Saturday, July 17

Crochet Picots You Can Love

Cute picots border every edge
of the Liebling Shrug.
A picot is a decorative little bump of crochet stitches that adds just the right touch to many kinds of crochet projects, often as a finished edge. It's smaller than a bobble, puff, or cluster; ideally it's a cozy little knot that's "cute as a button."

Check out the cute bowtie picots along this shoulder seam!

I've heard many crocheters say that they don't like the look of their picots. After crocheting for 30 years or so, I can say that no matter how many picots one has under one's belt, the next one may look mediocre for a number of reasons that are easy to fix

Rosepuff Shawlette's bead-picot edge
The first thing I do is try my favorite way to make them, below. It comes the closest to producing a fail-safe picot, with the added bonus of being the fastest and smoothest stitching motion for me (keeps the picots from feeling like "speed bumps" LOL). 

Vashti's Favorite Way to Crochet Picots

I used this method for the Liebling Shrug and the flounced Antoinette, Emdash, and Cantina scarves. In fact, I talked about this picot method in this blog post about the picot lace sleeves of the Baroque Tabard.
Insert the hook from the top down into two front loops of the "host" stitch (the last stitch made before chaining 3 or 4 to start the picot). This "host" stitch can be any stitch except a slip stitch; a vertical "bar" or "leg" of the stitch is needed to comfortably and swiftly work into. 
The 1,380 Cashmere Picots Scarf.
(The edge is a mix of picots & petals.)
It's so easy to do it, but the words can make it sound difficult. 

Depending on the look (which sometimes has to do with the yarn, or my hook size), I might close with a single crochet (sc) worked into these two loops, OR a slip stitch (sl st). Either way, I love how it stabilizes a picot with a stronger base, and it's is easier to make quickly. Closing with a sc instead of sl st can add more bulk if the picots seem puny. 

When I've chosen *against* this method, such as for the 1,380 Cashmere Picots Scarf, it can be because the picot comes out looking blockish sometimes. Also sort of flat or less of a pearly 3-D knot. Each case is different.
Picot foundation for the
1,380 Cashmere Picots Scarf.

I always try out a range of ways to make picots no matter what the pattern or stitch dictionary says.

For example:

  • Chain 4 instead of 3 (most people chain 3)
  • Heck, try chaining 2 and then close with a sc (usually makes a little molehill)
  • Chain tightly. Or, loosely.
  • Close it with a sc if you tried a sl st.
  • If you work into the first chain of the picot chains, try working into different loops of that chain.
  • I used a subtle type of picot for Lotus Chip Charms.
  • Invent-A-Picot: I wonder what happens if you chain 1 then do a 2-hdc puff in the top of the stitch just before the chain-1?
I hope each crocheter explores alternate ways to make picots so that each of us always gets the kind that we want!


  1. Hi, Vashti! This is a late reply but I have only just now read this post and thought I'd add this to your list of different ways to work this stitch. When I fitst started doing picots thet looked a little stingy - the stitches looked too loose compared to how tight I naturally work, especially that first chain you use to close the stitch, and the picot seemed to dangle off the edge instead of looking like a cute bump. So I started ending the picots by slipstitching into the front loop of the host stitch instead of the first chain stitch and tugging them upright with my fingers. The picots not only looked more substantial but "stayed put" better, and looked like the cute bump they are supposed to do. It does look a little different in the end, but no less attractive, to me anyway.


On-topic questions are welcome!