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Welcome to the World of Shuttles!

(Warning – this post mentions the word, “shuttle” a ridiculous amount of times. Might be a great drinking game, now that I think about it… but, we’re all adults here. Just insert water and you’ll be WELL hydrated by the time you’re done reading!)

In this week’s episode of A Handwoven Experience, I’m introducing you to a fascinating line-up of shuttles. Those beautiful vehicles flying in-between the warp yarns, they’re a thing of beauty – no matter which kind you use.

In this special journey through the world of shuttles, I will show you my little crew. We’ll start with the stick shuttle, spend a little time with the boat shuttle, discuss the rug shuttle, and round out the conversation with the ski shuttle & the rag shuttle. It’s a full house! Check it out right here.

Show Notes –

Stick Shuttle – The stick shuttle is a flat piece with notches on either end. The yarn is wound directly onto the shuttle. I like to use mine for small amounts of yarn. You can’t really toss it, but instead need to inch it across the project. It wouldn’t be my recommendation for a big project. But, it is very inexpensive and if you are feeling crafty, you could easily make one yourself!

Boat Shuttle – This is my favorite style of shuttle, simply because it can hold quite a bit of yarn and moves smoothly. They come in a variety of sizes – mine is a 13″. (If you hadn’t guessed, they’re shaped a bit like a boat! Go figure!)

Bobbin- To use a boat shuttle, you need a bobbin. Your yarn will wind directly on to the bobbin, which will then be placed into the body of the boat shuttle. The yarn unfurls as the shuttle moves between the warp yarns.

Rug Shuttle – This is my second favorite kind of shuttle. It’s very long, yet fits comfortably in my shed space. Because I love including multiple yarns in the weft, this one makes a lot of sense.

More Shuttles (keep going!) –

Ski Shuttle – The ski shuttle really has tons of personality! The shape of it makes you think of a ski and it is my back-up shuttle to the rug shuttle.

Rag Shuttle – The rag shuttle is perfect for holding strips of fabric when creating a rag rug. I must admit that my rag shuttle doesn’t fit gracefully through my shed space. So, if you decide to purchase one, do some math first to be sure it’ll work for you.

Flying Shuttle – I found a great article on John Kay, inventor of the flying shuttle. In 1733, he designed a shuttle that moved on a rod, delivering the yarn across the project with just the toss of a lever. It replaced the work of two people who previously would have stood on either side of the loom, throwing the shuttle back and forth to each other. This invention was very important to the Industrial Revolution. Ah, progress.

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