Thursday, March 6, 2014

To be or knot to be?

Although I love hand sewing the one thing I don't like is making knots and I've often thought that it would be so nice if there was a small device that would knot your thread. As far as I know no such device exists so until it does I'll just continue to knot by hand. I was recently doing some hand sewing at a Guild meeting and one of the members asked me to show here how I was making knots because she had never seen that method before so I figured maybe others would be interested too!

I make knots in several ways. I've got some pictures and at the end there is a little video to demonstrate two of the three knots. The knot names are how I describe them - I am sure there are proper names for them but I've no idea what they are!

Simple Knot
This is the first knot we all learned to tie as children. Simply make a loop and bring the cut end of the thread through the loop.

Pull the thread to form the knot.

Depending on the weight of the thread a second or third knot made in the same manner is often required. The needle doesn't have to be threaded in order to tie this knot.

Rolled Knot
I was taught this method when I was a girl. Make a loop and place it on the index finger of your dominant hand (for me it is my right hand).

Place your thumb on top of the loop, apply some pressure and slowly slide your thumb up so that you feel the thread rolling between your fingers.

Hold the thread taught with your opposite hand and while still pinching the twisted thread slide your fingers away from the twists. You'll feel the knot forming.

The needle doesn't have to be threaded in order to tie this knot.

Wrapped Knot
This is probably my favourite method of making knots. I place the cut end of my thread on the index finger of my non-dominant hand (my left) and place the needle on top. Hold both in place.

With my dominant hand I wrap the thread around the needle two, three or four times (depends upon the weight of the thread and size of knot I need).

I place my thumb over the wraps and push the needle up from the eye until I can grab it with my right hand.

I can slowly and evenly slide the thread through the wraps. Needless to say you need to thread the needle to make this knot.

I shot a little video to demonstrate the Rolled Knot and the Wrapped Knot. I'm not a professional so the quality isn't great but I hope that it at least gives you a clear idea of how I make my knots. When you watch the video please ignore Forest Gump meowing in the background. He wanted up on my lap but my lap was otherwise engaged at the time!

That's it for today. Until I post again hope you don't get yourself twisted in knots and as always, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. thanks for the tutorial Karen, I was not familiar with the knot made on a needle-I wonder if that would work better with silk thread?

    1. I do use the wrapped knot when I use silk. It is such a light-weight thread that usually wrap more than I would with say a 50 wt cotton. With silk I may wrap 4 to six times!

  2. Great tutorial Karen. The Wrapped Knot, also known as a Quilters Knot works fantastic on stitching projects as it cuts down on the twists in your thread (that might eventually lead to "knots" while you're working ;) Great post ! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for providing the correct name of the knot. It is my favourite and now I know why!

  3. Thanks Karen. I like the wrapped knot myself.

  4. On behalf of those of us who didn't learn to make knots, when we were children, thank you for covering the basics.

    1. Thanks Jo! Most of the knots that I learned as a child are no help to me with quilting so I figured maybe there are others in the same boat!

  5. I make the wrapped knot, otherwise known as the quilters knot. I use it all the time with different amounts of wraps depending on what I am using it for. A while back I was stitching while my mom had surgery and I bet 10 people asked what I was doing when I twirled the thread. Several used that same description! It was nice to know they noticed and were curious, although it don't think any of them began to quilt , LOL

    1. And that's why I decided to post about knots, because someone asked me to show them how I was making the knot. And as for the wrap you are absolutely spot on. I find that the finer the thread the more knots I seem to need!