Sunday, August 26, 2012

4-Eva Spinning Wheel

I finished my 4-Eva Spinning Wheel! If you're new to my blog, I think that you need to know that this is my all-time-favorite pattern from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I've lost track of how many of these I've made, and I've given most of them away. I sure wish I'd remembered to take pictures of all of them. It would make quite a display! Thanks to Jess for this beautiful colorway. Yes, I've started another Spinning Wheel in another of Jess's hand-dyed threads. This time I'm using Navy Greens... can't wait to show it to you!

When working with hand-dyed threads, I like to wind the thread CTM onto two shuttles. I've found that the new Starlit shuttles from Handy Hands are perfect. I've used Tatsy shuttles in the past, but they really were larger than I needed and slowed me down tremendously. The SewMates are a little too small, but the Starlits are just right... hmmm... sounds like I've got a Goldilocks and the Three Bears theme going here!

The only thing I don't like about the Starlits is the pick. If I'm using a size 20 thread, I can sometimes unpick a knot, but I don't find it at all useful for finer threads or for joining picots. It just gets in the way. I did contact Barbara at Handy Hands about Starlits without the pick. She sent me a few that had been assembled incorrectly, and I love them!

Of course, I felt the need to own every color of the Starlit shuttles, and I do use them, but I've had this itch to get rid of the pick. This morning I got brave and decided to sacrifice a shuttle if necessary. Dave has been doing his Mr. Fix-It chores this summer, mainly replacing siding. Rather than make multiple trips up and down the stairs to his workshop in the basement, he set up shop on the porch... fine by me!

Keep in mind that Dave is not a tatter, however he does seem to support my addiction! I asked him for help with my Starlit shuttles, and he knew exactly what to do!

He used this handy-dandy tool to snip off the tip. I have no idea what the tool is called, but it worked like a dream!

As you can see, it needed a little more work.

There is a bit of a thickening where the tip protruded, but that little bit of extra thickness won't bother me.

Dave used his palm sander to smooth down the cut tip,

and to shape it.

It's not as perfect as the original short end, but I think it will work fine.

I did a little extra hand sanding with super fine sand paper to make it extra smooth. All it needs now is a little bling!

I haven't decided for sure, but I think I may be asking Dave to operate on my other Starlit shuttles!


  1. Phew - I was able to read right to the end of your post because it wasn't an Aero that was being bastardised!!!! People cut the winding end off Aeros and it makes me come over all faint!!! Good luck with your new Starlit. Hope it works for you. SUCH a pretty mat too - I did that pattern when it first came out and haven't done another since!!!

  2. I have been meaning to have a go at that Spinning Wheel pattern for some time now. I really need to make a start! Your DH really did a good job removing that pick : )

  3. How pretty! I really love how the 4-Eva works up. :o)
    How interesting how you have gotten rid of the pick. I'm not a fan of it either. :o)

  4. The Spinning Glass Mat looks wonderful - as usual:-)

    I'm glad that the experiment with the shuttle seems to be a success. My husband does the same for me, I ask and he seems to find a way to get it done. I like having the pick on my shuttles but I know that each of us manipulate them slightly differently and develop our own quirks as we tat. It is interesting to hear how each of deal with different issues like this. I think it's pretty cool that Barb sent you "mistakes" that are more what you like.

  5. Excellent job of pick-ectomy! I haven't operated on mine yet, but I just got a yellow/white and a lime/white from Hobby Lobby yesterday, and I am seriously considering parting company with that big honkin' pick!

    I have also used an emery board to smooth rough places in shuttles (the edges, from irregularities in the moulds) -- it's very easy to control and does a nice job as well.

  6. It's really too bad to you didn't keep track of all your Spinning Wheel mats, as I'm sure you could be in the Guinness Book of Records! It's a great piece for showing how the different colorways blend for HDT and variegated threads. I'm curious exactly how long it takes for you to finish one, as you do them so quickly!

    The Starlit shuttle looks like a good 'in between' size for holding a lot of thread but not being as large as the Tatsy. I'd like to get one for my demos.

  7. Kathy, I'm really a very slow tatter. I just don't do much else, so I'm able to accomplish a lot of tatting!

    The Spinning Wheel takes me about 9 hours, one hour for each spoke.

  8. Such a pretty piece, Diane!...Isn't it great having a handy hubby?!!! :) Have a great day, sweetie! xo

  9. Le grand chef says it's a tin snips. And it's his tool of choice to help me with those crazy picks too. Maybe we should have an appreciation day for all the men/women in our lives who support our tatting addictions.

    It would be fun to have everyone who's received one of your spinning wheels to send you a digital pic. I bet there are a hundred! So lovely, maybe I could give it a try. How to get a doodad involved....

  10. like your doily, and good for you and Dave to create a shuttle that works for you.
    Everyone tats differently and everyone's hands are different.
    I have fixed many a metal Boye shuttle, smoothing the shoulders and fine tuning the hook.
    Thanks for the info on the Starlit shuttles, I picked up a couple to use for demoing I may see about a pick-ectomy.

  11. I feel the exact same way about those Starlit pics - the design is all wrong! I love the shuttles, not the pics. I don't think Barb Foster really understands what the pic is for.

    Your solution is grand! And love the tatting!

  12. Hmmm. Doctor Dave has the technique down...

    Poor Jane would faint dead away if she saw me in action in Aero-Castration mode... I have chopped the end off many a fine bobbin shuttle, usually in the privacy of my own home, however.

    I am wondering how difficult the surgery will be on the new Aerlits... : O

  13. Lovely tatting!!!

    Go Dave, Go!!! The modified shuttle looks ok to me. As for the original shuttle, the pick just isn't right. I think too large - or something. Maybe I'm just too used to the clover ones with the tip.

    The shuttles I most often use don't have a hook or pick or tip - just a boring shuttle! good of Barbara to give you the mistakes - and if she is listening, I think more mistakes would sell ; )

  14. Your Goldilocks and the Three Bears comment gave me a chuckle this morning.

  15. That is so gorgeous!!! What a fantastic colorway!! :)

  16. Diane, you are such a dare-devil with your precious shuttle! Glad it turned out good in the hands of Dr Dave! :)

    Am only catching up on the blogs now since I'd left off 'eons' (it seems to me!) back. Enjoy looking at your doodad experiments and challenge. Keep them coming.


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