TAST Week 9

TAST Week 9

The stitch for TAST Week 9 is a simple but wonderfully versatile stitch called Couching. With this stitch, you can use many novelty yarns that cannot fit through the eye of a needle. Follow the link for instructions and eye candy.

couching sample 5

Couching is a quick way to add a textured line to your design. You can use it to couch metallic threads, novelty fibres, and thicker threads to an embroidered piece. And in the process, you can build up rich complex decorative surfaces. You can use it in a freeform manner as I have done above. Or you can build up more regular grid-like patterns, as with laid work.

In the sample above, I couched a blue chenille yarn and novelty knitting yarn to a foundation fabric that is hand-painted. I then covered it with textured embroidery and beads.

The sample below is a pattern built up by couching a grid of thicker navy blue thread to a background of hand-painted fabric, before adding a pattern of cross stitches, detached chain stitches and bugle beads.

Couching sample

Beyond TAST week 9

Chained bar step 3

This week for Beyond TAST we have a couching stitch variety which is called  Chained Bar stitch. It is a fun and easy to stitch to work as it is simply zig-zag chain worked over some long stitches check out the tutorial of ideas.

Technically it is a form of couching. With any form of couching, you can have fun with novelty threads. Substitute the long foundation stitches with an interesting thread and you can immediately add personality to your work. You can also use a ribbon instead of thread too!

As usual, have fun with Chained Bar stitch

How to join TAST and where to share

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 on your blog, or share it in the Take a Stitch Tuesday Flickr group, or 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 leave a comment on the Couching page or Chained Bar stitch page. Don’t forget your full web address, including the HTTPS 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.

Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. 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 twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand-dyed by me. And they are all 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.


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