Friday, June 26, 2009

The Eyes Have It

I am working on adding the eyes and the smiles to my Angels right now.

I wanted to show you how to make a French Knot eye that will not sink into your smocking or worse look like they belong on a bug.

By definition a French Knot is wrapped 1 time. If it has more wraps then it is a Bullion.

But guess what? The smocking police will not show up at your door if you use a Bullion instead of a French Knot for the eyes on your picture smocking!

To make a French Knot eye you will need a Sharp Needle or a Milliners Needle. The reason for this is the needle is a straight shaft instead of bulbing out at the eye of the needle like an Embroidery Needle. A Sharp Needle will allow the French Knot or Bullion to slide off your needle.

Choose a size of needle that you are comfortable with.

I am going to show this as a graph so it can be better understood. Thread your needle with 1 or 2 stands of floss. Tie a knot on one end.

Look at your picture smocking design and determine the placement of the eyes.

Bring your needle up to the right of the valley where the French Knot eye will be. I place my knot on the side of the pleat just below the pleating thread. I don't want it up higher because I don't want it to interfere with pleats.

Bring your floss to the top and wrap the needle one time. Place your finger lightly on the wrap and place your needle into the left pleat at a 45 degree angle. Gently pull the floss to make your French knot.

Your French knot eye should gently sit between the pleat. If it is sitting on top of the pleats it will be more prominent and will be the focal point of your smocking. You want them to look at the beautiful child that is wearing a smocked outfit that you made.

If you you can't see your French Knot eye then I would recommend using 2 strands instead of 1.

Practice making your French Knots until you are happy with your results. Try changing the entry and exit points. Change the number of threads you are using. Try different size needles. Try making a two wrap Bullion instead. The choice it yours.


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