Picot practice

The Glenties Cowl is one of our most popular shop patterns, and we suspect that the pretty cast off is a good part of the reason for this. It’s a picot cast off and it’s very simple to work. It’ll give all sorts of things a neat touch – check out the Miss Potter mitts for another really effective implementation.

We often get asked at the counter how to do it, so here’s a tutorial. As usual, we’ve cast on thirty stitches or so and then worked ten(-ish) rows, so if you want to work along with this, that’s all the preparation you’ll need.

The exact number of stitches involved in picot cast offs can vary, but we’re working here with an instruction that reads:

Cast off 2 stitches, *slip the stitch that remains on the right needle back to the left hand needle.
Cable cast on 3 stitches.
Cast off 5 stitches.* Repeat from * to * until all stitches have been cast off.

In other words, the picots will be three stitches tall, and each of them will be two stitches away from its bobbly little neighbours. So to start with, cast off two stitches using the usual cast off:

You’ll have lots of stitches on the left hand needle and only one one on the right. Pop that single right hand stitch back onto the left hand needle, leaving your right hand needle empty.

Now you’re going to cast on three new stitches, using the cable cast on (it gives you a firmer cast on). Put the tip of the right hand needle behind the first stitch on the left hand needle, between that stitch and its immediate neightbour:

Wrap the yarn in a normal knitting motion around the tip of the right hand needle:

Pull a new loop towards you between the two stitches – this is your new stitch:

Pop that new stitch up on your left hand needle:

Repeat this procedure, casting on a total of three new stitches…

… and immediately start to cast off, casting off five stitches in total (your three newly cast on stitches, and then two of the original ones):

When you’ve cast off the five, stop and have a look at what’s happened – you’ve got a little protruberance of yarn:

At this point, slip the single stitch from the right hand needle back to the left hand needle, ready to cable-cast-on three new stitches for the next picot:

When you’ve completed these steps a few times, take a moment to admire the result – and try not to put picot cast offs on everything you knit. You’ll want to, you know.

There’s a matching picot cast on as well, which we’ll do a tutorial for soon.

And here’s a Christmas decoration to admire as well – we’ve just been awestruck with the ingenuity of you all:

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