Thursday, September 24

Picot Edging How To (and Comparisons)

I am a tester. I like to know things. And I like to be “right,” do things the “right” way, whenever possible.

So is it really any surprise that I recently crocheted four samples of picot edging, trying to find the “best” one? No, the only surprise is that I was able to stop after four; seems like every book and website out there does it differently! But I think I’ve settled on one I like….

First, let me back up a quick moment. Picots are those little loops or bumps that you sometimes see on the edge of ribbon, clothes, etc. And it’s a common edging on crocheted projects.


The basic technique is the same: space the picots apart with a set number of stitches, often 2 sc, and make each picot with a set number of chains, often 3-5, depending on how big you want the “bump” to be.

But it’s the way the chains connect to the rest of the piece that changes.

Behold, my comparison photos: (this is where some of you start to shake your head, saying, “Karin, they’re all the same!” Undaunted, I forge on.)


Is it just me or are the bottom two less symmetric, with the left side of the picots straight up-and-down and the right side at an angle? Plus the one at the very bottom has little holes near the bottom of each picot. Not what I’m looking for. So clearly, the top two are better.

Well, then let’s look at the back sides… I like that the grey stitches on top of the pink portion look nice and even on the first (and last) one; the middle two have these funny horizontal “dashes” under every picot.


So, clearly, version #1 is the winner in my book. (Version #2 is what I used on the scarf because I hadn’t found version #1 yet.) I’ve written the picot stitch as the photo caption. The pattern for a whole row would be:

Ch 1, sc in first 2 st, * ch 3, sl st in first ch of ch-3 (picot made), then sc in next 3 st *; repeat from * to * along row, ending with sc in last 2 st.

The other trick, no matter which picot stitch you use, is to tug each little picot so it lays nice. Sure, if you made a blanket, that might be 264 little picots to tug, but I didn’t say I like to do things fast. I said I like to do them “right.”

Oh, and the final trick – after you’ve tugged all those tiny bumps – is to keep them laying nicely by blocking your finished piece. Here are some photos of the Hello Kitty scarf: top shows “pre-blocked” and bottom shows “post-blocked” . I should’ve lightened up a wee bit on the iron, but maybe you can see how the stitches in the bottom photo are all much flatter and sort of meshed together. That’ll help keep the picots looking neat, too.

IMG_1365 IMG_1375

Maybe another time I’ll tell you about baking three different batches of banana bread, all on the same day (I had lots of brown bananas), then asking everyone in the house to blindly taste them and pick their favorite…

But I think I’ll reserve the next post for my favorite new skirt. Or our new pet and his handmade habitat; he’s “singing” to me as I type this…


  1. Thats Ace,,,I'm definitely with you on prefering that first one, it just looks neater and prettier in my opinion.
    Gonna try this edging on my skinny scarf I think :o)
    Thanks for all your info, greatly appreciated

  2. Agree with the first option. Just looking at all the beautiful stuff makes me want to restart crochet. Still catching up on your earlier posts. Great going

  3. Well, now, I really liked the rd one (first was too pointy for me) until I saw the back. I love that you're so detailed! I never look at the back.

    Thank you for doing all the work on this! I think I do picots differently every time, but I'm paying closer attention now.

  4. Karin, I cannot see any difference. :) LOL, you sound crazy to me!

  5. Very cool post! I'm teaching myself to knit and crochet at the moment and I'm a bit like you with wanting to know all the various ways of doing things before I pick one. There's so much to learn! It's rather exciting. Thank you for helping me with this crafting adventure!

  6. thanks, all.

    Natalie, if you're using the same color for the picot edge as the round before it (like I did with the pink scarf), then the "messy" back doesn't matter. Perhaps that's why I often see a round of plain sc before the picot round?

    Jenny, ha, you were one of the ones I was thinking of when I wrote about the shaking of the heads. I'm so glad you put up with me anyway! : )

    KM, good luck as you learn. I'm tempted to pick up knitting needles soon too...

  7. I agree with you that the first one looks best, but I never would have thought to compare, and I'd probably just choose whichever one was easiest/quickest. Which is exactly why I don't see myself opening an etsy shop anytime soon - that method is fine when you're crafting for your own very young children - for other people, not so much...

  8. Aside from the messy back, I think I prefer the rounded-ness of the second one, but when you look at the backs, there is no question the the first one is the way to go.

    And you aren't odd at all for baking three different batches of banana bread at once. How else can you get an accurate test to determine THE recipe? Perfectly sensible.

    Now, lets talk about your bad tomato puns... :)

  9. Hmm, I wonder if the first one would look more rounded with one less chain...

    Chris, watch out -- there's more where that one came from. Or not. : )



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