I have sad news to report. I dropped and broke the tip off my gorgeous bufflo horn with checker board mother-of-pearl and paua shell shuttle. I guess I should have known better than to actually use this shuttle for tatting, but I thought if I were careful I could do it. I always keep the shuttle in the case it came in and only take it out when I’m actually tatting with it. It has always been reserved for projects with King Tut quilting thread since they require a nice sharp point and I geneally only pull out the King Tut when I’m in a nice clean space with good lighting and not too many distractions (i.e. not traveling). But none of that helped today when I dropped the shuttle on a hardwood floor.
It’s sad to see such a gorgeous piece of artwork broken, but it is only a thing so while I’m disappointed, I suppose I knew I was going to break it eventually, so I’m not actually broken hearted about it. I guess I knew from the beginning that I could either put it safely away and not use it or use and enjoy it (it’s really a pleasure to tat with) and have it eventually get broken. Now that it’s finally happened I can sort of breath a sigh of relief and stop worrying about breaking it. In fact, now I get to use this shuttle for every day which is actually kind of exciting.
It got me thinking again about a couple months ago when Pat Stevens showed Sarah and me her fantastic shuttle collection. It’s an amazing collection with I don’t know how many hundreds of shuttles that span the entire history of tatting. It was fun to talk to her about it, but honestly, I can’t see myself ever really collecting shuttles. At least not just for their own sake. To me the shuttle is a tool and if it can’t be used for actual tatting I loose interest. Sure. I have lots of different shuttles, but in a way, the astetics of the shuttle are second to the usefulness. I’m actually starting to look into the idea of making my own wooden shuttles (don’t hold your breath, folks. I know nothing about woodworking so it’s a long way off) not because I’m excited about making the shuttles, but because I’m excited about tatting with a shuttle that’s EXACTLY what I want in a shuttle.
It’s funny to be writing all this about not being interested in shuttle collection because in the last month or so I’ve gotten started a bit of an antique book collection going. It started off with some searching on eBay for original copies of the Priscilla books so that when I write up my updated versions of the patterns I can include pictures from the originals. I went a little overboard and started picking up a lot of other antique books. I can definitely see myself going into the history of the books in the same way that Pat has gone into the history of the shuttles.
Maybe I’ll go through the books here on the blog one day, but for now I just want to announce my happiness in finding copies of BOTH versions of Priscilla #2. (Did you know there were two versions?) Here’s the cover of the longer one. I’ve started going through and photographing all the patterns and pictures so that I can load them onto my Evernote account and be able to access them anytime I want (yay for being able to pull up any pattern on my phone!) and so I’ll have these pictures ready for posting here about the patterns I’m working on.
Speaking of which, I don’t think I ever posted about the project I started with the King Tut. It’s on edging from Priscilla #2 that I made a while back out of an old size 10 thread. Here’s my start of it in King Tut Quilting thread with a Clover shuttle for comparison. I’m not really sure where I’m going with it or how long I want to end up making it. Right now I’m thinking that I’ll double it over as a bracelet. All I know is that unfortunately, the next step now is to unwind the bufflo horn shuttle and rewind the thread on to some nice new Clovers with undamaged points.