Sunday, April 19, 2015

In the Knit Lab: Playing with Picot

I confess a fondness for picot. It combines something quintessentially feminine with a sort of tailored restraint. But while picot hems, like this one,

are relatively simple to knit, picot bind offs are less easy to do well. If one follows the usual instructions, they are too stretchy, or have little holes, or too much slant. So, earlier this week I devoted a morning to playing with a couple of picot bind offs to explore remedies to these problems.
First, I wanted to see if I could find a way to work a picot bind off in combination with a 3-needle bind off. Done the usual way (transfer st from RH needle to LH needle, CO 2, BO 3, etc) it left too much stretch, a series of bumps with a strong rightward slant, and ugly holes on the back side of the would-be shoulder. Would going down a few needle sizes solve this, I wondered? No, it would not. I wanted to continue to use the same needle size as I used for the body of the work. After a half hour of messing about, I came up with a solution. I'm saving the details until later, but here is the result:

Everything is tidy with a nice even gauge and no holes or slant. I experimented with making the picots closer together to see if I liked that better.

Not sure.
Next, I played with picots on a garter stitch edge. Again, the goal was to be able to use the same needle as for the border, but without any stretching or slanting. I made a little pretend buttonhole border, then added the picots during the bind off (or, as I was taught to call it, the "cast off").

Stay tuned; details, and a new garment to follow soon.