Knitting Basics: Picot Cast On

Blossom Lady
Apr 19, 2021 02:11 AM
Knitting Basics: Picot Cast On

The Picot Cast On is used to make a decorative edge with little points, or picots, along it. It’s great for when you want a little textural accent along your cast-on edge. It’s also fairly stretchy, and I know people who swear by it for casting on top-down socks. This cast on is a combination of the Knitted Cast On and picots, which are made by casting on and then binding off extra stitches along the edge. This cast on matches the Picot 1 Bind Off.

A great, simple way to spice up the scarf or hat you're knitting is with a picot edge. This edging looks like a bunch of scallops or mini-bobbles at the start of your work, giving it a really elegant and feminine appeal. Knitting the picot cast on is not as complicated as it appears. If you can work a simple knit cast on and bind off, you can knit a picot edge. This cast on method is especially lovely for sock and glove cuffs, but you're really only limited by your imagination with this technique.


  • Decorative edge
  • Stretchy edge
  • Good for:

  • Tops of socks
  • Lace
  • Any edge where you want both stretch and decorative interest
  • Matching the Picot 1 Bind Off
  • Working the Cast On

    Step 1

    Make a slip knot, leaving a short tail, and place on the left-hand needle.

    Step 2.

    Insert the right-hand needle tip into the slip knot, wrap the yarn around, and pull the new stitch through. Place this stitch on the left-hand needle knitwise.

    Step 3

    Continue in this manner and cast on 3 more stitches for a total of 5 stitches.

    Step 4

    Knit the first 2 stitches, pull the first stitch over the second and off the right-hand needle: This binds off 1 stitch.

    Knit the next stitch and bind it off by pulling the first stitch on the right-hand needle over the second.

    Step 5

    Pass the remaining stitch on the right-hand needle back to the left-hand needle.

    Step 6

    Using the knitted cast on method, cast four more stitches onto your needle. Five stitches should be on your left-hand needle.

    Step 7

    Knit and bind off the first 2 stitches off of your work..

    Step 8

    After you've finished binding off your two stitches, slip the remainig stitch on your righthand needle back to your left needle, being careful not to twist the stitches. Three stitches remain on your needle.

    Finish your cast on by repeating steps 6 and 7 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. This creates one picot for every 3 stitches you cast on.


    You can vary the distance between picots by casting on more stitches between the bind-off points.

    You can also vary the size of your picots by casting on and binding off more or fewer stitches.

    Getting It Right

    To tighten up the edge, work with a needle one or two sizes smaller than the pattern calls for.

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    1 comment
    Aug 10, 2021 03:54 PM

    Thanks for another Great way to cast on in knitting.  Never thought you could actually have a decorative stitch when casting on starting the project.

    Pinned to my knitting board for future use.