The French Knot is a common stitch used in smocking designs. Like all other embellishment stitches, it is worked on the top of the pleat.

Start by bringing the thread up the very top of the pleat. With the needle pointing up, wrap the thread once around the needle (Step 1). Insert the needle at the start of the stitch, still at the top of the pleat (Step 2). Before pulling the needle through, tighten the wrap.
  • Use a straw or milliner's needle. The needle's shaft doesn't taper, and the eye of the needle has the same diameter. This allows the needle to slide smoothly through the wrap in Step 2.
  • After tightening the wrap, hold it down with your thumb as you pull the needle through. This prevents the knot from becoming unwrapped and looking loose.
  • If you are smocking on a more open-weave fabric, such as most linens, the knot may have a tendency to pop through to the back after you stitch it. To prevent this, insert the needle one or two threads away from where the stitch started.
  • Some embroidery book and teachers have you hold the needle pointing down when you're making the wrap. This doesn't work. The knot doesn't hold at all.
  • To make a slightly bigger knot, wrap the needle twice or three times. If three wraps doesn't make the knot big enough, add more strands of thread to your needle.
  • Centers for Lazy Daisy stitch flowers
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