Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tutorial: Perfect Picots

Picot edges give a delicate, but tailored, look to a garment. The trouble is that when picot bind offs are executed in the manner set out in most instruction books, the edge can look loose and sloppy, which is the opposite of the intended effect. Often, the little picot points have an unwanted slant.
I wanted to come up with a way of doing a picot bind off that was simple, with a clean, tidy look. And I think, after playing with various methods of achieving this, that the result surpasses my expectations. Indeed, my little points have a bead-like quality that seems to perfectly echo the seeded stocking stitch pattern on the body of my new cardigan.

So, how is it accomplished? First, you need a garter st edge (I haven't experimented with other types so far) with an ODD number of stitches. With RS facing and a needle one size smaller than you used for the garter stitch, *CO 2 sts to the working end of the LH needle,

Use the knitted cast on method, NOT the cable cast on!
then  k2, pass 1st st over 2nd, k2tog, pass 1st st over 2nd, k1, pass 1st st over 2nd, sl remaining st on RH needle to LH needle, and repeat from * to last 3 sts. Finally, CO 2 sts, k2, pass 1st st over 2nd, k3tog, pass 1st st over 2nd, break yarn and pull through last st to fasten off.
The key element of this approach is the k2tog (and the k3tog at the end), which solves the looseness that bedeviled my picot attempts for so long. I hope you give this a try; it's much easier than the traditional hemmed picot edge, and so pretty.
P.S. Happy Canada Day, 2015!


  1. I just finished a cowl that was supposed to have a picot edge. I did it straight because I didn't like the way it looked. Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to undo it and use your method! Love your new cardigan. The color work is just enough.

  2. I am just approaching the end of a shawl and had been considering what to do with the edge. I've got enough yarn, and would like to use up as much as possible without throwing off the proportions of the design so I was contemplating a picot edge. Decided to read a blog or two while I did the last garter rows, and there was your post - it's clearly meant to be! Thank you.

    1. Amy, keep in mind that shawls require a stretchy edge, while my picot method is designed to make a stable edge. I think you'll need to experiment to see if this will work in your situation.

    2. Thank you. I'm going to give it a try and see. I really like the way it looks so far.

  3. Deb W. from KingstonJuly 7, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    That pivot edging is perfection. I know what you mean by that kind of slant look these edges bet sometimes. Good work!!!!!! P S: Love the new patterns you have been churning out. This sweater is a classic!

  4. Very nice modification. It gets rid of that little hole. I love it. Well done. Your new cardigan is wonderful.