"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

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Here's a whimsical post to lighten your day.

I was rereading The Borrowers Afield last night. My favorite bit is where they make the fishnet, because it turns out that Homily's knowledge of tatting is what allows them to get the knots right (I assume the "flip" is what came in handy). I am always left wondering about one thing, though. If Homily knows how to tat, she must have a shuttle that fit her hands. We know that the Borrowers used pins as knitting needles, and I'm sure that so enterprising a tool-maker as Pod could easily have fashioned a crochet hook from a bit of wire should Homily have required one. But a tatting shuttle has somewhat more complex construction. What do you suppose they used?

Also, I'm pretty sure that I have lost a few shuttles, both bobbin and post styles, to Borrowers over the years. Any thoughts on what use they would have for a human-sized tatting shuttle?


  1. This isn't one I've read but you make it sound intriguing!

  2. Let's see. A shuttle could be a good place to store your retractable clothesline, your fishing line, or rope. Post models provide nice 'handles' for two Borrowers to carry a heave 'rope' or 'line.' They would make nice footstools, or low 'couches' for the children's rooms. I can also imagine it being used to 'tie out' the family pet. Thank you! I've really enjoyed letting my imagination run with this one.

  3. Hmmm...I had no idea that tatting was even mentioned in The Borrowers...now I wanna read it just for that, LOL!
    ~TattingChic ♥

  4. Hey Gina and Chiclet, of course you need to read it! This is one series that I've actually enjoyed more as an adult than I did as a kid, because now I understand all the references to Victorian household items that didn't make sense back then. It's always fun to see how the Borrowers use "our" stuff for completely different purposes.

    Fun ideas, Eliz!

  5. I LOVED the Borrowers and there was also a carton series based on the book. (can't remember the name). I'll have to think about why they would take a shuttle. It would depend on the type of shuttle wouldn't it?

  6. I have seen all the stories on TV in a brilliant series, but never saw a tatting shuttle. It does sound like one to read.