I’m starting to think I have a thing for fancy cast-ons. Today’s tutorial is the first in a pair, I’ll be showing you how to do a beaded picot cast-on. This variant on the picot cast-on creates a stretchy and decorative edge, with the beads adding a nice shot of sparkle. I used this cast-on in my latest hat and mitt set (Zelda, pattern coming soon!), and I thought I’d share the technique with you. While the picot cast-on is as old as the hills, it did take me a while to figure out the optimum placement of the beads. Ready to try it? Here we go….
First, you’ll need to string some beads onto your yarn, 1 bead per 3 sts being cast on. I use a DK weight yarn and size 6/0 seed beads in this example.
You’ll start by using the cable cast-on. Make a slipknot and pull tight around the left needle to create the first stitch. Next, pass the left needle under the right, to the left of the slipknot. Wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around this needle:
Pull the yarn back through the two stitches and transfer that loop from right to left needle, creating a third stitch. Cast-on two more stitches in this manner, always passing the right needle through the two most recently cast-on stitches. When you have five stitches on the left needle, it’s time to start the picots!
Bring one of the beads on your yarn forward, and knit the first stitch with a bead:
BO 2 sts, including the beaded stitch just knit (of the 5 sts you have just knit, 3 will still be on the needles). Pass one stitch from the right needle to the left. CO 5 more sts using the cable cast-on described above. Knit another beaded picot using the directions above (k1 beaded st, BO 2 sts total, pass 1 st back to right needle). Keep going in this manner until you have the desired number of stitches cast on:
Note that this cast-on adds stitches in multiples of 3. If you want a number of sts that is not a multiple of 3, simple CO until you are 1 or 2 sts short of your desired number, then use a cable cast-on to add the remaining sts.