How to Make French Knots – Hand Embroidery Tutorial

February 28, 2017Allison Murray
Learn how to make French Knots and add interest to your hand embroidery!

Learn how to make French Knots and add interest to your hand embroidery!

When I was a kid I remember running my hands over something my Momma was embroidering and loving the texture added by the little dots of thread. In my head I remember the motif had something to do with flowers but, try as I might, I can’t seem to perfectly rebuild the piece in my head.

What I can remember very clearly is watching my mom wrap thread around and around the needle which quickly lead to a “POP” as the little knot was created. When I was in college my mom showed me how to do the elusive French Knot. I had tried and failed figuring it out on my own and since my pre-printed quilt blocks required them I had to get assistance from the embroidery master in my world.


Making sure my French knot game is strong by making a bazillion French knots! #practicemakesperfect!!!

A post shared by Dream a Little Bigger (@dreamalittlebiggerblog) on

Now I’m not going to lie… French knots seem like a bitch and a half when you’re trying to learn. The thread gets all wonky and tangles and sometimes knots occur in the totally wrong places. BUT once you get it, you GET IT. 

Learn how to make French Knots and add interest to your hand embroidery!

And so as a thirty something with a lot of waiting room time logged and even more sitting idly in a car while travelling time I grabbed a rainbow assortment of embroidery floss, some needles and a little hoop filled with white fabric. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my materials but as I sat waiting for about 3 or 4 hours in the doctor’s waiting room (seriously!) I began making French Knots. I made 1 and then 2 and then a dozen and then I didn’t see any reason to add any more embroidery stitches to this project. That was over a year ago, now. And just yesterday I finally finished this piece.

Learn how to make French Knots and add interest to your hand embroidery!

In the passenger’s seat on the way to Oklahoma I found my rainbow splotch started to take shape and a heart was born. And so this morning I decided that I wanted to spread the joy that is the French Knot and so that is why here we are today with an embroidery video tutorial so you can learn the how to in a little over a minute. And if you’re wondering, I made a video A. because I’m really starting to dig them and B. because you can NOT make a French knot one handed while holding a heavy DSLR in the other hand. It just does not work, people.

Without further ado I hope you’ll join me and my cat craft assistant JouJou and learn how to make a French Knot. You can also view the tutorial on YouTube here.

Due to the proximity of kitty cat JouJou my embroidery is a bit furrier than I would have liked, but what can you do? He’s so cute and so sweet I just couldn’t evict him! :)

So what do you think? Can you handle it? I am more than sure that with a little bit of practice this will be your new favorite embroidery stitch. Just you wait and see!

Learn how to make French Knots and add interest to your hand embroidery!

Comments (1)

  • Gwamah in Tulsa

    March 1, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    I just finished watching your video on how to do the spike stitch and will most likely try my hand at it on the next baby blanket I make. My daughter works for a women’s shelter and I try to send a blanket or two her way every so often so there will be choices for the expectant/new moms that are guests at the shelter.

    Please don’t shoo your cats away. Mine (Shadow and Oreo) are with/on me every time I settle in to work on whatever the current crochet project is. Granted there are always kitty hairs to contend with, but I enjoy their company – especially when Shadow gets up on my right shoulder and purrs in my ear. Most of the time I don’t have a problem with them trying to “help” – Oreo is still learning that “my” yarn isn’t for playing with (he’s still a kitten) and Shadow loves sleeping under my WIP.

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