Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Double, double toil and trouble

I designed a bookmark in pink and green that worked out OK, but I thought it would look better in two colours with the green.

I grabbed my double bobbin shuttle and the trials began. I absolutely loathe having to unscrew the centre post in order to load the shuttle. I hate little bits and pieces that can get lost. The centre post on my shuttle is tight because I don't use it often and I had to open up a paperclip and use it to push the outer half of the centre post out before I could get to the bobbins to wind them. Once they were wound, I had just as much trouble trying to get the centre post back in. GRRRR! I hadn't even started and already my blood pressure was going up.

I wound one bobbin in red and one in pink and then I started tatting. I only got the first ring started when I remembered that split rings were an intrinsic part of the design. So I cut the thread and went looking for another couple of shuttles. I only own one double bobbin shuttle because it isn't something I use often, so for the split rings I was going to need to use 2 shuttles stuck together.

I re-wound the thread with half on the double bobbin shuttle and half on the two separate shuttles and commenced to tat again, only to realize that releasing enough thread from one bobbin to tat a ring was also unwinding the second bobbin because the double bobbin shuttle held them together so tightly. I took the screw out of the post and managed to rewind the second bobbin to a manageable length. I got one half stitch done and the shuttles twisted around so that the second half stitch only got one thread! There has got to be a better way!!!!

I went online to see about buying another double bobbin shuttle, but just to experiment on one design It's going to cost more than $50. I'm not that curious. I own one double bobbin shuttle. I have it. I've used it. I've designed a pattern that uses it. Admittedly, it was only required for the green leaves.

I can't really see that it's of great benefit for ordinary tatting. It has it's place, but it's never going to be a favourite technique, especially when winding and unwinding the bobbins is such a pain in the butt.

I did see a different style of double bobbin shuttle.

Has anyone tried this style? Any thoughts on it? They still have that blasted screw, but the bobbins look like they'd be easier to adjust separately. Comments PLEASE!!!!

I wonder if a sleeve could be developed that you could just push 2 regular shuttles into. It might make the whole process easier.

At this point I'd spent more time mucking around with getting thread onto the shuttles than I had tatting and I could see it was going to have me pulling my hair out. I just wanted to get tatting and see how this design would look in two colours and it would take me less time to add in alternate thread colours as I needed them for the split rings, than what it would take to mess around with 1 double bobbin shuttle and 2 separate shuttles, so I just separated the double bobbin shuttle again and unwound the thread off of it.

Maybe when I've calmed down a bit, maybe in another century or so, I'll try it again. Or maybe I'll just wind the thread on some card stock, it might be easier especially for split rings. In the mean time, just colour me frustrated.


God's Kid said...

Well, I can't comment on the shuttle, but I sure do love your heart design!!!! :)

muskaan said...

Love the heart !!!
Have never owned or tried a double-bobbin shuttle and your experience puts me right off ;-D

I wonder if your bookmark pattern can be done by hiding the other colour in the split ring? Then you may require only the 2 standard shuttles.

West Pine Creations said...

I've tried the pelc, double shuttle. I had better luck using a clover shuttle and a bobbin shuttle, stacked. The adjusting the bobbin, allow the threads to be even. Here is the doily I made, using this technique plus a ball. Don't know if this will help.


Jane McLellan said...

It's annoying when you find yourself paying more attention to the equipment than the result, in any sphere! I've never used a double bobbin shuttle, just used two aero shuttles held together. As you say, it's not something done very often.

Madtatter80 said...

🦋I too have never used one but enjoyed your comments cause I always wondered about that. Love the gorgeous heart and the bit of green leaves🦋

Kathy Niklewicz said...

Seems like 'double trouble' to use the double-bobbin shuttle!

And I doubt that this 'tip' will help with a double bobbin shuttle, but I wanted you to know that a single bobbin shuttle can be wound without ever removing the bobbin and worrying about those 'bits' getting lost.

Simply tie a slip knot around the bobbin (still in the shuttle) and roll the bobbin (like a toy car) on a flat, but not smooth, surface to give it 'friction'. I use the reverse side of a mouse pad - the rubbery surface is perfect and doesn't damage the bobbin. It really speeds up the process of winding the shuttle; and by keeping the mousepad handy, I also retract the thread to make a chain after doing a ring by rolling the bobbin. Helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

I discussed this with Frivole in 2015, and she wrote about it in her post of August 7, 2015. I started doing this back in 1991 with a lovely wood shuttle (with plastic sewing-machine bobbin and tiny metal shaft) made by a fellow especially for our tatting group. He also added the tip of whatever size crochet hook we wanted. But I always worried about losing the tiny metal shaft for the bobbin. (It was pushed out with the end of the crochet hook that he 'discarded' - so you had to keep that handy, too.) So I tried rolling the bobbin without removing it at all, which worked just fine and I loved the feel of the wood shuttle in my hand. Later on I discovered I could retract thread by rolling even the Aero shuttle bobbins. (I even wind the Aeros with this method!) When I bought a Pop A Bobbin, I was delighted that I could roll its bobbin as well.

The double bobbins are quite another matter, however!