You may wonder how to make a tatting shuttle once you've caught the tatting bug. Having your own shuttle can make the hobby of tatting even more personal.
Tatting shuttles can be simple or complicated, depending on your choice of materials or ability. They can be beautifully crafted from bone, wire, wood or coconut shells, or even mother-of-pearl. Tatting shuttles usually come in plain plastic, so a beautiful handmade shuttle could be special and meaningful for a serious tatting fan. You may wish to seek out tatting books at the library or book store for examples of artistic tatting shuttles, and get inspiration from there. Regardless of the materials you choose, you should know the basic essentials of how a tatting shuttle works so you pick the right shuttle for you.
Shuttles for tatting are almost always eye-shaped-oblong with a point at either end. They fit in the hand comfortably and do not have rough edges. Some have points extending from either end, and some are hollow in the middle to allow for wrapping thread around that center section. That is called a bobbin. If a bobbin is not included, the person tatting will wrap the thread being used directly around the shuttle. This is for the purpose of bringing all of the thread between the loops created for the knots and chains.
A tatting shuttle should be firm, not flimsy, fit well in the hand and have smooth edges so it will not catch the tatting thread as it is being used. You may include hooks or protrusions or a place for a bobbin in the center if you choose. Wood is a common shuttle material, although it needs to be well sanded. The decorations on the wood are your choice and allow for plenty of creativity. You may enjoy making a shuttle out of a shell as long as it is strong enough and can be gently cut down to size and polished.
Needle tatting is a simpler form of tatting that uses a needle rather than a shuttle to complete the work.