More tools for weavers

As a former jeweler, I look at stuff as potential tools. Making a tool or jig for a repair was a usual thing. Now I’m a weaver, and it still holds true.

I never have enough storage bobbins (in other words, yarn spools…much larger than the bobbin in your sewing machine). That 400 yards of yarn may need to be broken down into 4 100-yd packages, each on their own bobbin. You run out of bobbins pretty quick. Some weaver/spinners put their yarn on toilet paper rolls. Practical, but ugly; and their inner diameter doesn’t fit regular bobbin winders.

At the grocery store, I picked up a package of bamboo skewers for “(what do you call it when you bargecue shrimp on a stick?)”; they are 0.11" in diameter, but for practical use, I cut holes 0.125". Even with the kerf, I had to enlarge the holes twice in the test material.

Total length of bobbin = 4", way too long for 4 skinny skewers to hold things together. So, I created two stabilizing elements that would not get in the way of the spindle on which the bobbin rests while being wound. When I was enlarging the holes, I inadvertently enlarged the stabilizing pieces differently than the holes in the end pieces. What a stroke of luck! This imparts a gentle curve into each skewer, and the tension adds to the stability of the bobbin.

The skewers allow for an easy start for rolling on the yarn, somethng that usually takes 3 hands for me. The best part is that they don’t roll away from me on a flat surface.

what’s reaaly funny is that I was so excited to have one that worked, that I forgot to take the mask off before I glued it together. Then I discovered that if I leave on the outer mask until glue is applied, I peel off the excess glue as well. Ha, lose one, win one.

Here is the shuttle I just made to go with my Swedish band reed:

See where the yarn exits to the lower right of the shuttle? There a hole there that allows an easy way to unwrap yarn from the shuttle, but prevents unwrapping if you drop it. ALL weavers drop their shuttles at some point, and not having yards of loose yarn to corral is a blessing.

OK, now I’m off to create stabilizers for the drop spindle packaging.


Another great practical cut!


Love the shuttle!


Thank you! I have a regular net shuttle that’s great at pickup, but lousy for dropping. I have another shuttle that won’t unwrap when dropped, but won’t do pickup. With this design, I get the best of both worlds. It’s short enough that I have better pickup control than with a traditional longer net shuttle.

Pretty soon I’ll get a ‘hobbyist’ vertical belt sander. I’ll be able to bevel in a gentle point on the shuttle, then clean up the edge with heat.

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It’s fun to make exactly what we need.


I love it! Now I just need to learn to weave. I have room for another hobby!


Fantastic! What a great design with a practical use. It even looks great!


The bobbin is a great idea! I’ve used toilet paper rolls and agree that the aesthetics leave a lot to be desired (not to mention when they fall and roll away. . . )


I used PG draftboard for this, which is probably overkill. I have on order some .22" thick chipboard and will try the design in that. If it’s satisfactory (light, cheap, durable) than I will post a pattern based on the chipboard. Gotta support the weavers/spinners out there. I’m also going to carry them in my Etsy shop.

Besides, people look at you funny when they see bits of toilet paper peeking thru your yarn on the cylinder. Orrrrr, when you ask them to give you their TP innards.


Thank you! I’m going try try decorating the material with decopage/paint then cutting & assembling. Nothing like going over the edge on your favorite activities: spinning, weaving and GF.

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