After I posted my first thrown together picot cast on, I received several requests for the "pattern". Since I had just come up with it on the fly, I wanted to test it on the second sock before I gave it to you here. Well, last night I stayed up past my bedtime getting that picot edging done on sock number two. So without further ado. . .
The Picot Cast On Tutorial for Hand Knit Socks
- Determine the number of stitches you will be using for the "leg" portion of your sock. This should be an even number -- but you were going to use an even number anyway, weren't you? Also determine the needle size you will use. We'll refer to this as the "leg needle", or LN from now on. I don't care if you use dps, or two circs or one circ -- they should all work!
- Gather your yarn, needles that are 2 sizes larger than your leg needles and needles that are one size smaller.
- Cast on with the needles two sizes larger than your LN's using the long tail (plain old) cast on. The number of stitches should be the same as the number of stitches you will be using in the leg portion of your sock.
- Switch to the needles one size smaller than the LN's. Knit 7 rows with the smaller needles. Yep -- just seven rows of stockinette stitch.
- Switch to the LN's. You will be using them from here on out. Get ready -- it's time for the picot part of the picot cast on!
- For one row you will repeat (K2Tog, yo) for the entire row. Some Notes - All you are doing is knitting two stitches together and then bringing the yarn to the front between the two needles, thereby creating an additional stitch. So you are decreasing and increasing at the same time. *** You should have the same number of stitches at the end of this row as you started with! ***
- Knit seven rows. Yep, just seven rows of plain old stockinette again.
- (This row is a bit tricky, but once you get started you will appreciate the fact that you will have no finishing to do at the end of knitting the sock!) You are going to knit each stitch of this row with a stitch of the cast on edge. So here's what you do. . . find the first stitch of the cast on edge, pick it up with the tip of your right hand needle, slip it onto the left hand needle and then knit it with the next stitch. Keep going in this manner, picking up a stitch from the cast on edge and knitting it with the next stitch on the needle. What you are going to see is the piece you have knit folding in half along that row of (K2Tog, yo)'s that you did -- this is what makes the picot! And by knitting the cast on edge with this row, you are saving yourself the trouble of having to sew the edge down later.
Well, after that you just go on with your sock as planned.
Some thoughts. . . I'm thinking you can use just one needle size, but I like to have a cast on that is stretchy so that I'm not struggling to get it over my foot. And I chose the smaller needle for the inside since there is no ribbing to help keep the sock up -- I'm thinking this will help a bit. And you probably can sew down the cast on edge later, but why would you want to? Then you would have to worry about keeping the sewing loose enough (like the cast on) so that you could easily get the sock on and off.
I hope that you found my tutorial for making a picot edged sock useful!