20 June 2012

Fantastic shuttle news

Not Pop A Bobbins, sorry.

No, this time I'm showing you the prototype new Aerlit shuttle from Handy Hands which will be available in the Autumn (translation to American - Fall).  Barb has spent a lot of time and effort finding a supplier to make a replacement for the original Aero Made in England shuttle.  She very kindly sent me a couple to try out last week.  These (as you will see - cause you're all clever) are black but they are going to be in colours which will be fantastic when working with two shuttles.  I have resorted to a 'blob' of sharpie on the shuttle I use as shuttle 1 just to try to remember which is which when I'm using England Aeros!!!  What pure joy it will be to have different colours and us bobbin shuttle users will be able to play catch up with all the post shuttle people who have Starlit, Clovers, Sew mate and other 'varieties' of shuttles to play with.  You will no longer be able to brag about colours over us boring bobbin shuttle users - so THERE!!!

Now I set off with great enthusiasm on Friday to try the pair out.  They were stiff but the feel of them is EXACTLY like the original Aero England.  By Sunday I'd changed bobbins (yes, Barb sent spares) and now they work just as I like them.  Actually I don't think the stiffness has anything to do with the bobbins - the shuttles just had had no work experience until I got them put 'out to work'!!!  There's just enough tension on the thread and no screeching noise when I pull it.  I'm totally and utterly in LOVE.

When I mentioned this initial stiffness to Barb she did say other test tatters had found the same and that they do need a little breaking in.  I'm going to start saving now for one of every colour.  Roll out the Autumn when they arrive in the USA.  I'll be there drooling and ordering.  It'll be SO hard to have to wait but I'm a patient OG.

26 comments:

  1. I haven't been able to leave comments for the last few days, but I'll give it a try today, because I'm excited too, about the new shuttles!
    Maybe they'll come in the same bright colours as the Starlit variety.

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  2. I haven't been able to leave comments for the last few days, but I'll give it a try today, because I'm excited too, about the new shuttles!
    Maybe they'll come in the same bright colours as the Starlit variety.

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  3. Oh, dear! I'd better start saving my pennies now... maybe I'll start emptying the change out of Dave's pockets every night, just to be nice. I can stash the coins away in a little tin. I wonder how many colors? I wonder if Dave will catch on? ; )

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  4. oh goody! I use bobbin shuttles about 99% of the time. They are what I learned on, and I am impatient, don't like to spend the time to wind post shuttles. he he. Anyway, my first aero is the one from La Cossette that I got a couple weeks ago, I like that one, so will be waiting for these. I love "I'm in the garage"'s pop-a-bobbins, as the feel of them in my hand is really nice, but will have to get a few of these just for the fun of it.

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  5. OOOOOoooo!!! New shuttles, pretty colors, when is Autumn?

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  6. Oh Jane, I'm so jealous! I can't wait to try one! Autumn, autumn, that's WAY too far away!

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  7. Well...you had me going there!!! I thought I was going to have a chance to get my hands on one of you shuttles!! (I think you are rubbing off on me!! AHHHHH) I do know some people who will be happy to hear about these new shuttles because they do love working with the Aero Made in England shuttles! Good news for some!
    Kelly

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  8. Now I know why autumn is my favorite time of the year!

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  9. Looking forward to these shuttles and the colours they will be made in.

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  10. Oh boy. Looking forward to that. And the hooks are metal. Good move. I've broken the plastic hooks off of three. Colors is so smart too. These will sell like hot cakes.

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  11. Exciting! Something to look forward to :-)

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  12. Oh! I did like my real Aeros, but managed to break both of them.

    The other "Aero-like" shuttles I've got are OK, but nowhere near as good as the real thing.

    I'll have to have a look at these in the Autumn.

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  13. I applaud Barbara's efforts at trying to bring back the quality of the English Aero, which we unfortunately took for granted! I hope that the bobbins in these new shuttles can be removed as easily as the English Aero, and that the bobbin can also fit on the tail for winding thread.

    There have been copy-cat Aero shuttles out there in the colors blue, green, red and yellow, and they are under the brand 'Pony' (made in India). I ordered a set awhile back, and they are OK, but it's rather difficult to extricate the bobbin - which is also the case with the Susan Bates, although that one is even worse!! Also, neither brand allows the bobbin to be placed on the tail for winding, which, of course the English Aero did. That was the whole purpose for having the tail. (That innovation on the old metal Boye shuttles was also ignored by the manufacturer on the modern Boye shuttles, which puzzled me.) Ironically, some tatters find the tail to be extraneous on the Aeros, and they cut it off.

    It seems that the German Aero also didn't have any raised markings on it ( I don't have one so I can't say) which although bad for identification purposes, seemed to make it easier for decorating them! It will be nice that these new Aerlit's will come in colors. I like the black one, too. I will definitely not miss the ratcheting sound, as long as the shuttle has good tension.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention! I'll always prize my Pop A Bobbin and hope to order more, but it's good to have a quality plastic bobbin shuttle out there to recommend to new tatters and to use when traveling without worrying about losing it!

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  14. Such good, happy news!! Karen in OR

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  15. Now you've done it! You've got me looking forward to autumn with school just being out!

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  16. Anonymous6:19 pm

    The shuttles look great. I'm excited that the hooks are so small...
    GraceT

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  17. These shuttles are my brother-in-law's work! He works at a design company in Raleigh, NC. Unfortunately, I didn't get any samples, although one time he said I could have some rejects ;->

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  18. Oh, CarolynK that's a coincidence. I only got 'involved' as I saw that Barb hadn't got an original England Aero left in her collection so sent her one. My ex husband used to work in the factory where the original ones were made - a few miles away from us. He found a couple of shuttles 'hiding' in a cupboard and liberated them!!!

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  19. Hi Jane and Carolyn K - This is very interesting ! I'm impressed that any company is even remotely interested in taking up the designing of tatting shuttles, especially a bobbin shuttle! And to hear about someone actually being on the 'design team' is amazing! Although tatting is exploding on the internet (which IS very important!), it is still considered a lesser known Needlecraft. Also, post shuttles seem to be the ones seen in the craft stores. As a bobbin shuttle user, I am delighted to see an interest in bringing back the quality of the Aero! We've waited a long time for this!

    And it's the prototype that is so important! This sounds like it's going to be a quality shuttle! I'm glad Jane got involved! Jane - am I correct that the English factory closed in the mid-1990s? For that matter, when did the factory first open?

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  20. I love the idea of bobbin shuttles and thought that I'd prefer them over post shuttles, but every bobbin shuttle that I have (Aero, Pony, and a Susan Bates) all give me the same headache: When I pull back to make either half of the stitch, the bobbin rolls, giving me more thread which I then have to roll back on. It's annoying. *blushes* I don't remember having the same problem with the metal Boye shuttle I learned on, but the edges of that thing scared me, especially when adding or removing the bobbin. I like my fingers without cuts, LOL.

    Maybe I'm just doing something wrong? O.o

    ♥,
    Stephanie Grace

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    1. Stephanie Grace, you need to actually hold the thread when you pull, not just the shuttle like you can do with post shuttles, but that is so automatic, I don't notice it. Even if I use a post shuttle I will hold the thread, not just the shuttle, pulling on just the shuttle can make the thread extra tight on the bobbin or post.

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    2. Thank you, Ladytats! I actually do hold the thread but, somehow, it still manages to let loose more thread than I want... If I'm having a case of buttery hands, forget about it! Dropping one of them means me putting it all down to huff and puff (and cuss...). I'm sure I'll figure out some method of controlling them that keeps me from pulling my hair out. :-) Or, maybe I'm not holding the thread quite right when I pull? Hmm... I'm going to have to play around. :-)

      ♥,
      Stephanie Grace

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  21. Ah, Stephanie Grace, the thread problem is one that you shouldn't get at all on 'proper' bobbin shuttles. Certainly at first these two Aerlit ones were a bit tight but they've worked themselves into how they should be. There should be some tension so that the thread doesn't come out when not needed. Do hope you'll give them a whirl when they come out.

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    1. Oh, I definitely want to try them! The hard part, now that I know about their existence, is having to wait! :-/ I hate waiting! LOL. ;-)

      ♥,
      Stephanie Grace

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  22. Hi Kathy. It was a lucky accident when Barb and I got together albeit at the last minute for me on this shuttle. I've learnt a lot from Barb which is funny as she's a needle tatter mainly and lives thousands of miles from the place where the originals were made. I'm preparing a post for, probably Monday, in which I'll explain what I know about the factory and what I've learnt from Barb too.

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  23. Kathy, the company is Gamil Design (http://design.gamil.com/), a small firm in Raleigh, NC, of half a dozen people, and their products do seem to be more out of the mainstream. One of their earliest products was the Teastick, a device to hold loose tea leaves for individual servings...not a product that would seem to have a wide market in coffee-drinking USA.(I did score one of these when my brother-in-law Robert was working on the project.)

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