Tuesday, December 2, 2014

continental lace bobbin winder

It is a,….continental lace bobbin winder (that can be adapted to wind up tatting shuttle bobbins).

(In this context, continental means  Europe)

Thank you very much for your comments and great guesses! I had a lot of fun with my last blogpost, tatting Godmothers, plus, I have solved one of my tatting problems.

My family loves it when I tat in front of the television in the evening. The clicking sound of my old Aero shuttle reminds them of the coziness of knitting needles near a fireplace. What they do not like, and what I find very irritating, is that I have to drop my shuttle and let the tread unwined, as the tread I work with tends to twist on itself. Now I found a solution!

When I watched a farm instrument on LadyTats blog, I had a look in the attic and found my old lace bobbin winder. I bought it in Brugge many years ago in a shop specialized only in lace making materials. The shop-owner re-stuffed my lace pillow with horses’ hair, and did a wonderful job. Today, it still looks as new. A bobbin thread winder was a must in those days, everyone I knew and who made lace, had one.

The metal part of that instrument is made in Western Germany, and the shop owner told me that he made the wooden beak himself. It is adjusted with one nut and one bolt.
When I visited the Lace museum, annex shop in Brugge two years ago, the young teachers told me they had never seen such an instrument before. They told me that they wind up their shuttles by hand. (Imagine, winding up 100-200 bobbins by hand!) There was a wooden bobbin winder for sale, but they did not think much of that.  

My thread winder still works nicely as you can see.

And here is where the TATTING comes in! I shuttle tat, and always use a bobbin shuttle. I slide the bobbin over the shuttle’s tail, then I start winding tread on it. I wondered if I could place a shuttle in the beak of the machine, tail facing backwards. It worked, but I was afraid to break my old, well-loved Aero. I found the solution in an Aerlit shuttle. They  are strong and made of hard plastic. 

To my great joy this works!!! And, I do not have to unwind my tatting shuttle so often anymore, during tatting! This is a winner. It can also be used to sharpen a pencil, Jane Mactats! Thanks to Muskaan’s suggestion, I will now also use it as a semi-automatic Nostepinde. (Oh, I wish I could hear you pronounce that word).

So, everybody WINS!
Jane E gets the first price for thinking frivo-logically and deducing the correct answer.
Jane M, Muskaan and Pigimini win the scientific price, for formulating a hypothesis that could be tested.

Stitchety Grub and Anne win a price, because they had the first question right. I am thrilled that SG has exactly the same bobbin winder!
Contact me, so that I can send you a present!

Bye for now, Tally


  1. Oh wow, that's very neat! I have wound bobbins on my sewing machine, but I usually can't be bothered to set it all up. (Note that I couldn't hope to sharpen pencils on my sewing machine!!) It's interesting that you have to 'unwind' the thread less often when you wind the bobbins this way.

  2. Yes, Jane, that is correct. A bobbin wound in this way, tats better!

  3. Oooo how exciting - I tried clicking on your "contact" tab but it doesn't seem to do anything :( how shall I contact you?

  4. I learn something new every day :) good information!

  5. Loved the videos & how you use the implement ! Very practical indeed !
    How exciting to win a surprise gift – thank you :-)

    It was Pigmini who first introduced me to the term while commenting on my post on “How to wind hanks into balls” ! It is also spelled as ‘nostepinne’. For some reason, in my head, when I pronounce it, I stress the ‘te’ syllable ;-P

    1. :) That way, the word sounds scandinavian! I can't find the word in my fat Collins English dictionary.