I’ve been experimenting with a different, new-to-me method for making bullion knots.
It came about this way:
A couple inquiring minds directed me to a reel on Instagram and asked me to explain to them what was going on in the reel and what the resulting stitch was. They thought it looked like a bullion knot, but it didn’t seem to be made like a bullion knot.
Subtly, there’s more than one aspect to their question at work here, which I plan to explore further down the road. It will be fun to delve deep into all facets of their question, because without knowing it, they’re proposing a couple different really interesting topics related to embroidery stitches.
Three things prevent me from going deeper at the moment: 1. The constraint of space for one article on a multi-faceted subject; 2. the lack of demonstration photos (I’ll work on those!); and 3. the fact that – yeehaw and welcome to 2024! – I am dagblasted sick again, so I’m working from home with limited resources. I’ve been down and out since last Saturday. Thank goodness for Anna – she’s soldiering on at the studio front, far away from germy me.
In any case, their questions led me to experimenting. And to that end, I set up a frame with some fabric and starting doing what I saw in the reel – which was making bullion knots following a new-to-me method.
One of the difficulties with ever-popular social media reels is that, when it comes to embroidery, they are normally sped up, and sometimes they are sped up so much that you can’t really see clearly what’s going on.
And while they can be mesmerizing to watch, when it comes to reels – especially those that seem to be instructional – I fall somewhere in the camp of “they drive me nuts.” Good instruction, after all, doesn’t leave the viewer guessing.
There was a lot of starting and stopping as I watched the reel several times. And then, once the whole process in the video was clear in my head, I tried it. Then came practice, practice, practice.
And golly, wouldn’t you know? It was just like learning bullion knots all over again! Only worse. It took me a long time to get a few that I considered ok.
I found the method – which involved holding the needle away from the fabric and everything (including holding the needle and twisting the thread onto the needle) happening with one hand until the final movement of the stitch – awkward.
My results were consistently inconsistent, too! I’d work one and it would come out ok, and then I’d rejoice and say “Ok! I got it!”
Then I’d do it again, and the stitch would come out all wonky.
Still, just because I found it awkward doesn’t mean it is not a legitimate way to make bullion knots. I am pretty determined to keep trying it, to see if it will become less awkward with practice.
But I’ll tell you what: my tried and true bullion method of making bullion knots (tried and true to me, because I’m used to it, I guess) is pretty darned easy by comparison and the results are quite consistent.
I have a feeling it will remain my tried and true method, no matter what happens with my current exploits in bullion knot making.
I like to explore stitches, and it never hurts to see if there’s a better way to accomplish something!
We’ll cover more of this topic and explore some other aspects of it soon, at which time I’ll have more than just my phone pictures to share with you.
We’re still on schedule for the launch of the kits for Purple Posy, our first Stitch Snippet stitch-along here on Needle ‘n Thread for 2024. If you want to join in on that, you can read more about it here.
There are a couple exciting books coming out shortly, and I’m looking forward to reviewing them for you soon.
Oh, and you know – other bits and bobs. We’ll look at a new linen or two that’s available for embroidery. That kind of fun stuff.
I’m looking forward to getting back to the studio, that’s for sure. See you soon!