Friday, 11 July 2014

TUTORIAL: French Knots

See the red love heart on top in the first picture below? Well, just that little love heart was formed with 77 French knots, so, let me warn you, working with French knots is something that needs patience and it needs a good amount of it. However, it is somewhat satisfactory and addictive too.

Here, I will be taking you through how to make French knots with baby steps, in case you are totally unfamiliar with it. However, firstly, I would like to share some brief information on this particular type of stitching.

French knots are a type of knotted stitches and are a basic element of embroidery. They are also classified as 'detached stitches'. 

Now, lets move onto the step-by-step instructions. 

1. Thread your needle. Make sure there is a knot at the end of your thread/embroidery floss.
Step 1: Thread your needle
Step 1
2. From the back of the fabric, put the needle all the way through the front of the fabric. 
Step 2: Pulling needle up through fabric to the front
Step 2
Step 2 (b): Needle is at the front.

3. With the needle-free hand, hold the end of the thread while gently pulling the thread up to cause some tension or a firm grip.

4. Wrap the thread around your needle twice (depending on how thick your thread is or how big you would like your knots to be, this number can vary. The more wraps, the bigger knots).
Steps 3 & 4: Wrap your thread around your needle twice with a firm grip
Steps 3 & 4
5. While still holding the thread with the needle-free hand with a firm grip, pull the needle back through the fabric to the back of it from right next to where it came up from. I like to use the same side for my knots. For example, I generally push the needle down, say from the right or left side of the original hole for each knot. 
Note: Do not let go of the firm grip until all the thread is at the back, forming a small knot at the front.
Step 5: Bring the needle back down the fabric while still holding the thread firmly
Step 5
Keep repeating until you form enough amount of French knots for your project.
Ta dah! Here is your first French knot!
French knots tutorial by Home of Homemade Treasures

Repeat instructions 1 to 5 to make as many French knots as you like for your project.

Tutorial: french knots

French knots tutorial

French knots tutorial by MADE BY Y

What you can make with this technique is endless. I hope this tutorial inspires you to come up with your original designs and unique projects. Below are some of my designs for MADE BY Y. Enjoy!

French knots bib and reversible shoes set by MADE BY Y

A personalised bib with French knots by MADE BY Y

A colourful bib by MADE BY Y

Bunny apron by MADE BY Y

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Sight/Oxford Words

My son started school this year and he is now officially a 'Preppie'. He is currently enjoying the first week of his second school term holiday. I must admit, I do look forward to school holidays even though a part of me gets a bit anxious. It has only been a few days and so far so good. 

Both my son and I love routines. We both adapt a new routine whenever our current one is broken and we feel the urge for it. A part of our routine since he started school is that he has some 'concentrated work' time pretty much everyday. One part of our routine these days is that he practices the 'sight/Oxford words' list that was given to us by his school. 

At our school, it is the school's aim that Prep students learn the first 100 words out of a total of 307 words by the end of their first year of schooling. If they go beyond it, it is a bonus and they try to work at their level with those students too.  They give a list of 10 words each week once the previous set of 10 words is tested and the student has achieved it. The words are chosen not necessarily on the basis of simplicity but rather how often they are used in daily life and in books here in Australia. 

With the sight words, in case you are not familiar with it, it is different to 'reading' or 'sounding out' a word. Sight words are the words that students are expected to know as soon as they see. They are tested on the basis of whether the children can read/tell the word within 4 seconds of seeing the word, without hesitating, without making an effort to work out the word. Each set of 10 words is colour coded and parents and children are encouraged to practice the words with their children on a regular basis, using various strategies and games such as flash cards, go fish, matching games, snap, etc. 

If you would like a head start or are simply interested in some extra work for your child in English, here is the full list of 307 sight/Oxford words that my son's school uses.  

Enjoy your time with your little one(s).