Friday, January 9, 2009

Tatting with a gourd shuttle

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!


  1. Even the pattern on the shuttle looks as if it could be tatted. Thanks for the report, Diane.

  2. Excellent review you've written on that unusual shuttle!

  3. Thank you Diane. That answers my questions. I agree with Yarnplayer - that is an excellent review. They should pay you. Now, off to see what they have available! As my arthritis is worse, this might be just what I need in addition to my large shuttles from Lady Shuttle Maker and Tatsy.

  4. Thank you for the review Diane it is very valuable. It really helps to have a tatters opinion that you know about new shuttles as I now feel I can make an informed decision about puchasing this type of shuttle.

  5. Thanks, Diane! I love your critiques of books that you did before and now your shuttles. Actually, I did my first purchase of Lady Shuttle Maker's ceramic shuttles because of your blog posts!!! I have a confession to make, too! I did go on over to her site and get a few things I "needed"...she only had the giraffe print shuttle...and still had a bunch of plain ones. I really want one with a leopard print on it. Maybe I'll ask her! I'm going to tat a bunch of linen napkin edgings that will have a lot of beads so I will probably need another large shuttle! LOL! Thanks for sharing this info! :)

    I LOVE the way you blogged this morning too! That is too funny...didn't even get up! Isn't modern life amazing?

  6. Just wanted to caution you not to let your gourd shuttle get too dry. I bought a beautiful one from Rosita a few years ago and the following winter, I noticed the tips were no longer touching. This is because of the less humid atmosphere in the house during winter heating season. I don't know if there is a way for those to be sealed so they don't do that or not. Yours looks like it may be shellacked and that might keep it from drying out too much.

  7. Good to know about the humidity and gourd shuttles ~ Kudos to Gina!
    And I bought the Giraffe print shuttle ~ LOL My granddaughter loves all things Giraffe; so, she'll 'inherit' this one..She's quite intriqued by the large Ceramic shuttles, too. Since she does Ceramics at the University ~ had a 3d class this semester.
    I use my larger shuttles as my ball thread shuttle because they hold so much thread.
    I'm awaiting a double shuttle from Randy at GR8..I think I need to rething collecting shuttles. But it's such a temptation...LOL I'm an collecting addict ~ I confess. Not ready for rehab quite yet!
    X Bev

  8. Diane. Do you remember the name of the person who used to sell these shuttles on eBay? I bought a quirky mobile phone shaped one from them but cannot remember their name. 10 years later and it is still in good shape!


Just like you, I love getting feedback!