|Knotted Stitch or French Knot|
Knotted Stitch, or French Knot, is used for the centres of such flowers as the daisy or wild rose, and sometimes for the anthers of others. The needle is brought up at the exact spot where the knot is to be: the thread is held in the left hand, and twisted once or twice round the needle, the point of which is then passed through the fabric close to the spot where it came up: the right hand draws it underneath, while the thumb of the left keeps the thread in its place until the knot is secure. The knots are increased in size according to the number of twists round the needle. When properly made, they should look like beads, and lie in perfectly even and regular rows.
This stitch is very ancient, and does not seem confined to any country, and the Chinese execute large and elaborate pieces of embroidery in it, introducing beautiful shading. A curious specimen of very fine knotting stitch was exhibited at the Royal School in 1878, probably of French workmanship. It was a portrait of St. Ignatius Loyola, not more than six inches in length, and was entirely executed in knots of such fineness, that without a magnifying glass it was impossible to discover the stitches. This, however, is a tour de force, and not quoted as worthy of imitation.
There is one variety of this stitch, in which the thread is twisted a great many times round the needle, so as to form a sort of curl instead of a single knot. This is found in many ancient embroideries, where it is used for the hair of saints and angels in ecclesiastical work.
Knotted stitch was also employed largely in all its forms in the curious and ingenious but ugly style in vogue during the reign of James I., when the landscapes were frequently worked in cross, or feather stitch, while the figures were raised over stuffing, and dressed, as it were, in robes made entirely in point lace, or button-hole stitches, executed in silk. The foliage of the trees and shrubs which we generally find in these embroidered pictures, as well as the hair in the figures, were worked in knotted stitches of varying sizes, while the faces were in tent stitch or painted on white silk, and fastened on to the canvas or linen ground.