Tools Day: Enough Shuttles for Now

If I line up all my weaving shuttles, end to end, how far do you think they will reach? The accumulation started slowly, adding a shuttle here and there, as needed. My husband contributed to my collection by handcrafting some of the shuttles for me. “I could use a stick shuttle in such-and-such a size.” “Okay, dear,” he would say, before going out to the garage to whip up yet another yardstick shuttle for my rigid heddle loom.

Ski shuttles are for rag weaving. Boat shuttles are for almost everything else. Most of my boat shuttles are traditional Swedish shuttles. All these fascinating shuttles, such simple tools, work the wonder of weaving.

Hand-crafted walnut stick shuttles for rigid heddle loom. Mohair/silk/alpaca shawl.
Shawl woven on 32-inch rigid heddle loom, with super kid mohair/silk and baby alpaca. Smooth, handcrafted walnut stick shuttles were used for this project.
Novelty yarn woven on inkle loom.
Tapered edge on pine inkle loom shuttle helps for beating in the weft. I have been known to weave with crazy novelty yarns on my inkle loom.
Hand-carved maple band loom shuttles, and woven bands.
Maple band loom shuttles, hand-carved by my husband, *live* in a small handmade bag that hangs on the back corner of the band loom. This shaped shuttle is perfect for the tricky one-handed manipulation that is needed. If they are too smooth and polished, however, they slip right out of my hand.
Ski shuttles for rag rug weaving. This rug used 3 shuttles at a time.
My favorite ski shuttle is the beautiful cherry wood shuttle made by my husband, Steve. It helps to have several ski shuttles. The “Creative Expression” Rosepath Rag Rug used three shuttles at a time to get the gradient color effect.
Boat shuttles ready to weave.
Boat shuttles eager to weave. Do you hear them? … “Pick me”…”No, pick ME!”
A few of my favorite things. Karen Isenhower
These are a few of my favorite things. Swedish woven goods made on a Swedish loom with Swedish boat shuttles. (I’m the only thing not Swedish here.)
34 1/2 feet of weaving shuttles.
How far will my shuttles reach? 34 1/2 feet (that’s 11 1/2 yards, or 10 1/2 meters long). I ran out of room, so the last one is standing on end.

May you fascinated with things that work.

Happy Weaving,

16 thoughts on “Tools Day: Enough Shuttles for Now

  1. Hi Karen,
    I too would love to know the specs on the little band shuttles made by your husband. They are so cute!! I have been reading your blog and enjoying it immensely. Your weaving is beautiful!

    Geri in FL

    1. Hi Geri, I’ll be happy to share the specs. I will send you an email with the information.

      I’m thrilled that you enjoy the blog! Thanks for reading!

      Happy weaving,

    1. Hi Carolee,

      Steve and I do not have any shuttles to sell, but we are happy to share specs that you could take to a woodworker to have some made. I will send you an email with the information.

      All the best,

      1. Would you please share the specs for the ski shuttle and the band shuttle. I have several stick shuttles my husband made for me. He has tried making a boat shuttle but will need to do more work for it.

  2. Karen,
    So delighted to have found this page!! I’m slowly getting my feet wet again with weaving—band weaving and you are one of the few who knows what the traditional shuttle looks like and kind enough to offer specs!! Could you add me to your email list? I have some lovely storm downed cherry that should allow me both a woodworking and a weaving fix 🙂


    1. Hi Hugh, I’m very happy to send you an email with the specs for the band loom shuttle! Cherry wood will make a beautiful little shuttle.

      Happy weaving,

    1. Hi Kris, Thanks for your interest! I’m sorry, but I don’t have specs for the ski shuttle. In my opinion, the best ski shuttle design is the Glimåkra ski shuttle.

      Happy weaving,

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