Monday, December 23, 2013

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle.......

All the way....Oh what fun ....

I've been having lately!

Since last post, which I know has been a while, I have been a busy girl. Lots of new fiber in The Grainary, which I should have gotten photos of, but you know me. Always on the ball!

To start off, I'd like to make a little announcement. I am having a New Year's Eve Party!!! Not the typical kind, but a fibery party. I'm inviting locals to join me in the shop for a fun evening of knitting, crocheting, spinning, what ever fibery thing they want to work on. I will be serving lots of goodies to snack on and also playing the movie 'The Holiday' with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. I will be doing a random drawing as well and offering two prizes for the winners.
And,  not to exclude my online fiber friends, I am also offering a fiber-along on my Ravelry Group, The Spinner's Cottage. Please head over to the group to sign up and chat about your plans for New Year's Eve. Take a photo of your project as you are working on it on New Year's Eve and post it in the group. I am doing a random drawing from the posts for two prizes there as well. I'm keeping the prizes secret for now, but the winners are sure to be pleased!

 The Grainary is all dressed up for Christmas and two weeks ago we had the most beautiful Christmas snow. I tend to get in the mood for shooting outside on nights like this. It has since melted, rained for two days and now everything looks yucky. But that's Ohio weather for you!


My favorite tree. It was our Christmas tree in 1995.

Now, I have been busy working on Christmas gifts and thought I'd share a few with you. I can't tell you who they're for because there is a slight chance that my family is reading.....

Some fun cobweb scarves:

Alpaca, Merino, Silk, Angelina
Alpaca, Merino, Silk and Silk hankies, Firestar

Same here
A plain old felted scarf.

Alpaca, Polworth...very soft!
 And I have been busy dyeing up some new yarns for the shop. No, that's not one skein. It's 5, but you knew that. This is a lovely DK BFL. As you can see I am thinking in color!! I will be dyeing up 5 more skeins on Thursday plus some luscious fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon blend!!
 Socks anyone??

And I have been spending some quality time with my Minstrel, but not as much as I'd like to be. We are turning these silk hankies into

This silk yarn.
Yes, some parts are a little lumpy, it's my first time spinning silk hankies. I am really happy with the way the colors are blending up. I will be dyeing up some hankies for the shop soon too. These are my testers.

I dyed up this mill spun Alpaca. I think it will make a lovely wrap or hat and scarf. I haven't decided yet, but it may be what I am working on New Year's Eve.

The November Phat Fiber box was themed "The Renaissance". I went off on my own little view and did a tribute to "The Harlem Renaissance". The blue is "Lena" for Lena Horne, the red is Globetrotters for the Harlem Globetrotters, the green is Cotton Club, the purple is "The Color Purple", yes for the book/movie, and the brown is "Hellfighter" for the Harlem Hellfighters. This is a sample box of the collection and more will be available in the new year as well as some full sized braids. I have a few in The Grainary right now but will be posting in the Etsy store when I get more done along with drop spindle kits, some new blends that I've been working on and the yarns I mentioned above.

The December Phat fiber box was themed Hollywood Glamour. I decided to get started on my tribute to the costumes of Gone With The Wind. It is a project I have been long thinking about and this seemed like the perfect time to start. I am thinking of doing a monthly or bi-monthly club with this collection. If you are interested, let me know. You can always contact me through Etsy or through the Ravelry group.

Well, I guess that's about it this time. I have some other felted goodies drying and that's about it for my Christmas presents this year. I have one project to finish but it will not be done in time for Christmas even though it's a present. It will be completed soon after though and I will post a photo of it, as I am truly excited about it.
I will also be making more scarves and felted goodies for both the Etsy and The Grainary.

I want to wish all of you the loveliest Christmas. Eat too much, laugh too hard, and overflow your heart with love and joy!!

~ Vickie



Friday, November 8, 2013

The Minstrel has Arrived....A Love Story

Two years ago, I was exhibiting at The Great Lake Fiber Festival over Memorial Weekend. I had been on a mission for the previous several months to find a wheel that would fit me perfectly.  I searched the internet, studying wheels, narrowing down the particular wheels I really wanted to see in person and try out. I figured there is no better place to test drive a few wheels than at a large fiber fest!
Sales were slow and my aunt who was there helping me was happily crocheting herself a scarf out of some of my handspun Alpaca. It was the last day of the show and getting late in the afternoon so I thought it was a good time to slip away and see what I could find.
Armed with a couple of ounces of my own Alpaca and wool, I buzzed through the barns with my head focused on wheels. I stopped to look at each one that caught my eye. I had it in mind what I wanted, but wasn't sure I would find it.
I had long coveted a castle wheel, but I didn't want an antique. This is unusual for me because I am an antiquey kind of girl. This time, however, I wanted new.
I stopped to look at a Country Spinner which was wonderful, but I already had a Cowichan wheel for the bulky, huge skeins.
Nope, I wanted a lovely upright wheel that took up a small amount of space. One that would fit into my d├ęcor, yet didn't make me feel like I had to walk on eggshells around. I already had one of those too.
I moved on. I stopped next at a tent with an Ashford Traveller. I had been eyeballing them online. So cute, so compact. The kind of wheel I could pick up and take with me whenever I wanted. It's an upright. Good. It has a small footprint. Good. It was hot out and the lady had a nice shady tent with a slight breeze. I sat down at the wheel and gave her a whirl. My excitement waned. It was a darling wheel but it just didn't fit me. Not like I wanted it to. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the uneven ground I was on. Maybe it was the chair. I don't know but it was very disappointing that a wheel that I liked so much and had thought about so much didn't fit me like I assumed it would.
I moved on. A little less enthusiastic by now. A little over heated. A little disappointed. A little discouraged that I would find what I needed. Wanted. Had to have.
I moved through a few more booths. Lots of lovely wheels. I looked at what other exhibitors were using. I stood and watched as they happily treadled their wheels with ease. I could see the relaxed looks on their faces, knowing that they had the wheel that fit them.
I was leaving the last barn and heading back to my booth, face red from heat, sweat pouring off of me, disappointed that I didn't find my wheel, knowing I had to wait.
This day was months in the making. Anticipating that day I would bring home the perfect wheel. But not today. It was not meant to be. It was time to go back to my booth and rethink how I would get the wheel I wanted. Buying online was now something that I didn't think was a good idea. Not now after I tried a few wheels that I liked but found they didn't quite fit me. How could I buy a wheel without trying it out now knowing what I knew.
As I moved down the last aisle of the last barn, I could see the bright hot sun shining from through the door. I got toward the end booth and the bright sun from outside shown in my eyes making them hurt. Something caught my eye.
It was a woman sitting in the middle of her booth like a spinning goddess, surrounded by braids of roving and skeins of yarn. There she sat as if she was on a stage, spinning on the loveliest wheel I had ever seen. But I had seen this wheel before. Online. I approached her, slowly, watching, trying to adjust my eyes and my head at what I was seeing.
"You want to give it try?" She asked.
"Really?" I asked.
"Sure!" she said as she got up from what seemed like a really tall director's chair.
I removed my shoes.
I sat down carefully, shyly, awkwardly. It was like sitting down next to the cute guy on the bus. I felt like I was blushing.
Carol, the spinning goddess that sat in that chair before me encouraged me to take the fiber that she had been spinning. "Go ahead", she said, "it won't break."
I reached for the wheel to get her started but the spinning goddess stopped me. "Just start treadling." she said with gentle kindness.
I took up the fiber in my trembling hands and started treadling. Smoothly, the wheel started turning and I struggled with my drafting. I started again at the gentle urging of the spinning goddess.
In seconds I was spinning without abandon. Elated, I felt myself smiling.
"Do you sell these?" I asked.
"I sure do." she answered.
"Do you mind if I try my own fiber?" I asked.
"Of course not!" she exclaimed. "take as much time as you need."
I pulled out my wool. Spun like a dream. I pulled out my Alpaca. Spun like a dream. The wheel fit me. I was sitting straight. Comfortable. Spinning with ease. Not only was she beautiful, she fit me!!
I paid the spinning goddess and filled out the necessary paperwork. She put my new wheel on a dolly and delivered it across the grounds to my truck.
My mom and aunt had already started packing up and loading the truck. I couldn't stop smiling.
The spinning goddess owns River's Edge Fiber Arts in Michigan. We said goodbye. I felt like I had just adopted a new puppy!
A few months later, I finally got the chance, to stain the parts of the unfinished version I chose, and took her to mom's for some detailing. She worked on it here and there but had limited time and some big orders to fill. She finished this week. So after a year and a half, my new wheel finally returned home.
Yesterday, I awoke sickly feeling so I decided I needed a day to relax. After chores, I spent some good quality time on my couch and in the afternoon, I broke out the tongue oil and went to work on my wheel. It was relaxing work. By 1 a.m. I had her put together. I stared in awe at her beauty. She was a little tacky yet, but I knew that hand rubbed tongue oil would cure in time for me to take her for a test drive this afternoon. Which I did. I love her. We still fit.
And here, I present to you with pride and joy....The Kromski Minstrel.....

I haven't had much time with her, but when I was spinning for the first time I caught a glimpse of little cartoon hearts floating above us. I think this is a true love connection!
I hope you have enjoyed my little story. A little corny, maybe, but how many of you have felt that same way when you found your perfect wheel?
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Fall Country Tour....

Hi Guys,
I know this post is a bit late, but I have been a very busy girl. We did a little rearranging in the shop this week, getting ready for the upcoming tour.

The Fall Tour is just a tiny bit different than the Spring Bag Lady Tour so here are the changes:

New on the tour this fall is The Quilting Shanty. She is my aunt, Sue Zimmerman, and located just two doors down from The Grainary. I didn't have time to get photos, but here is her new Etsy Shop
She offers beautiful hand quilted quilts, and has been quilting for about 20 years I think. She also makes darling windchimes out of vintage kitchen utensils and lovely jewelry. I think you will find The Quilting Shanty to be a nice addition to the tour.

An old staple of the Fall Tour but not on the Spring Tour is Whistle Hollow Farms Pumpkin Factory. Located in Homerville, Pete and Debbie Winson offer tons of pumpkins and everything you could possibly need for Halloween! Again, I did not have time to get photos but I have been to their wonderful shop and it is a must see! Please visit their website at for more information.

Here is a photo of just a few of the items going into the Basket for drawing this year.

No longer on the tour are The Wellington Country Inn for reasons I do not know. North40Creations have moved out of state, but will continue business as usual on their website,, Dolls and Minis has moved to  Olmsted Falls and her new address is on her website,  Good luck to all of you, we will miss you guys!!

Please view my Bag Lady posts for details on the rest of us.

One thing new in The Grainary this year is my expanded fiber space! I am super excited about being able to offer more fiber this year and hope you will be able to stop out and visit us. We are also planning many fibery things in the coming months, so please check back often for details which will be posted here and also on my new Ravelry Group, The Spinners Cottage. I hope you will stop by and have a chat with us. Ravelry is a great site that offers thousands of wonderful groups. If  you haven't been, it is well worth signing up and spending some time checking out all it has to offer.

Mom has some new Angel designs this year that I am sure will go fast. They are cute as can be!

I also want to mention to all of you spinners out there, if you feel like stopping by sometime over the next two weekends and having a spin with me, feel free. Bring your wheel or spindle. I will be spinning for the tour and would love the company!

I know a lot of you will be heading to Ashland for the Fall Fiber Festival this weekend,  and I wish all of the vendors and patrons great weather and good fiber!!!

My Etsy store is closed for the next week but will reopen after the tour is over.

Thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Busy Time of Year....

This is the busiest time of year for us. The Grainary will be part of the Fall Country Tour again this year and we have been making plans and working on our projects. The tour will take place later this month and I will be posting about the new shops that have joined us later. Meanwhile, you can visit the official website
We are also making plans for our Holiday Open House, and on top of that it is also that time of year in Ohio when you need to get your outside projects completed before the bad weather sets in.
It's funny, you spend all summer trying to keep up with the grass and weeds and finally when the weather is ready to change, you actually get ahead of the game (basically because the grass stops growing) just in time to get ready for winter when we will be shoveling snow. And I believe we may have a lot this year because I have been fighting the spiders already.
Yes, they keep trying to run in the door every time I open it. It's definitely time to find some Monkey Balls! Those will keep the little buggers out!!!

Here are a few things I have been working on for my Etsy shop. I just got them posted tonight. I will also have them available in The Grainary in time for the tour.

Some project bags to get you into the Halloween spirit:

And my personal favorite (because it is purple with kitties on it!!)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE bags!!

I have also been making some fun stitch markers for all of you hard core Halloweenies.

                               That is pink wire wrapped around this skull to femmie it up a little!
And just so you don't think I do nothing but work, I thought you'd like to meet a little visitor I had last week.

He was sitting on top of my porch post! I don't know why, but he was quite cozy in the warm sun.

Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't be Shocked!!!

Yes, I am back already. I just wanted to share my latest contribution to Phat Fiber.

This month's theme is 'Brewing of a Storm'. So, I went with the brewing of another kind of storm with this crochet pattern for Halloween. It not only hides your spare roll, but also can conceal a sachet of potpourri to ward off any eerie odors that may come its way!!

I submitted the crochet pattern and instructions. This is my first published pattern so I am pretty excited. I have been making my own crochet patterns for about 30 years now but never before had it occurred to me to publish them! So, I am pretty excited about this.

The Fall Country Tour is coming up fast. We had our last meeting before the event on Monday where we prepared flyers for mailing. It will be here before we know it. For information check back to this blog or visit


Saturday, September 14, 2013's me...

You remember me, don't you? I know it has been a very long time since my last post, but I have been extremely busy.
As I mentioned on my last post, I have become a member of the Phat Fiber family. This is my third month contributing to the box. Last month, I did not post photos of my contribution because I only made a few extra batts and they sold here at the shop before I could list them in my Etsy store.

This month's theme was Rainbow Connection.

 I contributed 'Delicate Rainbows' stitch markers for knitters.

 These will fit up to size US 6 needles and I am offering a 10% discount coupon in my Etsy store until Oct. 15th 2013. This is good on entire purchase, excluding shipping. I will  be glad to combine shipping to save you money.

I have also made a crocheter's version of these markers. You know, since I am a crocheter.

I also got carried away and made earrings to match!

Then I decided to make Delicate Patriot earrings as well.

And some femmy pink crocheter's stitch markers.
I know my photos leave something to be desired, and I am working on this.

On a personal note, I have been really quite busy around here. Trying (and failing) to keep up with the yard work, getting ready for a local show and working towards the fall Bag Lady tour. Then before we know it, Holiday Open House will be upon us and then Christmas. This is just a really busy time if year for us around here.

On Sept. 21 we will be at the corner of SR 58 & SR 303, Pittsfield Town Hall, for the Primitives and Antiques show to benefit the Pittsfield Historical Society. This is their first show, but I am expecting it to be a really good one, as it is being organized by a lady who really knows what she is doing.
I hope you can come out for it. There should be loads of interesting things there. Mom will be there with her stained glass, I will be there with my rugs and fibery things and of course giving drop spindle demonstrations if it's not too cold. There are antiques, gourmet foods, primitive items, and a slew of other things expected. There will be vendors inside the town hall, under the pavilion and on the lawn. We are on the lawn.

Mom also has some wonderful things in her Etsy shop and I think she is getting ready to update there as well. She has lots to offer there so you should try and stop by. I am carrying many of her fiber related items in my shop but she has lots of stained glass items that are neither fiber related or cowgirl related. She makes lovely angels and soon will be adding her stockings, porcelain old world santas and faeries to her store just in time for Christmas.

And just a heads up, next month's Phat Fiber theme is "Brewing of a Storm". If you are interested in finding out more about Phat Fiber, please visit the website at
There are all kinds of giveaways, lots of online shops to visit and a monthly preview video showing what could be in your box. It's really all about the fiber, and there are such wonderful artisans in this community. Some are local to our area and others come from around the world and across the U.S.A. to participate in this monthly box. I hope you check it out.

So, my Etsy store has been updated, as well as this blog. Now I am off to do some cleaning so I can get back to my projects!!
Thanks for visiting, and again, I am sorry I have been away for so long. It's that time of year.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Phat Fiber Sample

Here is my contribution to the Phat Fiber Sample Box for July 2013 themed "Under the Sea".

The full batts are  now available in my Etsy shop

This is 60% mystery wool and 40% alpaca with a sprinkling of gold Angeline. When I saw the theme the first thing I thought of was the gold that must be laying at the bottom of the sea from sunken pirate ships.

This is a next to the skin soft fiber that melts like butter in your hands. Here is what my spun sample looks like.


I am working on my contribution for next month's Phat Fiber Box which is themed Entomology.  I am really excited to be part of the Phat Fiber Community. Please check it out at