Georgia Seitz - Ribbonwinners
Tatting Patterns & Shuttles
1227 County Road 1760 E
Greenup, Illinois 62428 USA
Tatting with a Double Bobbin Shuttle
Presented by Sheron Goldin

Many of us have a double bobbin shuttle sitting around, it looked interesting and we got it to try it but never went anywhere with it because we didnít really know what it could do. Mark Myers asked one day on Here-Be-Tatters (HBT) if anyone knew how to use this shuttle and I played around with it and shared with him at Palmetto Tatting Guild 2007 Tat Days. So now I am sharing how to use this tool in our tatting with the rest of the group. My hope is to stimulate your imagination and maybe we will see even more color in our tatting. Letís drive those traditionalists who say true tatting is all white even crazier.

What is a Double Bobbin Shuttle?

a. It is a tool for tatting like a regular shuttle or a tatting needle.
b. This is a bobbin style shuttle, which has two separate bobbins in it. There are only three that I know about.

i.The first is the Pelc Double Bobbin Shuttle. It can be seen at on the Handy Hands web site. Its bobbins are set horizontally, one in front of the other.
ii. The second is the Silent Tatter. It can be seen at on the Roseground site. Its bobbins are set vertically, one above the other or stacked.
iii. The third is the GR8 Double Bobbin shuttle, which can be seen at on Randy and Gary Houtzís site. This is also a vertical shuttle.
See also their resin shuttles:

What do you do with a double bobbin shuttle?

c. You can use the second bobbin as a spare shuttle to carry extra thread for when the first bobbin empties. Wind one bobbin with the thread, cut it off, wind the second with the thread and leave it attached to the ball. Start tatting.
d. You can wind the two bobbins with two different colors of a thin thread, or two different sized threads, and work with them both at the same time, creating a multi color thread.
e. You can wind the two bobbins with two different colors of thread and, using one at a time and encapsulating both colors as the core thread, add an additional color to your tatting. This is the use that I will be discussing in this class.

Can this be done with a post shuttle or a needle?

f. I have tried this with a post style shuttle and have not had success with it. The problem lies in the fact that the two threads are used at different rates. The post style shuttle releases a fixed amount of thread each time the thread passes through one set of tips. This results in a decreasing length of thread being released each time as the thread is used up. This results in a different length of thread between the shuttle and the work for each of the two threads being used. But feel free to play around and try for yourself.
g. I have not tried this with a needle but feel you can add the additional color of thread without a problem with a needle. Since rings on a needle are usually a mock ring rather than a true ring, with the core thread length being set at the beginning of the group of elements and then pulled through the stitches formed from the ball thread it should work, but again this is something for you to play with.

I want to play but I donít have a double bobbin shuttle.

h. You can use two Aero style shuttles with some blue tack holding them together. You do need to be sure to get the threads around the shuttles and not between them as you go. It might work better if one is neutered.
i. You can use blue tack to tack a second bobbin on top of an Aero style shuttle.

But there are no patterns for a double bobbin shuttle.

Do you need a separate pattern for adding a contrast color by doing the chains in one color and the rings in a second color? No, only your imagination. So to with this tool. Look at your current patterns. The picture may show a single color doily, bookmark or edging. Now add a second color for the chains. It changes the look of the item. Now think of doing the even rings in color A, and the odd rings in color B with the chains in either color A or color B. And how about making the chains color C. For those of us in the USA how about a patriotic item in Red, White and Blue?

Practice Pattern

Here is a simple edging I came up with one day. I call it my Mother-in-Lawís edging because I was visiting one day and she started talking about when she was young most newly wed couples got a pair of pillow cases with tatting on the edge and asked if I could do that for the girls in the family. I didnít have any patterns with me so I asked her to tell me what she had in mind. She wanted it all one color, about an inch from top to bottom, rings and chains, some height differences so it was not all the same. I tatted a couple of different combinations of rings and chains and she liked this one. So I started this for her. I finished one set and she loved the look, said it was just right.

That year, a few months later just before Thanksgiving, she was diagnosed with cancer. I could not finish the other two sets for Christmas that year but did work on them. She died just days before the next Thanksgiving. I had finished the tatting but had not sewn the edgings to the pillowcases. So for Christmas that year the pillowcases were given as a final Christmas gift from my Mother in Law to her daughter and daughter in laws. This edging is simple and may be one that is around but to me it is my Mother-in-Lawís edging.

The pattern is:
Ring: 4 - 4 - 4 - 4
*Chain: 4 - 4 - 4
Ring: 8 + 4 - 4
Ring: 4 + 5 - 5 - 4
Ring: 4 + 4 - 8
Chain: 4 - 4 - 4
Ring: 4 + 4 - 4

So this is the edging in a single color:

And here is the edging with the rings one color and the chains a second color:

Here is the edging using the double bobbin shuttle with the single rings one color and the cloverleafís a second color:

And going even further the single ring and the center ring of the cloverleaf one color and the first and last cloverleaf rings in the other color.

Repeat from * to desired length. For the Pillowcases I ended with the last ring of the three-ring group and joined it to the first ring, If I were edging a sheet or towel I would end with the single ring.

k. But how do I get those results? That is the meat of this lesson, how to use the double bobbin shuttle. Follow the steps below:

i. Wind the shuttle, each bobbin a different color. Cut each thread from the ball as we are going to be using three colors here. Use any colors you wish but I will use Red and Blue for the shuttle and Yellow for the ball thread.
ii. The first ring will be blue so wind the blue thread around your hand.(I usually start following the directions on Jane Eborallís web site to tuck in the ends as I go. Or you can do a weavers knot to tie the three threads together and tat over the tails. If you have a favorite way to start with different colors please feel free to use it. Itís a bit fiddly at first but that part is soon over).

iii. Now using both the red and blue threads from the shuttle as the core threads begin tatting the first ring. Make sure the threads are the same length from the shuttle to your pinch as you work.

iv. As you need to add thread to the ring thread around your hand you will have to keep on adjusting the threads coming from the shuttle so they remain the same length.
v. To close the ring pull on the blue thread from the shuttle.

vi. Reverse work and work the chain in yellow from the ball using both shuttle threads for the core of the work.

vii. Reverse work and work the first ring of the cloverleaf winding the red thread around your hand as you did for the first blue ring. Adjust your thread lengths, and tat your ring.

viii. Keep on going until it is the desired length. Or decide it is a practice piece and play with it as until you are comfortable with the technique.

Many thanks to Sheron Goldin for sharing her work with the online tatting class.

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