Sunday, February 05, 2017

Scrubbing Out

Where I was brought up cleanliness was definitely next to godliness - or rather keeping a clean front step was important even though you were as poor as church mice.  Scrubbing out, on your hands and knees, with a scrubbing brush, was a part of the weekly round of household chores.  Now, I don't even own a scrubbing brush and give my floors a pretty cursory wipe down with an anti-bacterial cloth when they look like they need it.

My first paid job was at a local hotel during the summer holidays.  I was fifteen.  Generally we were put in pairs to clean the rooms, changing the beds and cleaning bathrooms as required.  There were stints of washing up pans at the sink or preparing salads en masse for wedding receptions.  But the worst thing was scrubbing out.  We started at 7.30 am by cleaning the bars and front hall, where the tiled entrance needed scrubbing.  But then there was the Gents' toilet.....  on a Sunday morning, after a busy Saturday evening....  Never again, I thought.

However, on Thursday I spent all day on my hands and knees scrubbing the parquet flooring of the coffee shop at the National Trust property where we volunteer.  We are in the period known as "The Winter Clean" - the property is closed to visitors until March.  A team of us gather and work methodically through each room in turn, removing cobwebs, cleaning windows, dusting objects and applying polish to furniture and floors.  This week we reached the coffee shop, where the floor needed serious attention.  I can tell you that scrubbing out uses muscles you had forgotten you had.

A pair of tan fingerless mitts, using patterns from Sheila McGregor's collection of Fair Isle designs.

And what may even be the last of that blue yarn, knitted on the journey to the Cotswolds last week.

So, what of Houlland?  Progress continues, although I'm now playing what is sometimes called "Yarn Chicken"  ie not at all sure that I have enough to finish the piece.  My yarn is laceweight and there was 100gms, but unfortunately the yardage is lower than that of the yarn used by Donna Smith, the designer.  Someone on Ravelry, in Germany, seems to have two skeins of the same shade available, but it is a different dye-lot.  I find it impossible to gauge how much of the piece remains to be knit since it is an outside-in construction.  We'll see.

1 comment:

Mary Lou said...

My mother did not believe the kitchen floor could be cleaned properly without getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing. Mopping was just "pushing the dirt around."