Lace Picots

Ordinary picots
Knotted picots


Ordinary picots


A picot is a small loop of twisted thread which gives a lacy effect to a plait or headside. It is worked round a pin. If you just twist two bobbins and wind them round a pin, when you take the pin out, the loop disappears. So a picot's working is to make sure that one thread goes above the loop and the other below. This makes the loop permanent. It is very important to make sure that the threads go in the right place relative to the pin, or it won't work.

You can have a picot on the other side, by reversing which bobbin gets looped first, and putting the pin on the other side.

Click here for a description of knotted picots.

Twist bobbins
Twist the bobbins several times.
Loop left
Loop the left thread round a pin towards its point.
Push pin in
Push the pin into the pattern.

Loop right
Loop the other thread the same way, but towards the head of the pin.
Pull threads Pull threads
Pull both bobbins gently so the twisted part moves round the pin.
Twist bobbins
Twist threads again.

Click on the button to see an animation of the complete process.

How to do a picot

Knotted picots

Knotted picots Knotted picots are done with a pair of threads, as above, but only one thread makes the loop. The other thread is knotted around it. In the explantion below, I has coloured the threads differently to make it clearer (I hope!) They would be the same colour normally, of course.
Knotted picots 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.
Knotted picots 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.
Knotted picots Making sure that you have still caught the loop with the point of the pin, pull the loop over the passive thread.
Knotted picots 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!
Knotted picots 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. See left. 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!
Knotted picots 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. Unders and overs are the same, though.

There are examples of knotted picots here.

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© Jo Edkins 2002