This week we're getting up close and personal with the backsides of our embroidery. Even if you're not overly bothered with how the back looks, it's still good to keep it fairly tidy. It does prevent weird knots from happening for no reason and such.
First up in the quest to keep things a bit more tidy: the waste knot. It gets its name because it is used for a wee bit and then it's cut off and discarded. In a word: wasted.
Notice that the knot sits quite a way from where you want to stitch? This is so as you start stitching you will stitch over/through the thread and anchor the thread that way instead of with a knot.
Now comes the next technique to a tidier back: weaving in the ends. You've probably tried tying a knot on the back of your embroidery, right? Which can be really awkward, especially if you wanted to eek out an extra couple of stitches and then you end up with half an inch of floss on the back. Tying a knot then is downright difficult!
Simply weave the needle and thread (preferably more than half an inch!) through the back of the stitches and cut off most of the end. It's a bit difficult to see what's what here with the same colour thread.
But let's make it a bit clearer as we look at the next technique: weaving in the end at the start of stitching. Because you don't really need to use the waste knot apart from with the first length of floss you attach to the fabric. The rest of the time you can weave in the ends.
Now we come to another technique that will keep things tidier, prevent weird knots from happening and may also make your floss last a bit longer: reduce travelling threads.
Instead it's a good idea to weave the thread along stitches you've already made, towards the new place you want to use a particular colour. It's not always possible of course, but a lot of the time it is.
The last thing I want to look at is finishing off one or two stitches. When there is very little to work with on the back and weaving into other stitching would require a lot of travel.