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Topic: Good techniques to start and end your thread? (aka non-French knots)  (Read 1280 times)
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kmel
« on: July 21, 2004 07:17:52 AM »

When I first thread the needle, I just make a double knot. Don't know if that's standard practice, but it works for me. (Or is there a better way?)

Ending it is another story.

Are you there, Jenny Hart? At your Austin Church of Craft appearance, you showed us how to end threads by sticking the needle through the knot and guiding/pushing the knot down all the way to the underside of the fabric. Sometimes that works for me, but more often than not the knot "hovers" with some thread left between the fabric and the knot. Then I make another knot, and end up with a bigger hovering knot, or two little separate hovering knots. That's fine for non-anal work, I guess, but I worry about the last stiches eventually getting wonky and loose because of it. I'm thinking I'm not making the knot correctly in the first place ... is there a trick to tying the thread around the needle so the needle can guide the knot all the way flush with the fabric?

See, I don't care so much about how the back looks, but this whole ending threads business keeps me from fully loving embroidery. If I could solve that problem, hoo boy, watch out world.
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2004 07:27:07 AM »

If the piece you're working on isn't going to get a ton of wear, then just sew through the backs of a couple of stitches a few times. Don't sew through to the right side of the fabric, just anchor your thread by looping it around some other stitches. If you pull too tight doing this, you end up with a lump in the back of your work (though no worse than a french knot, really), but if you do it more loosely, it lies flatter. The key is to sew through the stitches enough that you can feel the thread getting harder to pull --- basically, if you sew right through the embroidery thread itself, it will grab itself and not get loose over time. However, if you're going to wash the embroidered piece frequently, or wear it a lot, then you're still better to go with the french knots.
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2004 08:19:54 AM »

What I do is this:
When I get to the end of my pattern, I turn the piece over (so from now on, we're looking at the back).  Now look at it.  You've got the end of the floss coming out towards you, and somewhere nearby there should be a stitch.  Slip your needle under that stitch, then back under the new stitch you're in the process of making (it's still a loose loop), and then through this second loop you've just made by threading back through the first loop(so you're basically making a small knot around an old stitch) then pull it tight.  Then I just weave the remaining end through the back side of several other stitches (for about an inch or so) and then cut off whatever remains.  I hope that makes some kind of sense. 
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2004 08:21:14 AM »

I think Melidomi and I are talking about the same idea... She explained it better than I did, though! Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2004 02:56:50 AM »

A great way to start a thread, especially in cross stitch where you normally split the 6 thread floss and use two threads at a time, is the loop start:

Take one long thread out of the 6 stranded floss. Double it over. Thread the two free ends together through the needle so now the end of your thread has a loop in it. Go through the fabric and leave the tail hanging out the back. Do the front hlaf of your stitch and go back through the fabric, so now your needle and the loop are at the back. Pass the needle through the loop, pull it all tight and Ta Da! a perfectly flat and securely fixed thread to keep working with.

To end, simply stitch under other threads, or if you wnat to be really certain, stitch back through the stitch you just made, splitting the threads so it all sort of gets tangled with itself. Do this a couple of times and it ain't going nowhere!
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2004 08:26:29 AM »

I don't use lnots in my embroidery ever, I was taught to make a few teeny back stitches, and I have never had trouble with it coming undone in the wash, as for cross stitch I can't get into it.
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004 05:00:40 PM »

This is a good thread! I usually both start and end by securing the thread under other stitches, but that loop start may be a good idea for some of my less-complicated designs
(The more complicated ones are using one strand of two or three colours at once, so that wouldn't work for them).
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