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Add on thread (1 shuttle work)

How to add on a new shuttle thread when tatting one shuttle lace patterns.

(See book review on

Vintage patterns show the use of one shuttle to make a variety of tatted lace pieces. Since there is a bare thread space between rings and there are no chains (NB: two shuttles or shuttle and ball thread are needed for chains,) finishing off the thread ends requires planning. For example, to create a one shuttle pattern similar to the one illustrated above, the tatter would need a pattern something like this.

This is a line of opposing rings separated by bare thread space. It is made with one shuttle. The pattern would read something like this:

Ring = R, - = picot, clr = close ring, rw = reverse work, BTS = bare thread space

R 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 clr rw

Leave 3/8" BTS

R 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 clr rw

Leave 3/8" BTS

R 3 + (join to last picot of ring 1) 3 - 3 - 3 clr rw

Leave 3/8" BTS

R 3 + (join to last picot of ring 2) 3 - 3 - 3 clr rw

Continue alternating rings joining to previous on that side.

You can work for a long tine with just one shuttle but eventually you will run out of thread and need to add on a new shuttle.

1. Cut the shuttle off leaving as long a tail as possible.

2. (If this is your only shuttle, wind it with thread now.) Using new shuttle, tat next ring of pattern joining it to the last old ring completed.

3. You now have two thread tails hanging which need to be hidden in the work.
Bring the old tail over to the new ring and "sew" them into the tunnel created by the core thread in the ring going up the left side of the new ring.

Here are three pages which illustrate the method:

Use this same method to "sew" in the new tail up the right side of the new ring.

Now that you have encountered the problem of dealing this ends, there is a method you can use to prepare for this ahead of time. A loop of thread, or a floss thread is inserted into the new ring as you tat it. The tatter may have seen the idea of tatting over the tails in a chain, same principle.

Here are four pages which illustrate the "magic thread loop" method:

And perhaps the best method of all is to introduce the new shuttle thread into the last ring made by the old shuttle thread. Here you can attach the new thread like putting on a luggage tag ( and cover the old tail by tatting over it and hide the new tail with a magic thread loop or sewing it in as above. Please see:

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Consider the ends first
Planning for the End
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Content copyright © 2018 by Georgia Seitz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgia Seitz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgia Seitz for details.


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