Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dangerously Beautiful?

I wanted you all to see why I was only distressed that I could not tat on plane on the way home -- not truly moaning about losing my plain gray Aero shuttles. All this beauty came in the mail just before I left for vacation:
Aren't they pretty? Having these declared dangerous and "not permitted" really would have made me cry!
The top shuttle on the right, and first to arrive, is a Dragon Shuttle made by Chris Hinton from The Shuttle Shop. The wood is beautifully veined and polished to a smooth lustre. Of course, the carved rendition of Ann Bruvold's dragon right there in the center makes it very special. Even more charming is Chris's personal "Hi" to me carved into the post. That's a particularly nice thing to do after I literally destroyed two of his winder shuttles during testing. I intend to take very good care of this shuttle. All the shuttles are posed in the Dragon Shuttle's new case -- what could be more appropriate than this silk-covered box I got in San Francisco's Chinatown? (Well, okay, one with a dragon pattern on the silk, but flowers are good, right?)

The shuttle on the right arrived next. It's a new Pop-a-Bobbin Shuttle from "'im in the garage" that I got from Jane Eborall's Etsy site. These great shuttles sell like hotcakes, so my timing had to be just right. I'd been waiting to pounce on the new offerings since Jane announced the posting time on her blog. This one is teak -- it sounds as exotic as it looks. It's also a very smooth bit of work, and I love the feel of the wood. Oh! It has a purple bobbin too! Wouldn't it be fun if bobbins came in every color of the rainbow? This is my fifth Pop-a-Bobbin shuttle -- greedy, huh?

My last beautiful shuttle actually arrived home the same day I did. Isn't it marvelous? It used to be a plain dull gray Aero shuttle until Joƫlle at La Cossette agreed to try covering an un-neutered Aero for me. I like the length of the Aero shuttle and frequently have my fingers just above the winding post when I tat. Without the post, I'd drop the shuttle! I use the winder all the time, too. I told her any of three patterns (or was it four?) which were in her Etsy shop at the time would be just fine. I don't know how she actually picked the one I liked the very best! These are blackberries and are on both sides of the shuttle. I love that bit of orangy-yellow leaf on the bottom end of one side. What ever paper and medium she used to secure it has certainly altered the feel of the shuttle. It doesn't feel like a flimsy plastic shuttle anymore; it's much more substantial. Besides that bonus, the covering medium also gives the shuttle a bit of a texture making it easy to hold onto without creating any place the thread can catch. I think I need more of these pretty shuttles.

There's just one more to see. This one I've had for quite some time, but it's another shuttle that doesn't travel with me. This one was made by David Reed Smith. It's very light wood with a small, flat brass hook set into the end. It's very nice to work with. Can you just see a double-shuttle project with this on one thread and the Dragon on the other? Nice image, eh? Anyway, not content with just the shuttle, I also got this crochet hook in a turned case. The hook pulls out of the end, reverses, and goes back in for use. It has a hole through the end of the long cap so it can be worn as a necklace or on a chatelaine. I wonder if it would make it through the x-ray machines at the airport? Ha. Well, I'M not going to be the one to test it, that's for sure and certain.

There. Now you've seen my at-home shuttles. The dull gray Aeros are my traveling shuttles. I've always got one in a contact lens case with a pair of fingernail clippers and a couple of extra bobbins of thread so I can make butterflies or caterpillars anywhere.


No, no -- not the beach or the sand or the sun or the wind. Cancun, Mexico is a lovely place. Those Caribbean blues in the water were perfect -- I understand some of the thread dyes now!
The hotel was marvelous -- the only places with four walls, doors, and windows were the individual rooms and a couple of the restaurants. Everything else was open, on patios or under palapas. The people were marvelous and so patient with my very poor Spanish. I can count, say hello and goodbye, and know a smattering of other useless words (like sombrero, and burro -- fortunately "Coca-Cola" and "Fanta Orange" appear to be Spanish.)
Chichen-Itza was a wonder, truly. I never realized how large the area is and how many buildings there were. The building precision was amazing to see, and the carvings equally so.
Cancun was a lovely place for a wedding! (Nope, not mine -- my niece's, which made it even better.)

So...what's dangerous you ask? I'll show you:

Yes. It's the dreaded Aero Shuttle in all it's drab grayness. I flew down to Mexico with six of these weapons in my carry on bag and happily tatted in the plane all the way down. I came home without six of these dangerous items. I do hope you all feel safer in your homes and in the skies.

However, just so you know, these are NOT dangerous:

Go figure.

Let this just serve as a reminder (which I didn't even think about) that just because you can travel through the airports in your own country with your tatting shuttles, knitting needles (my sister's are gracing some airport security lockup in Cancun), and crochet hooks, it doesn't follow that you can travel with them in some other country. Perhaps on my next trip my nice wooden lucet will have to come along for the ride.