The Pleasure of Good Tools

As those of you who have been reading this blog for more than a passing moment may recall, a few months ago I shared with you the new-found joy of tatting. The shuttle I had been using was a simple red plastic one, aided and abetted by a sewing machine bobbin where two shuttles were called for.

But if there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s a well-made tool, and preferably not made of plastic. I have gone to great lengths in the past to avoid lumps of plastic in everyday use, and (with an occasional exception for fountain pens), I see no reason to change that position.


Surprisingly for such a seemingly obscure niche craft, there are plenty of options available to the shuttle tatter. Etsy hosts many makers of tatting shuttles, for a start. But after considering all the options, I decided to get a couple of shuttles from David Reed Smith. One in walnut, one in padouk, with pewter ends to allow adjustments for a) different thicknesses of thread, and b) silent tatting.

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Moving to a Me-Made Wardrobe

Late last year I decided to move to a mostly me-made wardrobe.
As I wrote in Ten Ways to a More Ethical Wardrobe, “Obviously, this is a long-term, take-it-a-step-at-a-time proposition. Still, the freedom inherent in being able to decide for yourself what cloth, cut and colour you want, instead of being forced to choose from a limited number of options, is very alluring.”

person dreaming at sewing machine with cat

It was the extremely limited number of options available in ladies’ underclothing that finally sparked my rebellion. I was used to my clothing preferences leaving me with reduced choice in the vast ocean of mass-produced fashion. I wasn’t expecting to be left with no choice but a scratchy, lurid beige thing which didn’t even resemble the image on its own label. (I bet you didn’t know beige could be lurid. Neither did I.)

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7 Things My Desk Says

About me, that is. What it would probably say if given free rein is “help, I’m being buried alive!” Except, of course, for the trifling point that it is not alive, being neither made of sapient pearwood, nor belonging to someone who has refused hospitality to a French enchantress lately.

But what my desk says about me is Quite A Lot, and not all of it flattering. So here is the dirt the desk would dish: seven things one can deduce about me from my desk – or at least the top of it, because even I cannot give you a clear account of what exactly I have in the cupboard and drawers thereof (which tells you something about me all by itself).

Louis-Léopold Boilly - A Lady Seated at Her Desk - WGA02352
Lady, there is a dog on your desk. Also a small stone flasher.
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