Guys, some exciting stuff happened in the last month at Jilly & Kiddles Headquarters and I thought you might like to see some of the behind the scenes details. A year and half after our small business officially opened, I invested in new burners for the studio! Here's a shot of the old setup.
These were pretty inexpensive electric burners that I'd picked up at Target when I first started dyeing yarn. Well, that sounds like I bought them all at the same time, doesn't it? In reality, I bought one burner, some dyeing supplies, and my own copy of Dyeing to Spin and Knit by Felicia Lo since I needed to return the copy I had to the library. It was the one book (of the many, many books I'd read on dyeing yarn and fiber) that I knew I'd need to have my own copy of for sure. I picked up two more burners as I started dyeing more yarn, and considered opening a small Indie Dyed Yarn business. I really focused on keeping my costs down and overhead low as much as possible, so I didn't purchase the last three until I was prepping for the Rhinebeck Yarn Bazaar in the fall of 2019. I pumped out so much yarn for that event, that I really needed the extra burners.
They served me well for years now, but it's time for an upgrade, Baby. And I couldn't be more excited! After many hours of research and reading review after review of different kinds of electric burners, I made my choice. I ordered two of the induction burners I thought would suit me best and waited for them to arrive. After trying them out for a couple of weeks and comparing them to my old burners, I knew they were the right choice. I hemmed and hawed a while longer about the investment... and then I went for it!
Once they arrived, I spent some time cleaning up the old burners so I could put them away. (One might not think yarn dyeing is a very messy business, but I assure you that it can be. The more you've got to get done, the messier it seems to get, too--at least in my experience. I'm pretty good about cleaning up the counter and the burners as I go, because I like a clean space and I wipe up constantly. However, when I moved the old burners to clean them up, I realized what had gotten behind and under the old guys. I guess there was more grime than I'd realized. Um, that's embarrassing, isn't it?
In my defense, by the end of a long day of dyeing, I've still got to rinse the yarn, hang it to dry, wash the pots, and prep for the next day. Combine that with the fact that when I've finished dyeing the burners are usually too hot to pick up and move to clean underneath them, and you can see how one can get behind on the deep cleaning. Hey, when I say "behind the scenes" I'm not holding anything back, am I?
After a really good scrubbing, I admired my shiny stainless prep tables and then popped the two burners I had tested on there. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love the stainless tops? I've always said I'd like stainless counters in my kitchen, and these sort of fill my need for those counters.) Then I set to work opening the other boxes and getting everything in order. They are much larger than my old burners, so it's a totally different look. Aren't they pretty, though?
Overall, I'm thrilled with the new burners. My teenage self is seriously rolling her eyes at me right now, because this is a pretty lame thing to be excited about, but this is who I am now... They heat quickly, maintain the temperature better, and they even have a timer that shuts off the heat after however many minutes I want! Plus, I think they're much safer than my other burners, so that makes me feel a lot better, too. You know what else? The cheaper ones must have had some variation on their inner thermostats. One might be on low and be the same temperature as another one at medium-high--imagine trying to keep track of that while also dyeing multiple pots and recipes at the same time.
I can't wait to get to work and bring some beautiful new seasonal colors to the shop! I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look into some of the working of the Jilly & Kiddles Studio. If you enjoyed this post or there's something else you'd like to learn more about, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear about it!