Sunday, 7 February 2010

Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle


After a few disappointing and frustrating set backs with the design of a wooden shuttle that would have a removable bobbin and did not involve too many complicated parts, we have now come up with what we believe is a unique and clever idea.

Here it is prior to being assembled (with an extra plug). The bobbin is placed in position and a plug is pushed through the centre hole of the shuttle and through the bobbin. To remove simply use the popper tool on the left of the picture to push out the centre plug and listen to the pop!

The popper tool is tapered at one end in order to push out the centre plug. The plastic bobbin can be placed on the other end of the popper tool to wind thread.

The hook on the end of the shuttle is also handmade from stainless steel.

It is hoped that those who use this tatting shuttle will find it comfortable and practical to use, especially as there is a slight indent for your fingers in the middle.

I wanted to show you this shuttle earlier but due to the extremely bad weather that hit England working on them became impossible, and then of course Jane and myself needed to test them.

Many of you prefer a shuttle with a removable bobbin, as it easier to wind/unwind and usually holds more cotton However, my shuttle maker (aka husband) can make post shuttles but he is at the moment concentrating on these bobbin ones.

Again some of you do not like a hook attached to the shuttle, there will be some that will be made without hooks, don’t worry – just let Jane or myself know if that is your preference.

You may be wondering how you can purchase one of these shuttles - well 10 of them are at the moment winging their way to Jane’s home via the British postal service and as soon as she receives them they will go into her Etsy shop, hopefully before the end of the week.

The shuttles are being made in a variety of British woods, which include elm, cherry, walnut, ash, sycamore and cedar. We are in the process of buying some exotic woods such as ebony and iroko to make them from but obviously these will cost a little extra. I will show you one of them in a future post.

The shuttle is to some extent modelled on the Aero shuttles, but of course with the wooden plug in the middle there is no clicking sound!

As some of you will have already realised my husband is a very talented woodworker so this is a really good way of combining our talents, and with the invaluable help of Jane, who passed on her suggestions during the project we hope that we have come up with a shuttle that will be a faithful friend to the many tatters around the world.

You all should know by now that Jane is my sister, we were both taught by our grandmother to tat when we were children, Jane being a little older took it more seriously than I did at that time. I've only come back to tatting with renewed energy in the last 10 yrs, so have lots of catching up to do!
After this post I'm sure we can rightfully be called "The Shuttle Sisters"!


  1. Exciting! It looks fabbo!
    Fox : )

  2. Heh, heh, hope that Gary and Randy see the bit about the 'shuttle sisters'!!! I await the first delivery with the camera at the ready to take photos and start listing!!!
    I LOVE my 'trial' shuttle and use it all the time.

  3. The Shuttle Sisters and Co ! - and the Co has produced a wonderfully exciting new shuttle for everybody.

  4. That looks cool - everything that need to be done in one place.

  5. The shuttle looks heavenly - I want one too. If you're starting a list, add me. Awesome!

  6. Oooooo these look sooooo good. I've only just got the hang of tatting with a shuttle, after years (over 40) of trying. My thanks to all the lovely ladies who have produced severl sets of instructions on You Tube. :)

  7. HOW COOL!! can't wait to have one of these beauts to try and cherish. My own Shuttle Sister Shuttle ;)


  8. Many thanks for your comments - they are now in Jane's Etsy shop and selling like "hot cakes" or should I say "hot shuttles"! Oh dear will have to shut the shuttle maker in the garage again and the weather is turning very cold!

  9. Darn, I missed them! I guess they did sell like hot shuttles. They look awesome! These are exactly what I am looking for in a wooden shuttle too. Please let us know when the next batch is ready. Now, let me get this straight, Jane is your sister?! I'm kidding; I knew that already.

  10. I'm so thrilled to be a soon-to-be recipient of this nifty and pretty shuttle. Can't wait to wind the thread ~ I have some new HDTatting thread arriving too! Yeah Valentine to myself from The Shuttle Sisters and CO; Tell CO many thanks on behalf of shuttle-hungry tatters.
    Stay warm….XX Bev

  11. I was just in time to buy one!! They must have gone up in Jane's shop and sold out all within the space of about an hour or so - drat the time difference! I'm excited about mine too!

  12. Sorry you missed them Jeff in a "blink of an eye" they were gone yesterday! "Co" (him who works in the garage) is amazed & delighted at the response and is now convinced, at last, that tatters love their shuttles! Oh Maureen you were so lucky, the time difference can be a pain sometimes. This weekend he will be making more, I promise.

  13. Congratulations on producing a wood bobbin shuttle! I believe you have a winner here!

    I am very aware of the difficulties in making these, because back in 1991 a fellow visited our tatting booth (in Pennsylvania) and decided he could make us wood bobbin shuttles with hooks. He worked very hard to perfect them, and we tested them for him.

    A major difference is that he used clear plastic commercial sewing machine bobbins (flat discs with small holes), which would have been easy to replace EXCEPT he had to sand the ‘discs’ of the bobbins down to make them thinner to fit the body of the shuttle. Advantage: They held a lot of thread. Disadvantage: the bobbin tended to break, due to being thinner. Also, they were held place in by a small removable metal pin, which could be easy to lose.

    I have three of his shuttles (with different size hooks - US 10, 11 and 14), and they are my favorite shuttles. (I use only bobbin shuttles with hooks, such as the Aero and Boye.)

    Sadly, he had to stop making them due to health problems, although I don’t know if he could have kept up with production if the internet had been around, and I have no idea how many he made.

    I wish you much success, and hope to add one to my shuttle collection!

  14. Thanks Kathy, that was so interesting hearing about the fellow who used to make the wooden shuttles.

    We can relate to a lot of what you said, i.e. we first tried the machine bobbins and found them too big and bulkie.

    The wooden plug we provide is bigger than a pin, and as we give a spare hopefully, unless the dog eats it, they should give good service!

    Um as you say your fellow might never have kept up production if the internet had been around - hope we can!!!

    thank you for your good wishes

  15. Congrats to the Shuttle Sisters and Co, what a partnership!! You can do no wrong!

  16. Love2Tat reporting in from Desert View in awesome Tucson, Az, USA. Thank you so much for a delightful shuttle. The first descriptive word that comes to me is "light"- how can that be? An aero is light- but this elm lovely- which needs a name- is incredible. It is a wee bit taller and shorter than the aero- which is my shuttle of choice for going on 30 years- and magic! What a delightful sensation to "pop" the bobbin in and out! And the hook works very well- {heavens-have I just admitted that I frog my tatting???} It frogs "rippit" nicely and joins picots nicely too. Very well mannered. I have used #20 thread to start... Wish I had a pair... that is easily fixed- right??? The tension is good- and no fiddling with a screw to set it- it just "is"... I can handle this with pleasure... Thank you from a very happy customer! Keep that shuttle maker happy!! Give him a hug for me.

  17. I was lucky enough to purchase one from Jane's Etsy store! YAY!! I received it in yesterday's mail, and cannot wait to try it out:-)

  18. So pleased there are some happy customers out there in tatland! thank you Hope and Dale Marie, I've just delivered another 30 to Jane today.


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