Friday, March 31, 2017

Working with Felt - French Knot

When I first tried making this stitch 9 years ago I have to confess how difficult it was for me at the time to make it. Felt craft books bought in Macau are mostly written in Chinese so It was even more challenging for me to understand it by just looking at the pictures. Embroidery vocabulary was something new to me back then so I didn't know how the stitches were called to look out for them in the internet!
They were my least favorite stitches to make. I just couldn't get them right so I just avoided them as much as I can and never included them in any of my works. But not until 3 years ago that I finally 'cracked' the riddle...and I'm blushing with embarrassment at this very moment while I type this. I can't believe how easy it is and how could I let pass so many years without really trying to get this right!

So, what are french knots?
French knots are little tiny knots that are made onto the surface of the felt or fabric. They're really great to add extra details and textures specially on small empty spaces on embroidery works, great way to add polka dot effect, works really well to make them as tiny doll's eyes or just fun sprinkles on that donut felt food!
I find it so much easier if french knots are done when the felt or fabric is stretched with the help of a embroidery hoop as you will need both hands to get this stitch done. Working on large pieces of felt/ fabric without the hoop is still manageable than working on tinier pieces as the fabric can shift around affecting the way your stitches look . This stitch demands a little bit of equal balance from your both hands to get it done perfectly. I know all of this sounds really scary and hard, but It's honestly very easy and I'll show you how! The trick is to maintain the same pulling strength of your thread equal on every stitch you made to make them look similar to each other. So, are you ready?

Embroidery floss
Embroidery hoop ( optional)

Step 1.
Insert needle from the back of the felt/ fabric. Wrap your thread 1 or 2 times around your needle. I like double wraps for a more "chubby" knot.

While lightly pulling your thread, insert the needle right next to where you have came in the first step.

Step 3.
Are you still with me? ;P Continue to lightly pull the thread and pull the knot down onto the felt/fabric.

Step 4.
Continue to pull your thread and slide the needle through until it's completely out. 

Step 5.
Continue to pull your thread through until a perfect little swirly knot is formed! Easy, huh?

Now to end this tutorial, I wanted to share with you some pretty embroidery works using this stitch. Aren't they all gorgeous? Who knew with such tiny stitch you can actually create big and beautiful pieces of art!

Left - Monika Kinner - Whalen. Right -  Adventures in Stitching 
Top left - The Chest of Drawers. Top right - Jone Hallmark
Bottom left - Ambrosia Stitches . Bottom right - Sometimes is Wirl

So I hope you enjoy this month's embroidery basics! See you again soon with more tutorials 💙
Hugs and kisses,

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