One of the the most hated stitches in cross stitch is the French knot. More so than back stitch, it's one of those things you either tolerate or hate. But I've been over that before in my Beads vs French knot post.
Sometimes though, there's no escaping it. Usually because I don't have the right coloured bead. Plus, I'm very biased and there are plenty of people who like the french knot. It has a flower-like appearance and can be very effective, particularly in landscape scenes.
Honestly, it's not that complicated a knot - I just find it rather fiddly.
The French Knot
1. Come up through the whole, and pull your thread through (taking care not to pull it out completely!)
2. Wrap the thread around the needle twice. Some patterns call for the thread to be wrapped more or less times, twice seems to be the most common in my experience.
3. Push the needle back into the same hole you came up out of. To make your knot more secure, you may want to come down one fibre over so the thread doesn't pull through.
4. Hold the thread taut, and push the needle all the way through.
5. Carefully pull the rest of the thread through the knot. Don't pull too hard or you will pull it all the way through.
6. Your finished knot should look something like this.
Some patterns call for you to use only one strand to make your French Knot. In that instance, I tend to wrap the thread three times around the needle to make the knot fuller.
The appearance of a French knot changes quite significantly whether you are stitching it with one or two strands, and how many times you wrap your thread around the needle
|Wrapping once, twice, three and four times, using|
two strands of thread