Tit For Tat

vintage Boye tatting shuttle on plain background

 Friends, last year when Mr SuziWong, the chocolate monkey (Wilbur) and I were having a winter weekend getaway up in the Clair Valley, I came across this little doodad in a cafe/antique & vintage collectables store.  Suffice to say, I knew it had something to do with the needle arts, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.  I bought it and when I got home I did some internet information searching and found that it was a vintage Boye tatting shuttle with a removable bobbin and a built in hook on one end. I also found out that I paid WAY too much for it…A fool and her money…

 Not long after that I purchased a vintage tatting magazine on Etsy. When it arrived I tried to teach myself how to tatt…it was an abysmal failure friends; I was useless! I packed up my vintage Boye tatting shuttle and admitted defeat.

Fast forward a year. I decided to make this lovely baby boy’s daygown.

Old Fashioned Baby 'Sweet & Simple Daygown Collection' view 4

At some point during the preparation process and discussion with my stitching & blogging friend Kate about the project I decided that I wanted to give learning-to-tat another go.  Kate had mentioned that a friend of hers taught herself to tat from YouTube videos.  So, off I went looking for really good YouTube videos.  It didn’t take me long to find the ‘Absolute beginner Tatting Series’ from TattingTreasures channel.  I dragged out my vintage Boye tatting shuttle, wound on some thread and off I went: press play & watch; press pause; press rewind; press play & watch; press pause; have a go at the first stage; press play & watch; press rewind; press play & watch; press pause; have another go at the first stage; make a mistake and cut it off and start again….and so it went – on and on and on and on…until before I knew it I had a line of rings with picots; alebeit an ugly line of rings, but a line no less.

1st length of tatted lace edging practice

OFB 'Sweet & Simple Daygown Collection' view 4

Within a week, I had a tatted edge that I was happy to sew onto an heirloom garment that a future grandchild would wear.

Friends, I’m really happy with my tatted lace and I enjoyed the process so much I bought more weights of threads and more tatting shuttles. I want to learn how to create more complex tatted lace edging to put onto teeny baby socks and other heirloom garments.

plastic aerolit German tatting shuttle

The next tatting shuttle I purchased was a plastic German made Aerlit shuttle; it’s crap – I hate using it. The hook is really long and catches in the thread; the pointy thing at the other end fits into the bobbin to make winding easy, but it just catches when you’re tatting. It’s not very comfortable to hold; my least favourite shuttle.

MOP tatting shuttle

I bought this gorgeous mother of pearl shuttle from the US; it’s so very pretty…but sadly not very user friendly. It’s really hard to wind the thread onto the shuttle and even though I’ve got a little winding gadget that helps make the winding process easier, this shuttle is just too hard to wind to be able to use. I’m really sad because i LOVE mother of pearl.

plastic Clover tatting shuttle

The next tatting shuttle I got is this Clover bobbinless shuttle; there’s two in the packet for $5. It’s works like a dream, but because it doesn’t have a hook at the end you need to have a very small crochet hook to make picots…but that’s not really a problem.

engraved vintage tatting shuttle

The next one I got was a vintage engraved shuttle – it doesn’t have a bobbin or a hook but it does have a pointy end to help make picots. Since I have teeny crochet hooks it doesn’t bother me to have hookless shuttles. This is a really nice shuttle; it works nicely and is very visually appealing.

Untitled

But at the end of the day my favourite tatting shuttle is still my first – the vintage Boye patented in 1923 with in-built hook and removable bobbin. I like it so much i’ve bought two more the same size and one larger shuttle.

Folks, do you have an urge to learn needle art skills of the past like me? I love, that it’s modern technology that is keeping these skills alive – who would have thunk it!

One thought on “Tit For Tat

  1. Love your post Su, and the photos are brilliant. I have found my tatting supply ( not that it was lost )…just tucked away as it all looks so very difficult! Well done you, your blue gown is so very beautiful and I am pleased to hear you are ‘chuffed’! I will give it a go and look forward to sessions at First Pour coffee shop, tatting and sipping!

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