Because I am a greedy, unrealistic, and starry-eyed stitchin’ project hog…

I signed up for the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge this year. It doesn’t run every year, so I missed out on the last cycle of stitches, and I really wanted to start from the beginning…even though you can jump in and join anytime you like. I don’t know if I can keep up with challenges like this…I’m hopeless at time-crucial tasks, and I’m juggling so many unfinished projects already. But I couldn’t resist signing up for it. Certainly, I like the idea of completing something like this: not sure if I really want to be a contender, or whether I simply would like to have been a contender. There is world of difference. 🙂

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 is a challenge run by Sharon b., undisputed doyenne of the massive embroidery and needle arts network called Stitchin’ Fingers. Sharon is a quilter, a fabulous crazy patchwork creator, needlework sampler authority, and a prolific blogger. Her online dictionary of stitches for hand embroidery is one of the most exhaustive and best-presented that I have seen.

Every Tuesday Sharon b. will post a new stitch on her blog Pin Tangle (I’m getting the posts in my e-mail inbox), and the challenge is to work a sample of each stitch.

If you are learning embroidery, the challenge will be to learn the stitch.

If you are experienced, the challenge is to push the stitch creatively.

Participants post photographs of their finished samples online—on their blog, flickr photostream, or stitchin fingers page—then swing back to the original stitch-specific post on Pin Tangle, and leave a comment and url leading to their own work.

The challenge started yesterday, with the Fly Stitch. I’m sort of looking at this Ronald Searle drawing for inspiration.

It’s a great way to acquire a huge repertoire of embroidery stitches, or to refresh your memory of them. Even if you know the stitches already, it can be fun and refreshing to use more obscure stitches not normally found in your work, to try and challenge your skill by doing something new and innovative with the stitch. Besides, the community you’ll be stitching along with is massive, enthusiastic, and inspiring. So how about it, huh? Come fly with me?