Saturday, 16 October 2010

French knots

Having completed the petals, I now need to fill in the space in the centre of each flower, and I'm going to do this using French knots.

From photos, the middle of the wood avens' centre area is a light green, surrounded by a darker yellow, so I'm going to use Madeira 1410, the lighter of the two greens I've already used here, and 0106, the next-darker shade of yellow from the ones I used on the petals.

Taking photos of stitching the knots was a bit tricky as ideally you need both hands for this (to keep the thread taut), and I was trying to hold the camera with one of them, but hopefully you can more or less see what I was doing.

The knots are going to be thickly worked to fill the entire space, so I brought the thread up at a random point within the centre area:

I then wrapped the thread around the needle, twice:

I was taught a long time ago that you should never wrap the thread more then twice around the needle to make a French knot; if you need a larger knot, use a thicker thread.

I then put the needle into the fabric close to where it came up, but don't yet take it through to the back.

I then pulled the thread, so that the loops around the needle are pulled tight, and are next to the fabric:

I then pulled the needle through to the back of the fabric; this takes the thread through the loops around the needle:

And forms the knot:

As I'm just using two strands, the knots are quite small, and I need a lot of them to fill the space, but they're quite quick to do.  I did all the green ones first, forming a cluster in the centre of each flower, with a few dotted around the edge:

I then filled in the remaining space with more knots in the yellow:

And in close-up:

And that's the first sheet of the wood avens finished!


  1. Yay - lovely!

    And thanks for the tip on pulling the coils tight before putting the needle back in - I've always down them simultaneously and it's always been a bit touch and go with the tension.

  2. Wow. As always Ruth, your work is just absolutely brilliant!