When it came to stitching knots in my hand embroidery, I used to almost exclusively use the french knot stitch - I loved it! I loved how I could wrap the thread around the needle more times to get a larger knot. I loved the wonderful stubbly texture it created when I filled a shape entirely with knots. And then, I discovered the colonial knot.
There are probably a lot of applications where the french knot and colonial knot can be used interchangeably. The knots are similar, though the french knot is generally a tighter and smaller stitch and the colonial knot is naturally fuller. Watch the video below as I demonstrate the differences between the two knot stitches.
Using Colonial Knots
Something that is fun about the colonial knot is in addition to making the normal tightly-stitched knot, you can also embroider it more loosely. Loosely stitching the colonial knot creates a wonderful, loopy sort of texture which can be used for all sorts of things in your hand embroidery, from fur or hair, to foliage or bubbles. What do you think of when you see the loopy, loose colonial knot?
I decided to experiment with varying degrees of looseness in these colonial knot stitches just to see what sort of effects I could create from one simple knot.
Curious how I did it? Watch the video below to see how I created these tighter and looser colonial knot stitches.
I especially enjoy stitching the colonial knot with pearl cotton because it creates a nice full knot, Also, I’ve found that the thicker the thread you use, the easier it is to stitch a loose knot if you would like to.
What else can I do with knots?
Another fun thing you can do with knots is use them to secure sequins! Using knots isn’t the only way to attach sequins to your fabric - you can also use a simple straight stitch or two. But I found it was a fun way to add some sparkle to my latest downloadable constellation embroidery pattern. Watch me demonstrate how to attach sequins below!
Want to experiment with sequins and colonial knots? Download my Stargazing pattern here! This stitch sampler will give you the chance to not only try the colonial stitch, but also seven other easy-to-learn stitches, and sequins! Happy stitching!