8 Steps to Perfect French Knots

First, a pep talk: you can do a French knot - I promise!

The French knot is found in loads of patterns online, and is a super versatile stitch to add to your own work.

You can modify the French knot by:

  • changing how many strands of floss you use (from 1, all the way to all 6); and

  • changing how many times you wrap your floss around your needle.

I had to read and watch so many tutorials from so many resources before I finally understood what I was doing, so if you're here on a similar journey - welcome! I've been in your shoes before, and I hope I can be helpful to you!

I've written out and included photos for the steps to the French knot here, but I think this stitch can be much easier to understand in video format; that's why I've included a video tutorial at the end of this post!

Step 1: Pull your floss through your hoop.

Step 2: Wrap your floss around your needle. In this photo, I've wrapped my floss twice. In the video tutorial at the end of this post, I demonstrate one, two, and three wraps.

Step 3: When bringing your needle back down, go *just next* to the hole you've just made - if you go through the same hole, you risk pulling your French knot straight through your fabric.

Step 4: Now that your needle is in place, make sure you're holding your floss with one hand - I like to hold my floss with the same hand I'm using to hold my hoop. Don't let go until you're ready to pull all the way through.

Step 5: Begin pulling your needle through, while still holding that floss. If you let go too soon, you risk creating an accidental-knot on top of your French knot, and/or you might end up with a loose, messy French knot. Which is totally fine if that's what you're going for, but I suspect that if you're here, you're not going for that. Note: You can see from this photo that I'm using a rather large needle; if you're having a hard time pulling your floss through, I recommend going with a needle with a smaller eye than the one I'm using here.

Step 6: After pulling your needle through, you'll continue to pull your floss along with it - but again, make sure you're holding onto that extra floss until the last possible moment.

Step 7: Once you no longer have a long enough piece of floss to hold, you'll know you're at that last possible moment, and ready to let go. Let go, and quickly pull your floss all the way through.

Step 8: Admire your work!

If you're having a hard time with this stitch, I recommend watching this video tutorial twice: the first time you watch it, try to anticipate where my hands will go (study); the second time, try to stitch along with me on some scrap fabric (practice).

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you! Soon, you'll join us in the, "this stitch is actually pretty easy!" choir.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and are interested in more, most of my kits come with full-length, stitch-by-stitch video tutorials. Wondering where I got the scissors in these pictures? I got them from my own shop, take a look around!