Monday, March 2, 2015

Shuttles & Threads (My Tools)


Today I'm going to discuss what I use for my tatting projects. The basis of a beautiful project is using quality materials. The first thing you'll need is either a shuttle or a needle. I'm a shuttle tatter, and the only shuttles I've ever tried are the Clover tatting shuttles. They are made entirely of plastic with a curved, pointy tip for joining picots. In addition, they make a cute popping sound when you unwind thread! At least, I think it's cute. After tatting for a few hours, my family begins to disagree with me! In all seriousness though, they work great. I do look forward to trying more in the future, and I'll let you know about them when I do.

Obviously you'll also need thread.  I'm going to cover a few common tatting threads and give you my opinion on them. Let's get to it!

Knit Picks' Curio • 100% Cotton • 100 grams per ball • 721 yards per ball • #10 • $3.99
This was the very first tatting thread I tried. They come in a variety of very pretty colors, which is what drew me to them at first. They have a great sheen and they're extremely soft. They're also very affordable considering how many yards you get per ball.
Although this thread is beautiful in the ball, it presents a bit of difficulty when working. It seems very fine for a size #10 thread. It doesn't have a ton of structure and "oomf" to it. It's kind of difficult to get your knots to look even and uniform.
Also, it's only a two-ply thread. For this reason, it tends to pill or "fuzz-up" quite often. This can also take away from the finished project.
I would however recommend this thread for beginners. I started out with this thread and it made me work at evening out my stitches. When I transitioned to a more structured thread, it was a piece of cake!

Lizbeth Thread • 100% Egyptian Cotton • 10-50 grams • 120 - 184 yards • #3-#80 • $2.95-$5.95
This thread is possibly the most well known in the tatting world. It comes in more colors than you can possible imagine, as well as variegates and "twists" (sort of a baker's twine look). They are relatively shiny and saturated with color. It's tightly twisted and made of six plys, which results in a nice, structured, and pill-free thread.
This thread is my personal favorite. It comes in a multitude of sizes so that you can use it for all your projects. My stitches always look nice and uniform giving
The downside to this thread is that it's a bit more pricey. You get less thread per ball, and it's a bit more expensive. Not to mention you'll have to pay for shipping. In my opinion it's absolutely worth it, but it is something to consider.
Also, I must mention that that the Handy Hands shipping has always been wonderful! Usually it's only 2 or 3 days.

Aunt Lydia's • 100% Mercerized Cotton • 350-400 yards • #3-#30 • $3.49
This thread is, in my opinion, right in between the two above in terms of quality. You can find this thread in your local craft store, and I've even spotted it in Walmart! It comes in quite a few colors, though they tend to be fairly basic. Also, I have a hard time finding certain colors in store. It's fairly tightly twisted, but it still pills just a tad.
It's a pretty good price for the yardage you get. Also, you won't have to pay for shipping if you shop in store. You may have to pay shipping prices if you can't find the color you desire (a problem I've ran into before).

The only other tool I use is a pair of scissors. I think that's fairly self-explanatory though!
So that's it! Those are the tools I use for my tatting projects! I hope this helped you out, but keep in mind this is only my opinion, so I would highly recommend giving each thread a try and seeing what you think! Lucky for us, thread isn't very expensive, so experimenting won't break the bank.
Thanks for reading!

Until next week,