A Flat Iron and a Shuttle

Having the right tool is a wonderful thing. I broke down a couple of weeks ago and bought a flat iron for my hair that my stylist has been urging me to spring for a—ahem—a couple of years. “You just can’t get ‘the look’ without it,” she’d say. After looking more and more like a helmet head, I decided it was time for a purchase. And you know, she was right. The flat iron just tames the hair down, and does it quickly and painlessly. It’s just the right tool and it DOES make a difference.

Anyway, this got me thinking about tools the other day when I was weaving a fine fabric, about 20 e.p.i., with my boat shuttle. My selvedges really didn’t look that great and I was having to pay more attention to them than I wanted to. I thought if I switched to my end delivery shuttle, I’d have better results. Wow-O-wow, what a difference.

Then I started thinking about all the other tools in my studio that make things easier, and perhaps better, if not more efficient. Here are a few:

1. My Schacht (of course) double ended electric bobbin winder (good for spools, too—which I use a lot if I’m doubling yarns or winding yarn from a skein). Remember, time is money, and winding bobbins the electric way is the only way as far as I’m concerned.

2. My Matchless Lazy Kate—which I rarely use for spinning bobbins. This is THE BEST for holding yarns on spools to wind bobbins on my electric bobbin winder.

3. Light Duty Swift—takes no space, can be used upright or sideways. Easy to store.

4. Tables: a tall sewing table that I can fold up all of the way, part of the way, or all of the way, depending on what I’m doing. I like the high surface for winding or cutting with my rotary cutter…lots of storage underneath, too. I’ve got two card tables, also. One is a work table that I use for rigid heddle weaving and the other I’ve got my photo studio set up on. I keep plastic storage bins with ongoing projects stored underneath.

5. My studio. I’m ever so blessed to have my very own work space. If you can wrangle some space and call it your own—one that you don’t have to clean up before you can eat dinner—is the best. I’m sure you’ll find you’re much more productive.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.