What Is a Waste Knot?

Waste knots are useful ways to begin new threads.

Needlepoint should never have knots on the back of the work. This can often make it difficult to start a new thread. Sometimes, the stitch is too open to have a thread show through. Sometimes you are starting a dark thread when only light areas surround it (the thread will show through). Sometimes there is no area already stitched nearby.

To make the knot, begin by making a plain old overhand knot quite near the end of the thread. Now begin stitching by bringing the thread through the front of the canvas somewhere about 1-2 inches from the starting point of your stitching.

You should enter the canvas somewhere in a direct line from your stitching, in the direction you will be stitching, so the tail will be covered quickly. These knots are in-line because they are in a direct line with your stitching. The stitching will cover the tail.

If you look at your canvas, you have a knot on the front of the thread. Begin stitching. When you get near the knot but not quite at it, or after you have stitched about an inch pull the knot gently up and cut right below the knot.

With in-line knots, the end of the thread will disappear behind the canvas to be covered by your stitches.

You can also place the knot 3-4 inches away from the stitching area. This is called an Away Waste Knot. Put it outside the edges of the design area. You treat the tail differently when using this knot.

With Away Knots you will have a long tail. Thread this into the back of the stitches you have made already. These knots can all be handled at the end of your stitching.