Sunday, August 8, 2010

Clothesline FRESH!

For fun, I just had to share these BRRRrrrrrr cold clothesline pics, with Jack Frost's artwork all over them.

Don't you think that while we're all sweltering, it's fun to look at cold? I do!

I've had a love affair with the clothesline for my whole married life. Yes. LOVE.

Nothing thrills me more after a long and drab winter when the first day that the sunshine shows some gumption and applies warmth to the cold, drab ground.

I strip some beds, grab a quilt or two for the washer and when they're done, I run outside, into the crisp air with a load of blankets, quilts or sheets to hang for the sheer joy of it--knowing the bonus is that wonderful outdoor-fresh smell to snuggle into and sleep on that night.

Some have asked me how I can stand line dried clothing or sheets, and I understand that.

Sometimes, if not done right, the clothing can be stiff, and scratchy,
not at all something you'd LOVE.

Soon, the crocuses bloom and some days really become warm and the wind is nice and strong, and it's prime clothesline season!

The sky gets bluer and the sun's rays stronger, warmer.

I share with you today my secrets for loving the clothing and linens that are hung outside for the sun to kiss and the wind to soften...

And, who doesn't want to be outside?

Hanging clothes is the perfect excuse!

There's a lullaby in the flapping sheets...

1. First, you must use fabric softener in your washer, otherwise, scratchy is all you'll have.

2. Then, once the load is washed, it must be tossed in the dryer for at least seven or eight minutes.

3. Take the clothing from the dryer to shake, smooth nicely: button and zip jeans, button the top button of a shirt, smooth hems and cuffs if necessary.

4. I fold the sheets in the house before I get out into the wind, it's impossible to fold them for hanging in the strong wind.

5. Finally, have a good clothespin bag, some plastic clothes pins, with the spring, clean taut line and some good props...clothesline props are sold at the hardware store and help the clothing catch the good drying winds.

6. Then, hang everything well, shaken, buttons buttoned, zippers zipped.

7. T-Shirts usually are hung upside down so the shoulders won't have the bumps and be misshapen from the pull of the wind and the clothespins.

8. Hang sleeved shirts carefully by the collar so the wind comes INTO the sleeves of them, so the shirt is almost perfectly pressed when done. The collar may need a touch up if you have a good windy day, the rest of the shirt should be good to go!

9. Jeans can look good dried on the line, but ONLY with prior tossing into the dryer. Jeans need more clothespins for the weight. I use four per pair.

10. I double and triple clothespin my sheets for the wind is so strong out here.

11. I've never figured out how to hang towels so that I liked the results, I always dry towels in the dryer. I remember the scratchy towels from the summers at home and am not really willing to give up softness for the coarse line-dried towels.

12. If there's no wind, I do not to hang clothing out (only linens) because then ironing is required, but if you don't have any choice but to hang out in the still air--even then, ironing line dried clothes is much easier than ironing clothing from the dryer.

13. My pride will NOT let me hang out our children won't let me, either.
(Oh, if I had to, I would. But I don't, so I won't!)

14. If I'm hanging out all loads, I save all underwear and all socks from all the loads for the dryer after the final load of laundry. Then the dryer has to run only once for all the laundry that needs to be dried.

There IS a right way and a WRONG way to pin clothes to the line.

I will demonstrate...for the benefit of all mankind! wrong.

Right...zipped, buttoned, shaken.

No, I!!

Hanging like this will result in lumpy shoulders, and the fabric stretched and pulled by the wind so it will be all misshapen.

This is much, much, much betta....

a person wouldn't mind actually wearing this shirt in public when it's done.

If you decide to embrace the outdoors and grace the beautiful blue sky with your laundry--

enjoy your won't be sorry!


Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

I live in town now, so some times
I put my sheets out on the a line
strung across the covered patio.
You can't beat the smell of them
hung outside, that is for sure!
I use Arm and Hammer deterent,
so I hardly ever have to use softener
in my laundry. I remember my Mom
hanging outside in the winter
in Michigan...Thanks for the

Bear Hugs~Karen

Southern Sassafras said...

I wish I could have a clothes line, but my dogs would just tear everything up!

Faith said...

you know how I feel about this....

Marsha's Mpressions said...

love your pics!

Marydon said...

A girl of my heart! I am on that clothesline every chance I can get, all year round! Nothing is better than fresh breeze dried aromas as you snuggle into bed on those sheets ...

Have a lovely summer's day ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Cheryl Ann said...

I just started using a clothes line this past spring! I LOVE IT, especially my sheets! I'll try drying things for a few minutes in the dryer first. Oh, and I do use fabric softener! Mine is hidden in our back yard by all the trees out front. I'm sure my city has an ordinance against clothes lines!

Deb said...

This is one of my most favorite things in the whole world! I hang clothes on the line every chance I get. All spring and summer long..and into the fall for as long as I can. There's no other smell like that in the world!

Anonymous said...
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Linda said...

I love the clothes line too. I don't hang the undies either! I don't like to use fabric softener, the kids tend to get rashes, so I hang everything out then bring it in and put it in the dryer for a few minutes. Even the jeans come out non wrinkled and soft. THanks for the tips Joanie.

Lori said...

I love lined dried clothes, sheets, pretty much everything but towels too. I hang laundry out more in the spring and fall than summertime. I don't like all the buggy little critters sitting on my clothes and doing their job that happens in the summertime. If there is a good breeze I still hang things out in the summer though.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

OK, if there was a "professional blogger" award Joni, I would give it to you!!!!
First, thank you for your kind phone call the other day!
Second, this is a wonderful post, I learned SO MUCH! I don't use fabric softener cause I am such a stickler for not using extra chemicals BUT I can't believe how many good tips you have here.
I do enjoy putting my clothes out but I don't do it enough, this post really inspired me to enjoy being more methodical and intentional about it while enjoying it at the same time.


cityfarmer said...

I second the blogger award!!!!

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

You might not understand, but I love to "organize" my clothing while I'm hanging makes it easier to put them away, too. All the jeans go together, all the shorts, all the tshirts, then all the other shirts,'s fun, I tell ya! I'm a little over the top, I think!

Thanks for all your nice compliments!

Grandma Becky said...

Drying clothes on the clothesline used to be my cup of tea. Did it when we lived in NM when it was warm. Loved sheets from outside. I've still got the clothesline but now it's in disrepair. I rarely use it due to part time work. I do laundry in the evenings so it's hard to dry it outside. Moonlight isn't very warm! :0) But I loved your post and your photos! Especially the snow ones! It cools me down on this very hot day. Thank goodness for air conditioning! Hugs!

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

That is one thing I miss about not living in the country anymore; we always hung our clothes in spring and summer to dry on the line! Towels too! My mother would not allow the dryer to be used in summer...EVER! :-)
We hung our 'unmentionables' out too, but even though nobody could see our clothesline and we had no neighbors for miles, my mother always instructed us that those things be hung on the lines that were on the inside, masked by towels and sheets hung on the lines on the outside!
I've enjoyed reading your blog!