Saturday, September 27, 2008

French Knots (Sort of)

Tonight I decided to tackle the dreaded French knot again. I used the tutorial that Carol pointed me to (thank you, Carol!) and after many false starts I came up with this:

They aren't the most beautiful French knots in the world, but at least now I can say I made one! It took awhile before I realized I shouldn't pull too hard when finishing the knot or it would go right through the fabric. One thing I haven't figured out is how you are supposed to start a knot if you aren't bringing the thread from another stitch; when the knot is actually where you first start using the thread. I had to make a loop start first, then I moved over to make the French knot. I'm not sure I am making any sense here - I think what I am asking is can you start a French knot when you start using your floss, and if so, how do you secure it so it doesn't just pull through and out the other side of the fabric?

I should have practiced more before I tried to make knots for eyes on this little freebie I am making. I ended up doing several knots in the same place, so his eyes look rather bulgy. I may take them out and try again, but at least he isn't blind! I think this chart comes from this blog - the design says it's copyrighted by Kirsten Schmidt, but I can't find the chart there. I hope I am attributing it correctly. I just fell in love with this little guy!

A new discovery to me is a blog called Stitching Bloggers Links, which I read about on Independent Needlework News. I was pleasantly shocked to find that my blog is listed there; it's still hard to believe that I am considered part of this great community of wonderful stitchers. As I try to navigate this hobby and get better at it I so much appreciate all the support I get. There is so much inspiration out there and it makes me want to keep trying and not give up!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Michele, looks like you're off to a great start with the French knots. Glad the tutorial helped. Here's a bit more info to help your progress.

To keep a French knot from pulling through the fabric, go back down in a slightly different place than where you came up. If you're using linen, simply move over one thread before going back down through the fabric. On Aida, don't move over a full thread; split a thread instead. This will keep your knot on the front of the fabric.

To make knots of a consistent size, wrap the thread the same number of times every time, then make sure you keep light tension on the thread with your left hand as you return the needle back down through the fabric with your right hand (switch these if you're left-handed).

As for making a French knot on the first stitch, I would anchor the thread elsewhere. For example, you could run your thread through the back of existing stitches nearby before starting the French knot. If there are no other stitches nearby, try using a waste (or away) knot.

Hope this answers your questions.

Arthemise said...

Great link, thanks! My blog's listed there too. Very strange.

I've had tons of practice with French knots, but I still have trouble. It's very hard to get them consistent.

Kathy A. said...

Congrats on your progress on French knots. It has taken me 20 years and I finally got it. You can always use a bead instead of French knots when it becomes too frustrating. Keep it up though.

staci said...

You know what they say, "practice makes perfect". That certainly rings true for French knots ;) You're doing well with yours, good job!

Anonymous said...

You have done a great job with your french knots, my trouble is they all look diffrent sizes, i do try not to do charts that have them in,
You could use a tiny bead instead of a french knot,
i have stitched for about 7 years i still have a lot to learn, but its so relaxing
Great blog,

Kathy said...

Looks like you have a great start on making French knots. It just takes a lot of practice for them to be consistent. As long as I have been stitching and I still done't get mine consistent. Keep working at it.

Sally said...

Your little fox is so cute Michele.

I can never get my French knots to look the same. It's one stitch I really haven't mastered in my 17 years of stitching so I tend to use beads or another stitch!

Michele said...

great work with your french knots .. just keep practicing, it'll come to you :)

and Linenstitcher2 answered your questions well :)

Sonda in OR said...

Don't worry...I, too, am in the boat of inconsistent french knots. Sometimes they're great, sometimes "knot". I will substitute with beads occasionally, too.

susajo said...

So nice to see that you're stitching my autumn fox!
It's still on my blog but you have to go back several pages because it is from last year.

French knots are not that big problem for me anymore since I did other embroidery and could get some practice in doing them with other threads like perle cotton, which is much easier.

Stranded cotton is very thin and it helps to use a thinner needle with a slim eye for the knots.
Often I don't go back in the same hole so the knot could not slip to the back.