A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated a Birthday.  Something I am not very good at, as a general rule.  This year, having suffered endless confusion as to what age I actually am, I came out a year ahead in the Birthday game.  Yes, folks, I just got a year younger.

As if that was not enough of a gift, one of my dearest cyber friends surprised me with a present that positively took my breath away.  She commissioned the stunning shuttle you see below from a New Zealand jeweler of some renown: Frances Stachl.  First, I must draw your attention the presentation: the shuttle arrived exactly as you see it, attached to this copper thread, which is wound on a very interesting paper spool (made from a magazine  page?).

What is totally amazing about this silver shuttle the fact that Frances is not a tatter and, when she made the shuttle, wasn’t even sure exactly how tatting was performed. Working with a few sample shuttles as templates, she succeeded in crafting a shuttle that is perfect in every way.  It is compact: 5.3 cm long by 1.4cm wide, and weighs 10 grams.  At ten grams, it has heft, but is not too heavy.  Frances was concerned that it might be too heavy.  I have not found it so.  The fascinating surface texture prevents any butterfingers  fumbling or dropping of the shuttle.  Thread capacity is generous and the tip gap perfect for thread sizes 30 to 80.  I have tatted with the shuttle, and loved it!

That said, I have spent a good deal more time just holding it, turning it over in my hands, and smiling.