Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tatter's Nightmare

What is a tatter's biggest nightmare (other than not having any shuttles, needles, thread or patterns)? Can you guess? Have you been there yourself?


I've been working on T.A.T. this weekend and finished 4 of the remaining 7 projects I had left. I said I had 9 left in my last entry but it's only 7 and now only 3. The one I was working on today required several different threads and that's usually not a problem since I try to only put enough thread on the shuttle so that there isn't much to take off. Imagine my chagrin when I needed a second shuttle today and every single one I picked up had thread on it. I checked one of my containers and found more shuttles - all wound with thread to one degree or another. I checked the bag I usually carry them in and finally found an empty one. So I threw all of the shuttles that needed to be emptied in a pile and took this photo. There are EIGHTEEN shuttles there! On top of that, I found yet another little bag on my table that had 4 more shuttles, also with thread, in it!

This always happens. I recognized the projects I had been working on. Some were in progress when I went to Ohio to kidnap Jane with Gail. Some were from my trip to Canada, where I had emptied 8 or 10 shuttles to take with me and they somehow magically filled up again. Some were from tat guild in Greenfield. Some....this is almost irrational to me....were from my trip to Hector TWO years ago.

I don't mind pulling off the thread of one or two but eighteen? No way...I'll forget about the thread and it will be wasted. So I guess I'll sit down and do some serious shuttle emptying!

(postscript ~ I emptied FIVE so far!)


  1. Hi Gina!
    I started to laugh when I saw your picture! A few months ago, I wouldn't have gotten it, but since I have begun to tat in earnest, I have realized how shuttle collections grow and their necessity. I'm always picking up more shuttles because, unlike you, I'm not very handy at emptying them quickly!
    :) Ann

  2. Ah, there you go, reminded me yet again of why I use the Aero shuttles!!! I always rewind my thread back onto the ball after I've finished a project. That's why I never worry about how much to put on when I start off. I fill 'em up and hit the road!!! When it comes to adding more thread to an ongoing project then there are several ways of doing that and hiding the ends. I'm just SO LAZY!!!

  3. Miranda3:26 AM

    Yeah. Before I started my Massive Long-Term Project, which requires 5 shuttles (well, I could do it with 2, but I'd have to empty and refill them every time I change colors, no thanks), I made a point of buying several extra shuttles so I could be sure of having some available for other projects. Yet somehow I still never seem to have enough. How does this happen?

  4. I do have one of those wonderful shuttle winders that allows you to pull off the thread quickly but I don't like to do that for just a yard or two and I don't like to put it back on the ball. I can't tell how much is on there. If I put it on a floss holder, I never think to use it. I've already got a big baggie full of floss holders that I've not used. LOL! I also use so many different weights of thread that they don't go together well. So the best solution for me is to just tat off that last little bit. Some people can even (aaccckkk!) throw that last yard or so away!

  5. I'm afraid to count how many shuttles I have with thread still on them! I don't think I'm up to 18, but now that I think of it, I can't find an empty Clover anywhere in the house!

  6. One time when I counted, I actually had around 50 Clovers. Yeah...shocked even me, but when Michael's used to carry them, I'd use my 40% off coupon and buy a pack of 2. Ended up only costing me around $1.25 at the time. When I teach, inevitably there is someone without a shuttle and I will loan them one or give it away. At that price, it's easy to do. I really don't know where the other 20+ Clovers are. There's one at work. One hanging from a project on my bookshelf. I don't think I've given that many away, but maybe......

    I saw them at JoAnn's this weekend so I'm going to start taking my coupon there and build up a few more in reserve. (true addiction, right?)

  7. Hmmm.... Worst nightmare or greatest excuse to buy more lovely new shuttles ;)

  8. i must be the most anal and/or wasteful tatter in Tat-land. I have to empty thatlast yard and I do throw out small amounts, rather than having that shuttle sitting there making me feel guilty!
    I tried using the Aeros because of the bobbins - it seemed a way of organizing thread, but I missed that wicked little Clover point!
    So, away with the final thread; I never run out of shuttles.
    I am also obsessive enough that I do not have more than three projects going at any given time.
    It is difficult to dwell in my
    wee, driven brain!
    Fox : )

  9. OH, I'm just a hoarder. Can't seem to kick the habit completely!

  10. I'm just like you - a gazillion UFO projects, shuttles attached. At least 18 shuttles worth. And I have to get MORE shuttles to feed my addiction.

    Very sad.

  11. Oooooh, I can sooooo relate . . .

    I don't want to waste any thread, but I'm too lazy to unwind my shuttles until I absolutely have to!

    Good excuse to buy more shuttles :)

  12. Great minds; and, all that. I just went through the process of winding off threads onto floss Holders. I write on them 1 shuttle full, 1/2 shuttle full et cet.
    Of course, when I first began I didn't have the foresight to also write down the weight and color of the thread. I've been making butterflies of left-over threads in October. Right now I have 6 shuttles wound with threads for the 3 projects that are going. 1 large project (the doily) and 1 medium ( a Christmas tree with a bird on top), a smaller tree; and (whew!) a snowflake. I've already wound the next color of the 3d inner round for the doily; be prepared (like a good scout).
    Like you, I tend to give Clovers away and sometimes an Aero (not my English Aeros, mind you! Those are too precious) but tend to keep my 3" SewMate shuttles because most find them too large.
    It was fun to see all those shuttles in a heap.
    X Bev

  13. It seems like all my empty shuttles immediately get assigned to a WIP. That's why I am forever buying shuttles. They're getting harder and harder to find though (locally)

  14. I had to laugh when I read this post and all the comments. When I bought my first shuttle I figured I might need one other as I'd only need two at any one time. Indeed.

    As a new tatter I can say that the thing I have found more frustrating than having a half full shuttle is starting to use a shuttle only to find that the thread underneath is a different colour. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

  15. I laughed (because I can relate) when I read this and then I learned SO much when I read all the comments!
    Your blog reads really well. Thank you for blogging!


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