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Tips & Techniques

Knot Perfection

Any line drawing can be easily filled with French knots, and there is no better way to improve and perfect your knots than practicing them over and over again. Here are a few suggestions for finding patterns:

  1. Punch-needle patterns: These patterns are meant to be filled in using a punch-needle tool, but you can easily fill in the areas and patterns with French knot for a unique texture design.
  2. Surface embroidery patterns: Again, these are designed to embroider the outlines and possibly fill in with various stitches, but French knots can be used as a substitute.
  3. Small cross-stitch patterns: Instead of making a basic X for every symbol, follow the color code and work a French knot for each stitch. To make the project even more one-of-a-kind, fill in sparse areas with additional knots and create curves and shading within the simple design.
  4. Draw your own! If you can draw a circle, you can create your own French knot pattern. So, grab a pencil and paper, and start drawing; once you have your desired pattern, trace, transfer or redraw it onto fabric and start knotting.
Click here for larger image.

To perfect other specialty stitches, check out one of the best needlework reference books ever published. Written by needlework extraordinaire and well-known teacher Darlene O'Steen, The Proper Stitch includes step-by-step instructions for numerous specialty stitches, including illustrations of the reverse side of the needlework for a double check. Three exquisite sampler designs are also included, so you can practice all of your newly acquired skills. To order, click here.

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