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Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Pretty Picot Cast On...a Tutorial

Well today was quite a day! I had to do some proverbial emotional tap dancing, but it is testimony to my blogged determination to bring you a small post, and keep my promise! To this, I must add some explanation...

I have uploaded two videos demonstrating the details of today's post, but in the first video, I was alone, and had to content with severe body contortion and a deep sustained squint (I was eventually sure that I was looking myself in the eye...) in order to film this here little clip...

Normally my precious daughter does the filming while yours truly demonstrates knitting bliss, but in the first video, I set up my trusty tripod and after considerable trial and error , I managed to get the whole thing focused, while leaning, arms akimbo, back pretzeled, around the darned tripod. This resulted in me only being able to see what the heck I was doing , by looking at the video viewer a half inch from my nose :[

Ok, so what am I trying to say? The video makes me look like I am trying to knit while demonstrating sign language, so please forgive this ambisinistrous knitter...


The Picot Cast On...with a twist!

Ok, so you know how you sometimes want to make something uber-girly and adorable, and you are not sure exactly what kind of embellishment will add that certain " Je ne sais quoi..." without making you (or your recipient) look like a deranged escapee from the Barbara Cartland fan club? Well, search no more! 'Cos here , on your friendly neighbourhood blog, you will find just the thing!

Now, I am sure that the vast majority of readers out in Blogland, have already come across or even mastered this little cast on, and if you have, I am sorry... a tedious description will now follow...

The idea with the Picot Cast on is to create a set of little bumps at the cast on edge of your knitting. This adds a bobbly , pretty border, and is useful for a variety of items, including the ever mentioned babywear, blanket edging, mittens, gloves, scarves, hats, sweaters etc etc .... in fact anything that you can cast on for :)

If you Google "Picot Cast On" you will get a gazillion hits, and your monthly download package will be used up if you just watch the first twenty videos that pop up, so please don't think this way is the only way...it is merely how I like to do things :)

Most of the web sources will describe the picot cast on by using 5 stitches initially.

So it goes something like this...

Cast on 5 stitches.

Knit 2 stitches.

Bind off one stitch on your right hand needle, by slipping the far right stitch over the second stitch that was knitted.

You have one stitch left on your right hand needle.

Knit one stitch.

Bind off one stitch just as before.

You have 2 stitches left on the left hand needle, and one stitch on the right hand needle.

Slip the right hand needle stitch (remaining), onto the left needle.

You now have three stitches on the left hand needle.

Cast on four stitches.

(NOTE: You started with 5 stitches, bound off two stitches, and were left with three stitches. The stitch you slipped from the right hand needle to the left COUNTS AS THE FIRST STITCH, of the five you need in total, ie you cast on 4 extra stitches to make up FIVE stitches to work with, just as in the beginning).

You will have a little gap between the first two stitches on your left hand needle, and the stitch you slipped from the right hand needle to the left.

Repeat from process from the beginning...knit 2, bind off 1, knit 1, bind off 1, slip remaining stitch to left needle, cast on 4. There you go :)



Your knitting should look like the pic above. I am not wild about the look of these funny little picots...they kinda look like (please excuse the phrase...) little udder teats...not nice and bobbly-like... So I sat in bed one night, knitting and fiddled with this. How could I make them look rounder and cuter?


First I thought I would make the picots, using only FOUR stitches instead of five, making them crowd together and perhaps make them fatter that way. Above is the result. The bit of knitting has a natural tendency to curl up, since it is stocking stitch after all, but I think that the four stitch picot cast on worsened the curl up. Hmmmm...so back to the drawing board....



In the pic above, I have taped the knitted piece down to force it flat, so that you can see the effect. It's better, in my humble opinion, but the curl up is too much to deal with....



Then I added a twist...and I had a zen moment. In the pic above you can see the roundy, fat little picots that were made. It is extremely difficult to describe a three dimensional technique in written words, so I have made a video showing exactly what I did. It's the second video. I am going to add a written description as well...just in case ;)

Cast on 5 stitches.

Knit 2 stitches.

Bind off one stitch on your right hand needle, by slipping the far right stitch over the second stitch that was knitted.

You have one stitch left on your right hand needle.

Knit one stitch.

Bind off one stitch just as before.

You have 2 stitches left on the left hand needle, and one stitch on the right hand needle.

BEFORE SLIPPING THE STITCH ON YOUR RIGHT HAND NEEDLE ONTO THE LEFT HAND NEEDLE, rotate your right hand needle through 360 degrees, moving away from you .

Slip the right hand needle stitch (remaining), onto the left needle.

You now have three stitches on the left hand needle.

Cast on four stitches.

(You started with 5 stitches, bound off two stitches, and were left with three stitches. The stitch you slipped from the right hand needle to the left COUNTS AS THE FIRST STITCH, of the five you need in total, ie you cast on 4 extra stitches to make up FIVE stitches to work with, just as in the beginning).

Repeat from the beginning...knit 2, bind off 1, knit 1, bind off 1, slip remaining stitch to left needle, cast on 4.



I must say, I really like these little critters! When I started knitting, I realised that I had inadvertently created a set of eyelets just above the picots :) Of course, I had to try the four stitch picot with twist option, and yes, of course the thing looked adorable, but curled like mad.


So I went back to the five stitch picot cast on and proceeded as follows:
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: Knit all
Row 3: Knit all
Row 4: Purl all
Row 5: Knit all
Rest of work: alternate purl and knit ie stocking stitch.

I found that this helped to uncurl the work a bit and I liked the effect of the row of purl above the picots.

Right...back to the four stitch problem...
I decided that I liked this look better, but obviously needed to add stitches to the work to allow for a bit of uncurling ...so this is what I did...


On Row 1, I knit into the front and back (thereby making one extra stitch), of the stitches shown above. I then proceeded with Row 2 exactly as described earlier on. And it worked! I made little eyelets, the picots were a little closer together, and the knitting curled a bit less...happiness!





The video above is the self flagellation one...how to make a five stitch picot cast on...

The video below is the demonstration of the twist...happy viewing!


And now, Scotty beam me up.....

Night all,

Heidi :)

10 comments:

gill said...

If only I could knit!!!!!

Linda said...

Wonderful my friend! Thank you so much:)
xo xo
Linda

Dana Biddle said...

Heidi, my friend - I love those little critters :) I'm going to put them on my next project, thank you for sharing

K said...

Heidi - this is beautiful, beautiful. How on earth do you find out how to do these things? And now I have to work this into making my little toys. I have to admit that the color of the yarn is delicious and seductive - and the finished product at the end - oy, how lovely and delicate and very difficult looking.

I didn't mention how beautiful you are in your wedding photo. But you are. The thing I am enjoying the most is this almost ebullient energy you are streaming through your words. You sound just so happy.

I'm so glad you and your camera and your hands and your heart are all back -

Val said...

You are clever ...I've just glanced through this and it looks very inviting and if ill children permit I'm going to have a close study and a try this weekend THANK YOU!!!

Shannon said...

I have to admit i was dying to get to the end of the post and see your video, what a build up! And what skill, seriously funky twisty bobble edge and a 360 degree turn thrown in!

Heidi said...

A pleasure, everyone :)
(thank you K ...*blush* )
Val, hope your kids are better :(
Let me know how it goes...

Lani said...

So beautiful - I want to try it when I finish my scarf.

Lani said...

Love this such beautiful stitches. I will try it when I complete Jack's scarf!

Amy P. said...

Brilliant! Thank you for sharing your brilliance, and with such clear instructions and photos!