bite. I enjoyed the article on felting/fulling. So far, I've felted two handbags in the kitchen sink with good results. It takes a long time, but I like it. Your experience makes me think twice about machine felting. However, I just ordered some Brown Sheep for--guess what--a pair of felted clogs.
And here I was getting excited about making clogs. Not that I know how to knit mind you.
Curiouser and curiouser. Have you tried spinning something with a soft twist and fairly thick grist? I wonder how that yarn, knit up into clogs of course would full?
Enquiring minds want to know. Said minds are not to be mistaken for minds that belong to folk who have done this..we plead the 5th and any other number so as to evade having to do this ourselves.
Rats you say..eh? Pity not only in Canada.
300 Dollars?! Man, that bites... but I have to say, I'm laughing my butt off over here, the way you write is so funny! Plus, I laugh because I can relate... we've all been there at one time or another!
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