I was asked by someone if one of my patterns, which uses two shuttles, can be made with a shuttle and ball and the shoe-lace-trick (SLT). And I said ... sure, it can be made that way and did not think much about it.
The SLT is made by making the first knot when tying a shoe lace. This switches the position of the shuttle thread with the ball thread, so that you can use the shuttle to make a ring at the top of a chain.
Later, when I was thinking of the optimum way to make a number of small snowflakes where the design requires two shuttles, I got to thinking about the SLT again. And it made me realise something. Maybe, this picture below will help to illustrate better as I try to explain this.
These two snowflakes have the same stitch counts for the rings, chains and the josephine knots, but they look a little different. That is because each is tatted differently. The one on the left was made using two shuttles, and I used a shuttle and ball and the SLT to make the one on the right.
Using two shuttles gives a smooth rounded curve in the chains for each point of the snowflake.
But with the SLT, you'll notice a kink in the chain. That is where the SLT was made in order to switch the position of the shuttle thread to make the josephine knot for the point of the snowflake. This resulted in a more pointed snowflake.
Each one is pretty on its own, but I like the one made with the SLT better.
This brings me back to the question asked, two shuttles or SLT?
I suppose it depends on how you want your finish to be like. Some designs look better with a smooth curve in the chains supporting the rings on top of it, while some may look better using the SLT.