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Knotted picot

Knotted picot

A picot is a decorative loop, at the edge of the lace, or on a plait. It is used in Bucks Point and English Midland lace, such as Bedfordshire. Knotted picots use only one of the pair of threads for the picot, above left. Picots use both threads for the loop, above right. (Click here to see how to work a picot.)

Unlike most stitches, this uses a single pair.

How to do a picot

Repeat Step Back

Description: This is not possible to describe using the cross/twist system, since only two bobbins are involved.

Working: This is to make a picot on the right.

Push a pin under the right thread (which is less active, so I will call it the passive) and over the left thread (the active thread). Don't push in the pin yet. You are using it as a tool for manipulating the thread.

Pushing down the point of the pin slightly, catch the active thread and pull it under the passive thread, making a loop. You are going to do things with this loop, and it is essential that it is not too taut, so hold the active bobbin in your hand to relax the thread.

Making sure that you have still caught the loop with the point of the pin, pull the loop over the passive thread.

Twiddle the pin around so the point is facing across the lace rather than down, with the point facing right. You haven't done anything to the threads, but the next stage is the difficult one, so you need the pin facing the right way before you start!

Pick up the passive thread with the point of the pin. You must pick it up inside the loop that you have formed. The point of the pin also needs to pass on top of the loop. Sometimes this is easy. Sometimes the loop gets twisted, so then you may need to hold the passive bobbin as well, to relax the passive thread, or you may need to hold down part of the loop with a finger, just so you can see what you're picking up!

Pull the passive thread that you've just caught with the point of the pin, and pull it across to the right, over the other thread. This in fact makes a second loop, pulling through the first loop, and the passive thread has become the active one. Put the pin in the hole, at last!

Then you tighten the picot. Pulling on the right thread pulls the picot closer to the pin, and pulling on the left thread pulls it away slightly, but tightens the picot knot. You will probably have to do both. If you get a surplus loop, loosen the picot with another pin, and try tightening again.

A picot on the left is similar, but reversed, with the left thread being the passive, and the right the active. Under-and-overs are the same, though.