How to: work a picot cast-off that doesn't curl

A picot cast-off creates a simple but decorative (and slightly elastic) edging that works well in all kinds of places. The concept is simple: for each picot you first cast on, then cast off two stitches – then cast off two (or more) of your pre-existing stitches, and make the next picot.

But, warn the manuals, "this edge has a tendency to curl". Yes. Yes it does. Which was almost enough to make me give up on it altogether and publish Am Meer with a plain old regular disappointing cast-off, until I figured out two great improvements to the usual instructions.

The first is to work a row or round of k1, p1 ribbing right before the cast-off. Eminently logical; ribbing always helps an edge to lie flat.

The second is to IGNORE the instruction to return your last stitch to the left-hand needle before casting on for your picot. Just pull the yarn across and keep going. Yes, this does make for a slightly different result, with picots that are a bit more knobbly, less defined. But I find it's worth it, and besides, it also reduces gaps. Try my method and see what you think.

Bonus tip: you could space your picots out more widely (cast off more stitches in between each one) for even more control of your curling.

1.  Using the cable cast-on method (insert your needle behind the next stitch on left-hand needle, draw yarn through and place on LH needle), cast on 2 stitches.




2. Cast off 4 stitches.


3. Keep going till you're all done! Remember not to return your last cast-off stitch to the LH needle before casting on again.

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