A picot bind off is a really cute way to add some girlish flair to an edge. While it does take more yarn and a little more time than usual to complete this bind off, it is really pretty and stretchy, making it a great choice for necklines on children's clothing. Consider adding it to an otherwise ho-hum scarf, or fingerless mittens—basically the hem of anything that needs a little extra "something." It will look as if you bought it in a fancy boutique.
The picot bind off can be varied greatly depending on how dramatic and how far apart you want the picots to be. You can work the bind off on just one stitch at a time to make the points very small, or you can do several at a time to make them very large.
Starting the Picot Bind Off
Cast on two stitches and bind off four stitches for each point. No matter how many stitches you cast on, always bind off twice as many stitches for each point.
The first step to making a picot bind off is to cast on the appropriate number of stitches at the front of the needle with the stitches on it. This can be accomplished easily through the use of the cable cast on, which is similar to the knit cast on but creates a cable look.
Binding off the Stitches
Do this in the same way you traditionally bind off, knitting two stitches and then passing the first stitch over the second.
The number of stitches you bind off at one time should be double the number of stitches you cast on in step one. This illustration shows binding off four stitches.
Make sure you don't pull the stitches tightly as this will make the picots very small and not very noticeable.
Finishing the Picot Bind Off
To continue the picot bind off, slip that one stitch that is now on the right-hand needle back onto the left-hand needle as if to purl. You will notice there is a small gap between that stitch and the next one on the left needle—don't worry, that's normal. Cast on the same number of stitches you did at the beginning and then bind off the same number of stitches again.
Continue in this manner until you have worked all the way across the row and you are out of stitches to bind off. When you are down to just one stitch on the right-hand needle, cut the yarn and pull it through the final loop as usual. Then admire all of your hard work.
Variations of a Picot Bind Off
There are many ways to change the look of a picot edge. Using smaller needles or casting on fewer stitches will make your points smaller while casting on more stitches make them bigger. You might want to experiment on a swatch to decide what look you like for a particular project.