Wednesday, July 8, 2015

French Knot Fail

The French Knot. One of the easiest embroidery stitches. Or so I thought.

Last year, I stumbled across a crochet pattern to make a lightsaber hilt to go over those freezer pop thingies that come in the long plastic tube. I thought the idea genius. I had to try it out even though the last time I ate one of them, my age was still in single digits.

Well, that's why I have a niece and nephews.

How it came out the last time I made it.

Just recently I wanted to make some more. But somehow I had blanked out on the hardest part of the project.

After the body has been crocheted, the pattern calls for two buttons to be sewn on. The buttons look like on/off switches or toggle buttons. But I don't like buttons. And finding ones small enough seemed to be a waste of time.

Then the idea hit--why not embroider a couple buttons on? Easy enough, right?

I had seen the French Knot done. I had read the procedure. The instructions:

  1. Pull yarn to front of project.
  2. Wrap the yarn that's between the fabric and the needle around the needle a couple times.
  3. With your other hand, push the needle through to the back of the project very close to where the yarn emerged.

So, I...


But I'm sure you can see the problem with this...


I could see this was going to happen. Yet, if I follow the instructions...

I can't tell you how many times I tried. Every time I got the above. Every time. I looked at pictures, but I could not figure out what I was doing wrong.

After failing for days a half hour, I finally found the picture that cleared everything up for me. Turns out, I was winding the yarn the wrong way. There's a part when the yarn should cross over thereby making the knot. (I knew the yarn had to cross over in some way, but the pictures were not clear on where that was.)


It's obvious when you know what you're doing, but when you're just looking at pictures and reading the instructions, it isn't. Anyway, I finally got a knot...


There's a reason YouTube how to videos are popular. Some of this stuff isn't obvious even though to someone who's been doing it a long time it is.

What's the last "easy" thing that had you flummoxed?

21 comments:

  1. French knots are tough! I did a cross-stitch project that required them, and it took me forever to get them right.

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    1. Glad to know that I'm not the only one flummoxed by them. Yikes. You'd think they wouldn't be that tricky.

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  2. LOL that totally made me smile. My grandmom taught me how to do French Knots probably 20 years ago now? But still EVERY TIME I go to do one I have to really think about it and often end up on Youtube because it'll be a couple years between when I do them and it totally leaves my brain in the meantime. Glad you were able to figure it out and aw what a cute project! Love that!

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  3. Very nicely done (eventually :) I do remember making French knots with embroidery. For the life of me, I cannot put together things that come with instructions like furniture. Even the easiest things, when I look at the directions it is like reading Greek or some other foreign language.

    betty

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    1. Do you use the pictures or the words? The words baffle me, but I can usually figure it out using pictures only.

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  4. That's neat! And very clever. Although you accomplished the knot (Well done!), could you stitch on real small buttons?

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    1. Yes, I could. But I was too lazy (not realizing that sewing on buttons would have probably been easier).

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  5. Putting on sunscreen? :)

    I went into a quilting shop last week to look for something for a friend. She had to give me detailed notes so I could find what she was looking for. I've never felt so out of place.

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  6. The last time I ate a freeze pop was about an hour ago :)

    I HATE French knots. They never come out as perfect as they look in the book. I should look up one of those videos because I always avoid them when I sew.

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  7. I'm impressed by anyone who can successfully complete any craft/sewing project. I'm terrible at things like that. It's a great idea to look for youtube videos to demonstrate!

    I tried making meringue for the first time. The "stiff peaks" part of the recipe was a little vague for me. Now I want to look for a youtube video to demonstrate.

    By the way, I loved your idea in your comment on my last post about doing a blog hop about the things we love about our home states.

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    1. Alton Brown did an excellent explanation of stiff peaks. I know he has a YouTube channel now.

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  8. So wonderful! I love the french knot. It is my favorite to embroider.,,on everything LOL!

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    1. It's a cool stitch. Once I figured it out.

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  9. I think you are very clever. I tried to follow a Youtube video so I could teach my class French knitting and I just couldn't get it no matter how many different videos or illustrations I looked at..

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    1. I guess some things can't replace an in person teacher.

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  10. Fun post! I gave up trying to fold sheets Martha-Stewart-style, with or without videos.

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    1. I still can't get that quite right.

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  11. I know bloggers who'd like a light saber hilt to put on their icee pops!! I leaned all the embroidery stitches back in high school, just to embroider on a pair of denim shorts and on a pair of jeans. Then I never embroidered again.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  12. Oh I feel your frustration. It turned out well in the end and looks great. i tried to make a background on paper and instead of swirly colours it turned into a muddy brown

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  13. Oh, I screw up so many craft projects, recipes, DIY it is amazing. And French knots aren't easy. An aunt taught me embroidery stitches when I was 11 or so. I spent what seems like days practicing these.

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