I might be able to help you.
I have discovered a way to predict how much thread you will use in a project before you even begin to wind your shuttles. You can do this for any size thread. I've been using this method for awhile and it really works well. This method is especially handy when you want to spare as much of that precious HDT "Hand dyed thread" as possible. You can predict how much HDT (or any thread) you will need to use in project before starting. This is ever so helpful for determining projects, especially those big ones. Also, this method is individualized to your style of tatting whether your tension is tight or loose, you can determine how much thread YOU will use.
Now I would like to share this tip with you!
Please do not get scared away by the math. It really is pretty simple.
Take your ball thread and measure a 12" length of thread. Do not cut.
Mark the thread at the beginning.
Tat 10 double stitches. (See the mark on the thread?)
After tatting 10ds, measure how much thread is left and subtract from 12". In my case it takes 4" of size 20 thread to make 10 stitches. So now I know that for every 10 ds in a pattern I will need 4" of thread.
Let's take this pattern and predict how much size 20 thread we will need to use.
One inner pink ring is 12 ds, so let's multiply 12ds X 6 rings = 72ds
Since 10ds = 4" of thread you can divide 72/10 = 7.2 and multiply that by 4" = 28.8 inches. You'll want to include room for picots, core thread and tails so I would round this up to 1 yard (or 36 inches). So I would wind my shuttle with one yard of pink thread for the inner rings.
Break it down, now let's do the brown thread:
One chain = 16ds, multiply that by 6 chains = 96ds
One ring = 14x6 =84ds
72 inches divided by 1 yard (36 inches) = 2 yards
Add a little room (maybe 1 foot) for core thread, picots and tails.
So you'll wind your second shuttle with 2 yards and 1 foot of thread.
Whaddya think? Bloody Brilliant...that's what!
No more wasting thread!