TAST week 34

Plaited Feather Stitch 4

TAST week 34 is technically two stitches, but Crossed and Plaited Feather stitch are so similar, I have grouped them together as one. Both are based on straight-sided feather stitch and both involve a second line of overlapping stitches. As usual, to learn how to work this stitch, visit my tutorial for Crossed and Plaited Feather stitch.

In the tutorial, I have used two threads so that people can see the structure of the stitch, but you can work both lines in the same coloured thread. Both versions of this stitch are great to use on borders, to create wide lines and they are fun to use for couching down novelty bumpy yarns, ribbon or braid. It is loads of fun to experiment with.

Beyond TAST week 34

Beyond TAST is a challenge for those people who have done TAST before, or for those who already know the basic embroidery stitches.

Spiked knotted cable chain 10
Spiked Knotted Cable Chain builds on established hand skills. You need to be able to work twisted chain stitch, and to have mastered oyster stitch.

I discovered this Spiked Knotted Cable Chain in Edith Johns Creative Stitches (p. 53) This mouthful of a name is one of those stitches that, at first glance, I thought was too complex to hold much interest. Then, once I was in the swing of it, my opinion shifted. This stitch forms an interesting texture and is more versatile than I first thought. I will be interested to see how experienced stitchers explore it for Beyond TAST week 34.

Where to share your stitching samples for TAST week 34

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch and share what you have learnt. If you are an experienced embroiderer, enjoy Beyond TAST and give your work a modern twist and share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online, or share it in the TAST facebook group or where ever you hang out online. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc. If you have a blog and want to share what you have done leave a comment with a link on the Crossed and Plaited Feather stitch. page, or the Spiked Knotted Cable Chain  page. Don’t forget your full web address, including the HTTP part of the web address so that it becomes a live link. It means people can visit your site and see what you have done.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

Close detail of thread twisties

Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive, as you would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. So I have made up my thread twisties which are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.

These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape so that twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand-dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.

You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.


  1. I learned a stitch from a friend who learned it in a class many years ago. I have never seen it in any embroidery book or even online. Her teacher called it the pagoda stitch. How can I send you a picture so that you may add it to your stitch dictionary.


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