Guest Author - Beverly Elrod
Do you find it difficult to carry your works in progress? Or, maybe you’d just like to have a little ‘emergency’ kit to keep in your purse or glove box for periods of time spent sitting with nothing to do other than to watch the grass grow. Are you tired of throwing your shuttles or needles in baggies? It might contain the thread but, have you lost more than one needle that way? Or, maybe you’ve decided that a small canvas or cloth bag would do a great job but, then discovered that the needles will go through that too and it’s just not convenient. Well, I’ve found a few wonderful solutions and maybe these will make you think of more.
1) Either a cigar box or a cigar box sized wooden box (found at most craft stores). The wooden craft boxes have a latch to close them. For the cigar boxes you can always glue on some Velcro to close them. Either box can be decorated however you like and a handle can be attached. Either use a drawer handle (not really recommended), a purse handle or even drill two holes, insert a rope and tie each end on the inside of your box. This is large enough to carry a larger item, a selection of threads, picot gauges, a few different shuttles and even some needles and scissors.
2) My very favorite is a breath mint box (such as Altoids breath mints). These are tin. They can be decorated to your individual tastes (please see http://www.desiredcreations.com/howTo_PJCoverAltoid.htm for some ideas). These can also be covered in paper (even wallpaper). One shuttle will fit in the tin; although somewhat slightly cock-eyed. Why is this my favorite? Because it’s so small and compact and can even fit in my tiny purse. It’s convenient enough to carry anywhere including a bus, train and airplane. The only disadvantage to this box is the size and that you can not carry a full-sized tatting needle in it. BUT, you can either take a full sized needle set and file it down to make a short traveling set or you can purchase doll making needles to do the same thing. See my other articles on Frugal Tatting or Homemade Tatting Needles.
In different lands you may have other containers that will also make great tatting totes with just a little ingenuity and crafting. I hope you take advantage of the various items which will allow you to recycle such items.