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k is for knots

knots


When thinking up a good post for K, I started thinking about eyes. What? Let me explain. When I stitch the little faces that are on most of my patterns, I use french knots. But sometimes they can be a little wonky, so I've wondered if I should find an alternative stitch. Which is how I decided that K is for Knots.

French knots feel very normal for me to make, but I know that's not the case for everyone. Although I'd never made one before, I knew about colonial knots, and in my mind, I pictured several other similar knots. But after looking through many stitches, I was disappointed. Yes, there are lots of knots, but they all make bigger and more ornate stitches.

And so I set to comparing my two knots.

knots

First, here's a regular French knot, stitched with six strands (which were a little twisty weird, causing that loose loop on the right), and wrapped two times around the needle.

I like the size and the familiarity.

knots

Next I tried a colonial knot. This is actually my very first, officially documented here!

To make a colonial knot, you bring the floss up from the back, then make a sort of backwards "c" with the thread. Place the needle over the loose thread and under the thread that is coming up from the fabric, as you see in the photo.

knots

Then, bring the floss over the needle to the top, then back under the needle towards the bottom. It kind of makes a figure 8 with the thread.

knots

Pull the thread taut around the needle, and hold it as you push the needle down just adjacent to where the floss came up.

knots

And there's a colonial knot, side by side with the French knot. A bit more compact, I think. I like it. But I'm thinking it wouldn't ever get any larger than this with regular cotton floss. Unless you wrap it looser? Hmm...

But what if you are just knot impaired? Or what if you want something flatter? Or just different? I thought I might try a knot alternative.

knots

This is just a single tiny straight stitch, worked vertically.

knots

And this is a second tiny straight stitch worked right in the same holes as the first, but on the right hand side.

knots

And this is how it looks when you add a third tiny straight stitch on the left hand side to round it out. Compared to the colonial knot, it's smaller, but flatter and more even, I think. It's sort of like a double seed stitch, which I guess makes this a triple seed stitch! A very nice alternative.

But what about bigger?

knots

This time I did almost the same thing as the "triple seed stitch", but made two slightly longer stitches in the middle. Then I made shorter stitches on the sides, and not quite in the same holes. Wait...now I'm practically satin stitching!

So what's my verdict? I declare my love for all of these! French knots are dear to my heart, but I can definitely see more colonial knots and smooth flat eyes in my future. Try them all out and let me know what you think!

PS: When is a knot not a knot? When it's not! Ha!

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info. French knot is my standard, too. Ok, since you put up a joke... A string walks into a bar and the bartender says "Get out of here, we don't serve strings!" So the string goes out and finds some friends who twist him up and ruffle his hair. He walks back into the bar and the bartender says "Hey, aren't you that string who was in here before?" The string replied "No, I'm a frayed knot." :)

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    1. hahahaha i love the joke. :)

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  2. Very useful! I think French knots are fun, I can't really explain why. :)

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  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Both of those jokes were knot funny. (hehe) Please do knot post any more knot, knot jokes.

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  4. I am SO glad you posted this. I was just lamenting last night about my failure to create a french knot. For whatever reason I just don't seem to be able to make one. I am going to try these others versions instead. Thanks!

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  5. I'm knot impaired. Acknowledgement is the first step to recovery. And reading your post is the second step. Thanks!

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  6. Oh I know you r talking about me! I am French knot impaired for sure!!! Next time something needs a knot, I am referring to your tutorial!! Maybe there is a group for people like me LOL!!

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  7. I was knot impaired until recently when I watched someone else make one and it clicked! I had been wrapping the thread around the needle the wrong way! For those of you that can't seem to figure it out, try wrapping from the other side of the needle and see if it doesn't work!

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