Thursday, January 26, 2006

How Many Irons Do You Have?

As I've gotten older, my definition of "toy" has changed. Dolls used to be toys, yo-yos were toys, but never something like a car, a chainsaw, or an iron. Now, though, think how cool it is to get the car that you want, how much fun it is to drive it around. I gave my husband a chainsaw for Christmas (yes, he is qualified to use it!) and he was thrilled to death. Ok, bad turn of phrase, but you know what I mean. And so I turn to irons. I use my iron everyday in my studio, so it's technically a tool. But I use it so much that it qualifies as a toy, in that it was fun to go buy it.
I have three irons. This one I bought recently when I decided I needed automatic shut-off or I would burn the house down. Contrary to popular images, I wasn't loathe to spend money on something as pedestrian as an iron. I was looking forward to seeing what new features, in addition to the auto shut-off, I could have in a new iron. Actually, there weren't any. But it was still fun to go buy it.

Here is the one it replaced. This is a great iron, but it gets really hot. That makes it good for ironing lengths of fabric and shirts (Ha. Like I'd know.) but not so great for fusing and foiling. And any fabric that had too much finish on it would get scorched easily. So this one has been sent to live out its days in the laundry room, where its auto shut-off lets me have some peace of mind. I only iron clothes in a hurry, which is a recipe for forgetting to turn it off. I actually thought about having the outlet in the laundry room connected to the lightswitch, but I realized that it would be much cheaper to get another iron.

And here is the really old iron. Note the classic avocado green handle, dating it to the seventies. This was my mother's old iron, and I took it when she died. I keep it by the sewing machine for pressing seams and quick things like that, and it's connected to a power strip along with the lights and the machines. I don't worry about leaving it on anymore. And it reminds me of my mother, because once she looked in the laundry basket, took out the heirloom linens and gave all the rest of the stuff to Goodwill because she was sick of ironing it.


Omega said...

Irons play quite a part in my life too, and not only because the ironing pile resembles the Himalayas most of the time!

I heat transfer work which I've printed out onto A4 or A3 sheets, and for the former an ordinary steam iron with the steam facility switched off is fine. However for the Canon A3 transfer sheets all the steam holes show up, so I had to buy a completely dry iron - difficult to find round here these days, but luckily found a nice small one. Of course my mother snaffled that because she hates steam irons and this one is so light - so I have to borrow it back when I want to use it.

I also have three cast iron irons as decorations in the garden - but I remember going to the dry cleaners as a small child in Greece where they used great cast iron irons filled with hot coals!

Elle said...

Irons are so important in what we do, so I understand owning three!