Sunday Tittle Tattle: Honey, I Shrunk The Best Jumper of 2017

and/or lindsey rib stitch sweater

There were almost fireworks this morning when I opened the tumble dryer door to find my favourite jumper shrunk to about a third of its usual size.

“You’d still get into that!” said Mr AMR, completely missing the point, which was that he had (as usual) chucked all of the wet washing straight into the dryer without checking what might be in there. Now look, I’m not going to diss Mr AMR’s domestic skills because he would have a laughing fit – he is far better than me at keeping things tidy and staying on top of all of the household tasks – but I feel that the shrinkage of a favourite jumper deserves a public shaming.

Favourite jumper in question is the Lindsey Rib Stitch from AND/OR at John Lewis. I was given it on a shoot in September and have worn it almost every single day since. I love the colour, I love the relaxed fit, I love that it’s thick and chunky-knit without being restrictive or bulky, I love that it covers my hips and I love that the central rib detail stops my knockers from looking like gargantuan melons.

Anyway, luckily for Mr AMR, the rib stitch was still available on John Lewis* when I rushed to the website immediately after my shocking shrinkage discovery. As a bonus, it was actually on sale – £40 instead of £78. I was tempted to buy two, but talked out of it by my cousin Anna, who is not a believer in buying double. (Although surely today’s incident supports the idea of the “double buy”?)

and/or lindsey rib stitch sweater

Mr AMR has helpfully suggested that in the future I dry clean my special garments rather than using the washing machine. “If you don’t want to have your clothes ruined, then perhaps don’t put them in the wash.” I feel that suggestion is akin to me saying something like “if you don’t want to be kicked in the balls then don’t get into the bed”; I mean, using the washing machine is normal and necessary. As is getting into a bed and being free from the fear of being kicked in the bollocks. It just takes a little care when transferring wet, freshly-cleaned loads into the dryer; picking through briefly to check for woollen items and silky things, checking for lurex and sparkles and anything that looks as though it might do comical things if exposed to high heats and a tumbling motion.

Mind you, I shrank one of my sparkly star tops last week and when it came out it was even too small for Angelica! Don’t tell Mr AMR, he’s currently in a sort of “domestic debt” situation with me, where I feel I might be able to justifiably ask him to do a task that I don’t want to do. Because he owes me. So sshh.

You can find the Lindsey Rib Stitch Jumper online here* for £40. It also comes in red – I resisted because it tends to wash me out, for want of a better phrase, but it’s a jolly nice festive shade!

Photos shot on location at the wonderful No15 Great Pulteney Hotel in Bath.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Stephanie-M-M
    December 17, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    “if you don’t want to be kicked in the balls then don’t get into the bed”…XD

    Oh wouldn’t that be a nice wall tattoo for the bedroom. I love your Sunday Tittle Tattle. But I so understand you. When my most favorite jumper would shrink I would cry; bought it last year and is not available anymore. Thank Heaven you got another one! *thumpsup*

  2. emma palmer
    December 17, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    It’s good that ‘they’ do their fare share of domestic drudgery isn’t it?!? I had a good chuckle at your post as it brought back the memory of when my husband helpfully washed a leather Prada belt I had – grrrrr. Also related to your post I went to uni in Bath many moons ago and my Mum stayed at 15 Gt Pulteney for my graduation, I don’t recall it being as fancy then as it is now though!

  3. Liselotte
    December 18, 2017 / 12:21 am

    You should get two more, so you have three (the right size) in all. In my experience the only way to secure a favorite garment.

    I buy in threes or fours just to be on the safe side.

  4. Claire L
    December 18, 2017 / 5:12 am

    Aww no! I’d have gladly killed my fiancé if he did that! It is possible sometimes to deshrink a favourite item of clothing:

    Just last week I did a shop at Aldi and had bagged it all up and was about to pay when i saw that I didn’t have the card we share for the food and groceries etc, he had taken it that morning without telling me. I was sooo cross and embarrassed, I even said to the cashier ‘I could KILL him! Oooh I could kill him!’ I had to take it all out of the bags and did the walk of shame out of the shop. I furiously messaged him and he said he ‘needed it to buy lunch’! What I get for lunch he doesn’t like and prefers to spend more money than I budget for lunch *rolls eyes*. If it were down to him he’d spend the entire week’s budget on more pricey food (he’s a foodie) and almost nothing on the boring stuff like nappies and toilet rolls lol. Gaah!

  5. Susan
    December 18, 2017 / 5:18 am

    Oh that’s too funny! My dearest husband has made sure he gets out of most domestic chores by doing them really badly…but he makes a lot of tea and can order pizza like a pro so that’s good.

  6. December 18, 2017 / 6:59 am

    I’ve recently discovered a way that really works to unshrink wool jumpers and it’s nothing else than let them soak for about an hour in tepid water with lots of hair conditioner, just leave them and then rinse thoroughly, wrap them in a towel to remove the excess water and them pull lightly to expand the fibers till you get the size you want. It worked so well that I finished with a big jumper and have to put it in the washing machine to shrink it a little (it came out perfect, very clean and like new). I hope this tip is helpful.
    Love, Sol.

  7. December 18, 2017 / 8:03 am

    A domestic debt is a great thing. I should probably encourage Mr. Loca to do more laundry so I can get him into one…

  8. Danielle
    December 18, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Have you tried the conditioner in the sink trick with the jumper? Soak for 10 minutes, blot on towel and then restretch gently by hand. The conditioner relaxes the fibres made taut by heat and allows them to stretch again. May not be exactly perfect as it’s an art but it’s a good tip to know.

  9. December 18, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    I feel you Ruth, gosh, how horrible!! Joyeux Noël, I’ve loved reading you again this year, you rock!

  10. Anne
    December 18, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    The jumper might be salvageable! Try soaking it in hair conditioner, rinsing and stretching!

  11. Louise Cockerton
    December 18, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Thank you Ruth for the information about the jumper at a reduced price. I’ve just bought it. I was eyeing it up when it was full price and I am really pleased to have obtained it now. Merry Christmas to you and your family, you keep me entertained.

  12. K.
    December 18, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    Ditto on the soaking and stretching recommendation for wool. Knitters often do that. Just google “blocking” and you’ll see lots of examples. Also, if you have a clothes steamer, use it while stretching and shaping the garment back to its original shape. It will do wonders. Just a tip for the next time it happens since this time (whew!) you could replace it.

    At my house, I use the little net laundry bags for special care items. That way, if my husband sees them, he knows that item cannot be dried under pain of death.

  13. Lottie W
    December 19, 2017 / 5:24 am

    My husband and I have an arrangement whereby he knows never to put my clothes through the dryer – everything is to be hung dry unless specifically stated. I rarely let him go near my washing unsupervised.

    • Claire L
      December 22, 2017 / 2:03 am

      I do mine and our daughter’s washing and he does his because he doesn’t put in the Colour Catcher and so all the whites go grey.

  14. December 19, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Separate out your more delicate items! I put all my woolens/silkies/etc into a separate hamper (I have one of those multiple hamper bag contraptions), and wash them together, that way I know – or my bf knows – that everything in that load needs to be looked through for drying instructions.

  15. KT
    December 22, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    Thanks for letting us know about the jumper being on sale Ruth, mine arrived today, it is soooo cosy and having recently had a c-section it also hides the Mummy tummy well! Have a lovely Christmas in your new home!

  16. Jaclyn
    December 28, 2017 / 2:42 am

    Public shaming indeed! My family has this same problem. Italian merino wool cardigan never ever worn can’t even fit my kitten now.

  17. January 4, 2018 / 1:18 am

    Such a cute sweater, I absolutely love the weave of the knit. So cute! I’ll have to admit, I have shrunk a few too many sweaters and cardigans in the wash…. Though I’ve gotten a lot better at doing laundry, it still happens from time to time and it just makes me laugh. What can you do, hahaha! xox – L

  18. Bozena
    March 7, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I know you wrote this post long time ago but if you still want to bring your jumper to the previous state, try this: fill in a bowl with cold water (about 5 liter, add about 250 ml glycerine and squeeze the jumper for about 20 minutes. You can add also some hair conditioner to the water and glycerine solution. Then reshape your jumper on a towel and that’s it. This way I rescued my cashmere jumper so it should work for your too.

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