Fool proof instructions!
The most feared and equally adored embroidery stitch. The trick is in really understanding how it works instead of just hoping it will turn out right. You can do it. Mais oui, you can! So why is it so difficult to learn? It's not. It's difficult to teach. Usually, I encourage you to read stitching instructions with needle and floss in hand. Instead, this time I suggest you read through all the steps first and then try it while going through the insructions again. I've broken down each tricky bit that finally clicked with me after lots of practice.
Don't be scared off by all the steps, once you get the hang of it, they will all blend together with a petite flick of your wrist! Let's start chéri...
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Wind the floss around the needle once or twice (shown winding twice), depending on if you want a bigger or smaller knot. Continue the tension of the floss with your left hand (non-needle hand) to prevent it from uncoiling.
IMPORTANT: Keep your hand holding the needle still while winding it with the floss in this step. Meaning, don't try to use your needle hand to do the wrapping by getting all twirly with your wrist. This is the first way your knot can go wrong!
Okay, you've wound around the needle, the coil is pulled nice and taut. Next: (this is an important one) re-insert the tip of your needle just next to, but not into the same exit point on your fabric. If you enter the same hole, your knot may pop all the way through when you finish (and you say "wha happen?"). So, simply return at a point a little bit away from the exit point. And hold it right there! Keep your needle in this position. Don't push it all the way through juuust yet. The next step is an even more important one...
Keep practicing and you won't even have to think about the steps. Once you get the hang of it, I bet it will become one of your favorite stitches to use. You'll start thinking of all sorts of neat ways to use it. If it didn't turn out just right the first time, don't worry- try it again and you'll eventually get the feel for it. I know you can do it.