What is wrong with me? I can’t seem to come into possession of a knitted-up piece of denim yarn–swatch or sweater–without experiencing OCD-W (Obsessive Compulsive Denim-Washing). No sooner had I modelled Raspy in public and worn it a few times, than it started to look a bit too crispy and new. It needed mellowing. It needed several trips through the washer and dryer with as much other stuff as I could cram in (for friction, you know–to sand down the new denim blue).
But what it really needed–or I needed–was BLEACH.
Yes. Bleach. What is this mad urge to take irresponsible risks with precious handknits that have taken hours–days–weeks–months– to finish? But once the word ‘bleach’ has entered my mind, I am powerless to resist. No bleach pen? No problem. A Q-tip and a jar lid with a half-inch of bleach, and I’ve got my brand-new sweater stuffed with the New York Post and I’m daubing away. Heedless of the danger to a perfectly okay sweater.
The voice in my head (Mad Bad Kay) was saying: “People see you in this sweater and think you don’t KNOW about all those dropped-stitch ‘runs’ you made in it! They think you are a bad knitter! They are looking at you RIGHT NOW and thinking you don’t even REALIZE that you have holes in your sweater! Now…if you just bleach those little ladders–just a TOUCH, very SUBTLE–then it will be clear that you are a GREAT KNITTER and you Did This On Purpose. Then it will be the Design Feature that Kim Hargreaves intended. By God, woman: you MUST BLEACH IT, BLEACH IT GOOD!”
So I painted on my bleach, put it back in the washer (dumping the leftover bleach into the wash–what the hell, right?), only slightly nervous as to whether I would like the outcome. With bleach, there are no do-overs. If you don’t like it, there’s only overdyeing, or bleaching it ALL THE WAY, i.e, a white sweater. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the fading indigo-dyed yarn, you know?
Here’s how it came out.
For the record, I like it. I like it much better than before. It still has a raw, just-bleached look, but that will soften up with wear and washing. (Yay! More washing!)
Carrie’s observation made it all worthwhile: ‘You’re…. Punk Mom!’
Very fitting on the last day of CBGB’s. (I can’t seem to face up to the facts. I’m tense and nervous–can’t relax. )