Ways to Use French Knots in Embroidery


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There are lots of different ways to use French knots in embroidery projects, from little bits of embellishment to whole projects worked in knots. Let’s take a look at all the things this like knot can do!

Use French Knots for Little Details

One of the most common ways to use French knots in embroidery projects is for adding little details. They’re commonly used in cross stitch patterns and other projects for things like adding punctuation and other details to lettering (like the dot on the i or j, periods, etc.) or adding eyes to faces.

Incidentally, French knots as eyes are a popular option in knit and crochet amigurumi as well, if you’re into mixing your crafts.

French knots are an easy way to add texture and detail to projects. In my blanket stitch tutorial I added French knots between the stitches to make it a little more fun. This cute farm scene from Threading the Seasons uses French knots for the texture on one of the trees and on the sheep (as a knitter that’s one of my favorite uses for French knots!).

And of course French knots are commonly used as the center of flowers, which you can see in my visible mending project (also shown above).

The scattering of French knots on this Teton embroidery pattern from Kait Everson Creations is really effective for adding texture and color without taking away from the mountain that’s meant to be the focus.

French Knots as the Focal Point

French knots can fade into the background or be a small detail, or they can make the design. Check out this lilac embroidery pattern from NYTKA Designs, which uses French knots and variegated thread to great effect in making the blooms look realistic.

Or how about the baby’s breath in this design from Be Co Productions? So cute and I really couldn’t imagine it being done any other way.

Of course French knots can be used for lots of other things aside from flowers. I love this French knot labyrinth design from NOMAD Embroidery Co. It’s meditative to stitch and to have in your space.

Or how about this stunning embroidered moss, made with French knots and other stitches? This one is more of a tutorial than a pattern, but you can learn how to make it from Spectremma.

Down Grapevine Lane has an adorable French knot bunny pattern, which illustrates that you can take just about any simple shape (think about state or country shapes, or anything you have a cookie cutter for you can use as an outline) and fill it with knots.

French Knots and Negative Space

A popular way to use French knots all over in a project is to use them to define a negative space. Here Ambrosia Stitches uses French knots to define the shape of a letter that is left unstitched.

These are more ideas than patterns but Life of Shauna shared this French knot name done as a baby room decoration on Instagram, while Clairey Sews made a cute French knot Kindle cover using French knots to outline the words “read me.”

And while the original website doesn’t seem to exist anymore, this hello by Emma Smart (found via Oh Happy Day) is so sweet I couldn’t resist sharing it.

And of course you wouldn’t have to do this just with words. The bunny above or any basic outline you wanted to use could be done with French knots marking the negative space instead of filling it.

Have any fun ways to use French knots I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about them!


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