French knots add so much texture and fun to embroidery that it should be one of the first stitches you learn. Everything from one little dot to a whole cluster of knots can add really cool effects to your next piece of stitching.
Some people get frustrated when learning french knots, like I did when I was younger, so I will try to be as clear as I can with the instructions so you can figure it out for good. Don’t give up until you practice for a little bit, you will get it.
This is what helps me get consistently shaped knots every single time:
When I’m making french knots I place the hoop in my lap so I have both hands free. My left hand holds the thread taut a couple inches from the fabric the entire time I’m making a knot. Don’t let that left hand thread get slack and you will see much better results.
Since I only have two hands and I was trying to take photos of the process just pretend I’m still holding the needle with my right hand in the photo above.
Bring your needle up at the exact point that you want your knot. Wrap your thread around the needle two to three times depending on the size knot you want. This tutorial shows two wraps. Also I am using two strands of thread. If you want more bulky knots, try experimenting with more strands.
Remember, don’t let go of the left hand thread.
Bring your needle down directly next to where you came up. Once your needle point is in your fabric, pull the taut thread until it’s all bunched together next to the fabric. You can see it sliding down the needle above. Once it’s all next to the fabric you can start pulling your needle through again.
As your needle goes through and is pulling your thread through don’t let go of the couple inches on the left side until you have to.
All that’s left should be a little french knot.
Keep going and make a flower. Using two hands helps me tremendously so I hope that tip helps make french knots a little bit easier for you too.
If any of this is confusing please let me know. Leave a comment below or email me your questions and I will do my best to help you figure it out.
Do you love french knots or do you avoid them at all costs?