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French knots 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. (Check the first photo - the top row is French knots made with six strands of floss wrapped once, the second row the knots are wrapped twice!) 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 most 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 (if you're not making loads of them!), tie off between each french knot. Otherwise, you'll have tails everywhere if the knots are spread out!

I have been cross stitching, sewing, and crocheting for years!! I still have trouble with this darn knot!
Thank you!! :) I knit, I crochet, I sew... All without any issue. I've been doing cross stitch for a long time and STILL can't do these! The pictures in this totally helped! :)
Can you use this to finish a seam on the inside?
I don't think I'd recommend it - I think the blanket stitch would work much much better. This would take forever and be super nubby. :P

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Bio: Part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, hand embroiderer by night and on weekends! I like embroidering, dancing, eating, jrpgs and inexplicably cute animals ... More »
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