It's really fun combining techniques we learn in modern embroidery, with different weights of thread and fabrics.
In this tutorial, I'll give you lots of tips for stitching really cool chunky french knots with yarn.
Embroidering a French knot with yarn is essentially the same as with thread. But I like to make them quite chunky, so I’ve included some tips if you want to do the same.
Let’s look at my tips:
Tip: What yarn should I use?
I'm using a yarn that's 8 ply (DK weight). This is a nice chunky weight, without being too bulky. But you can experiment using any weight or yarn or thread that you like!
Tip: What type of needle should I use?
You’ll need a needle with a generous eye, so that you can thread the yarn through. A large yarn or tapestry needle works well.
Tip: How many wraps?
Do a French Knot using the standard method. But wrap the yarn about 4-5 times around the needle (instead of 2). This means the knot ends up a bit chunkier looking.
If you need to learn the basics of how to work a French knot, check out my tutorial here.
Tip: how to secure a tippy knot
The knot is a bit precarious when it’s finished, due to how chunky it is. So I like to do a second stitch over, as an extra step at the end, to hold it in place.
To do this, bring your needle up right beside the knot (not in the same spot where you went down!) and do a stitch over the side of the knot and down through the middle again.
You can try to place this stitch on the opposite side to the stitch that initially anchored the knot.
You’ll need to be really careful as you draw the needle back down through the knot – I find twisting the needle back and forth helps wriggle it through.
As you’ll see, this step is a bit more effort, but it holds the chunky French knot down a lot better and makes it sit more evenly.
Have fun experimenting with your French knots! It will take a bit of practice to get comfortable with this technique. You don’t have to go chunky, but if you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create even more texture in your design.
Examples of Chunky French Knots in my patterns
Let's look at an example of how you can use this beautiful modern technique stitch in your work!
Here's my pattern Woven Meadow. All of the mustard coloured French Knots are made with this chunky technique. Don't they look so textured and fun?!
This course takes you through all the beginner techniques and knowledge you need to make your first beginner pattern, Little Wildflower Meadow! Plus, it includes a beautiful second pattern, Blooming Lovely, which is a fantastic place to practice your newfound skills. Plus, both of these patterns use French Knots in the design, so they are a great way to practice this new technique!
I would totally recommend this course, as it covers many more stitch techniques than this blog, and you can work along at your own place. Plus, this is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your own me-time and continue on your path to becoming a modern embroidery superstar.