TAST

TAST sample fly stitch waters edgeWhat is TAST?

TAST or Take a Stitch Tuesday is a hand embroiderer’s challenge that started in 2007. Yes, it is that old, but I continue to run it, as literally thousands of people have enjoyed it – and this has given me immense pleasure to see so many people enjoy embroidery.

The idea of the challenge is to work as many of the proposed stitches as you can. Each stitch is announced on Tuesday mornings – hence the name! As I announce the stitches, I list them below. With every announcement, there is a link to one of my stitch tutorials in my Stitch Dictionary that way, if you’re unsure of the stitch, you can find out how to do it.

TAST 2019

The next round of TAST will start the first Tuesday in January 2019.  Use the subscribe feature in the sidebar to stay in contact. If you are on a mobile/cell-phone or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature, and subscribe there. Enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email, make sure you respond, and you are all set! You will then receive the TAST announcements via email.

Although a new stitch appears every week, you do not have to stitch every week, so don’t worry if you’re a bit busy or something gets in the way. With this challenge, you can do one stitch a month, one every two weeks or one a week. It is totally up to you. This challenge is guilt-free and designed for busy people who want to build up their hand embroidery skills. If you miss a few stitches, no one is going to reprimand you. Just join the catch-up crowd – there will be many people in the same situation and it’s a place to make friends, or simply skip a few stitches but don’t stop! Just keep stitching 🙂

If you are learning embroidery, the challenge will be to learn the stitch. The first 20 or so stitches in TAST are the foundation stitches You need to know these in order to master the more complex stitches. Most of the other stitches are either based directly on the foundation stitches or at least on the same hand movements you learnt in the foundation stitches.  Many people aim for the first 20 stitches and then dip in and out of the challenge as the mood takes them. That is fine too. If you want to learn the basics of hand embroidery, choose the first 20 stitches. If you do this you will have achieved your goal.

If you’re an experienced stitcher and you want to explore hand embroidery stitches a bit further, then TAST is ideal for you as you can dip in and out of the challenge if you choose. You may also like to explore my Stitch Dictionary For you, the challenge is to push the stitch creatively or join in on our Beyond TAST challenge (see below).

TAST sample contemporary cross stitchIs there a TAST Project?

There is no particular set project for TAST. You can stitch anything you like. The idea is to experiment with stitches. The fabric you stitch on, the format you choose, or the project you make is totally up to you. Some people make a sampler, others a fabric book, some make a crazy quilt block, while others make fabric postcards. You can include the stitch on a current project too! The challenge is to work the stitch – it does not matter where.

What materials and tools do I need for TAST?

The material you choose to stitch on really depends on the project you have in mind. You do not need to go out and buy special threads or fabrics. You can stitch:

  • on anything you choose,
  • in any way you choose,
  • using anything you choose.

The idea is to explore the stitch in as many different ways as possible. I have, however, written an article What hand embroidery supplies do I need? – which offers some guidance for anyone who is just starting out. These are suggestions only and the choice is yours.

TAST hand embroidered file cover part 3 detailTAST  TIPs

For those who are just starting out, one tip is to test the stitch on small scraps of fabric or keep a  ‘doodle cloth’. Just test it out a bit before using it on your project.

When learning a stitch, allow yourself to experiment first. Start off with a freeform sample on a small piece of fabric.  Try thick threads, thin threads, shiny and dull thread. Change your scale, colour, and texture and see how it looks. Focus on these, as you learn the stitch and then move to a more controlled and traditional sample of the stitch.

Why work this way?  If you start off with a free-form sample you can learn the hand motion and rhythm of the stitch before trying to bring it into tight control. Once you have the rhythm and motion feeling right in your hand then try and work a traditional sample of smaller, controlled stitches. Many people want a perfect stitch sample instantly. But really, you are trying to master two skill areas at once. By this, I mean some people try and master both the rhythm of the stitch and the refinement of keeping it inline or inside a shape etc – at the same time. For them, it can be an exercise in frustration! So my tip is to build your skill development one step at a time. This is also useful to remember when teaching young folks too.

If you have trouble with fabric tension, read my article on How to bind and use an embroidery hoop – as it covers not only binding a hoop, but what size to use.

Beyond TAST

For people who have done TAST, or are experienced embroiderers, 2018 will offer a challenge that runs concurrently, called: Beyond TAST. Think of Beyond TAST as being a mini-season of 5-6 weeks that allows time to explore an aspect of a design, technique, style, or family of stitches. Beyond TAST is ideal for creative interpretation of projects such as fabric books etc. Of course, as with regular TAST, this is a guilt-free challenge, with a loose structure so you can swing in and out of it – joining in some seasons and skipping others – if need be. It is up to you to use the Beyond TAST challenge,  in whatever way suits your life and encourages your creativity. My main aim in running them side-by-side is so people who are new to hand embroidery can see how rich, diverse and creative stitching can be. No need to sign up just join in. And of course how much fun you can have!

We have a TAST badge!

The TAST badge is stitched by Annet of Fat Quarter who has kindly allowed the use of her image as the TAST badge. If you are a blogger you may use the badge on your blog (right click and save the image to your desktop)

 

How to join  TAST

Use the subscribe feature in the sidebar.  If you are on a mobile/cell phone or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the ‘follow‘ feature, subscribe there. Enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you respond in order to complete the process. If you do not confirm you will not get notifications. Once confirmed you are all set! You will get all notifications from Pintangle in your email – don’t worry I won’t spam you with stuff.

Where to Share

The whole point of this challenge is to share what you have learnt and done. Most people join the  TAST facebook group. For those doing Beyond TAST it is the same Facebook group.  If you are a hashtag-type person use the hashtag #tastembroidery and #pintangletast on places like Instagram twitter etc. If you are not a social-media type person and do not like Facebook I have  the TAST flickr group that I am restarting up again for 2019.  Or you can photograph your sample, share it on your blog, Flickr site, or wherever you hang out online, and leave a comment each week with your full web address so people can visit your page and see what you have done.  In other words, put your address in the comment and include the http:// bit as then it will become a live link. Make it easy for people to visit you.

Please link and share the PinTangle TAST FAQ.

Please if possible link back here, and share news about TAST on your social networks so that people hear about the challenge.

TAST Stitches by number

Beyond TAST

Also check out my stitch dictionary as there are many stitches to explore there as well

 

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313 Comments

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    1. Laura Sorry you are having trouble. I just sent you an email basically asking if you received a confirmation email when subscribing as you need to confirm that you want to subscribe and it could be going to your spam folder.

      sharonb
  43. Pingback: A little bit of stitching – Site Title

  44. Hi Sharon, if I want to work further into a Stitch than I did last time in TAST can I still add previous postings with new bits?
    Or would you prefer only new work for this year? I should have asked this previously but had not struck me until the weekend.

  45. I thought I’d signed up to the 2018 TAST challenge but don’t seem to be receiving the emails informing us of the stitch each week. Fortunately I have a friend who lets me know. Is it possible to check and see if I am on the list and if I’m not how do I go about signing up. Many thanks

    Patricia Denley
    1. Patricia When you sign up you get a confirmation email you need to click through and confirm that you want to receive emails from me – the software dose not allow me to simply to add you to the list. Why? that is what spammers do – they create lists of peoples emails and send uninvited emails. So the software makes sure I am not being a baddie by asking you to confirm and give permission to send an email. If you dont see a confirmation email arrive after signing up check your spam box. So that is long winded way of saying you need to sign up again – the link is in the sidebar of the site or if you are on a mobile or tablet scroll to the bottom and look for the follow options

      sharonb
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  48. I live in York, England and I love the generosity of the needlework community. Thank you Sharon for sharing your time, skills and expertise to those of us who are so excited about starting this journey. My best wishes to all xx

    Carol Ann Howson
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  51. Hi Sharon! I am so excited to finally join TAST for 2018. I have a quick question – I already follow you through feedly (a newsfeed app), so is it still necessary to join the email subscription?

    I also wanted to say I LOVE your new book. I have been collecting supplies to make my first crazy quilt project, and never had the confidence to stitch it. The book is amazing – so clear, so clever, so fabulous. I tell everyone I meet who sews about it! 😀 Thanks for having this blog and doing all you do:D

  52. I just found you and am excited to jump into your challenges for the new year. I’ve been pondering what direction to go in the new year and the TAST and 2020 project looks perfect.
    I will go visit the Facebook groups too. My mind is now spinning with ideas.
    Thank you!

    Colleen Froats
  53. Hi Sharon,
    Do I have to sign up for next year’s Beyond TAST or will it be with the other TAST information. I am not sure how much time I will have at the beginning of the year but want to try. Still not finished my 365 Quilt from 2016 and finding it a challenge to complete.
    Thanks for a marvellous year of stitching and plenty of challenges along the way.

  54. I did this TAST either last year or the year before and really enjoyed doing them. I think I woud like to join in again this year. I put allthose stitches in a cloth book adding pages as each was filled up. I think I would like to try a different route this time. I may already be on you mailing list.

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  85. Hi Sharon, I have just found your wonderful website and look forward to learning lots of new embroidery stitches. Your tutorials are so easy to follow and look forward to adding many new stitches to use in my sewing projects, thank you.

    Pam Foster
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  87. Hello Sharon I was wondering if there is any way you could email me the list of Alphabetical TAST stitches. I was trying to download them to my tablet and it won’t let me. I love the way you show how to do the stitches I am still learning. Please and thank you.

    Lisa
  88. Ciao, ho appena trovato questo blog che mi interessa molto, mi sono iscritta e vedrò di fare qualcosa. Io non ho un mio blog personale, ma ci sono su Fb e questa tecnica mi attrae molto. Avevo già in mente di fare un libro utilizzando tessuto canvas, ma è ancora tutto da decidere. Col tempo….Buon lavoro e complimenti per la tua abilità e creatività! Gabriella

    Gabriella
  89. Hi Sharon.I was following the list from 1-26 as listed here and joined again with the 27 which is from the list below..is there an order that I could follow each week from here as I am confused.I couldn’t find week 28 ,which is this week.please guide me as I have been away for some time..thanks.-Ash*

    Ash
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  102. I did join the Facebook group, but I also like other social media. I’m wondering if there’s a tag or hashtag anyone’s used to identify these? Could also be used on FaceBook. I tired to look up #TAST on Instagram, but hardly anything came up for embroidery, it then went to #taste and longer words from there.
    Maybe #TASTembroidery ?

    1. Debbi to be honest you are the first person to ask The #TASTembroidery makes sense so I have added it to the post. Also have posed the question in Facebook as to what hash tags people want to use and #PintangleTAST has beed suggested

      sharonb
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  114. Once again, I’m following TAST for a few stitches – and I have created a page with links to my tast postings – or let’s better say I’m in the process of doing so.

    Sharon, I only wanted to ask if that page is ok or if you think that’s leeching on your content.

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  135. Hello Sharon, I must tell you how very practical this is, to find your stitches by number (or letter). I missed the stitches 53 – 55 and could so easily find them today on your list, copy them and stitch them high up on the mountain into my new little stitch reference booklet – which I just started. Thank you for this wonderful site.

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  137. I love Queenie’s crown.
    I am curious about the challenge – I have only seen my Palace Gates and Queenie’s Crown – are these the only two challenge pieces, or have I missed more somehow?
    Peggy

    Peggy Kimble
  138. Tast 55 is pretty and nice to do. Thank you.
    When Challenge is done do we take picture and post on SF as usual ? or – keep until April 2nd – and then ?

    I don’t know how to post on Pin Tangle ??

    Peggy Kimble
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  141. Dear Sharon,
    I’ve finally finished my TAST-piece 2012! It contains all of last year’s stitches and a few extra’s. The measurements are 37×39 cm. It has been great fun working on this piece and interacting with all the other TASTers. Thank you very much,
    Jessica

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  144. I am working through the TAST 2012 stitches in numbered order starting next week — doing a TAST 2012 re-run. Anyone doing the same, feel free to access my list of stitches/dates (or whatever might be helpful to you) by clicking through to my new blog for it (click on my name above.)

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  147. Well that is so ME to find a fun challenge towards the end of the year! Will you be starting a new TAST next year, or should I try to play catch-up so late in the challenge? I’m a very new embroiderer, and this looks like a perfect way to get more experience. 🙂 You are amazing and I love the site! 🙂

    Brittany
    1. Brittany – I might continue this next year ( I am not sure yet) but I would suggest you start at the beginning and do at least the first 12 stitches because all the foundation stitches are covered there. If you do those when you get to the more complex stitches you will be able to do them. As I say I am not yet decided about next year but no matter what if you do the basics it will set you in good stead.

      sharonb
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  151. Sharon – when you show the pictures of the ones you chose each week, I have not seen some of them. I just get them from StitchinFingers, where can I find the others ? They don’t seem to be in Pin Tangle.

    Thankyou for all the work you do. Peggy

    Peggy Kimble
    1. Peggy the challenge is run from pintangle every Tuesday – just go to the blog front page and for back links either go to the category or check the bottom of the TAST FAQ page as there is a list of all the stitches. People often leave comments here (on the blog ) and not at stitchin fingers. In fact there is another whole crowd on Facebook who I never see too. It is one of the problems with social media it is very diverse! As I say every week when I post the challenge people are supposed to leave a comment here.

      sharonb
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  180. Well, I am now sufficiently inspired to join in. ha! Took me long enough to figure out what TAST is–after weeks of seeing stitch samples on flickr and now finally finding stitchin fingers. I am so excited to find all you do Sharon B.!! I think it’s just what I needed. I know the most of these stitches. I do some of them in beaded embroidery. But I am rusty, rusty, rusty on quite a few. So this is going to be really good for me. THANK YOU, SHARON!!!!

  181. Pingback: Take a Stitch Tuesday: Buttonhole Wheel « Abiding in the True Vine

  182. Pingback: Week 24 TAST Buttonhole Wheel « eclecticlamb

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  188. Pingback: CQJP and TAST week 22 | Time use by Bernice

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  190. Pingback: Week 21 TAST Butterfly Chain Stitch « eclecticlamb

  191. Pingback: Take a Stitch Tuesday: Butterfly Chain Stitch « Abiding in the True Vine

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  194. Pingback: Week 20 TAST Bullion Knot « eclecticlamb

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  198. Pingback: Week 19 TAST Half Chevron Stitch « eclecticlamb

  199. Pingback: Week 18 TAST Crossed Buttonhole Stitch « eclecticlamb

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  203. Pingback: CQJP and TAST week 18 | Time use by Bernice

    1. Nicola all comments are moderated by me to combat spam comments. when you leave a comment – you should have that written on the screen saying the comment is moderated and waiting approval.

      sharonb
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  205. Pingback: April’s TAST and CQJP | Spare Moments Stitching

  206. Pingback: CQJP and TAST week 17 | Time use by Bernice

  207. Pingback: Week 17 TAST Wheatear Stitch « eclecticlamb

  208. Pingback: Satin stitch and French knots « In the Ever After

  209. Week 16 already! My how time flies when…..you are trying something new. I did French Knots as flower centers when I was a child. This reminded me of the struggle they were but how Neat I thought them to be. Being Snow Birds and getting ready and leaving Yuma, AZ for the summer + had me rushing to keep up once again. My goal is to KEEP UP!
    http://timeusebybernice.wordpress.com/

    Berice O
  210. Pingback: CQJP & TAST week 16 | Time use by Bernice

  211. Pingback: Week 16 TAST French Knots « eclecticlamb

  212. Pingback: TAST French knots, Satin and Stem stitches « CrazyQstitcher

  213. Pingback: Take a Stitch Tuesday: French Knot « Abiding in the True Vine

  214. Pingback: Week 16 ? French Knot (TAST 2012) | ????????? ???

  215. Pingback: Week 15 TAST Stem Stitch « eclecticlamb

    1. Hi Sharon,

      You might want to edit your instructions for
      bonnet stitch in your dictionary. Especially the
      left and right parts and through and not through
      the fabric at the beginning.

      Fondly,
      Anna

      Anna Brown
      1. Hi Anna – yes in fact the whole stitch dictionary is getting a good look at soon as it is an old site that was hand coded in 1996 as old static web pages. By the end of this year I hope to have a complete overhaul and in a format that will I can change and update the pages more frequently.

        sharonb
  216. Pingback: Week 14 TAST Satin Stitch « eclecticlamb

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  218. Pingback: Take a Stitch Tuesday: Stem Stitch « Abiding in the True Vine

  219. Pin Tangle becomes more fascinating to me each time I look around.
    I am interested in receiving your newsletter. I really want to be in the loop, as such don’t want to miss anything. If there is a cost involved, please let me know.
    Thank you, Lynnette Olson

  220. Pingback: March’s TAST and CQJP | Spare Moments Stitching

  221. Pingback: Take a Stitch Tuesday: Satin Stitch « Abiding in the True Vine

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  223. peut on encore participer à ce TAST ???? je sais que vous en etes sur la fin… mais ne peut on pas repartir de la semaine 1?
    j’attends impatiemment votre réponse car je trouve fantastique ce TAST !!! je ne le connaissais pas et je viens de le découvrir !!! merci par avance (j’habite à l’ile de la Réunion )

    1. Je crois que vois pouvez commencer quand vous voulez. Nous sommes seulement a la 14e semaine. Si vous voulez recommencer a la premiere, ce n’est pas une probleme.

      Which (in bad French) was roughly – I think you can start when you like. We’re only on week 14. If you want to go back to week 1, it’s not a problem.

  224. Pingback: Week 13 TAST Catch-up Week « eclecticlamb

  225. Pingback: Week 12 TAST Barred and Alternating Chain Stitches « eclecticlamb

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