Cross Stitch Tutorial: How to Fake a French Knot

  • 01 of 06

    Pattern With French Knots

    Sing Cross Stitch Pattern
    Dot Indicates French Knot Placement. Design © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    The French knot is disliked by many stitchers. Don't miss out on stitching a design because it requires French knots. There are several replacement options for a French knot.

    This small pattern has a French knot, as indicated by the dot. Let's explore the options for "dotting the I" in this pattern.
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  • 02 of 06

    Learn How to Stitch a French Knot or a Colonial Knot

    Before we go any further, consider this option. You could just learn how to stitch a French knot. It takes practice, but it is not impossible.

    Another oft-used substitute for a French knot is a Colonial knot. Some stitchers find the knot easier to complete and it looks very much like a French knot. A Colonial knot is also used in Candlewicking Embroidery.

    If you want to learn how to stitch a French knot or a Colonial knot, read over these French knot and Colonial knot tutorials first, then...MORE practice the stitches. (Practice is definitely the key to success with these stitches.)

    If you are still determined to avoid French knots, go to the next step.

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  • 03 of 06

    Replace a French Knot with a Straight Stitch

    Straight Stitch
    Straight Stitch. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    One option for avoiding a French knot is to use a small, vertical straight stitch also known as a single satin stitch. To replace a French knot with a straight stitch, use the same number of strands of floss as used in the rest of the stitches in the pattern. Stitch the small straight stitch over the hole in the Aida fabric. Use a sharp needle to complete this stitch instead of a tapestry needle if necessary. If you are stitching on linen, place the vertical straight stitch over one thread.

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  • 04 of 06

    Replace a French Knot with a Tiny Cross Stitch

    Tiny Cross Stitch
    Tiny Cross Stitch. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    To avoid stitching a French knot, you can also use a tiny cross stitch. As with the straight stitch, place the stitch over the hole in the Aida fabric. If you are stitching on linen, place the cross stitch over one thread.

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  • 05 of 06

    Replace a French Knot with a Seed Bead

    Seed Bead
    Seed Bead. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    To use a seed bead to replace a French knot, choose a bead that is the same color as the floss in the design or a complimentary color. Use floss to attach the bead or use "invisible" quilting thread if the bead is not an exact match. When working with beads, it is best to use beading needles. The eye on most needles is too large to fit through the bead.
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  • 06 of 06

    Choose the Best Method for Replacing a French Knot

    French Knot, Straight Stitch, Tiny Cross Stitch, Bead
    Choose Your Best Fit. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    Whether you decide to use a straight stitch, a French knot, a tiny cross stitch, or a bead to "dot the I", chose the method that is the easiest, looks the best, and fits in with the style of the Cross Stitch Design.