Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Of French Knots

Well, back to life in Missouri.

Obama and McCain are somewhere in the vicinity, as are some angry cumulonimbi. Between dodging the heavier periods of rain and giving creative answers to the pollsters who call every hour ("I'm an abolitionist Whig who strongly supports the legalization of absinthe"), I have been fuffing about with string and things.

One thing I still like to do with string is make tiny little compositions entirely out of French knots (フランスノット).

French knots are a terrifically easy embroidery stitch that, when clustered together, make a cool, carpet-like texture. It's like pointillism with thread.

Red dogwood branch on a scrap of denim twill... well, it kind-of looks like dogwood. Just like pointillism, French knots don't allow for the sharpest detail.

Geometric flower on cotton shirting... or at least I think this is shirting. I don't know enough about fabric. As a base for French knots, just use a cheap, square-weave cotton fabric.

Even more fun than making figures, in my opinion, is just making little fields of French knots in different colors. It's good for using up all the little scraps of floss and yarn you might have left over from other crafts. You can stretch your finished abstracts over things, too, and make little bitty artworks.

A tiny pillow, about 3cm square, covered in some knots. It's fascinating, if completely useless.

A pattern of knots stretched over a pebble.

You can make French knots on any fabric with a moderately close weave that doesn't stretch. IE, gauzes, gossamer and knits are no good. (ガーゼ、ニットなどが使いにくいので、木綿を使った方がいいと思います.) Your knots will slip through to the wrong side of the fabric when you pull to tighten them, and you'll get frustrated and give up on French knots forever, and that'd be a damn shame. Use plain weave cotton instead. Beyond that, all you need is a needle (longer ones are easier to work with) and some bits of colorful string/yarn/thread/floss etc. (木綿以上、長い針と色々なきれいな糸しかいらない.)

The stitch, if you missed it, can be found here. Very simple.

EDIT: Here's one more example.


Sadah said...

thats awesome! i think im going to start french knotting everything in my house.

what do you think of a french knotted lamp?

bunbun said...

I love the abstract pillow, my favorite colors!!!
Well i love it all, and your writing always cracks me up!

Sadah said...

yea thats an awesome idea. ill have to try that. except ill need to learn how to do french knots lol. but by all means if you want to try it i would like to see thee out come

Milkberry said...

Hello! I'm bloghopping! Nice knots! Maybe I'll try it too!

Ku said...

Sadah様 と Milkberry様、
いらしゃいませ! XD

Thanks, Sadah! That was really a good idea: I've got it in my sketchbook now. ^^;

Go ahead and do it, Milkie, you've got the experience!