French Knot Info

I basically learned to do french knots by trial and error. But I recently ran across a video that I highly recommend a watch if you are trying to do french knots. This video is AMAZING! Its chalk full of info about french knots.


This is how I do my french knots now for my sheep and well anywhere else I put them. I am working on better photos and maybe a video to show this so please holler if you have questions but here is a basic view of it.

If you need a guide to where you need to fill in with french knots you can just go around the outer edge of the say sheeps body with just half stitches / and then they will be covered up once you do your french knots. I will work on photos and stuff though to do a better job of showing this as soon as I get a bit of time. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions though anytime! The next photo down shows what I wrote by hand above using thread but I need to do better photos of this and a video. Anyways its the same thing as the flower center section below I just do it for everything now.

How I do the french knots for the flower centers on Stitching In Quilt.
We are working on the center knot at the very center of the flower. 16 count aida.
1. Come up through the lower right hand hole of the center square. ( You can really pick any of the holes around this center square but I use the lower right ).
2. It will look like this when you pull your thread through.
3. Wrap your thread once or twice or 3 times around your needle depending on how large you want your knots as different sized aida will need bigger or smaller french knots to fill the space. I did mine twice using 2 threads. Then put your needle through the very center ( or as close as you can get to it ) of your box. It doesn’t have to be perfectly centered but the closer you can get the better it will look. But it can be a bit tricky on aida.
4. To get a nice looking knot don’t pull hard when you pull your thread through. Just tug a bit to finish tightening it a bit to the fabric but if you can leave it a little on the loose side they look a little better for flower centers like this.
5. Repeat for as many squares as you need to complete your flower center and your done!
There are other places I use this technique but I was working on this so thought I would take a moment to share how I do them for flower centers. Different flowers call for different layouts but anyways this is how I did these.
If you have questions just holler.

UPDATE: I DO NOT DO MY FRENCH KNOTS THIS WAY ANYMORE – I will leave this though so you can see another way you CAN do them though if you want to

So my May Little Sheep Virtues is Wisdom. The sheep in this chart has 2 different colors in its fleece. I think its supposed to turn into a pattern but since I wanted to use french knots for the fleece I didn’t worry to much about the pattern. Figured I would get questions on how I did the 2 different colors so I tried to take some photos that show what I did.

1. I stitched the outline of the sheep and then fill it in completely with my lightest fill color so my darker color will pop against it. I ONLY fill in like this on looser weave fabrics like this 16 count aida. If you dont and you use a light color the darker background of the fabric will show around your french knots in spots. Also this helps support the knots from popping back out the back if you pull to hard as it makes the holes smaller.

2. This is what it looks like all filled in.

3. 3a. 3b. Next I decided to go with the darker first since there were fewer stitches of those. I loosely put the french knots about where it showed on the pattern -ish. Since I put the french knots in the holes at the corner of each cross stitch it is never exact since there are more holes than cross stitch sections ( if that makes sense ). I started out this way following the pattern as charted and then realized that it really didn’t matter LOL as if there was a pattern to it there was no way it was going to show up so I just kind of went randomly here and there with the darker color.

4. This is what it looks like after I have both the light and the dark french knots put in. Nice part is you can always go back and add a dark one here or a light one there if when you are done with the over all look something sticks out as off.

5. Wala! 2 different color fluffy sheep fleece. Don’t get hung up on perfect knots. Its a sheep.. they are slobs and rarely even bother picking hay out of their coats let alone have each curl in place.

UPDATE: I DO NOT DO MY FRENCH KNOTS THIS WAY ANYMORE – I will leave this though so you can see another way you CAN do them though if you want to
How I stitch my french knots depends on the project and the fabric. The tighter the fabric the less steps you have to do is usually how it goes. Since I use Aida I almost always have to do my cross stitches first then my French knots if I am trying to cover a solid object say a sheep. You dont want to see fabric through the “fleece” so I do my cross stitches first then come back and put the French knots in at the corner holes. Looks something like this 
If I am doing something that its ok if a tiny bit of the fabric peeks out around the French knot say like flowers then I do it in as much as I can the center of each x but I do not do the cross stitches first like this
Which is what way I stitched the flowers here
Not sure if any of that makes sense but basically if you have a really loose weave of fabric or its really soft with larger holes I always no matter what I am doing the French knots for do the cross stitches first so that the cross stitches support the French knot from just falling or popping back through. If its a tighter type of fabric or I am doing something that doesnt need a solid background to it like flowers I just come up through the center of the X. 
If you struggle with your knots popping back through no matter what you do just try and catch ONE tiny thread anywhere around the place you are going back through and it will lock it on top. 




  1. Paula Armstrong says:

    Thanks for the video on French knots. I was wondering if you cross stitched the body in first. The video answered my question. Fill more confident in doing them now. As soon as I finish stitching the project I am doing for my brother-in-law, and stitch something cute, I will send a photo. Love your videos!❤️

  2. Barbara Maier says:

    I just love, love, love the sheep with the French knots and going forward am not going to be able to “unsee” that “look” in any sheep designs. LOL. I’m going to try your technique in 2023. Thank you so much for your generosity and willingness to share your love of stitching with us.

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