A clothesline

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

When we were children, clothes were hung on the line to dry, and sometimes instead on a wooden rack. Automatic dryers were introduced as conveniences, but over time they have become viewed as necessities of modern life. What a shame. Dryers are expensive to operate, increase the temperature in the house, and stress fabrics, decreasing the useful life of clothes. What's more, clothes from the line smell like sunshine, something you can't fake with a detergent or fabric softener.

Today we're getting the sunshine back. We screwed eyebolts into two trees about 20' apart, put a slipknot onto each end of a 25' length of clothesline, attached the line to the eyebolts with S-hooks, and pulled the line taut. Within 15 minutes we had a working "solar dryer." I'm sure our old electric dryer will still get some use, but I am actually looking forward to using the line, as I had done for a few years when I was home raising my children. I like that it gets me outside, that it's leisurely, and that it just smells so good.

Every clotheline needs clothespins, and clothespins need a clothespin bag. I knew this was something I would want to make, not purchase, so I looked online to see what interesting ideas people had. One I thought pretty clever was to sew up the bottom of a shirt and place it on a hanger. That's all there was to it. I might have gone for that myself if I had a suitable shirt. I was starting to look further when I rememberd furoshiki. Ive been enamored of furoshikis since I saw a post around Christmas 2007 about using them as an alternative to giftwrap. My interest was less with gift wrap than with their versatility as bags or totes that can be fashioned at will to serve many purposes.

How about a furoshiki clothespin bag? Tying the furoshiki to the line wouldn't be a convenient as having something that could be hung on the line. The solution was to tie a furoshiki to a clothes hanger, one with a support bar across the bottom.  One side of the furoshiki rests along the top of the hanger. The ends are brough over the front of the hanger and then twisted once around the cross bar, so that they end up pointing toward the front. The opposite side of the furoshiki is brought up the front of the hanger and its ends are tied to the ends wrapped around the cross bar. Voila. (I'll add a picture of the "furoshiki clothespin bag" tomorrow.)