Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Picot cast-on

I haven't abandoned the stretchiness experiment; I'm starting to get into cast-ons & bind-offs that I haven't tried before. Today I want to chat about the picot cast-on. I've historically avoided picot in general, believing it to be too twee for my taste. When I hear 'picot', I think of a baby bonnet or a doily or something else equally cutesy. My knitting is not 'cutesy'. My knitting is bad-ass, hardcore, and cutesy--wait! Scratch that last one. Let me start over.

There isn't a lot of good information about the picot cast-on floating around the internet, so this is a how-to that I really wanted to write. The basic concept of picot is adding extra stitches for decorative purposes, making a 'bobble'. There are many variations depending on how large you want the decorative part to be. What I describe here is the least obvious picot cast-on, though it will ruffle a bit. I learned how to do it from The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques.

Picot cast-on

Start with your trusty slip-knot:

This is your first stitch.

Cast-two more stitches using the cable cast-on.

Now you have a total of three stitches on the left-hand needle. (I don't know why my right-hand needle is in there-finishing up the last cast-on, I guess?)

Knit two stitches.

One stitch left on LH needle, two on RH needle

Bind-off one stitch, like the conventional knit bind-off; slip the first stitch on the over the second stitch on the RH needle using your LH needle, then drop it off of the LH needle:

Place the stitch remaining on your RH needle onto your LH needle by inserting your LH needle through the underside of the stitch:

This is your first picot cast-on stitch. To continue, cast-on one stitch with the cable cast on. Make sure your LH needle is going between the stitches for the cable cast-on, rather than through any loops. Then repeat the procedure starting back at "Knit two stitches." until you have cast-on the amount needed for your piece. It'll look something like this:

And the finished product, on k1p1 ribbing, looks like this:

I was pleasantly surprised! I really like it, and I think it's very conducive to allowing the ribbing to stretch. I'm declaring picot a front-runner for a cast-on with stretch, and am glad to have overcome my prejudices against it.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific tutorial! I'll admit I'm a long tail cast on kind of girl and never seem to explore much past that. I know I should though so I'm glad you've got some alternatives shown here. Perhaps it'll make me think out of the box next time I cast on. ;)