Instructables

Step 7: French knots!

Picture of French knots!
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These are considered to be a nightmare for most embroiders, but I love them. They're very delicate and cute and they never look the same.

Their size can also vary greatly, so you can use them in a ton of ways. You can use them for the center of flowers, as eyes, for polka dots, and even as lines if you're feeling patient. :D I use them more often while dotting i's in text.

To pull off a french knot successfully, you'll need to follow these steps:
  • pull the floss through to the front of the fabric.
  • wrap the floss that's between the fabric and the needle around the needle 1, 2, or 3 times. (One time is a small knot, 2 is medium, 3 is large.)
  • hold the floss tightly so that it is wrapped around the needle.
  • with your other hand, push the needle through to the back of the fabric very close to where the floss emerged.
  • keep holding the floss taut and pull the needle all the way through.
  • practice this a few hundred times until it becomes second nature. :D

You'll knot these on the back as normal. For the cleanest work, tie off between each french knot. Otherwise, the back of your work will look like that last photo, which is a bad thing if you're using light colored fabric!

I've included two sets of photos for maximum learnin' - the first set is a small french knot, and the second is a medium sized french knot.
 
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Can not get the hang of this! Ahhh It looks as tho it is going to work then when I pull it through it unwraps and comes through as a stitch : (
Any advice?
jessyratfink (author)  frannylaurie3 years ago
It could be that your needle is coming out and going into the fabric very close together. Sometimes, when I try to bring the needle down really close to where I started, it can form a larger hole and I'll just end up pulling the knot right through! I've done it tons of times when I've been in a rush.

If that's not what's happening, I'd make sure to wrap it at least two times, and hold the thread taut until the thread loop forms and starts to goes through the knot. Sometimes it can be tempting to let go too early. I've done that too and had it unravel. :)

This is a good video, too, if you think watching it being done might help:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul8XT72oA68
lilgirl5 years ago
Thank you for the great pictures! I just started and could not get the hang of the french knot until your directions and pictures! Thanks!!