Friday, September 14, 2007

Colonial Knots for both Left and Right Hands

Today's lesson in How to Embroider is Colonial Knots. I have included images that illustrate how to make these tricky knots with both the right and left hands. Although I had evey intention of illustrating how to make Colonial Knots left-handed, it turned out to my benefit too. My right hand was in pain for a few days, so I used my left hand to finish off my project. It is quite useful being ambidextrous.

I think the illustrations speak for themselves. I hope you can see the second picture for the left hand all right. It is tricky trying to hold the needle with one hand and the camera with the other. Fortunately, it is a nice small camera. The following are step by step instructions in words.

The needle is looped under the thread from left to right for the right hand; and from right to left for the left hand. The thread is then brought up over and across the needle, then down and under the needle again to form almost a complete figure of eight. At this point the thread should be curving out under the needle to the left for right handed people and curving under the needle to the right for left handed people.

Taking the loose end of the thread draw the thread close around the needle to form the knot, but do not hold on too tightly. It will be harder to pass the eye of the needle through the loops if you hold on too tightly. Then pass the needle back down through the fabric using the same hole to complete the knot.

If that is the only knot you will be making, then fasten off the thread on the wrong side. However, Colonial Knots are frequently used in a series along a line - especially when doing Candlewicking, simply bring the needle up where the next knot is to be situated and repeat the process until you have completed all the knots you wish to make.

Candlewicking is a different form of embroidery that originated from pioneer women making use of what materials they had to hand. Therefore it is usually done on unbleached cotton calico (once old flour sacks) with unbleached cotton thread (or candle wicks). The creamy colour of both the thread and fabric together is quite attractive; and is somewhat similar to White Work in that respect.

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