Saturday, January 16, 2010

Days 118-119, and The Life of a Sweater (Or lack thereof)

So, how many times have I bitched about how much I hate acrylic?

Today, while I was procrastinating on the last gasps of my novel (I hate writing The End...), I decluttered around sixty pounds of sweaters and purses from my closet. The purses were rather hard to let go of. (Including one very nice Coach bag--yummy black leather, tasteful, made before the days most Coach bags began to look like graphic cereal boxes--that will be showing up at the Carbondale Goodwill next week) The sweaters, not so difficult.

I'm a big cotton sweater fan. You know, "Cotton Is the Fabric of Our Lives..." I love thick, twisted cotton yarns in ivory and pastels. Comfy cardigans are my favorites. But I also love butter-soft cotton. The kind that feels like a paper-thin, cashmere wrap.

There was a surprise in my pile, though. I discovered that one of my favorite cozy pullovers was made of 80% acrylic! The other 20% is rayon, which is made from adulterated cellulose. But the yarns were thick and marled, kind of a boucle. There was a some pilling, but the weave was so dense you couldn't tell. Plus, it was more than six years old.

At six years, a good sweater is just getting REALLY good.

Here's my favorite (now only) Christmas sweater. I know. I say the words Christmas Sweater, and even I think of Colin Firth in that hysterical reindeer sweater from Bridget Jones' Diary. But they can be charming. This one came from Talbots, and I know it's at least six years old. Pic is from Christmas 2007.

Christmas sweaters get light wear, of course. This one is wool, so it's lasted quite well. Here's the life of a good sweater: Front of the closet for 2-3 years. Stylish. Then relegated to weekday/errand wear, maybe with jeans, for 2-3 years. Lastly, it's there to keep you comfy around the house, warm in pleasant memories.

Sadly, the life of THIS sweater will be nothing like that.

I don't think I have any other pics with this cardigan. Faded Glory: $12, 100% acrylic. The reason there are no other pics is because it's become unwearable in public. It was chunky and comfy when the above pic was taken. No longer. It's only good for wearing while cleaning the house or lying on the couch, recovering from the flu.

My lame photography skills won't allow me to show you how bad the sweater really looks, now.

The fading isn't as bad as it looks, here. (The flash washed it out.) But the pilling is much, much worse than it looks. And this after only two washings! 

D + grade for this sweater. It only gets the plus because it was cute before it got washed twice. My first really big disappointment. I guess after four months (TODAY!), that's not too bad.

Day 118:

Yeah. I know. I look like I just gave up my pizza delivery job and ran to Wal-Mart to pick up an outfit for my new job selling off-season timeshares.

White Stag top: $12; Miley Cyrus vest: $14; Norma Kamali pants: $15; Scarf: $5; Faded Glory boots: $23

Day 119:

This is me, pissed off because you didn't buy the timeshare!

Norma Kamali Shirt: $15; White Stag Sweater: $12; Calvin Klein pants: $17 (Sam's); Necklace: $7; Earrings: $7

My college girl/songbird goes back to college this weekend. Miss her already! Isn't it cool when someone brings joy into your life whenever she's around?

Have a terrific weekend.


  1. Am I missing something or did your sweater turn pink? And when did you say that Coach bag would be turning up at Goodwill? Six hours is a little far to travel for a purse, but I could make it work... ; )

  2. I replaced the pic of the sweater with one I took outdoors this morning, Carrie. It still looks washed out, but you can see the detail better.

    Ours is not such a great Goodwill for shopping--you'd be better off making a roadtrip to St. Louis. Better purses!

  3. I'm thinking I might brave Carbondale Goodwill for a Coach purse. It's the one and only way I;d ever buy one :)

    Sometime in the next few weeks, can I hit you up to sign my copy of Isabella Moon? I can run to Cdale almost any afternoon.

  4. A good sweater is like an old friend isn't it? Maybe they don't look quite the same, but oh so comfortable.

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back in the habit of checking out the Goodwill and Salvation Army shops. :-)

  5. Since you're getting rid of so much stuff , there are some other great donation places in C'dale. The Baptist Church on Oakland Street has a food and clothing pantry for those in need in the area. Also that great big Thrift Store on N. 51 gives vouchers to needy in the area and gives away tons of stuff each year. (Just in case you want to spread your great donations around a little.)

  6. Hey beautiful,

    It's weird, but even after several years in a bitterly cold climate, I only have two sweaters. Seriously. One is a grey cashmere turtleneck and the other is red. That's all I know about it. I guess I've always been the layering type. I do have a ton of black button sweaters to wear as jackets. I like the picture of you in the Christmas sweater. And I love how you write about your lovely daughter!

  7. Cin--I'll be in town Thursday afternoon at Panera to meet with a book club. Not sure what time yet. Contact me on email or FB and we'll work something out for then or another time.

    Sally--I love to shop for vintage goodies. One of my very favorite places in Roanoke VA was the Discovery Shop of the American Cancer Society. Lots of wonderful '60s and '70s clothes donated by fashionable older ladies.

    Branda--Thanks for the reminder. I didn't know the Baptist Church had a clothing pantry, too.

    Sweet Michelle--You're too gorgeous to hide underneath big old sweaters anyway!
    I miss my girl so much. :( But she did sound happy to be back amongst her tribe. And she told me to keep the monthly cash I send her because she worked a lot while she was home. Sometimes I wonder if she's real.