French Knot Apostrophe Tutorial Party!

I like words a lot, and I end up embroidering a lot of words. I have an unused degree in linguistics that allows me to say with no authority that grammar is not actually that important in many situations, but one situation in which it is important is in embroidery. Because if you are going to spend hours writing something in thread, write it right!

So, with my love of correct punctuation in embroidery, here is a tutorial on how I make apostrophes (commas, etc.) using a modified french knot. I know the french knot is a point of frustration for lots of people, and maybe seeing it one more time will help with that, too.

Bring your needle up through the fabric at bottom of the comma – this end will not have the knot.

Pull the floss ALL the way through.

Bring your needle close to the fabric, and wrap the floss around your needle.

Poke your needle back into the fabric – but not all the way through yet – at the top of the comma – a short distance away from where your needle came out of the fabric.

Pull your knot tight around the needle while it’s stuck in the fabric. I hold my thumb tight to the fabric to keep the thread in place.

Then pull your needle through the knot you made and that you’re still holding tightly in place, keep holding it in place while you pull your thread all the way through the knot until

you have something that looks like this. Here I have done three french knots in a row – the first with one loop around the needle, the second with two loops, and the third (surprise) with three.  The more loops, the bigger the knot, but you do start to lose knot stability. Obviously this doesn’t just work for commas, but in all different decorative ways. Dandelion fluff, polyps, sparkles, etc. etc.

And here it is in context. And guess what! I’m selling the pattern on my etsy page if you want to make your own!

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