Announcement: TAST Next Year

hand embroidery sampleAs anyone browsing the comments last week will see the majority of people want TAST to continue next year. So it will. It will not be a repeat of what we had this year as I have different stitches to keep things interesting.

A common theme in the comments is that people felt they were constantly playing catch up and some people wanted to have more breaks. Feeling pressured to keep up is not the idea behind the challenge.

For me a key aspect of TAST is that it allows people to either learn or explore the stitches and if too many folks feel pushed for time samples are done in a hurry with no opportunity to explore the stitch itself. So to counter this next year I will include more break weeks.

There is always the option of dropping in and out of the challenge as life dictates or for advanced embroiderers who might want to cherry pick the stitches they have not encountered before or the more challenging stitches but for some folks it is the discipline of a regular challenge they like.

So I have been thinking how can there be a defined goal in the challenge that does not bind people to a timeline? Part of the perceived pressure is that the TAST stitches are defined by the week they appear. After much thought I have decided to change the format a little and in doing so it allows people to think about the challenge differently.

The pressure to keep up is a self imposed goal to work or learn the stitch every week rather than explore the stitches. I decided to number the stitches not the weeks. If you look at the TAST FAQ you can see I have started to number the stitches and next year I will remove the week numbers.

I will also produce a second list of stitches listed alphabetically. At the moment stitches are easily found but as time goes on I need to cross index them.

hand embroidery sampleThis allows people to set their own goals yet provides stability and discipline. The goal becomes to work 10 of the TAST stitches or 20 of the TAST or all of the TAST stitches. People can work a new stitch as it appears or set goals that fit their life such as in a year work 10, 20 or 50 TAST stitches. Or they may choose to structure their challenge along the lines of difficulty for instance work 20 simple stitches and 5 hard stitches in a year. How people define their goal is up to them.

This way the choice is about what a person wants to  learn and explore  and not catching up to the current week.

Compounding the perceived pressure to complete a stitch every week is the weekly highlights feature as they focus on the previous weeks stitch. So I am going to change the pattern and not limit the featured section to just one weeks stitch but include any of the TAST stitches listed on The TAST FAQ page.

I will also not publish the featured stitches article weekly  but more  every 10 – 15 days with a higher number of links to interesting samples. Since most people browse the comments and visit the blogs for inspiration and to see what others are doing the featured stitches are a repeat for them but it does give a huge boost to anyone learning the stitches. If you are one of those who don’t browse the comments you are missing out on a huge aspect of TAST as people often write about what they have learnt and how they approached the challenge.

Introduction of the TAST Design Challenge

For people who are more experienced every 4-6 weeks I am going to propose a design challenge. I will suggest the use of 3-5 stitches particular stitches and see what people can do with them in a small project. People will have at least 4-6 weeks to work on it . I hope this will be interesting for intermediate and advanced stitchers and expose new hands to the huge variety of expression available to an embroiderer. If it proves popular it will be a regular feature throughout the year.

Over the Christmas period I will go on break for a while. In Australia it is our summer holiday season so Jerry (my husband) has taken leave and Eve (my daughter) and her partner are coming home for Christmas and the summer. We will be in holiday mode. I will announce the dates closer to the time.

So in brief

  • Next year I will still be posting a stitch a week numbered by the stitch not the week.
  • There will be more breaks through the year
  • How people define the challenge is up to them
  • Featured work will include any TAST stitch not just the stitch proposed that week. This will no longer be weekly piece but an irregular but longer feature.
  • There will be the introduction of the TAST Design Challenge as of January 2013. This will be proposed every 4-6 weeks.
  • I will take a few weeks break at the end of the year

As usual I would really appreciate it if you would spread the word and link to Pintangle
Any Questions? Feedback?

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will respond. I hope this works for most but I am happy to shape things still so sing out if you have an idea.

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29 Responses to Announcement: TAST Next Year

  1. Wow!!!!!!!
    Interesting. Like to join.
    count me too.

  2. THERESE says:

    je pense cela intéressant je continuerai l’an prochain
    je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël de de bonnes fête de fin d’année de bonnes vacances d’été, chez nous c’est l’hiver!

    merci pour tous ces beaux travaux d’aiguilles que vous nous mettez à notre disposition avec vous chaque semaine c’est Noël!


  3. susan mcgowan says:

    Greetings from the Canadian Prairies.. This format sounds very good to me. I enjoyed TAST for several months last winter and then life happened and I got very behind.. i did not find an opportunity to jump back in.. I look forward to joining in again.. ..

  4. Helina says:

    I was too busy this year but I have missed terribly the challenge and the sharing. The design challenge sounds fun! So I am in. Thank you!

  5. Thanks Sharon,
    For continuing this challenge next year also.
    This challenge has been really motivating for me. I never cared for doing stitch samplers, it is only because of your challenge, I have three feet of stitch variations now! actually I was thinking of working on those left over stitches from the previous TAST challenges , but this is much better. Thank you again for suggesting the different options too.

  6. Liz Ozselcuk says:

    yes, yes, thank you! I’m interested, even though I will probably end up having to lurk until I retire next year. 🙁

  7. Doreen Parker says:

    Thankyou Sharon for continuing on posting stitches for us to learn and use next year.

  8. Liz Eph says:

    I’m enjoying TAST. Very steep learning curve but good for me 🙂

  9. Radhika says:

    Thank You Sharon. I am really awed at your thought process to put forth TAST 2013 suiting to everyone’s requirement. I am looking forward to participate and complete TAST 2013.

  10. robin Kaltenbach says:

    thanks, great way of presenting the challenge – adding design, even better Robin

  11. Annet says:

    Thanks for continuing this challenge next year. I’m looking forward to the design challenge.

  12. Sharon McQuistion says:

    Count me in!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. Cyndi L says:

    This is great! I had a goal when I started, but about half way through the year I found I needed to change it…and then I fell behind. Hopelessly behind. And even though I told myself I could jump back in, I just didn’t. I’d definitely like to try it again with a different goal in mind.

  14. Christine T says:

    Thank you so much !
    I’m too late, but I fisnished this year !
    I enjoy for TAST 2013, have a good holidays with your family !

  15. liana dines says:

    Wow! It’s amazing how much effort and work you have put into this! Thank you so, so much for organizing this. Sounds very exciting, and I’m looking forward to joining again later this year after I have moved and settled into my new home.

  16. Barbara(aka Hopscotch says:

    Sharon, I think you have hit on a good balance. Particularly for the beginners amongst us. I notice you mentioned an option of completing say,20 simple & 5 hard stitches, does this mean you will posting the stitches in order of difficulty
    i.e. Progressing from simple at the start to the more complex at the end? Or mixing them for more of a challenge?

    • sharonb says:

      Barbara I will be adding to the stitches we have already done so far and they will get more complex. There are some stitches that are easy still to come. I will say they are simple to work or not and perhaps tag them as being easy or not.

  17. Dear Sharon, cant thank you enough !!!
    Love the idea of the design challenge………Sometimes life gets in the way, but with the changes you’ve made, I think everyones needs will be catered for !!!!!
    Chris richards

  18. margreet de reus says:

    I’ll join in next year.

  19. Thanks, Sharon for the new format for TAST. I haven’t had time over the past few weeks to keep up with posting or doing all of the stitches. I appreciate your effort to keep the challenge stress free!

  20. BarbaraH says:

    Hello Sharon, want to say thank you so much for such a wide range to take part in 2013. Winter greetings from Germany

  21. That sounds spot on! I guess I’m going to ‘cherry pick’ for the rest of this year’s challenge as well – better than hassling myself to catch up 100% and my own goal was to work ‘most of the TAST stitches’.

    Love the design idea – I really need something to motivate me to design! I think you’ve done a wonderful job in blending the two concepts of TAST and TIF.

  22. Carole Auden says:

    What a brilliant solution, Sharon. We all get a challenge, we’re in control of how much we take on, and we all get breaks without worrying about keeping up. You too. Looking forward to it again. Thank you.
    Cheers, Carole A in the UK

  23. Deborah-Anne says:

    Thanks Sharon for all the hard work that you have put into TAST. Although I am behind with this edition of TAST and really don’t want to wish the rest of the year away; you have made TAST2013 sound so exciting that I can’t wait.

  24. Jennifer says:

    thank you Sharon! this is so exciting and I appreciate you organizing this challenge! The new parameters sound excellent – and I also like the links you have been using rather than the full “eye candy” photos – it adds much more to click on the links and view each work separately (at least for me) – it slows down my eyes so that I can appreciate the work and design in detail , and of course, visit the blogs 🙂

  25. nancilyn says:

    You triumph again, oh Mentor Goddess! You’ve provided challenge possibilities for every need. Thank you!!!

  26. I would like to join the 2013 TAST, if possible. How do I go about it?

  27. Triche Osborne says:

    Thank you for these changes. I was keeping up until week 37, when a health issue finally robbed me of enough energy that I had to give it up. That issue is being resolved, but even so, the changes may allow me to take the stitches further rather than merely stitching samplers each week.

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