The Happy Stitcher begins her work properly…
My mum taught me to begin my project, using a waste knot and it’s the way I’ve used ever since! A waste knot is basically a knot on the front of your piece of work that you remove when you’ve stitched over the thread behind it.
In general, knots in embroidery project are a no-go area for quite a few reasons: knots can slip through loosely woven fabric, they can wobble around and make your first stitch loose, come undone and allow the end to come through to the front, make bumps beneath your work ….. etc … etc think you probably get the point!!
Normally you would secure your thread by taking a few tiny back stitches through the threads at the back of your work – but of course this only works when you’re part-way through a project – for that very first stitch there’s nothing there to work with.
So…Make a knot at the end of your thread. From the front of your project, go down through the fabric, a couple of inches away from where you intend to start work. Then start to stitch, working in the general direction of your waste knot. Make sure that you are stitching over the “waste thread” on the back as you work towards the knot. When you reach the knot, pull it upwards and snip the thread as close as possible to the front of your fabric. The end of the thread will spring back behind the fabric and then you can just keep stitching. The pressure of the stitches you worked over the waste thread will keep the end of your thread in place without any need for a knot.
The Happy Stitcher sometimes has to unpick her work…
Now I’m very sorry to raise the next I just know you’re not going to like this next bit – but as a responsible stitcher I feel I must draw the darker side of stitching to your attention. Sit down before you read the following sentence. Now … are you ready? OK take a deep breath and read ….
Yes, this happens to all stitchers. It is not good. It is not fun. But sometimes it is necessary, particularly if the project you are working on is entirely your own design. If you’ve planned it, drawn it out, chosen your own colour scheme and stitch patterns, then it would be a total miracle if everything went perfectly first time.
The Happy Stitcher believes in herself…
But don’t be put off – if you believe in what you’re doing then it will all come right in the end. Just work through those times when nothing goes right, and you find yourself unpicking again and again, and you’ll be rewarded with the thrill of seeing your very own ideas work out according to plan, the delight of seeing your creation grow and its various come together as a harmonious whole. It’s so satisfying to make something completely unique to you – in this age of mass production, a handmade, one-off, piece is very precious
*Article originally from Bustle & Sew Magazine – find out more HERE*