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My Heizkessel Is More Eingebauten than your Heizkessel

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Dear Ann,
The people have spoken. I am not talking about the election. I am talking about my new iron. This post is not for those whose iron cost quite a bit less than their sewing machine. It’s for My People. The Iron People.
Let us pause for a moment to reflect on all the good times I’ve shared with my Rowenta.
[PAUSE]
I think of my Rowenta as just one Rowenta, always the same, always the best. But in fact, my current Rowenta is not my first Rowenta. I have found that my Rowentas, while stalwart and majestic, eventually crap out on me somewhere down the line. Current Rowenta has started to display Symptoms. Maybe she has Iron Poor Blood. Maybe her soleplate is a little banged up. Maybe she’s ironed over one too many t-shirts with sticky decals. (I iron t-shirts. Shut UP.) But I’ve been concerned for her future. For our future together as Iron and Wife.
This concern was not uppermost in my mind until last Friday at Stitches East, when I was stopped in my tracks by a lady Product Demonstrator who emerged, like an angel, from a cloud of steam. Oh, she was good, this lady Product Demonstrator. She was just as good as that well-dressed Englishman you see demonstrating vegetable peelers all over New York City. (You know the one I mean? The gent who, if they ever make a movie about peeler peddlers, would be played by Anthony Hopkins? Who makes you question your whole approach to peeling vegetables?)
This woman had me at ‘hello’.
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It’s not an iron. Please: it’s a dampfbugeleisen. Here are its features, which I don’t expect to convince any Sunbeam featherweight, “my iron is heated with a light bulb” philistines out there. You had to be there.
1. One-temperature ironing. No more thinking to yourself, ‘this is cotton but I want to crank the dial to ‘linen’ to really flatten the sucker”. You use the same–lower–temperature setting to iron ALL FABRICS. Don’t believe you can iron taffeta on the same setting as sackcloth? BELIEVE.
2. Because of the lower heat setting, you can leave the iron soleplate-down on a piece of fine fabric FOREVER and it will not scorch. I saw it, people. No more nasty brown ironing-board covers. The way is clear to get one of those ultra-fancy ironing board covers, because you’re not going to ruin it. O the possibilities.
3. Two words: Internal Boiler. Or, for those who enjoy German as I do: Eingebauten Heizkessel. Your heizkessel has never been so very, very eingebauten. This means that the tank that holds the water is inside the part of the iron that is hot. In regular irons, the water tank is separate from the heating unit, so the water has to travel to the heating element to make steam (much like a coffee maker, as I understand it). The fact that the water is IN the iron means that you have room for more water (refill less often) and you get:
4. STEAM LIKE YOU’VE ONLY DREAMED OF. You could open a thermal sanitarium with this thing. We’re talking Calistoga. Whoooooossssssshhhhhhhhhhsh. Continuous geyser action. No pauses for heating water (see point 3 above). Multi-purpose, too. Intruder in your sewing room? Don’t make any sudden moves; just point, shoot and melt the guy into a puddle.
5. No automatic shut-off. In my brief life as a quilter, I have learned that quilting is 10 percent sewing and 90 percent ironing. (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I’m just saying.) The fabric processing needs of a quilter who believes in the almighty power of pre-washing (as do I, having been taken under the wing of the Old School Pre-Washers), are not to be believed. In addition to the ironing that comes of pre-washing, there frequently is the need to press a seam right after you’ve sewn it, so you can sew another one onto it. Sit down–sew–get up–iron. It’ s a BUMMER when you have to wait for the iron to re-heat because it’s gone and shut itself off. At that moment, you do not care that the automatic shut-off feature might be useful for details like not burning your house down. You want steam, and you want it now. And if you’re a big sissy who frets about house fires all day long, see Point Number 2 above. This iron ain’t that hot. And who are we kidding–I’m too much of a worrywart to really leave the iron on when I’m done. The automatic shut-off feature is a cruel manipulation of my fears. I won’t have it, I tell you.
6. An amazing ride–I mean, glide. This machine purely floats on the fabric. Your naps will be nappier, your creases snappier. Iron over a button, and both button and iron are okay with that. Despite the ease of ironing, you can iron through many layers at once. A stack of fat quarters? Whoosh whoosh, iron the top one and you’re done. Front and back of shirt simultaneously. (Although that would surely violate the Protocols of Ironing. Not recommended, but nice to know that we have the technology.)
So anyway, for these and many other reasons that would require a lot of analysis sessions to dislodge, I got the iron. Cheaper than therapy. Not to sound defensive or anything, but it’s not like I own a fancy pre-printed blocking board or anything. I bought no yarn–ZERO YARN, PEOPLE. And even with the iron, my wee Janome Jem sewing machine was such a bargain that I’m practically underspending on my batterie de quilting. Paltry really. Bare subsistence quilting happening here.
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Watch the movie. Mock me. Judge me. I don’t care. I’ve got the Great Iron of Our Generation, and I know it.
I would post a progress picture of Lady Raspy, but all my shots remind me of Nora Ephron’s latest book. The neck of the sweater is going great, the neck of the knitter–not so much.
Happy weekend, my steam-iron warriorettes.
Love, Kay
P.S. Did I mention that I don’t own a spinning wheel? Niddies–none? Noddies–nada?
Edited to add: To the nut jobs interested in buying this iron (I love you guys!): All I know is that you can email mjpromotions@charter.net, or fax them at (413)323-7717. Insist on getting the ‘Stitches’ price–I’m told the ‘regular’ price is higher and you know, even we nut jobs have a limit!

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66 Comments

66 Comments

  1. The spokesperson was good. I was just about thisclose to plunking down good wheel money on that iron. I’ve never ironed in my life. Well maybe once. But still.
    Although I’m not sure we needed to listen to her for a half an hour when it was all I could do to keep you from jumping over the iron board to become one with the iron about five seconds into the demonstration.
    I was about to tell you two to get a room. ;-)

  2. Oh man, I want that iron now too!!!!!!!!

  3. OH my gosh!!!!! I just started to watch the video and I saw how it didn’t pop the baloon and still could shoot steam across the room and I’m sold!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Aren’t we all a bunch of geeks, that we can get excited over an iron! LOL! I only iron about 3 times a year, but I MUST have that iron!

  5. Dear Kay,
    while I truly admire your iron (nothing is better than a nice steam ) a linguistic analysis reveals that the label is wrong: in german it should read correctly;
    … mit eingebauteM Heizkessel.
    And if you say things like: my iron has a built in heater, that should be:
    mein Buegeleisen hat einen eingebauten Heizkessel.
    and seperately:
    der eingebaute Heizkessel,
    or: ein eingebauter Heizkessel.
    Have fun :-)
    Petra

  6. I iron everything but socks, underwear, and towels! I think I would love this iron!
    Kathy

  7. How do I get this iron. Must have, need it, etc, etc. Please tell us how to get it.

  8. I really don’t think $300 is that crazy a price to pay:
    https://www.backplusonline.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.productDetail&productID=16
    Especially if you got it on sale.
    I spend way more than that EVERY TIME my knit shop has its big bi-yearly sale.
    Thank you!
    Nicole

  9. You had me at Heizkessel. I want one. It might even cause me to iron.

  10. Kay, loved meeting you at Stitches in the Black Water Abbey booth. You were carrying the iron. I wondered what was so special about it, now I know. Darn, I just bought a new Rowenta -maybe next time.

  11. You know, since living in Hawaii, I’ve quit ironing, well, everything. I pitched out everything that needed ironed and got used to looking wrinkled because the humidity did it whether you ironed or not.
    Yet another reason to love knitwear.
    Um, am I still allowed to read the blog?

  12. I’m sorry. I’m still stuck at the part where you ADMIT you iron t-shirts. It’s one thing that you do it, it’s a whole ‘nother thing that you PUT IT ON THE INTERNET! Some things are meant to be stored in the “what happens in the family stays in the family” category. Now that you have broken the seal please tell me that you don’t iron the underwear, the sheets, the toilet paper?!
    Oh, and the fact that you wrote an entire essay on an iron is just one of the reasons why I love you. ;)

  13. WOW, I don’t iron…can’t even remember when I ironed last…mind you, but after reading your post, now I want that iron!
    Happy ironing :)

  14. Hee. My friend the Knit Goddess bought one of those at Stitches East. She was describing it to me and I was like, “stop! you’re turning me on.”
    I have wanted one of those for the LONGEST time. My tank-on-the-floor steamer is just doesn’t cut it anymore. I could do 12 linen napkins at once. This means they might actually get ironed, instead of merely inhabiting the ironing basket.
    Your in envy,
    Juno

  15. can’t—stop–laughing…
    (for more ironing-fetishy behavior, see Duncan in Margaret Atwood’s ‘the edible woman.’) shoe fetishes! stocking fetishes! good reasons to go to naashville! mason-dixon has IT ALL!!!

  16. So your the one with the Majacraft Little Gem. (I saw a pic on Wendy’s blog). I’m trying to convince all my friends and relatives to pool together and get me that wheel for my birthday. Happy spinning!

  17. Oh yeahhhhh. Gotta get me one!

  18. I adored the iron sales lady, too, and wish I could see the vegetable peeler you talked of. When I see these salespeople, I feel like I’m in the presence of greatness :) I want that kind of salesperson the next time I buy pants!

  19. Are you telling me that there are people who don’t iron their t-shirts? Strange.

  20. What I like about you is that you totally embrace your weirdness. It’s very nice and makes me feel almost normal about my stash and other things that I sometimes get defensive about.

  21. I will back Petra up in her correction of the grammar on the packaging – normally it would be eingebauten Heizkessel, as in “Das Eisen hat einen eingebauten Heizkessel,” which is what you’re shouting all over the streets, but paired with the preposition “mit,” it gets the new ending, eingebauteM.
    MORE IMPORTANTLY, the ironing t-shirts schtick is nothing. My German host mother has been known to frequently iron UNDERWEAR. Ja, meine liebe, und das OHNE eingebautem Heizkessel.

  22. Kay, you’ve just won Blog Post Title of the Year. No others need apply.

  23. Man, I’m outta my depth here.

  24. No yarn, REALLY? I’m stunned.

  25. Iron? Hey, I ironed, once! But I never did become addicted. Isn’t there a 12-step program for ironers?
    Carol

  26. I’m very happy for you. When something speaks to your soul in that way, you must give in and get it. I know, because the same thing happened to me just the other day.

  27. why no talk of using that iron to steam block your knitting? Is this not a knitting blog?

  28. I see your iron and raise you my Miele rotary iron. For the true fanatic, who wants ironed sheets and can’t stand all the flailing around. But this new iron, well, I could fall in love.

  29. Yes, please let us know how it steam-blocks!
    (This may go right onto my Christmas Wish List!)

  30. Hmmm . . . only $300? I was afraid they’d want a LOT more than that. I paid about $60 for my iron, and DH has loved it. (LOL . . . it’s my iron, but he’s the only one who uses it. He even irons the boys’ dress shirts for church. :o)
    However, if ironing was THAT easy, now. Hmmm . . .

  31. I think I hear the angel choruses singing at the very sight of that iron. Stunning!

  32. One hot summer, when things were a little slow, my neighbors and I went on a slightly heat-crazed vacuum cleaner quest. Turns out that we all hated our cheap vacuums, those finicky, prissy, always-broken things, and in a frenzy of shopping and comparing we outfitted ourselves with tough, manly vacuums that were light yet strong, and that could withstand all we threw at them – kind of like a good hubby, but I digress. I believe they are all still in use. So I get the iron thing. Sort of.

  33. That iron looks like the Titanic.

  34. That iron looks like the Titanic.

  35. Do I need to say it a third time? Sorry about that!

  36. the website for mjpromotionalsales.net shows the price “this month only” at $199. Is the stitches price better????

  37. Yes, I am too, an Iron-holic. OK, it’s out, I feel better now. I have gone through 3 irons in 10 years of marriage. When the last one self-distructed, I e-mailed DH at work and asked him to pick one up on the way home. DH said sure…he knows better than to come between me and my iron. He also said, “life is short, you will die ironing”. Probably, but I will go out neat and well pressed.
    Now, do you think I could get that iron over here in Japan?

  38. Must. have. that. iron. My Rowenta is looking pretty sickly now that you mention it. And whose lousy idea was the auto-shut-off, huh? Moron. I am kind of afraid to order something I can’t pronounce.

  39. Have you thought of a career as an iron representative? You could really rake in the dough. And just think of it – the glamour, the travel, the contacts, the product research. Makes lawyering look sooooo boring.

  40. rowenta rocks. you must tell me how you are liking that janome jem! i was thinking about it and the huskystar…am looking to hint around for a simple but modern sewing machine-ish Christmas gift. i have a heavy duty 60s kenmore now, which is great, just wondering about those newfangled machines with computers and the like.

  41. I won’t let my Rowneta know I even looked at that video. I Hope you two are very happy.
    But I rarely iron except when sewing, if my hubby has to wear a suit, I iron his cuffs and chest and tell him to keep his coat on. I will iron a crease on the sleeve of a shirt just so it will look ironed.

  42. Oh my LORD! I thought I was the only one out there. I iron my sheets for goodness sake. I must have that iron – NOW. The question here is – lavender or lemon water? Those other ironaholics will know what I mean. To me real joy is a pot of coffee, a great music mix and a pile of iron with lots of steam and heat. Mainly because nobody can come near Mommy when she has a hot iron.

  43. If I had any room left in my car (aka home to this here nomadic student for another few months) I’d get me one of these and an ironing board. I’ve used every version of almost every iron out there and the last one did every single thing you described – from scortching one of my shirts (I didn’t think it was that hot! really! please don’t send the iron police after me! (unless they are coming to bring me this iron, that is…)) to turning off (or breaking and never warming up again – small difference at that point.)
    You sold me when it was described as a tool for self defense. Multipurpose is the mother of all credit card purchases.

  44. They should pay you a commission on all the irons they will sell because of your very funny post! I want this iron!

  45. They should pay you a commission on all the irons they will sell because of your very funny post! I want this iron!

  46. I especially like that it stops der kalkbildung. Must stop der kalkbildung.

  47. Pro-Iron? Shot of steam? One word for you. Sussman.
    Another more Eastern word for you. Naomoto.
    Both in common? – Gravity Feed.

  48. I can so relate to all this iron talk. My German father insisted that his pyjamas be ironed. Pyjamas, for Pete’s sake! It’s craziness, I tell you.
    Thanks for a fun read!

  49. I can so relate to all this iron talk. My German father insisted that his pyjamas be ironed. Pyjamas, for Pete’s sake! It’s craziness, I tell you.
    Thanks for a fun read!

  50. I’m swooning with the thought of that iron. I love my iron – I asked for one on my wedding registry, for Pete’s sake. I’m very particular and this one sounds like just the ticket. Oh Lordy, I’m drooling all over my T-Shirt that I’m ironing – it will probably help since my poor inferior iron can’t seem to cut it……

  51. I don’t see what’s wrong with ironing t-shirts…

  52. Oh I am SO going to buy that iron. I used to have a Polti but it gave up the ghost and since moving to the US I haven’t found anything close to a decent iron. Thank you – I didn’t go to Stitches because I went to Rhinebeck and spent all my money (I did buy a wheel ahem!), but I’m going to get this iron anyway.

  53. My MIL has a similar relationship with her vacuum cleaner. Me? Not so much. But I do appreciate a steamy essay! People do get passionate about different things, don’t they!

  54. I have to pre-wash 12 metres (that’s way more than 12 yards) of calico and then iron it before cutting it into 8″ squares. The temperature here in Sydney keeps creeping towards boiling point and I was wondering how much the Dry Cleaners would charge to press my fabric? Now if I had an iron like yours all would be fine. I might just copy down the fax number.

  55. Oh.my.God. My family and friends have always told me (had me nearly convinced) that I am the only person who irons her t-shirts, nightgowns, and pillowcases, not to mention the cotton dishtowels. I am heartened and vindicated that there are others out there like me. I actually went to bed last night planning my schedule for Sunday (which is my ironing day). I even bought a small flat screen TV (with satellite receiver, of course) to iron by. It’s the only time I get to watch BBC America, since no one will come near me while I’m at the board.

  56. I have the IRON. It is a wonderful addition to my family. It does everything they say it will. That steam will go 2 or 3 feet across the room so ironing is a breeze. It is nice to know there are other iron freaks out there

  57. You can even watch the demo online using the link on this page:
    http://www.dewdad.com/eurosteam.html
    Much evil cackling seesm to be required when providing the link. Good luck resisting y’all.

  58. Just placed my order. Can’t wait! When I called she wanted to know if I had read about it on a weblog. Imagine that :)

  59. Just place my order. Can’t wait! When I called she wanted to know if I had read about the iron on a knitting weblog. Imagine that :)

  60. Well, now that so many of us are owning this wonderful addition to any home, maybe we could start a steamer club, get together a few times a year with irons in hand and see whose steam goes the farthest. Sign up here!! lol

  61. Kay, how much did you pay for your EuroSteam? They’re $200 right now at MJPromotions.net. Is that more than the Stitches price?

  62. ok – you almost had me until I saw the cord. I am in love with my cordless iron and it works wonders by me – it’s by Oreck – try it, you may like it :-)

  63. ok – you almost had me until I saw the cord. I am in love with my cordless iron and it works wonders by me – it’s by Oreck – try it, you may like it :-)

  64. I own one of these irons and aparently your demo person did not do what mine did (at a TNNA): iron balloons without popping them. This was a rather eye-catching thing to do in a crowd. I didn’t buy it right away, but at the end of the show when I was exhausted and my common sense was all used up, I did order one after asking the demo person if I could shoot steam for fun – kind of like a cowboy twirling his pistols and shooting ‘em up – and that was so exhilarating that I bought it. Also my fun-loving friends Missy and Anita from Wool in the Woods (Pennsylvania hand-painted yarn company, beautiful yarns . . .) had both just bought one and they egged me on to buy one too. So Kay, try ironing a balloon – the balloon does not melt or pop. Very very very weird.

  65. I own one of these irons and aparently your demo person did not do what mine did (at a TNNA): iron balloons without popping them. This was a rather eye-catching thing to do in a crowd. I didn’t buy it right away, but at the end of the show when I was exhausted and my common sense was all used up, I did order one after asking the demo person if I could shoot steam for fun – kind of like a cowboy twirling his pistols and shooting ‘em up – and that was so exhilarating that I bought it. Also my fun-loving friends Missy and Anita from Wool in the Woods (Pennsylvania hand-painted yarn company, beautiful yarns . . .) had both just bought one and they egged me on to buy one too. So Kay, try ironing a balloon – the balloon does not melt or pop. Very very very weird.

  66. I have that iron. Bought it at a Quilt show here in Duluth, GA. Yep, I know the demonstrator you are talking about. She is great! I told Debby, my biz partner, we needed that iron. We both bought one! Then I saw this same lady at TNNA in June in Indianapolis! She even remembered us… Have been through 2 Rowentas – I LOVE MY IRON. I love to shoot the steam across the room. And I feel “BIG” because my iron has a radiator… Wow … You will love it!