Knotted stitches used for traditional embroidery can be worked as single stitches, along a line, or in groups to fill an object. The following diagrams show several variations of knotted stitches that you can use in your embroidery projects.
While many are familiar with French knots, the Colonial Knot is also a popular stitch, and is used to work candlewick projects. It’s sturdier than a French knot, but does require a bit more effort when working the stitch due to the way the stitch is formed. By looping the thread in a figure 8 around the needle, the knot stands less of a chance of being pulled through the surface of the fabric to the wrong side of the work, or from being misshapen after laundering several times.
A French knot with a tail is a terrific stitch to use when working flowers with stamens, or when an unusual, textured stitch is wanted in an area of your design. Other stitches work knots directly into a line of stitching, as in the Coral stitch.
Many people seem to be afraid of French knots. I’m not sure why since they’re so easy to work. Just watch your tension – you don’t want it too lose or too tight, and practice a few stitches before working a French knot on your fabric. See my French knot video tutorial for more info.
Free patterns for needlework projects you can make to try out a variety of stitches can be found on the Free Projects section of the NeedleKnowledge® site, or check our blog and sign up for the newsletter. Enjoy!