10.30.2006

Stitch School: French Knot

Stitch School has moved to it's very own blog and you'll find the French Knot post here.

55 comments:

Camilla said...

Ok Ok I promise I won't throw anything anywhere! I am going to practice this tomorrow- your photos are really clear and I should be able to get to grips with this, but even just reading it was raising my stress levels!

Catherine said...

What kind of lens do you use on your camera that you get such great close-ups? I love the face on the embroidered girl with the French knot hair!

janet said...

I have a Canon PowerShot A80 digital camera and it has what's called a macro mode for closeups. Even I'm amazed at how well it works—very sharp details. Sometimes I still can't get as close as I'd like so I end up cropping and resizing the photos in PhotoShop. That's usually what I do for the button and trim product photos on my website—I like to get rid of as much extraneous stuff as possible to really focus on the item.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible for you to show us a done picture then tell what stitches were used like the lady with the bonnet point to the bonnet and say blanket stitch, eyes-french knots,etc.? Thank you so much for these lessons.

janet said...

I've been thinking about the suggestion to show a finished piece labeling the stitches and I don't think I'd be able to do it justice in the small space alloted for pictures here. I try to show lots of pictures of the finished stitches in the embroidery lesson posts, so I think you can find good examples there.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Yep I think this knot is the most challenging stitch out there. I finally got it after 30 minutes of reading every book in the house on stitches. And the sad thing is I didn't even know how I did it in the end. Your tutorial would have been very helpful to me a few months ago. And of course the aprons are stunning. What a wonderful price.

Kate said...

Oh my goodness Janet! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I've read a TON of tutorials on the French Knot and none of them ever made any difference in my lack of ability to stitch them until yours!
THANK YOU!
~a fellow stitcher~

Lynn in Tucson said...

I'm glad to see I'm not alone; this stitch stumps me like no other. But my problem is this: I think I know _how_ to do it, but I always end up with just a tiny, tiny stitch. My knot disappears and the thread goes all the way through the fabric. Consistently. I have no idea why.

janet said...

If you don't tighten the looped threads around your needle, your main thread will slip right through them and wind up on the back. It's like you never took a stitch at all. Yet, if it's too tight, the thread won't go through the loops, and it could pull the whole knot (loops and all) through to the back. The tension is the thing and that's where pulling the thread with your left hand or holding it down with your thumb helps.

joy said...

wow thanks, your instructions + plctures helped me a lot! I've been stressing out on the french knots i'm supposed to make for a project i'm working on...and i was able to finally do it after reading this!

Gabi said...

Thanks a lot for that description. You are the first one who really described this the easy way. And I read lots of descriptions for that %*^*^ stitch. Even I'm an experienced cross stitcher I had always troubles with the French Knot. It worked out SOMETIMES, most times it resulted in a flat line with the knot disappearing. Result was that I used beads instead of French Knot. After reading your lesson I realized I was holding the needle wrong direction. I just exercised and none of my french knots went wrong. I really want to thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant description and photos. I was afraid to even attempt and now, ten minutes later, I'm a pro! Thanks much!
KLawRN@aol.com

Anonymous said...

wow - you explain so well and the photos are so helpful! i found your blog through a scrapbooking message board. i will be visiting again!!

thanks, angie

Debbie said...

I have never been able to make a good French knot because I was holding the needle vertical to the fabric, which is the way I've always seen it pictured. Now that you've shown me the right way, I'm making gorgeous ones! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!

Debbie

Tutu said...

OOh my god!!!Janet Thanks a lot!!!!!mow i can do it!!!

Ms. Amy said...

oh. my. gawsh. THANK YOU. I can now make a lovely french knot!!!

Anonymous said...

This didn't help at all! Thanks for nothing!!!!!!!! :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Janet,

OK, I'm left-handed. Do I just 'flop' the French Knot photographs and instructions?

HELP!!!

janet said...

Hey, anonymous! I didn't know the answer to your question, so I did a post today (3.5.08) asking for opinions from my readers. Five comments so far and all say to just flop the pics and directions. If that's too confusing and you plan on doing a lot of embroidery in the future I'd suggest getting a book specifically for left-handed embroiderers. It's always good to have something to refer back to.

Mallory said...

Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I have just recently started embroidery and have a book that I use but could not do the french knot at all. I looked it up and your blog showed up and right after I read your instructions, I did it! Just wanted to say thanks so much! I explored your blog and read your whole Stitch School series, love it!

lise said...

thank you so much for all this help! i could not do that f**+ french knot (dreaded is really not the word for it, sorry...), but now I'm perfect in it! Thank you so much, again!

Dobbie and Papa said...

I just love you blog!! I am a quilter and opening a shop in my cabin...I will have around 300 bolts with reproduction and vintage my focus, but I want to offer retreats and your blog inspired me to also offer hand embroidery retreats too! I started my first embroidery at age 4. you can visit our blog at oldegloryquiltshop.blogspot.com Quilted Blessings! and Thanks! Kar

Brigit said...

Hi, I was having such a hard time with my French knots. I'm trying to finish a project for my pastor's wife. Your pictures and explanation were so helpful. After one knot I was doing French knots like a pro.

Thanks so much for the awesome pictures and explanation.

Anonymous said...

I am a knitter and some of my projects call from embroidered detail. Unfortunately the instructions for the embroidery aren't usually detailed. I spent a bit of frustrating time (about 10 unsuccessful attempts) trying to do a french knot from 2 pictures with my knitting pattern before finding your pictures and instructions. After reading your steps my first one was (almost) picture perfect! Thank you!

Snitterdog said...

I have to try this! :)...I can do satin stitch, but I'm just not sure on that French knot! :)...thanks for the tutorial! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, thats all I can say. I have cross stitched for years and thought I would never conquer these knots. Well guess what, thanks to your great pictures and descriptions I have made 30 of them for this project!! Thanks so much and keep up the great lessons, I know I will be referring to them alot.

clairephotography said...

I'm a very novice crafter you name it I'm new to it! But I've found this blog on all the stiches so easy to follow, it's permanently bookmarked on my computer! I see by the comments that the French Knot is very difficult but I'd already followed the instructions and easily and successfully made a perfect French Knot first time! I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with me and it's all due to these exceptional instructions! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this explanation!I'm jusst beginning to teach myself how to craft & embroider & the book I got made french knots seem so simple! I'm glad other people are finding it hard too because I thought it was just me! Now with your explanation I can do them no problem!^_^

Leslie said...

This is great!! These are the first instructions I actually understood. My knots are turning out great. Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

right, this might sound dumb... but does anyone know what floss is?
im stitchin this pattern i printed and it says use floss..?! is that like thicker thread? like embroidery thread?? i have no idea. im such a novice. ;P

janet said...

Floss is simply another name for embroidery thread. I talk about it in the Embroidery Basics post:

http://primrosedesign.blogspot.com/2007/01/embroidery-basics.html

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I've looked everywhere for instructions on how to make French Knots, and this is the best tutorial yet! In the end, it only took a few minutes for me to get the hang of it (even though it was filled with mistakes, i got the feel). Thanks again!

Bethany said...

this is the first time ive tried french knots and i dont know if it was the tutorial but i found it really easy
beth

Anonymous said...

thank you for the clear instructions on the french knot. I have struggled with illustrations in books and couldn't figure it out. your description and pictures are awesome. Thank you!
Friedl

Janet said...

From one Janet (in Australia) to another ..... I can't believe how dumb I've been!!! I have been cross stitching for years and you can always get away with using beads instead of doing French knots and they also give a great 3D look. But I have recently discovered the evils of patchwork and quilting. (If you think they aren't evil, just check out how much money it costs me constantly buying fabric that tells me I just need to take it home!) From there it was just a short step to stitcheries. While most of the time I have been able to get away with using either a cross stitch or just completely ignoring the French knot, I knew that I couldn't keep doing that forever. I have a HUGE amount of books showing me how to do this knot but none have shown in such detail as you have.

I also know I'm dumb because I constantly tell people that the internet is the greatest library on earth ..... and then failed to use it myself. I now will just have to try your style of knot and I'm sure I will be Frenching in no time.

Thank you so much for restoring part of my brain.

Mary said...

i know this is an old post but i'm soooooo glad i found it. thank you, thank you, thank you. I can finally do a french knot thanks to your instructions. Now i don't have to take all my projects that are waiting for french knots to my sister.

Anonymous said...

YES! I have been trying to do this stitch for a long time. I gave up several times and kept coming back. Very frustrating! Then I found your tutorial and I was able to do it on my first try (using your instructions). THANK YOU SO MUCH :)

Ani said...

thank you, thank you. i've always avoided making these but this tutorial allowed me to make a nice set of eyes for a knitted kitty i was working on. :)

Anonymous said...

thank u for ur help. now i can make french knots

oldpoetsoul said...

Thank you so much! I've been so frustrated trying to do the french knot--I used to do it when I was a kid, but forgot how! I used your directions and was immediately able to do it once again. For those other lefties, yes, just reverse the directions--pull thread to the front, hold thread to the right of the emergent point with your right hand, and wrap the thread around the needle at the point where it emerges from the fabric. Drop the tip a few threads away from the place where it originated and viola! It worked great for me! Thanks!

Kiki said...

Thank You! I having been going nuts trying to figure out how to make a french knot, thanks to you I now know how!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent instructions. I am using French knots to keep the two layers of a baby blanket from shifting. Many sites attempt to show the French knot but no one shows how to finish one French knot when both sides of the project will be seen. Could you help, PLEASE!!!
Thx. Barbara

hui said...

Hey, can i do this knot with a normal cotton thread? Or must I use yarns or thick threads?

janet said...

Well, sewing thread would make very small knots but yes, you can use almost anything with a uniform thickness. All of the examples I've shown were done with embroidery floss. If they look like yarn it's only because the photos are extreme close ups.

janet said...

Barbara, I need to think about it for a bit. Are you wanting knots on both sides of the blanket?

KNOWINK said...

Your embroidery tutorials are simple to follow. I used to embroider as a child but have not for some years. Following your tutorials I am able to pick right back up and breeze right through! Thank you!

JigsawJones said...

Furious. That is what these knots make me. Absolutely bloody mad.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much! i've never been able to do that before - and as a crocheter, i've never really had a need until i started the boy's dino sweater from red heart. the eye of the dinosaur is a french knot, and it looks great! much larger, i'm sure, than yours - what with the sport weight yarn instead of thread - but it worked! yay!!!

Kim in the Kitchen said...

Thank you so much for showing and explaining the mysteries of the French Knot much better than the drawings in the cross-stitch pattern I'm using! It's really not that hard after all!

Violet said...

Ah! The French Knot was what made me QUIT embroidery (before I even properly started. ) I was SO scared of it. But today I decided to tackle it and because of YOU, I succeeded! THank you SO MUCH. I just made the cutest eye ever. :)

jokeonly said...

Thank you so much for such a helpful tutorial. I have tried others before but have failed to master it time and again. I found your site and tried it and success on the first try!

Rohana said...

This stitch wuz so hard but i finally got the hang of it and when i did i wuz soooooo suprised and i kept thinking what i had dun rong!!

Kaye Prince said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful tutorial! I just found it by searching Google - I've been trying to learn using various tutorials and nothing seemed to work. I got it using your tutorial on the first try! Thanks again!

TDC said...

I follow the rules and pull the thread taut against the fabric, and the loops against the needle, as I'm pulling the needle through the hole a few threads away... but I get a decent knot -- and a big loop of thread sticking out from it =( What do I do?

janet said...

TDC, it's hard for me to tell where in the process you're going wrong without seeing you do it. Teaching in person would help with that :)

It sounds like you aren't pulling the knot tight right at the end but I'm not sure. All I can say is to slowly go through the steps again and keep practicing. It feels very awkward until you've done it for a while.