How to Knit a Picot Stitch

Picot stitch bind off

A picot stitch is a bind off that adds decoration to any edge. It is often used for sweater hems, sock cuffs and shawl edges. If you know how to knit, purl, cast on and bind off then you have the skills to knit a picot stitch bind off.

Work the knit project until you are ready to bind off. For this picot bind off, there are 16 stitches on the needle.

Stockinette stitch swatch

Cast on 2 additional stitches by inserting the needle into the first stitch as if to knit, then wrapping the yarn around the needle.

Inserting your needle to cast on an additional stitch

Pull the loop through, as if you are making a knit stitch.

Casting on an additional stitch

Transfer the stitch from the right needle back to the left needle along side the rest of the stitches.

Transferring the new cast-on stitch back to the left needle

Repeat Steps 2 to 4 to cast on one more stitch. These two new stitches will create the picot stitch.

The left needle with the two extra cast-on stitches

Knit the 2 stitches you just cast on.

Knitting the two new cast-on stitches

Pass the first stitch over second stitch by inserting the left needle into the first stitch.

Inserting the left needle into the stitch to bind off

Pull the stitch over the second stitch and off the needle.

Pulling the first stitch over the second stitch

You will now see the small picot that formed from the bind off stitches just beside the right needle.

Forming the first picot

Repeat Steps 7 to 8 two times to bind off two more stitches from the left needle.

Slip the stitch that is now on the right hand needle back to the left needle.

Binding off two stitches after the picot stitch


The action of slipping the stitch back to the right needle will create a small, decorative hole; if you see this hole, you are stitching the picot correctly.

Repeat Steps 2 to 10 across the row until all stitches have been worked.

Working picot stitch across the row

When you reach the last stitch, use scissors to cut a three-inch yarn tail. Slip the yarn tail through the last loop on the needle, then use a yarn needle to weave in the loose end.

Variations on the Picot Bind Off

You can place as many picot stitches across the bind off row as you would like. Some knitting patterns place one or two stitches between each picot, while others place the picot stitches side by side across the row.

The two extra cast-on stitches determine where the picots go. So for example, if you would like to place the picots close together, you may want to skip Step 9 and instead cast on two new stitches each time you bind off a new stitch. For picots that are farther apart, bind off additional stitches in Step 9.

About the Author

Ashley Little is a craft writer and editor who lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Little is the author of Chunky Knits and a writer for Craftsy.com. She has her hands in all kinds of crafts, from sewing to knitting, crochet and any other DIY project she can find.