Gettin’ Crafty! – I will not be defeated by a french knot!

A few days ago, I saw a photo of the cutest quilted and embroidered snowflake ornament on Facebook and thought, “I need to make that!”

When I clicked the link in the caption, I found Carolina Patchworks blog post about the Aurifil Christmas Ornament Hop. The awesome thing was that there was a FREE pattern for the cute little snowflake ornament! Isn’t that great?  And not only that, but there are already 5 more FREE ornament patterns AND more to come! Woo!  With the speed at which I embroider (the technical term being “a snail’s pace”), that should keep me busy until at least the New Year.

So what could I do but head out to the fabric store to find suitable holiday prints and some nice background fabric?

Now, before you look at my pictures and judge my stitchery, I’ll just say up front that I am pretty much brand new to embroidery. I’ve embroidered one thing so far and that took quite a while for me to finish. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, though. It was this little bird that I embroidered to embellish a little bag that I had sewn (also a pretty new craft for me). So, of course, what I’m saying is…please don’t judge meeeeee!!!

So, today, I went to the Chicks with Stix knitting group meetup for the first time in a long time and I took along my embroidery supplies.  I know it’s a knitting group, but I can do whatever craft I like, thank you very much!

Anyway, I had printed out each of the designs and although I really love that snowflake ornament, there was something about this little snowbird by Gail Pan Designs that spoke to me, so I decided to start with him. Or maybe it was just that I already had experience embroidering little birdies…who can say?

Here is my progress so far:

I was at the meetup for hours and the only thing I actually finished while I was there was the french knot eye.  I kept making what I thought would be a french knot which would then slip through and just become a little flat stitch…over and over again. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong! I tried again and again to twist the floss around the needle just so to make a little knot for an eye and was disappointed again and again.

Michelle, who was sitting next to me, made a perfect little french knot on her cross stitch piece while I watched, thinking, “but that’s what I did!!” Although, of course, that’s not what I did, or I would have a perfect little french knot on my fabric too, instead of constantly having to pull out the thread over and over.  So finally, I resorted to YouTube.

And wouldn’t you know it…I was doing it wrong! Which I knew, but I couldn’t seem to help doing the same wrong thing over and over. Since I finally saw exactly what it was that I was doing wrong, as well as how to do it right, I was finally able to twist the floss around the needle in the correct way and made a perfect little french knot eye for my birdie!

So, I was sitting there…savoring this huge accomplishment when another knitter showed up and sat down next to me. She took one look at my little hoop and said “What a beautiful french knot!”  Haha!!  Success!


22 thoughts on “Gettin’ Crafty! – I will not be defeated by a french knot!

  1. I have been thinking lately about the first hand sewing my mother ever taught me and it was candlewicking (otherwise known as patterned french knots I think) and I have been meaning to re-learn it. Thanks for giving me the shove 🙂 Your bird looks lovely by the way!

      1. What you are doing with that birdie is crewel embroidery. Using varied stitches to create a picture or pattern. The shirt I made for you when you were little is an example.

      2. oops, you are right. I googled it just to be sure. Crewel is using wool. I have always heard what I did called crewel though so I thought that was the right name for it. The type of embroidery I did was called “free embroidery”. So I am corrected. hahahaha

  2. Cute birds. French knots – well done, they can be pains to do. Remember to keep your thread really tight or you will end up with a big untidy knot instead, and try not to pull the french knot back through your material 🙂

  3. You know, your birds are beautiful!! I would have never guessed that you weren’t a seasoned embroiderer! And I know a little bit about my embroidery, my husband’s family has had an embroidery shop for over 20 years!! 😀 I’ve thought about taking the time to learn, but I still haven’t mastered knitting yet! One thing at a time!!

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