I have a few pet peeves about sewing but my biggest one is tying knots. I have that little bitty sense of dread everytime I have to do it - partly because I can't see up close as well as I used to and partly that I like to make several knots and I hate the angst I have over trying to match them up so they're on top of each other. Anyway, here's a nice little technique for handsewing to do away with knots :)
#1 double your length of thread/floss and thread the *tails* through the eye of the needle; this leaves a loop at the other end of your thread
One of my other pet peeves? Little thread tails poking up through your work ;) I use this technique on my softies/stuffies/stuffed toys.
#2 with the tail still attached, reinsert your needle as close as possible to your last stitch and then bring your needle up as far as possible from that stitch (basically the length of the needle but you can scrunch your fabric up on the needle so it will go further)
I hope this helps some of you and my directions are clear enough. I'll permalink it in a side column for future reference.