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Thread: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

  1. #1


    Default needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    First thank you all for your encouragement. You are awesome ladies. For those who do not know me yet, I am still quite new to needle tatting but I have some experience with crochet and emboirery. I picked up needle tatting from a friend earlier this month. I have been muddling my way through by trial and error. I can not tell you how many times I have taken out stitches or started over, lets just say that most of my thread work to date has been toss out.
    Let me start by saying I have zero shuttle experience. Ok now the question. I am working a pattern that has called for two shuttles.
    What are the results produced by two shuttles verse one? Is the product thicker when you use two? Is it for convience? Can the results produced by the two shuttles be copied some way with using a tatting needle? If so how.
    I learned when I was crocheting that all patterns can be addapted, that a mistake is only a mistake if not repeated through out the project, Meaning that if you keep the same mistake up then it becomes an alteration rather then a mistake. So with that in mind, is it possible to alter patterns that call for two shuttles?
    Thank you for your suggestions

  2. #2
    Social Butterfly carolivy's Avatar
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    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Telling us which pattern you are trying out would make it easier to answer your question.
    Freelance Graphic Designer www.craftsuprint.com/carol-lepard
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  3. #3


    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Hi Carol Ivy
    I am usually working more then one pattern at a time it helps calm down my frustration level as I am learning. My current pattern is flying minor norwegian dragon, found on the knots links http://www.intatters.com/knots/2010/...egian-dragons/ .
    Yet I also faced these questions/concerns while looking through other pattern books. Its been difficult to find a pattern book dedicated to needle tatting here locally, so I am using shuttle tatting books as a general idea for the pattern. I have seen some pretty amazing doilies that I would like to try but they call for two shuttles as well.

  4. #4


    2 members found this post helpful.

    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    In general, the purpose for two shuttles is to make it possible to throw rings off of chains and/or to do split rings and other more advanced techniques. To throw off a ring when using the needle, all you have to do is get a second needle, use your wrapping thread to make a true ring where the pattern dictates, finish off that ring, and then continue wrapping on your first needle.

    If you are making a split ring with the needle, you wrap the first half of the ring normally then unthread the needle and wrap the rest of the ring with the tail thread. Then simply re-thread the needle and continue normally.

    With Anne Bruvold's dragons, the reason for two shuttles is the split ring. Just do it like I described above and you should be all right.
    Last edited by Raelara; 30-01-2011 at 08:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Social Butterfly Judy's Avatar
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    2 members found this post helpful.

    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    I agree with Raelara that you need or could use two needles in place of two shuttles. You won't need two needles to do the split rings on the dragon's tail. So, some things that sound like two needles because it says two shuttles doesn't really always apply.

    You can do the "thrown" or "floating" ring (a ring that sits on a continuous chain..) with one needle but its easier with two. I think there are some older threads here that describe floating rings for needle. Here's another slightly longer summary. You do the chain as usual until you get to where the floating ring is. Take the stitches off the needle, but don't tighten the stitches yet. Unthread the needle and re-thread it with the ball thread. [ This means you'll have to cut it off the ball. Don't cut it short or you'll end up having to add thread.] Now make the floating ring using only that needle and thread. Do not disturb the chain thread. When you close the ring, you can then unthread the needle, switch it back to thread the needle with the core thread for chain. Now continue with the chain stitches. When you tighten up the chain, the ring will pop up above your chain. Obviously it will be easier if you have a second needle and don't have to take the first stitches off and do all the unthreading and threading. Another place where it might say two shuttles where its easier with two needles, is if you have two colors and want to switch colors sort of randomly. If all the rings are color A and all chains are color B you won't need two needles. I haven't done this pattern; maybe AnneB will check in and indicate where she has these rings.

  6. #6


    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Raelara and Judy
    Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I will look for the thrown-floating ring link as well. I had seen a pattern that had called for small stars, to be made off a second needle but that was pretty far up the ladder from my skill set at this time.
    The pattern I had found asked for stars to be made between connecting motifs. It looked to me that the stars were to serve as space fillers between open areas where the connected motifs would have left a gap in the finished doily.
    The instructions had said to unthread the needle, but leave the stitches on the tatting needle, then thread a normal sewing needle of the same gage, make the star formation, and connect it to a picot on the chain that was on the tatting needle rethread and finish the motif, following motifs all had one star and a join to one of the stars. Is that the same as what you are describing Judy? It sounds close to me.
    The one needle approach is also one I would consider for smaller motifs. I will practice the floating tonight after dinner and post a photo if I can make it work.
    This of course floating rings are not in the dragon pattern, but he is on a time out while my mind 'regroups'.
    Let me recap what I think you both have explained to see if I got this right. The second shuttle is for more complex stitches. These stitches can be done with two needles or they can be done with a single tatting needle (very carefully) by cutting the ball thread long enough to complete the motif, and gently moving the stitches off the main tatting needle, making the stitches needle then readding the stitches which you removed, and closing per instructions?
    You are all such a wonderful resource and I appreciate your help.

  7. #7


    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Judy and Raelara have given excellent advice. My impression is that we shuttle tatters have to resort to two shuttles to do things that come much more easily in needle tatting!

    As for pattern books, there is really no difference in patterns for needle or shuttle. You should be able to work with any pattern book. There are some books that focus on needle tatting technique, however. Handy Hands has several books, as well as free online instructions. Their explanation of split rings using the needle are at http://www.hhtatting.com/splitring.htm

    This may help you get a visual idea of what the others have described.
    Happy tatting!

  8. #8


    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Hi Jctats
    Thank you for the link on split rings.

  9. #9


    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Ok as promised I praticed the floating ring. Turns out the way I was thinking it was done, wasnt correct. Judy got it right though. After a couple tries I managed to make a floating ring into a slipt ring and a floating ring into a split chain.
    I did it with two needles rather then one.
    Here are my results
    Floating ring within Slpit ring pratice 1-30-11.jpg floating ring in a split ring
    floating ring in slipt chain pratice 1-30-11.jpg floating ring in a split ring.
    Thank you ladies for the tips. I found this to be a fun challenge.

  10. #10
    Social Butterfly Judy's Avatar
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    Default Re: needle tatting, when pattern calls for two shuttles

    Holding the two needles at once requires some dexterity. I always feel like Edward Scissorhands when I'm doing it. What size needles and thread are you using? I've gradually been moving to smaller and smaller, especially for edgings and the like.

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