Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Setting up the library

Well, yesterday I set up the elementary library for the last time in my teaching career. Somehow, it didn't seem like the last time. There's still plenty for me to do. Registration is Wednesday, so I should have class lists by the beginning of next week. Once I receive the lists, I'll have to set up the new students in the computer so that they can check out books. I'll also set up the computer lab, assigning students to computers for the year.

My friend Kris retired last year, so I will now have the responsibility of setting up the middle/high school library as well. It's not a big deal, just rehanging signage and checking in and shelving books that were found over the summer. It's hard to believe that next year these will be someone else's responsibility!

Once I get in school mode, it's a little harder to justify time for tatting... but I do it! ;-)

As you can see, I've passed the halfway point on round 9 of my Jan Stawasz Masterpiece. When I finish this round, I'm going to borrow a tip from other tatters and mark where the next two rounds need to be attached before actually tatting. That way I'll now ahead of time if I've made another big mistake!

As many of you know, I love hand-dyed thread, and I always like to support new fiber artists. No, I don't need any thread. I'll probably have to start giving some of it away so that Dave and I can stay in our house... yes, my obsession with all things tatting can be a bit overwhelming! Anyway, AlenAleaDesign opened her Etsy shop in July, and I just had to order some of her beautiful thread. Doesn't every tatter need Australian hand-dyed thread? The two on the left are size 40 and the three on the right are size 20. I wonder what they will become? Time will tell.

I had a lovely surprise in the mail yesterday. My dear friend Carol sent me this gorgeous butterfly! I had seen her blog post stating that a gift was in the mail, but I never suspected that it was flitting my way! Carol takes some beautiful pictures of art exhibits that she visits. She only lives about an hour from me, so perhaps I should take a hint from her and start taking advantage of exhibits within driving distance. I do love the beautiful note card with one of my favorite paintings, Girl with a Pearl Earring. After all, she's wearing a headband in my favorite color, and I love pearls! Thank you, Carol!

One of the advantages of having a shuttle collection is that I can help others out when they have questions about some of the shuttles available. I'm not an expert, and my recall of details is often flawed, but I can show pictures. I was asked about Jan Stawasz shuttles. I do own several, and I love them! They are especially good for size 10 thread, which Mr. Stawasz preferred. I read somewhere that the shuttles are resin, but I was under the impression that they're fiberglass. I'm not an expert on these things, and I guess it really doesn't matter. They are well made and hold a lot of thread!

My all-time favorite shuttles are from Grizzly Mountain Arts, especially my scrimshaw shuttles. I've had a fascination with scrimshaw since elementary school, when my friend Francine and I would sit and read mysteries for hours. One book discussed ambergris, and after my dad helped me research ambergris, I became fascinated with all things related to the northeastern states, whaling, scrimshaw, etc. I searched for years for a scrimshaw tatting shuttle, and when I found Dave Stanbrough's beauties I was thrilled! Each shuttle is an artistic masterpiece, and I feel like a master tatter whenever I use one!

My go-to shuttle is the Clover, and once Clover introduced their larger shuttles, my other shuttles were relegated to the display cases. I love the feel of these shuttles. I don't mind the larger size. The hold enough thread that I don't feel like I'm rewinding my shuttles all the time, and I love the nice sharp point! Oh, I know that there of those of you who think those points are lethal, but they are my friends, and I have yet to stab myself to the point where I bleed... whew! What's your go-to shuttle?


  1. A very interesting & enjoyable post . My favourite, go-to shuttle was a steel Boye (not the ones that are sold now, with all that marking, etc.), but a sleek one. When the bobbin broke, it had enough leeway to insert the larger sewing bobbin. Last month, it finally gave way (after 30 long years) :-(((
    A long time back I had found a similar one online that said it was from Argentina. I have no idea, though. And now, when I tried to search for one to buy online, I can't find it.

    Am tatting with Pony Craft bobbin shuttles now but the bobbins are free-spinning ;-(
    But I still prefer bobbin shuttles to post shuttles (I have only one) - much easier to wind, unwind, reuse, pull off thread, etc. And of course, the hook :-)

  2. You are doing so great on that doily!!! :)

  3. I was taken by surprise (but shouldn't have been!) that you're setting up for school already! Our elementary school down the street is a complete mess right now due to extensive reconstruction, and I cannot believe it will be ready by Aug. 27, even with working around the clock! Teachers at our school will not be setting up just yet!

    This will certainly be a big year for you! You ALWAYS manage to get tatting (and other crafts) done, no matter what else is going on, plus you keep up with your blog. I have nothing but excuses for my lack of tatting and blogging. Our group will be at Vicary Mansion on Saturday, so I have to get my displays ready. It's a lovely event and they always provide an excellent lunch for us demonstrators!

    Thanks for showing us your 'larger' shuttles. I really like the look of that Stawasz shuttle. Very sleek and smooth! That would be the perfect size as a bobbin shuttle. The scrimshaw is also very appealing. Dave's work is exceptional. Beautiful thread and a unique butterfly!

    You're making great progress on the JS doily! That's a great idea to mark the rounds.

  4. What? Really? This is IT? Seems only yesterday you had years to go before full-time Tat-Land claimed you for its own. Wow.

    You are really steaming along with Stawasz. Looks great - and large!

    I found the STAWASZ shuttles to be way too big for me to tat with, but they certainly felt like no other- so silky.

  5. I hope you'll really enjoy this last year of setting the library up and all the rest of your work! What a great idea to show us some shuttles from your collection. They're beautiful. My go-to shuttles are aero bobbin shuttles. One of them has cracked, but it still holds the bobbin better than the pony or some Australian bobbin shuttles.

  6. Your doily is looking great, and you will have it done in no time at all. I still haven't settled on the shuttle I like the best, I have been collecting for a few years now. I would like to try a Stawasz shuttle, can they still be purchased?

  7. Love it! What a monumental year this is for you!

  8. One year...your last year will go by so quickly and then you will wonder how you ever had time to teach and keep track of students and library books. Lovely tatting and hand-dyed threads and your amazing shuttles you collect. Happy Back-to-School Days Dear...

  9. Last year? Really? No way are you retiring- Wow!

    Your JS is so wonderful, putting the thread markers for the joins is so clever.

    My shuttle? Frivole's aeros. Useful, small, perfect and gorgeous!

  10. Glad you were surprised. I started it at Lace Day [Indiana]. I like the Clover, too.

  11. P.S. Not sure if wanderlust is a good thing; however, I do enjoy getting out of the house and being inspired!!!! The Japanese Friendship Doll exhibit starts in a couple weeks --- 5 dolls at the Valparaiso University Art Museum.


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