"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Equal-Armed Cross

I've gotten a few new shuttles recently.

On top, of course, is one of LadyShuttleMaker's ceramic shuttles with a hand-painted scene. Here's a closer look at it.

The truth is that ceramic shuttles as a working tool are not going to be to everyone's taste. But even if you never use it, I think that anyone interested in collecting shuttles should have one or two of Sherry's, purely for their artistic value.

The two wooden shuttles are by David Reed Smith, my all-time favorite shuttle maker. The darker one is pommele bubinga, and the lighter one is birdseye maple. I love the swirly patterns in these woods.

The first thing I made with my new shuttles is the medallion from Jon Yusoff's Sweetheart Set. I used Krystledawn's "Of Berries and Fairies" and "Fairy Faint" HDT's in size 40 and added a few beads.

By tatting it in two colors, this medallion forms an equal-armed cross (it's even more striking when you use two highly contrasting solids, as in Jon's sample). The equal-armed cross is a highly symbolic motif in cultures throughout the world; you can read about it here if you're interested.

Jon really just made this medallion as part of the set of patterns based on a simple motif she had created. As far as I know, she wasn't setting out to design something so deeply symbolic. But isn't it cool that it worked out that way?

I was planning to give this one away, but I'm not sure I can part with it. I may have to make it again.


  1. I love collecting shuttles, and LadyShuttleMaker's are among my favorites! I love the feel of the ceramic, and most of my shuttles from her have a musical sound as the thread passes through the tips... music to my ears!

    David Reed Smith's shuttles were the very first ones I collected. They're very light weight, and a joy to use.

    I love the way the medallion turned out! I've never tried it in two colors, but I think I might now that I see yours. Very pretty!

  2. This is very striking with the beads in two threads. Very nice!

    I broke the tip of my David Reed Smith shuttle... You must find the tip sharp enough???
    Fox : )

  3. Fox, for the most part I do find it sharp enough, and at least-- ahem-- I can't injure myself with it. If I'm joining to an extremely small picot or at an awkward angle, I will use a crochet hook. David also makes shuttles with brass hooks or spikes for those who prefer something finer.

  4. I love the colors of the cross. I have two of Sherry's shuttles but both are broken. For collecting, I can always glue it together. The only shuttles that I work with (when I tat) is Clover's. I love the pick esp in the new pastel colors.

  5. I love your shuttles but I have not come to the stage of starting a shuttle collection. At the moment my shuttles are purely work-horses, though they are a number of them since I do work multiple projects at a time.

    You are right about the pattern for the medallion. I was not aware of any symbolism behind the cross shape that appears in it. Thank you for the link.

  6. Beautiful shuttles and the cermanic one is beautiful.
    Your motif is lovely and with the beads its beautiful well done

  7. The motif is great and the colors are fabulous! :)