Boy, am I getting lazy! I didn't even get out of my chair to prepare for this blog entry! My camera was on the table to the left. My tatting was on the table to the right. My laptop was on the footstool in front of me, and... ta dah! Pictures for my blog!
Clyde and Tattycat asked for a review of my gourd shuttle, so here goes...
As you can tell, this is a fairly large shuttle. My hand is 6 3/4" long, and the shuttle is 3 1/2" x 1" x 1". I didn't fully load it to see how much thread it would hold... just enough to try it out. The thread is Altin Basak size 50, color #3004, one of my favorites! The pattern is Leaf Braid from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I love Mary's introduction to this pattern: "This is the easiest pattern in the book and probably the most useful!" I've never really used the Leaf Braid that I've tatted, but I love the pattern for using up thread left on shuttles!
Back to the shuttle... the tips are very tight, which I like. The gourd material is very slightly spongy, which I also like. I was able to gently separate the tips as I was winding the thread because of this slightly spongy feel. Of course, this meant that it took a while to wind the thread, but I don't mind. I'm not a speed tatter. I tat because it relaxes me, and I know I'm working on beautiful lace. I was also slowed down by the size of the shuttle while I was tatting. That doesn't bother me either. I actually worked for about an hour on another piece, but I read the pattern wrong (forgot to make a necessary turn!), so I cut off my mess and started the Leaf Braid. I'd say, if you like working with a Tatsy-sized shuttle or one of LadyShuttleMaker's larger shuttles, you'd enjoy this one. I don't use my Tatsy or Tatsy-sized shuttles all the time, but if I'm working on a large project, I do like working with one continuous thread... I really don't like adding new threads or hiding ends!
Beyond that, I think this shuttle is a great addition to my collection because it is unusual! No regrets here!