7 days of stitches: french knots

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UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You just read the better and improved version :D

French knots are part of the knotted stitches family and often used to accentuate parts of embroidery. They form a very textured surface if clouded together but look great scattered around, too.

Here is how it works:

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Wrap your thread around the needle twice.

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Stick the needle into the fabric right behind the position where your thread comes out. Pull the thread a little bit tighter if your knot is wonky. With your thumb hold the thread in place, with index and middle finger secure the place where the needle comes through the fabric.

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Now gently pull the needle through the fabric. Your two fingers under the fabric are there to prevent the knot from slipping through the whole in the fabric. So work slowly, unless you want a wrapped piece of yarn on the back of your embroidery and a little dot on the front.

French knots need a little bit of practice to make them evenly everytime. There are also a lot of variations and different knots around. Some wrap the thread like an 8 or use more/less wraps.

Here are some great pieces of art using the french knot:

mixed media artwork: moss embroidery by Emma Mattson

mixed media artwork: moss embroidery by Emma Mattson

powerful colors in Liz Paynes hand embroidery pieces

powerful colors in Liz Paynes hand embroidery pieces

hand embroidery on felt by Salley Mavor

hand embroidery on felt by Salley Mavor

Here are some examples how I used french knots in my embroidery:

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Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the CHAIN STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

french knot pinterest board

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

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