Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blocking Wires & Centered Picot Cast-off

This post will answer some questions that I am often asked about using blocking wires and describe a favorite cast-off.

Blocking Wires
While not necessary for successful blocking, blocking wires can be very useful. They can be woven in and out of eyelets along the border of a top-down triangular shawl or the sides of rectangular pieces.

Instead of weaving them in and out, wires also can be inserted from the same direction into the slipped stitches at the edges of rectangles or into the holes of picots as shown below.

This sample also has a centered picot cast-off to accent the feathers lace edging.

Centered Picot Cast-off
The picot in a picot cast-off normally is worked over 2 stitches. To make the picot, a cast-off stitch is returned to the holding needle, and a knit cast-on is worked in it to add 1 or more stitches. The added stitches are cast-off for the picot, and then edge stitches are cast off to where next picot will start. So the picot starts on one stitch and is completed on the next stitch. Often this is not a problem, but if a picot is desired to accent a single stitch, it can be centered over it.

To center a picot over a single stitch, first increase in that stitch and then start the picot on that increased stitch as outlined below.

1. Cast-off to stitch where picot will be centered.

2. Knit into that stitch, and leaving stitch on needle, put new loop next to it. There will be 2 stitches on working needle—last cast-off stitch and newly made loop.

3. Cast-off loop just made by lifting last stitch over the new stitch, and return it to the holding needle. Then proceed as for normal picot cast-off.

4. Knit cast-on 1 or more stitches for picot.

5. Cast-off 1 or more picot stitches.

6. Cast-off original stitch plus desired number of edge stitches to next stitch where a picot will be centered.

You can watch a tutorial for this cast off, and another example of it is shown on the Magpie Scarf edging.

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