I am sure many of you have heard of TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday). TAST is a long-running stitch-along hosted by Sharon (of Pintangle). Every week (on Tuesday!) a new stitch is posted on her blog and you can take up as many (or as little) stitch challenges as you like. It's all about learning new embroidery stitches and getting creative with the many different stitches that are out there. Annet is an accomplished stitcher and has been playing along with TAST since the early days. She regularly posts about it on her blog Fat Quarter. We talk to her about her experiences with TAST.
How did you find out about TAST?
One of the blogs I was following in 2007 had a link to TAST. It was at the end of the year and TAST was almost completed. I started my TAST in January 2008 and tried to learn a new TAST stitch every week.
|One of many lovely projects by Annet: a Chicken Scratch Needlebook
So you have been stitching along every week since then?
Well, I try to keep up, but sometimes there are just not enough hours in a day. Then I have to play catch-up to try every stitch.
Regularly more 'out of the ordinary' stitches are featured in TAST, like the Drizzle Stitch. Were many of the stitches new to you?
In the TAST challenge of 2007 and 2010 every stitch was new to me. TAST 2012 was a rerun of these stitches. This year Sharon had a few stitches that were new to me, like inverted feather stitch, triangular feather stitch, sailor stitch, Breton stitch and top knotted buttonhole stitch.
What was the best thing you learned with TAST?
New stitches! Before TAST I only knew cross stitch, stem stitch and backstitch. I learned to use different embroidery threads like perle and cotton a broder. A lot of stitches look nicer with a thread with a firm twist. And I learned about embroidery needles, I stitched my TAST 2007 samples with a betweens quilting needle!
|Annet's version of our Garden Path Sampler!
What stitches are still on your 'to learn' list?
Pulled thread and canvas stitches. I learned and used a few of them, but there are many more.
What makes stitching along with an online community better than simply stitching by yourself?
The feedback on my work and inspiration from other participants. I enjoy looking at the Flickr TAST group and the links in the comments at Sharon’s TAST posts. There’s so much eye candy to be inspired by.
|In issue 3 of our zine Annet took on the Pekinese Stitch in our Stitch Challenge
There are lots of tutorials for fabric books online. I read a lot of them before I made my books. So far I have 3 different ones and my TAST 2013 fabric book is going to be different again.
(Make sure to check out one of Annet's books 'in action' here !)
Anything else you'd like to share about learning new stitches?
For me it’s very important to make notes when I’m experimenting with stitches. I take notes of threads, fabric, things I want to try, things that didn’t work. If I’m going to start a project it’s easy to find the stitches, fabric and threads I need by looking at my samples and notes. And I use my camera to take step by step photos of my embroidery experiments, so I don’t forget how I stitched them. I share most of them on my blog, there’s a separate tutorial page.
Find out more about TAST here and follow Annet's stitching adventures here.