TAST Highlights

People seem to really enjoy both open and closed based needle woven picot stitches. I actually had a really hard time trying to keep the featured samples to just 5. In fact I didn’t manage it.

Don’t miss the samples Queeniepatch has worked over on Queenie’s Needlework. The samples really are imaginative and fresh

I smiled at Claudia’s banana!

Over on Playful Stitching, Lucy Landry produced a very unusual flower

Over on Pierres, Papiers, Ciseaux there is a tree decoration using this stitch

CrazyQstitcher worked a wonderful flower fairy

On an experimental note I really liked how Raphaela of Textile Explorations, experimented with using different threads for this stitch.

Swing by tomorrow for next weeks stitch. In the meanwhile, I hope the featured samples this week have inspired and you to take a little time out in your busy week to browse the other comments on Take a stitch Tuesday this week.

Further information about the TAST challenge

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges –  Take a Stitch Tuesday category

How to hand embroider Open Base Needlewoven Picot

Open base needlewoven picot is a fun three dimensional stitch that is ideal for leaves and the like.

The method of working is very similar to Closed Base Needlewoven Picot stitch but the base is wider. You can make short or quite long or I have seen them worked in wide and stacked to form lichen type textures on motifs of trees and bark. Also if worked stacked in semi circles they make great pinecones! If you work them in a circle they form petals for flower. The ‘leaves’ stand free from the fabric in a 3D manner.

My main tip is to use a blunt tapestry needle so that as you weave the threads you do not split them by accident.

How to work an Open Base Needlewoven Picot stitch

Open base needlewoven picot
Place a pin in your work with the pin emerging from the fabric where you want the base of your picot to be.


Bring the thread out at the base to the left of the pin.   Take the thread behind the pin and back into the fabric on the right hand side as illustrated. Bring the thread out, a little to the left, at the base of where the pin emerges from the fabric.
Open base needlewoven picot 3
Take the thread and wrap it behind the pin. Have the thread cross the pin so that it wraps from the right side to left as illustrated in the photograph.

Open base needlewoven picot 4
Begin weaving by sliding the needle from left to right picking up the two outer threads. You do not pick up the middle thread.
Open base needlewoven picot 5
Pull the thread through firmly but not too tight.
Open base needlewoven picot
Turn the needle and continue weaving by sliding the needle from right to left picking the middle thread. The two outer threads are not picked up.
Open base needlewoven picot 7
Pull your thread through and continue in this back and forth motion until you have woven to the base. As you weave use the needle to pack the picot so that it firm.
Open base needlewoven picot 8 Continue weaving until the picot is packed firmly to the base.
Open base needlewoven picot 9Take the thread to the back and secure with two small back stitches.

Open base needlewoven picotRemove the pin and you have a freestanding needle woven Picot which pops up from the fabric.

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.