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Tips & Techniques

Knotting It Up

Now that we have a few tips and photos under our belt, it's time to start knotting. Grab your hoop or Q-snap, fabric, floss and needle, and let's go.

  1. Make sure your fabric is taut in your hoop or Q-snap.
  2. Bring a threaded needle up at the desired location of your knot, securing your thread in place using an away waste knot or threading it under a few existing stitches.
  3. Prop your hoop or Q-snap in your lap or against a table edge to free up your non-stitching hand.
  4. Pull your floss length (remember -- go short!) firmly, but do not put undue strain on the floss or linen; hold the floss about 2 to 3 inches above the fabric with your non-stitching hand.
  5. Place needle in FRONT of the floss and wind the floss around the needle the desired or indicated number of times. Watch your tension and make sure that you wrap evenly. Also, make sure you are wrapping the floss around the needle and not the needle around the floss; your stitching hand, which is holding the needle, should not move at all.
  6. Now comes the tricky part, but it's the most rewarding! Keeping your coiled floss taut around the needle, push needle tip (tip only) back into fabric slightly away from where you brought the needle up. (If you're using linen, sink the needle back down one thread away; if you're using Aida, sink the needle back into center of square, piercing the fabric.)
  7. Using your non-stitching hand, carefully pull the floss toward your fabric slightly, while keeping your wraps evenly snug. Gently push your needle the rest of the way back into the linen and pull gently. Pull the needle through on reverse side only until the knot rests on the fabric surface. Don't pull too hard or the knot will disappear to the back, which is never a good thing.
  8. Stand back, admire your beautiful work, congratulate yourself and move on to the next knot. You'll be a pro in no time!

For those of us who learn things better visually, here is a stitch illustration of a French knot. It shows the wraps and needle position, which makes a nice guide when working the stitch.

Click here for larger image.
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