Have Your Say

19th April 2019

To knot or not to knot is the question Nancy Williams explored in All Stitched Up! issue #179 HERE, encouraging the Inspirations Community to join in on the conversation by asking what you thought of this often controversial topic. Well join in you did and below are just some of the many responses we’ve received to date…

Cas Holmes

‘Loved the Knot or not to Knot debate as well as the mention that our stitching is supposed to bring us pleasure. Both, however, depend on your objectives. When I prepare for a show or am getting ready to teach a workshop, the pleasure I always find in my work is interwoven with odd bits of stress and challenge, but I think a little bit of stress is good now and again. And knots, well sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, it all depends on what I am doing. But then, my work is all about the expression and less so about neatness, so much so that sometimes the knots are even on the front of my work!’

Jan Madden

‘I’ve been brainwashed by the Royal School of Needlework to never trust a knot! Two or three small, firm stitches on the design line or other area that will be covered always does the trick for me. The same rule applies for the finishing thread. Imagine an intricate piece – with up to 20 different needles and threads on the go at any one time – if each was started with its own knot! Then, there’s always the risk that you’ll push your needle through the knot when stitching nearby, pulling all the stitches relying on that knot. For canvas or blackwork, simply run the starting and finishing thread under a small row of stitches. These easy rules will never let you down.’

Dorothy James

‘Your article on knots really hit many spots with me! I lean toward the meditative form of stitching, simply because I have been doing so for over 65 years now. But with regards to the actual idea of knotting, you are right, it has presented some conflict from time to time. I, however, learned along the way about using what I call a slip knot which is especially appropriate in cross stitching, as generally you are using two threads at the same time.’

‘I also want to thank you for all your wonderful weekly newsletters – so often the subject of the week absolutely hits the right spot for me and has allowed me to start, finish, or just keep on enjoying a project! I live in Florida and being older, find myself isolated from joining a local group of needlewomen and your weekly email has allowed me to be part of the worldwide stitching community.’

Ruth Olson

‘Loved this article! I never knot and whilst it causes me a fair amount of angst, I’m not sure this write up will make my stitching ways change, but I know now, that if I change my mind and allow myself a knot or two, I’ve committed no embroidery sin! Thank you.’

Margaret Johnson

‘Phooey! I’m self-taught and will be 82 years old in July. I use both knots and no knots and am happy if things just come out as planned.

I do, however, frame each piece before I give them away so the knot or not to knot secret stays with me.’

Roberta Kenney

‘In most instances it depends on what I am stitching. In the case of pulled or drawn work, a combination of methods usually works best. A waste knot positioning the working thread where it will be secured on the back of the piece by at least ½ inch of stitches works for me. Whereas in surface work, I prefer a pin stitch or a small back stitch on an area that will be covered by the design. The other factor in choosing how I start or stop threads is the use of the final piece – if it is a show piece and will be framed it almost doesn’t matter, but if it is going into daily use, then the most care for securing threads needs to be taken.’

We thank everyone who joined in on Nancy’s conversation and look forward to sharing more of your responses next week when we continue this much debated needlework topic!

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