Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tatting for Tatting Tea Tuesday

I've been tatting for several days to be ready for tea today!  I made it, almost.  If you don't count the fact that the ends are not hidden, this spinning wheel glass mat is finished.

It's lovely.  I used Yarnplayer's Garden Afternoon HDT in size 10 because I wanted this to be big and thick.  It is big and it is thick.  That tile it's centered on is about 6" across.  

See how nicely it goes with my tea pot?  Well, it's not actually my teapot, it belongs to Girl Far From Home, but it's just the right size for a small pot of tea for me, so I've been using it.  This mat is just the right size to set it on when it's full of tea.  Just what I was trying for and I'm very pleased.

Today I got out the spinning wheel which has been sadly neglected for over a year now.  I had these lovely blue, turquoise and brown singles on spools that had been sitting since a year ago in November.  The roving was called Robin & Wren and was dyed by Feeling Sheepish who seems to have closed her Etsy shop last July.  It was 5.8 ounces of New Zealand Romney wool and spun up to 206 yards of two ply, probably fingering or sport weight yarn.  I intended to navajo ply it when I spun it, and that would have been easier, but today I just wanted it off the spools so I didn't.  Since the singles have been sitting for 14 months, I have no idea if the plying twist is right or not, we'll have to see when the hank dries.

This is why I needed to get the singles off the spools!  I have 12 ounces of this lovely tricolor alpaca swirl from North Star Alpacas (my favorite alpaca vendor).  The lovely thing about Maple is that she carries a lot of variety in her shop.  She has pure alpaca, mostly from her own heard, or alpaca blended with merino both dyed and natural colors.  She occasionally blends her alpaca with luxury fibers like silk, bamboo, mohair and angora.  She sells raw unprocessed fiber, roving, batts and hand pulled roving.  She also sells fiber that has been hand spun into yarn and mill spun into yarn.  And she sells items that have been knitted from her fiber - both handknit and mill knit.  Sometimes she has woven goods in her shop too.  Everything she sells is wonderful and she's a dream to work with - she's willing to change things and set up special items anytime you don't see exactly what you want in her shop.  And alpaca is probably the funnest fiber to spin, certainly one of the easiest!  

This roving was purchased by a friend.  I gave her about 10 ounces of handspun alpaca swirl from Maple's farm and the friend had knit it into a project which isn't yet finished.  She didn't have enough of the other yarn left to finish it and this roving is a different color.  She could probably have gotten by with 10 ounces (or less, as she has a generous ball left over) but I figured better safe than sorry.   I asked Maple if she had something similar and this is similar - it has white, fawn and black alpaca.  As you can see on the label, the fiber is from her animals:  Polaris the fawn; Chinella the black and Celeste the white.  I love that I get to know who the fiber came from - Maple always sends a lovely picture of each animal with the fiber.  She also puts the most wonderful smelling sachets in with the fiber - and the smell lingers so that my hands smell lovely after I've been spinning.  That smell will always make me smile.

Anyway, I spun 2 ounces of this lovely fiber today and while my hand is just a little stiff, I'm thrilled to have my wheel back out and to know that I haven't lost the ability to spin.  Of course that is partly because this roving practically spins itself!  Pictures of the spun singles or maybe the yarn in a day or two.


Alpaca Granny said...

Teresa, my friend, I didn't know that you could tat. Way to go.
Thank you for all the kind words about my farm. You are incredibly git to spinning, gal.

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

Your Spinning Wheel glass mat looks beautiful, and it matches the teapot so well!

How about coming to my house this summer? We could sit and tat on my front porch. Maybe you could teach me to spin... ; )

Gina said...

I'm with Diane. Wouldn't that be fun?

Teresa said...

It's a date!! I would love to teach you both to spin - and you two could teach me more than a few things about tatting!