Friday, June 28, 2013

Struggling with the Shuttle...Day 2

OK, so.

I'm still not loving the shuttle, but thanks to some helpful hints (and videos!) from Sharon and encouragement from mb duke, I decided to "keep calm and tat on".

On Sharon's advice I decided to give right hand shuttle tatting a chance. After last summer when I took the tatting class at the Fair, it made so much sense to stick with the side that "clicked" (literally, when the thread flips it sometimes makes that cute little clicking noise).

But then last night when I was getting frustrated about the tatting being "backwards", and today after reading Sharon's comment about converting patterns in my head (I can't do mental math, so I'm not sure mental conversion would be much better) I decided that teaching myself to shuttle tat right handed might be easier in the long run than thinking backwards...

So I sat here and practiced. I put on some episodes of Murdoch Mysteries (are you Canadian tatters watching that show? It's so good! I'm dragging my feet through season 4 because Netflix and Amazon aren't streaming season 5 yet. I think it's better than Downton Abbey...) to distract myself and here's my progression:
From little white rings, to joined rings and chains, to two colors...three episodes worth!
So ok, I can shuttle tat right handed. Hooray.

But it's still not as nice as when I needle tat.

For example:
 What is the deal with the extra white thread between the green chain and the white ring? I swear I pulled that ring as close to that chain as possible, but every time there is extra white thread...

And why are there holes at the base of the ring on the other side?

Suggestions? Hints? Sympathy? ;)



  1. Looking very good! Try pinching your stitches flatter... Hard to say in words, rather than pulling so tight on the thread...

    Better than Downton Abbey??? For shame!

    Keep up the good work. You are doing so well!
    Fox : )

    1. Flatter as in closer to the ring when I'm beginning the chain? That's what I tried today and it seemed to work better most of the time. Downton Abbey just got to be a little "soapy" for me this past season...and I've never been a fan of wartime dramas, so the second season was a little over the top, too. Murdoch Mysteries started slow, but is now my second-favorite crime drama (Murder She Wrote will always be my #1!)

      Thanks for the encouragement, Fox!

    2. My dad always said that I reminded him of a young Angela Lansbury, though I don’t know why as I look nothing like her at all... maybe the attitude! So, Murder She Wrote has always been one of my faves as well!

      Flatter - more pinch I think I meant, actually flattening out the stitches...

      Today’s motif is awesome! You are making great headway!
      Fox : ))

      p.s. I tat a little every day... it is how I also taught myself and though you do not see the progress, if you are relentless with practice, all of a sudden you see you have suddenly improved tons!

  2. Looking good. Even rings, and lack of gapsosis with come with practice. Keep going!

    1. Thanks Sharon! I think it's starting to work a little better today...we'll see once I start getting into motifs... :-S! :)

  3. So, I'm a shuttle tatter and love it. I'm curious why you want to do it if you are so successful with needle tatting? Both create lovely lace.
    That said, I think the issues you dislike, the white thread and the gaps will disappear as you keep practicing- in fact, I'm sure of it!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Actually it was Jane Eborall's comment a few weeks ago about needle tatting not being "real" tatting that made me want to figure the shuttle out...I don't really see much difference between the two, and as you say, I feel pretty successful with the needle, but I wanted to be able to really compare the two and come to my own conclusion. I'm feeling better about the shuttle every day, but I still think tatting is tatting no matter how it's accomplished...(and needle tatting is still SO MUCH easier!) :)

  4. To avoid the gap between ring and chain, start the chain with the second half of the stitch. Works brilliantly!
    And for the one white stitch where you have both colours on your chain, I think you must have tatted that inadvertently without flipping it - that's why it's a different colour.

    1. Thank you for the tip Maureen!!! I did try that today and it was much, much better! I think that little trick is tantamount to the "tie-off" I do after every RW when I'm needle tatting, which makes sense when you think about it. :)