June 7, 2010

The Clothes Line

I found this interesting little write up in a book about the basic rules of hanging laundry on the clothes line and a cute little poem. I loved it so much that I just had to share it with you all. I am sure that some of you will remember these rules and that unfortunately some of you that may not even know what a clothes line is.


1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes. Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line.

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order and always hang whites with the whites and hang them first.

3 You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail. What would the neighbours think?

4. Wash day on Monday...never hang clothes on the weekend or Sunday for heaven's sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide you "unmentionables" in the middle.

6. It didn't matter if it was sub zero weather...clothes would "freeze dry".

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Pins left on the line was "tacky".

8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED??? Well, that's a whole other subject.

A clothes line was a news forecast
To neighbours passing by
There were no secrets you could keep
When the clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link
For neighbours always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.
For the you'd see the "fancy sheets"
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table clothes"
With intricate design.
The line announced a baby's birth
To folks who lived inside
As brand new infant clothes were hung
So carefully with pride.
The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changes
You'd know how much they'd grown.
It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
The nightclothes, and a bathrobe too,
Haphazardly were strung.
It said, "Gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare
It told, "We're back!" When full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare.
New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy grey,
As neighbours carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.
But clotheslines now are the past
For dryers make work less.
Now what goes on inside a home
is anybody's guess.
I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbours knew each other best
By what hung on the line!
~Unknown Author
I hope that all of you enjoyed this as much as I did. Let's all do our part to keep this little poem alive and hang our clothes out to dry, I know I am doing my part, are you doing yours?


  1. How funny I should see this today. I *just* got home from town buying clothespins so I can start hanging some clothes!

  2. HI! That post was cool... It scares me to think there are people who don't know what a clotheslineis though!!!
    I popped into your blog the other day looking for bootie patterns and made your cool eco-booties (well, on the second one i realised that I had missed the middle knit 4 rows but no worries!)... I've been having a play with your pattern and created some elf-booties (what i was originally looking for)... my pattern is now vastly different from yours but I want to post a tutorial on it on my blog. I wanted to tell you this now in case you check out my blog and think I've ripped you off! I will of course link to you (I already have and heaps of people have clicked too which is cool!!!) and say that your original pattern inspired me! I hope that this is all OK with you, and that you will of course let me know if you have any concerns? I can send you the pattern so you can check if you like, but if I don't hear from you I will assume that you are ok with that? Thank you for your inspiration! I am in love with my elf-booties!
    From Alice @ Crochet with Raymond