Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shuttle Ponderings

I started collecting shuttles shortly after I learned to tat in 1997. I hated the metal shuttles, which were the only ones available to me in my city. I read about David Reed Smith's shuttles from an online list I was newly subscribed to (new to the internet too!) and I ordered a small wooden shuttle, thinking the smaller size as well as the wooden surface might fit my hand better. It did. Then I stumbled on a tortoiseshell shuttle in a second hand store and I LOVED the feel of it in my hands. I ordered another shuttle or two from David. I found an ivory shuttle in an antique store. I ordered another shuttle from David. Clover produced its multicolored shuttle and sold them in packs of 5. I ordered online as that was the only way I could find them. Then I discovered a little place called The Heirloom Corner in Pendleton, IN and my sister and I traveled there one weekend, taking the scenic route (wink)but falling in love with the town when we got there. It was the first of many, many such trips. It was also my first meeting with other tatters! There were books and shuttles and threads in every nook and cranny. I know at least half of my tatting library came from there. And I discovered Ebay......and more shuttles.

I really don't know how many shuttles I have. I have a wooden case that holds 50 or so but many, many more are scattered all over the house. I probably have 50 of the colored clovers alone if I were to detach them from all of their projects.

Something I have learned over time is that the ones that were gifted to me are the most precious of all. I've purchased some very unusual shuttles, but the ones that mean something to me are the ones that were given to me.

I saw this unusual shuttle on Ebay the other afternoon. The metal heart one from Rosita. She certainly does have a lot of unusual shuttles. I finally won a few of them but I had come to the conclusion that it would be easier for me to go to Barbados and find my own! So I was looking at this shuttle that was already $41 (it finished at $102.50). It looks like copper, etched copper. Not really too difficult to make. I could probably have a sheet metal worker make one for me. In fact, I know a superb sheet metal worker. I decided I would rather get one made if I am to have one at all. Painting and decorating my own shuttles has been far more satisfying to me than buying the others. If I could make my own, that would be even better!

So I'm not likely to be bidding on shuttles these days. I have more than enough and if I get anymore, I want them to be meaningful, you know?

Here's the Irish Crochet Bag I've been working on. I finished it the other night. It still needs a good soaking in Oxyclean and blocking but it was easy and turned out nicely. I'm currently working on the 2nd half of the yellow tatted bag.


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