Picot Stitch

Looking for information about the picot stitch? Read on for picot stitch tutorials, patterns and definitions and just about everything else you might like to know about picots in crochet, knitting, embroidery, sewing and needlework.

What Is a Picot?

Picots exist in crochet, knitting, tatting, sewing, embroidery, beadwork and even nursing. When people speak of a “picot” in a needlework context, they’re likely referring to a decorative or functional loop typically found on lace, ribbon, tatting, crochet or knitting.

Since this website is all about knitting and crochet, we’ll start with discussing picots as they pertain to these two needlework techniques — but you can find more about picots in sewing and embroidery by scrolling down to look at the links and information included lower down on this page.

What Is a Picot Stitch?

If a picot is simply a loop, then what’s a picot stitch?


In crochet, a picot stitch is a small, dainty loop that is typically comprised of a grouping of chain stitches that are closed with a slip stitch or single crochet. There is no single precise, absolute, set-in-stone sequence of stitches that comprise a picot stitch; the definition of a picot can vary from pattern to pattern. Sometimes a picot might have 3 chains, and other times it might have 4 or more. Sometimes you’ll lead into the picot by working a slip stitch or single crochet; other times you might lead into it with a complex, varied grouping of stitches.


Picot stitches tend to add a feminine touch to projects. They work well for incorporating into lace crochet projects, crochet baby blankets, crochet snowflakes, Valentine crochet projects, women’s and girls’ clothing or accessories and any crochet projects where a pretty, elegant effect is intended.

The Pattern for This Crochet Snowflake Christmas Ornament Includes Picot Stitches:

Crochet Snowflake Pattern
Crochet Snowflake Pattern

Picot Stitch Crochet Skill Level Requirements

The Picot Stitch Is an Easy Crochet Stitch Pattern.

To successfully crochet most picot stitches, you’ll need to have learned the chain stitch, the slip stitch and the single crochet stitch.


Crochet projects that incorporate picot stitches are not ideal for total beginners who have never completed a crochet project before. However, picot stitches are generally quite easy to crochet. If you’ve successfully completed at least one crochet project, you’ll be likely to succeed with crocheting picot stitches.


Although picot stitches are not difficult to crochet, they don’t always flow easily off the hook. They can be a little bit fiddly, typically requiring the crafter to stop and break the rhythm of crocheting while completing the last step of closing the picot loop. For that reason, some crochet enthusiasts avoid working patterns that incorporate significant numbers of picot stitches.

If you design crochet patterns, it can be preferable to think of other solutions for achieving the same dainty looped effect; it is sometimes possible to substitute another grouping of stitches that give a similar dainty effect but flow more easily off the hook.

Picot Crochet Stitches — Free Tutorials and Instructions With Pictures

How to Crochet a Picot — Contemporary Version of the Picot Stitch That’s Popular With Today’s Crafters

Picot Crochet Instructions -- When making a picot stitch in crochet, the first step is to work a group of chains. Chain 3 is the most usual method, but you can use more chains for a larger picot if you like.
Picot Crochet Instructions — When making a picot stitch in crochet, the first step is to work a group of chains. Chain 3 is the most usual method, but you can use more chains for a larger picot if you like.

Here you can see I’m working along the upper edge of a swatch of crocheted lace. For the first row of my edging, I simply worked single crochet stitch. Then for the second row, I’m working picot stitches separated by several slip stitches. To work the actual picot stitch, I started by working 3 chain stitches (pictured above). Working more than 3 chains results in a larger, more exaggerated picot stitch with a larger loop.


Picot Crochet Instructions -- When making a picot stitch in crochet, the second step is to close the loop. You do this by working either a slip stitch or a single crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from hook. Here you can see I've worked a slip stitch.
Picot Crochet Instructions — When making a picot stitch in crochet, the second step is to close the loop. You do this by working either a slip stitch or a single crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from hook. Here you can see I've worked a slip stitch.

Picot Crochet Instructions -- Your picot stitch is complete at this point. What you do next depends on the pattern you're working from. Here, I anchored the picot to the fabric with a single crochet. Next, I'll resume working slip stitches.
Picot Crochet Instructions — Your picot stitch is complete at this point. What you do next depends on the pattern you’re working from. Here, I anchored the picot to the fabric with a single crochet. Next, I’ll resume working slip stitches.

How to Crochet a Picot — Vintage Picot Stitch Instructions That Were Originally Published in 1917


Vintage Example of a Crochet Picot Stitch, Originally Published in Royal Society Crochet Book No. 9 in the Year 1917.
Vintage Example of a Crochet Picot Stitch, Originally Published in Royal Society Crochet Book No. 9 in the Year 1917.

The following instructions were originally published in the Royal Society Crochet Lessons Book No. 9 in 1917. This book is now in the public domain, so there are no legal issues with me reproducing the photo and text of the instructions here for you to work from.

Picot — Make a chain. Skip 3 chains and make a single crochet. Chain four, catch back into the first chain. Wind thread once around needle and pull through both loops. Make three or four single crochet stitches or enough to make desired distance between picots and repeat.

Crochet Picot Edge Patterns

One of the most intuitive ways to use picot stitches: incorporating them into borders, trims and edgings. The following are a few crochet picot edge patterns you might find useful:

Easy Picot Stitch Edging: Free Crochet Pattern

Easy Picot Stitch Edging -- Free Crochet Pattern
Easy Picot Stitch Edging — Free Crochet Pattern

Other Picot Stitch Crochet Patterns

It’s easy to incorporate picot stitches into borders, trims and edgings that go around the outside edges of your project. It’s a little more challenging to incorporate picot stitches into crocheted fabrics, but it can be done — and there are many talented crochet designers who are doing this.


In Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters, Melissa has shared multiple exquisite stitch patterns that incorporate picot stitches:

  • Royal shells crochet stitch pattern
  • Verona lace crochet stitch pattern
  • Fancy trellis crochet stitch pattern

If you’re interested in crocheting fabrics that incorporate picot stitches, any of these three lace designs would be an excellent starting point for doing so. Melissa’s stitch dictionary is an EXCELLENT reference, and I highly recommend it to other crochet enthusiasts.

Picot Bind-Off in Knitting

Melody Rogers has shared a free step-by-step photo tutorial for how to knit the picot bind-off at her website, Melody’s Makings. If this is a skill you’re interested in learning, you’re likely to find the large, clear photos in this tutorial helpful.

Knitty has another page featuring several different bind-off tutorials, one of which is a picot bind off. This free tutorial is by Theresa Vinson Stenersen.

Knit Picot Edging — Free Video Tutorial

In this free video tutorial, Susan B. Anderson demonstrates a knit picot edging you can use for blankets, baby hats and a variety of other knitting projects.

Picot Cast On for Handknit Socks

Picots make a lovely decorative edge for knitted ankle socks. Here’s a free tutorial teaching you the picot cast on when working with double-pointed knitting needles.

Picots Stitch Embroidery: Woven Picot Stitch Flower Tutorials

Several embroidery enthusiasts have shared helpful tutorials teaching you how to do woven picot stitch:


Here’s a woven picot stitch tutorial by Michelle at the Feeling Stitchy website. She demonstrates a lovely three-dimensional flower comprised of French knots in the center and woven picot stitch flower petals.

In this free woven picot stitch flower tutorial, Jacob at the Modern Folk Embroidery website demonstrates how to stitch a three-dimensional flower motif.

Picots in Sewing

What is a picot hem? — See photos at The Dreamstress website.


Learn how to sew a picot edge — by hand OR with a sewing machine

References


Royal Society Crochet Lessons, Book No. 9

H.E. Verran Publishing Company

Copyright 1917


Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches

Sylvia Cosh and James Walters

ISBN# 0 7111 0028

Lyric Books Limited

Copyright 1986

This page was last updated on 1/7/2018.

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