This week I’ll be talking about an easy way and ever so lovely way to finish you knitting, the picot hem.

How-To Thursday picot hem title

Two steps are needed to create this effect on your borders. First you’ll want to knit a few rows to create holes, then after having bound the stitches off, you’ll fold and sew the edge reavealing your pretty picots. It’s truly a magical experience and one that produce such a nice effect.

Want to try it yourself? Myrtille, my latest shawl pattern, uses this technique but it’s a very versatile one. You can simply add it to any edge (sock, sweater, cowl…) to produce a very cute finish. Let’s try it!

When you reach the point you want your picot hem to start, begin by marking this row using a lifeline. Conviently enough, last week’s How-To Thursday was all about this technique so if it’s not something you’re familiar with, learn all about it here. 😉
I highly recommend not to skip this step, it’ll make sewing the edge much easier if the stitches are marked by the lifeline.

How-To picot hem 1

Next, with your knitting still on the needles, you’ll have to knit a few rows to prepare the picot effect.
Start by doing stockinette stitch for a few rows (2 or 3) and then on a right side row, repeat (k2tog, yo) across.
Depending on the width you want your picots to be, simply add plain knit stitches to the k2tog creating a larger picot.
Then knit the same number of stockinette stitch rows you did before working the k2tog, yo row.

How-To picot hem 2

You’re now ready to bind off loosely. Doing so will help the edge stay the same width making your next step easier. A great way to do so is to use a technique I love: the stretchy bind off.
Take care not to cut your tail, you can save some ends weaving by using it to sew your hem after the bind off.

How-To picot hem 3

Now comes the magic part!
Fold your edge on the wrong side so the bound off edge meets the row where the lifeline’s still in place. (I bet you don’t regret taking time to put one in now! ;-))
You should normally have the fold exactly on the row where you’ve done the k2tog, yo, creating nice picots! 🙂

Then get your hands on a tapestry needle and thread your tail into it. Sewing the edge to the marked row is then done by going into a stitch on the lifeline and then into one from the bound off border.

How-To picot hem 5

How-To picot hem 6

Repeat this to the end of the edge and you’re done!

How-To picot hem 8

The cool thing about this technique is that you can also do it at the beginning of your knitting.

To do so, cast on your stitches either normally or provisionally. Before starting your pattern, knit the few stockinette and (k2tog,yo) rows just like explained but do not bind them off. Instead of sewing the edge, you’ll knit across the next row working two stitches together, one from your current row, the other from your cast on one.

How-To picot hem 9

Congrats! You’ve just done a picot hem! 🙂
See you next week for a cool new technique!