Time for one of my favourite stitches - French knots! I just love them. They are so effective and very addictive! Some people may steer away from French knots but as long as you follow a few simple steps they are very easy to achieve.
French knots normally appear somewhere in my embroidery designs; they are so versatile. I often use them in the centre of flowers, they also work really well to imitate the look of a flower bud. Stitching a few French knots together creates greater impact, whilst a singular knot can be used for finer details.
To give you some inspiration I thought I would start by sharing a few photos of some designs where I have used French knots...
Let's start the French knot tutorial...
French Knot Tutorial:
1. Start by threading the needle with your stranded embroidery thread. Tie a small knot at one end of the thread.
- It's up to you how many strands of thread you wish to sew with. I have chosen all six threads for this tutorial. The amount of threads you stitch with will determine the size of French knot.
2. Bring the needle up through the fabric, this is your starting point.
3. Then hold the needle in one hand and with your other hand keep the thread taught and wrap around the needle twice.
- Please don't be tempted to wrap the thread around the needle more than twice. Doing so will create a looser French knot. If you need a bigger French knot then increase the thickness of thread.
4. Keep the thread taught and put the needle back into the fabric, just next to the point where you came up through the fabric.
5. Pull the needle through the fabric with one hand and with the other hand gently keep hold of the thread until all the thread has been pulled through to form the knot.
5. You have now completed a French knot. Continue stitching a few more until you get the hang of it.
French Knot Tips:
* To achieve a larger French knot increase the thickness of threads used
* To achieve a smaller French knot decrease the thickness of threads used
Stitch Book: French Knot
Now it's time to stitch the next page of our stitch book. If you would like to start your own stitch book then, click here, where you will find a step-by-step guide and all the info about the materials you will need.
I wanted to see how varying the amount of thread varies the size and look of the French knot. So at the top of the page I used nine different colours and stitched a French knot on each line. I started with six threads on the top line and as I moved to the next line I removed a thread. So the top line I used six threads, the next line I used five threads, the next line I used four threads and so on...
I think it looks quite effective and is a good reference point when thinking of new designs. It's also a good excuse to practice French knots!
I drew a little tree underneath the French knots as I thought I would try using French knots to form a blossom tree. You are getting a sneak peek to a new collection of embroidery kits that I have been working on. I had hoped to have released them by now but I'm still having problems printing but hopefully they will launch soon! This blossom tree is a take on one of my designs in the blossom collection. The main stitch used is French knots so I thought this would be a good way to practice how I want the tree to look.
I used stem stitch for the tree trunk and branches and French knots for the blossoms. I also used all six strands of embroidery thread to stitch the blossoms and four shades of pink thread to create depth.
I just love the depth and texture that French knots create, especially when there are so many stitched closely together.
So that's the next page of our stitch book complete! Feel free to create any design you wish for your French knot page. Use the page to experiment with French knots and take the opportunity to try different things using the stitch.