Friday, October 5, 2012
Exploring French Knots
Following on from Bo's lovely embroidery last week, which featured simple straight stitches creating a completely unique fill pattern, I was inspired to start a new post category called 'Exploring'. These posts will be all about exploring a stitch or technique and looking at how it can be used - sometimes showcasing works by others done in interesting ways, sometimes as a more informative post or tutorial.
To start things off this week, I want to look at the simple french knot and show you how some very talented embroiderers have used them. French knots seem to intimidate some stitchers - myself included for a long time! - but once you get the hang of them, they can become very addictive. Of course they are often used as delicate accents, but if you have the willpower, they make a very impressive fill.
(Click through to Flickr to see bigger photos or more from these embroiderers!)
Rachel from Cornflower Blue Studio has combined a thick background of french knots with crochet and fabric to create such a wonderful contrast of textures. Because of the color thread she used, and the way the knots catch the light, I can't help but feel that they mimic the movement and color you'd see underwater.
Amanda aka Amanda Panda Pants on Flickr has used french knots as a bright and cheerful fill here, but I especially love the way she has layered them to create extra height for the bird's wing. It's like a bit of french knot stumpwork, using the stitches to make the embroidery 3-dimensional!
Flickr user and blogger Cauchy has filled an incredibly touchable 6-inch space with french knots here, blending what looks to be about 5 shades of thread in a way that makes it feel like there are hundreds of shades in there. I imagine a light breeze gently scattering those colors around.
And lastly, Yuko of PataPri has filled a huge space entirely with french knots. I'm not sure if it's sheer enormity of the project - there must be *many* thousands of knots there!, the eye-catching geometric pattern she's stitched them in, or the wonderful contrast of that thick, dense texture next to such a tiny, sweet bird, but it's really wonderful.
These stitchers have really captured my imagination with their use of french knots - I think I already have some ideas a-brewin'!