Thursday, February 9, 2017

A little early for decorating?!

I have long known about shuttle collections and personalised shuttles. I always said I would not get the bug, because I prefer functionality over appearance.

My first proper shuttles are made by Milward. They are bobbin shuttles, with a crochet hook and a tail for winding the bobbin. People call them Aero copies. Bad Aero copies. They have all the symptoms: jaggy edges in the plastic, bobbin not fitting on the tail and some bobbins fitting a bit loosely.

But these were quite my only immediate choice. Most of the time the shop assistants had no other brands or no idea what shuttles were. Milward are great, don't get me wrong. Most of their needles are very good for tatting and they usually have good quality products. But these shuttles had to be adjusted.

I chopped off the tail and hook (it was too big for most of my threads and I had a lovely tiny crochet hook inherited from my grandmother or even great-grandmother and amazing things came from it) and filed it smooth. And as any beginner who can't figure which shuttle comes next, I had to decorate them to tell them apart.

I saw nice tutorials for decoupage and bought some cute floral pattern napkins, white and clear nail polish (yes, I hear the agonised gasps) and got some sandpaper and our big jug of wood glue (did someone faint in the audience?) and got decorating.

The result is of couse far from perfect but I can use them very well, so who really cares?

I only just started shuttle tatting about a month ago. A bit too early, eh?

My two customised shuttles and an heirloom crochet hook. Although the hook's handle was fixed with tape and is not pretty, I treasure it more than the shuttles...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

From needle to shuttle

I had been tatting using a needle for two and a half years and more often than not I ran into the problem of finding the right needles for my thread or even finding the right thread for my needles. It was getting very frustrating.

My little journey into tatting land began from watching people create their own cosplay clothing and especially one of the ladies make her own embroidery. I was fascinated. So, I decided to try and learn hand embroidery.

I practiced on an old bed spread and made quite a few cute flowers. I even have a favourite stitch that looks like a braid.

But then I figured I needed to make my lace first and then sew it onto the garments, to be sure I have the right measurements and not make any mistakes. I had a needle and thread, so off I went on the internet to research the options...

I found out about tatted lace, which looked very pretty and it could also be made with a needle. I learned off Youtube, using the tutorials made by Totusmel. She makes quite lovely jewellery, you can see her blog here.

I learned and explored and made quite a few pieces of jewellery and some snowflakes which I was going to sell, but most of them ended up being given as gifts in the end, even to strangers. Spreading the lace love, hehe.

I then saw people arguing about needle tatting versus shuttle tatting and I kept my ground, based on a few people who said they can follow any patterns and techniques using a needle as well.

But I became more and more upset at how bulky my lace was and how restrictive the choice of needles and threads (no I have not ordered off the internet, I don't have quite that much money to spend on a hobby). When I wanted to make overlapping rings, I became very frustrated at not being able to make the join properly having all my thread on the needle.

And so, I put my foot down and created two cardboard shuttles and proceeded to learn shuttle tatting from Youtube videos as well. I learned from Tatted Treasures. She has not been updating lately, but the videos are good for a newbie.

I keep learning a lot from everyone who was kind enough to share their own experiences and painstakingly learned lessons.

Shuttle tatted on the left - needle tatted on the right. Pattern by Tatting Box

I hope at some point I can become good enough at this to also inspire others.