Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1

Happy New Year! Welcome everyone, to Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 week 1. I hope you are all energised and up for this year’s challenge. I know I am looking forward to seeing what everyone does this year, particularly with the design challenge.

Before we start I would love everyone to check out Why Wobbly stitches are OK particularly if you are a new hand to embroidery.

For those who are new to TAST or what I am going to call Basic TAST, the first 20 or so stitches are the foundation stitches of hand embroidery. If you are new to hand embroidery, it is a good idea to learn these 20 stitches and master the hand movements associated with them. This will give you the skill to pick up most other stitches in TAST or in any other embroidery challenge. These stitches are also the stitches you will encounter in most beginner projects.
So try to hang in there for at least the first 20 weeks. Hopefully, by the end of 20 weeks, you will be so addicted to stitching that not completing the rest of the stitches in TAST would feel like a huge lost opportunity in your life!

Beyond TAST is for those who have done TAST before, or are intermediate stitchers. My idea is to feature a stitch a week from some of the more interesting stitches or their varieties that currently languish in the stitch dictionary.

The Design Challenge is new. The first week of each month I will propose a design challenge that you can work on for the month. The idea is that you work up a small piece in response to the challenge. The designs will be very open to your interpretation. You can work up a design that is abstract or representational, large or small, using whatever materials you choose. If you have any questions about it check out the TAST Page here.

Like last year, there will be 48 stitches and 4 catchup/break weeks.

Anyway, that’s enough housework, let’s dive in and get started! Grab your embroidery stuff and here we go with Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week One!

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 Basic TAST

running stitch sample

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 Basic stitch is running stitch. At first glance, this stitch looks too simple for words. It is a really easy stitch – but it is also tremendously versatile. Visit the tutorial to see some of the techniques that use running stitch, alongside the instructions on how to work it.

running stitch pattern darning sample 3

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 Beyond TAST

For those who are interested in Beyond TAST I would like you to explore Ainu Running Stitch. I think you will be surprised at the versatility of this stitch. You can work it traditionally or incorporate it into slow-stitch / boro-type pieces. I think you will enjoy it.

Ainu Running Stitch

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Design Challenge

I have been looking forward to this and so without too much fuss but with a huge silly grin on my face, the first design challenge of the year is to use linear stitches to create a small design. The design must include lines! After all, that’s what the word ‘linear’ means :-). The design can be any size any subject, representational or abstract but employ any of the linear stitches to describe lines. Not only should your design use lines but lines that re-enforce the subject matter or the feel of the piece. What do I mean by that?!?

Lines can be straight or curved, horizontal, vertical, smooth, jagged, rough, continuous, broken, thick, or thin. A line can also have a subliminal message. For instance, you can read a horizontal line as part of a landscape or the horizon. You could also interpret a vertical line as growth. A diagonal line can suggest movement. These subliminal readings can reinforce the subject matter.

Here are a couple of examples. For instance, you will often read horizontal lines as a landscape.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 design challenge image 1

Add a few more elements and you can see the design as a landscape.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 design challenge image 2

Vertical lines are often associated with growth and organic topics. Here are some vertical lines.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 design challenge image 3

If I add a few leaf shapes the lines read as trees.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 design challenge image 4

Can you see what I mean? The lines re-enforce the idea behind the design. The line is one of the key elements of design. So if you are looking for ideas and more info, google anything to do with the subject and you will find a lot online about lines! Most of what you will find will be about drawing. But that is still very useful as, in embroidery, you use linear stitches to represent lines.

Linear stitches are: Back stitch, Whipped Back Stitch, Chain Stitch, Twisted Chain Stitch, Whipped Chain Stitch, Coral Stitch, Couching, Palestrina Stitch, Running Stitch, Ainu Running Stitch, Scroll Stitch, Stem Stitch, Portuguese Stem Stitch and there are many others as you can use any stitch that you can form into a line.

How to join in and where to share your Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 1 samples

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

If you are doing the design challenge you have a month to work up a design and stitch it.

So the idea is to stitch a sample, photograph it, share it in the Take a Stitch Tuesday facebook group or use the hashtags #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on Instagram.

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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