Picot stitches are traditionally made by chaining a certain quantity (commonly 3), then slip-stitching the last chain to the first one to make a decorative little bump or loop.
I don't know about you, but I hate stitching into chains and avoid it whenever possible. For one thing, I never know which loop of the chain to go through. Do I put the hook under one strand or two? And since my chains tend to be tight, the flow of work is interrupted while I try to maneuver my hook through the tiny space available. So although I love the decorative look the traditional picot offers, executing it is a real pain.
While working on the latest scarf pattern, I started to wonder: why couldn't the picot be joined directly to the stitch under it, instead of slip stitched to the chain? After a bit of fiddling around, I came up with a method I really like.
I'm probably not the first person to think of this, but since I've never seen it in a pattern (not that I read many patterns - I usually make up my own) and have no idea what it's called if it does exist, I've decided to name it the "spacer picot".
Instead of standing straight up on the top of a stitch, the spacer picot tips forward slightly, creating a bit of space before the next stitch. When used in a shell, the result is very pretty.
|Spacer picot shells on top, plain shells on bottom|
Here's how my spacer picots were made:
Start by making a base stitch of some sort. It could be a triple, double, or half-double crochet.
|Mine is a double crochet - the start of a shell|
On top of the desired stitch, chain 2.
Yarn over, then insert hook back and into the top 2 strands of stitch just made.
Yarn over and pull through (now you should have 3 strands on your hook);
Yarn over and pull through all strands on hook.
|Thar she blows!|
You're essentially making a short 2-chain picot, and using a half-double crochet to join it to the base stitch.
|Pretty simple: chain 2, make half-double crochet in top of previous stitch|
I think this picot method has a lot of potential. You could add extra chain stitches for a bigger "bump", or use a single crochet as the joining stitch for a slightly tighter effect.
Here's a glimpse of the design that inspired this technique (scarf pattern and tutorial coming soon).
P.S. If you've seen this picot method somewhere, or know of an official name for it, I'd love to hear about it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~