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The Picot Cast-On

When working a garment that does not start with a ribbing, you have the option of using a plain cast-on or a decorative one. Here are a couple of ways to work a picot cast-on, which creates little points or picots along the edge. One method involves binding off, and with the other method you turn the lower edge to the inside and form a shallow hem.

Picot Cast-On Method 1

This method uses a combination of the knitted cast-on and regular binding off.

  1. Use the knitted-on cast-on to cast on 5 stitches (Photo 1). Click here for illustrated instructions for this cast-on.
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    Photo 1

  3. Bind off 2 stitches and move the remaining stitch from the right needle to the left (Photo 2).

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    Photo 2

  5. *Cast on 4 stitches, bind off 2 stitches, and move the remaining stitch from the right needle to the left; repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches cast on (Photo 3).

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    Photo 3

Variations

You can make your picot points longer by casting on and binding off more stitches. Photo 4 shows the cast-on worked by casting on 6 stitches and binding off 4.


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Photo 4

You can space your picots farther apart by casting on more stitches between them. Photo 5 shows the cast-on worked by casting on 6 stitches and binding off 2.

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Photo 5

Picot Cast-On Method 2

This method uses a combination of yarn overs and knit 2 together decreases. Once the edge is completed, you'll turn the bottom edge to the inside and form a shallow hem.

  1. Leaving a long tail for hemming, cast on the required even number of stitches and work stockinette stitch for 4 or more rows. Our sample uses 24 stitches and 6 rows.
  2. On the next RS row, knit 1, *yo, k2tog; repeat from * to the last stitch, knit 1. Work a purl row and you'll see that you have a line of eyelet holes along the pattern row (Photo 6).
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Photo 6

Continue working in stockinette stitch for at least the same number of rows you worked before the eyelet row; then work your garment pattern as instructed. To finish the hem, thread the tail onto a yarn needle, turn the cast-on edge to the inside, and whipstitch the edge to the inside (Photo 7).

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Photo 7

Here's what the finished hem looks like.

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Photo 8

Variation

You can work the picot row on a WS row for a more compact finished hem.

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Photo 9

This hem can be used at the ends of scarves, on afghan edges or at the bottom of sweaters. Consider trying it out on the Satin Tweed Fitted Blouse, which is the free pattern featured in this issue.