View Full Version : Ball & Shuttle Issues
06-08-2009, 06:33 AM
I have been practicing the same medallion for a while until I was making my picots more consistant in size. I have recently moved on to making a cross bookmark that requires me to use a ball and shuttle. I'm using thread size 40. When I make a mistake in a ring I found it nearly impossible to take apart and would cut it off and start all over.
I know this may be a silly question, but is there a way to continue using the same shuttle and tie it to the ball? After having to start all over and thread my shuttle several times (because I made a mistake) I felt discouraged. Each time I would have to start over I would take the same ball and thread another shuttle.
If anyone has a better solution to this, I would greatly appreciate the advise given.
06-08-2009, 07:25 AM
just tie them together at the start and then tuck them in when the piece is finished. that's what i do.
06-08-2009, 10:00 AM
Maybe this would help =).
06-08-2009, 10:57 AM
You do not need to revind the shuttle. You should however practice on how to open rings as it saves you some cutting and restarting.
When starting a row
If the pattern starts with a ring I don't tie the ball and shuttle thread at all. I just make the ring then hold the ball thread in place while making the first double stitch on the chain.
If the pattern starts with a chain I tie the shuttle and ballthread together using a slip knot that can be removed when the row is finished. This is just because I prefer tying shuttle thread to shuttle thread and ball thread to ball thread before hiding the ends at the end of a row.
When adding new thread
You seldom need to add new ball thread unless you are working on a large project. But if it is needed I add the new ball thread at the start of a chain without tying the old and new threads together. This I do at the end just before hiding the ends. Come to think about it, you might skip the tying and go directly to hiding as the stitches are not likely to be undone.
If I spend all the thread on my shuttle and need to add more I start with the new thread when doing a ring. Usually I don't tie the new and old thread together before doing the ring. I tie the treads together after doing the ring (or when the row is finished) as it is easier avoiding unwanted gaps this way.
When the error is not close to the beginning of a row
If the error is in a long row I don't cut away all of the row. I cut the shuttle thread as it exits the ring with the error, remove the ring by pulling the core thread through the stitches, and the continue as if I was adding a new shuttle thread.
If the error is on a chain and I have done some rings after the error, I first do as if the error was at the ring done just after the chain, then pull the tail of shuttle thread through to the error on the chain and use the tail when completing the chain. Then I continue as if I was adding a new shuttle thread.
If I have done several rings before discovering the error, I simply cut away all rings except the one with the error or the one just after the chain with the error and do as decribed above. I don't cut the ball thread as all stitches are removed when the shuttle thread is removed as part of the rings.
The way I described it above, you'll have to hide the ends using a needle when the row is done.
I prefere to tie ends together before hiding (but not while tatting) no matter which thread hiding method I use, just to make sure it don't slip if the tatting is handled rough afterwards. If I feel like hiding ends by tatting over tails, I make a knot when adding the new thread.
As your tatting skills progreses you should explore different ways of hiding ends. But as a newbie, just hide them the way you feel like.
06-08-2009, 11:04 AM
Fiyero & Wickedtats,
Thank you for your replies to my post! So helpful! I'm so glad I posted this. I felt desperate to find a way to remedy this problem.
I'm only on my 2nd project and hope to move on to using 2 shuttles. I've seen some of the most beautiful work here in the galleries. It truly inspires me to continue pressing forward to learn to shuttle tat.
In Hawaii, I was not able to find any classes or an experienced tatter to mentor me. Finding tatting supplies here was even more challenging. I have found many supplies online.
I hope to buy some hand-dyed thread as I progess. Maybe with a little help I won't be discouraged.
Again, thank you for your replies and hope to be tatting some of the beautiful projects I've seen here.
06-08-2009, 11:11 AM
Thank you for your helpful tips on working with resolving this issue I've been having. If I knew I could get answers to my issues here, I would have done it a couple weeks ago and saved myself the aggrevation LOL.
In any case, I am extremely thankful that I found this forum board. It's always difficult when you are trying to learn something but there isn't a teacher around to ask the questions you need to keep moving forward. I felt stuck and now I feel much better.
Thank you to everyone who has posted a reply.
06-08-2009, 06:10 PM
Ah, if you put your shuttle through the ring just before closing it does make it easier to open for some reason!!! When opening a ring go to the last picot worked and hook the core thread up from beneath the picot. Loosen the ring up a bit from here and then you should be able to open it.
When using a shuttle and ball you can hide the end of the first ring in the first ring by tucking it round the thread and covering it with the first few doubles. Then just before fully closing the ring (after popping your shuttle through!) put the end of the ball thread through and 'nip' it with the closed ring. Work the first few doubles of the chain over the small end. Now you've only got your finishing ends to sew in. I tie a knot before sewing those in and also use a self threading needle!!!
Another thing before you fall asleep. Try using a weaver's knot when joining in a new thread (either ring or chain) as it makes a smaller knot. You can find a small 'how to' here http://www.e.n.e.btinternet.co.uk/WeaversKnot.pdf
Hope some of this helps. If not do email me and I'll see if I can do you a drawing or two.
http://www.e.n.e.btinternet.co.uk/ - Tatting Patterns
www.janeeborall.blogspot.com/ (http://www.janeeborall.blogspot.com/) - blog
06-08-2009, 08:18 PM
Yarnplayer has an excellent tutorial (with photos) on opening a closed ring in her blog. (http://yarnplayertats.blogspot.com/2009/02/opening-ring.html)
06-08-2009, 09:51 PM
Have you learned how to un-tat a ring?
Basically steps are reversed, with some ways to make it easy: maybe someone knows a website that shows it: I'll explain in words.
First, make a sample ring on a stray shuttle (don't mess up any of your projects!) and don't close it very tightly so that you can see what thread(s) to pull in what direction.
Let's back up: after you have closed the ring, you need to open it. To do this you need to pull the shuttle thread back through the double stitches. Usually it is easiest to get a hold of the shuttle thread under a picot, using a crochet hook. Usually I try to get a hold of this shuttle thread under the picot opposite from where the threads are at the beginning and the end of a ring, but sometimes I need to go back only to the last picot made.
Pinching the shuttle thread between the shaft of the crochet hook and my thumb, I twist my wrist to work the shuttle thread back into the ring to open it back up. Use the fingers of your other hand to ease the double stitches back onto the shuttle thread.
By pulling 6-8" of thread back into the ring at a picot, you can then move back around the ring, pulling the shuttle thread back until the ring is opened up.
Next, you can pick out as many double stitches as you need to fix things and reclose the ring.
I've found that the pick on my Clover shuttes are very handy for picking out stitches -- if your shuttle doesn't have a pick, you may need to use a tapestry needle or a crochet hook.
Clear as mud? Questions? ask on if you need more information, OK?
08-08-2009, 07:29 AM
Thank you to everyone who posted a reply here to help me with this issue I was having. Did I post this in the wrong place?
08-08-2009, 05:16 PM
I think you picked a reasonable place to post this. Sometimes posts take on a life of their own: you are really only responsible for the question: the answers can take many directions: best of luck with your tatting!
Susan B T
08-08-2009, 11:23 PM
A ring is also easier to open at the last picot... gives you a little more space to "pull" on the core thread.
30-08-2009, 11:54 PM
If you are a member of the IOLI, you could refer to their membership handbook to find other tatters in the H. Islands. I know that there is at least one in Honolulu. How are placed for purchasing threads?