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Knotty Techniques

Nothing is going to improve your French knots more than practice, but here are a few tips that I have found helpful in mastering these tiny little beasts.

  1. Use a hoop. Always. French knots take both hands, plus some, so a hoop or Q-snap is a lifesaver. Prop the hoop or snap on a tabletop, your leg, etc., to free up a hand.
  2. Shorter is better. I typically break ALL rules when it comes to floss lengths when stitching, but French knots demand strict adherence to the rules about using manageable lengths. For cross-stitching, the standard is 18 inches, but I recommend 12- to 15-inch lengths for knotting. There's less to tangle, less to pull through and less to position, which means less frustration.
  3. Perfect your technique before trying to knot with varied texture flosses (metallics, fuzzy flosses, etc.).
  4. Substitute. If French knots aren't your thing, try a different knot such as a Colonial knot.