Anywho... I have wanted to share this little trick that my mother-in-law showed me awhile back. I found myself using it quite a bit while making the quilt of a bazillion knots. It seriously changed my life when it came to hand stitching anything. My mother-in-law is an amazingly talented seamstress. She makes these gorgeous smocked dresses for the little girls. She's the real deal. Here's a shot of some she made for Easter one year.
All of the girls.....she made all of these dresses :)
You all may know this tip, and I might be the last person on earth to figure this out, but I figured I would share anyways, for those of us like me that are ignorant to these sort of things.
I have always seen my mother in law thread a needle, smooth her hands down over the string and poof, it's tied in a knot at the end. I have always wondered how in the heck she does that. I would always take the time to make a loop, go through the loop with my needle and then make a little knot....one so tiny that it would slip through most fabrics anyways. So then I would try to knot it again at the same spot and I would always be off....so then I'd have two tiny knots right next to each other, so then I'd try to knot it a third time and try to incorporate both knots into a big knot....sometimes it worked....every time, it took forever and made me feel completely inept at sewing anything. It's a dumb thing to get frustrated over....but it is seriously annoying....especially when you look over and see a master seamstress like my lovely mother in law whip out a big fat knot in a matter of seconds with what seems like a magician swipe over the string. Do I have any ladies out there who are nodding their heads right now? I think I do.
One day I was like....how in the world did you do that, and she looked at me like she couldn't believe I didn't know how to make a knot....and then took the time to teach me how. I really have the best mother in law in the world. I can't say enough good about her, really :)
Here's how you do it.
you start with a thread on a needle as usual.
(forgive my busted up looking table that needs refinishing and my ratty looking fingernails. It was not a good day for photographing my mess).
Gather both ends of the thread, so they are the same length and hold them together in your hand.
You will have to lick or wet your fingers before you put the thread in between your fingers. Then pinch them like this between your thumb and forefinger with the end pointing down.
Take the loose end of the string and wrap it over the top of your forefinger, around and under both your forefinger and then the thumb and then back to the top. Basically, you are wrapping a circle around your fingers.
After you've wrapped the circle around your fingers, take the loose end and bring it down between your thumb and forefinger as you see below.
Here's the tricky part. While pushing your thumb forward and pulling your index finger back, roll the string in between your fingers. While you are doing this, hold the long end of the string in your other hand and pull it tight as you allow the string to pull off from around your fingers and to tighten into a knot in between them.
Here's what you will get when you are done!
It takes a little bit of practice to master, but it's pretty easy. Once you have this down, it makes things go sooooo much more smoothly when you are tying things off or knotting something.
I made a little video of me doing this for clarity. It's not the best, and my fingers go off screen for a second, but you can see what I'm doing for the most part. My 11 year old was my camera man. Hope it helps.
Have a great weekend! xoxoxo!