I was very happy to be able to purchase a drum carder at last! I have not been disappointed in the choice I made. I met Ron Anderson at a fiber festival two years ago here in Missouri. I make no excuses that if I find a great product that is locally made, I promote it. I have very high standards for choosing my own products, and also I want a good value. The quality and value of the Fancy Kitty Drum Carder is unsurpassed by any brand I have looked at and researched.
The carders built by Fancy Kitty range from simple, useful and hardworking, to the most beautiful of carders I have ever seen. You can choose from all different carding cloths and you can also choose what woods and designs you would like. The carders are excellent in workmanship and they hold up well to tough carding jobs. The beauty of some of them is really breathtaking. The amazing thing is that, as beautiful as they are, they are also a great price.
For the quality of the product, the prices are also some of the best on the market. From my research I can get an Ashford or other big brand for the same or more than a highly decorative and beautiful fancy kitty. Now, I haven't done any side by side comparisons on how well they work, but I will tell you that everyone else I have asked agrees with me! From the economical Howard Brush drum carder to the most expensive model, the prices are reasonable for the beauty and workmanship of these wonderfully made works of art.
One thing that is always a consideration when making a purchase is service. It can be dangerous to purchase a higher dollar piece of equipment from a little known vendor. The benefit to a big name brand is that you have some assurance of service. I was not disappointed in the service provided with my red oak Fancy Kitty drum carder. I did have some difficulties at first, mostly from not reading the instructions carefully. Ron was kind enough to explain what I was doing wrong, and also to tell me where to find the information in the provided documentation. I did find a very small flaw in my carder, and he offered to repair it, free of charge. The one thing you can count on with Fancy Kitty, is that if you are not happy, then they will correct the problem, or replace/refund your money. I do not think I have ever worked with anyone that was so interested in creating a good product, at a good price with excellent service. This is the same story I have gotten from other customers I have contacted in researching these carders.
So if you are interested in purchasing a carder, I can not recommend any carder above the Fancy Kitty carders. They win hands down on beauty, quality, service and value. I honestly do not know if there is a better carder available in this price range. I know that the experience I had was wonderful, and so I hope that you will consider purchasing one of these unique and beautiful handmade carders for your studio.
I also had the opportunity to try out both models of Fancy Kitty's spinners. These little spinners are so NEAT. They do have a learning curve, but anyone who has spun for a bit can learn to use them with a little practice. I really liked how they look, the woods used are beautiful, and the overall look of the spinner is elegant and lovely. I like the uniqueness of the spinner as well because I enjoy having things that are unusual and interesting to look at and use. I managed to spin nice yarn on them after just an hour or so of learning how to use it. I think most spinners would find these to be a useful and fun addition to a spindle collection, or for traveling.
I have to say that one of the nicest things about the spinner is that you can use them for light and lace weight yarns very easily. There is no weight to hang on the newly spun yarn, which makes any thickness of yarn easier to spin than with a traditional drop spindle. You can spin bulky to ultra fine, all on one spinner! I also really liked the fact that it was very easy to use in the car. As small areas can be difficult for drop spindles, but this spinner is easy to use and works well in cars, planes or other smaller spaces. I think most spinners would find this to be a delightful gift, or addition to their stash.
I also bought a Seal A Meal vacuum sealer. I am reviewing this product, because it is excellent for shipping wool and fiber items. Not only do the items stay dry and safe, but the space saved is nothing short of miraculous. I have shipped out several orders with this sealer and it helps so much to condense the size, which saves in shipping and allows plenty of space for an envelope instead of a big heavy box. It was easy to use, and the bags are very tough. They are somewhat expensive, but for storing and shipping wool the expense is well rewarded with ease of packing and storage.
Finally I want to discuss an odd product, Mentholated salve, or Vicks-Vapo rub (any brand is fine). This is the stuff of miracles, and belongs in the same category as baling wire, duct tape and twine. It works on so many things, that I just had to mention it. Everyone has used it for colds and coughs and of course it works very well for those things. I have also used it very effectively in the summers for insect bites. It takes care of minor scratches, itching and overall skin discomfort very, very well. It also works extremely well for sore muscles due to fatigue or strain. The active ingredients include several mild numbing type of medications, all of which are safe for everyone. So, the next cold, ache, itchy, chafed, chapped or sore thing you have, try some of this miracle ointment and be amazed! It also works better in comparisons than other products, and costs much less. It is truly the pregnant ladies friend, providing an effective and SAFE alternative for aches and pains of all kinds.