Picots are the small loops of twisted thread that are typically used to decorate the edging of Bucks Point lace. It is also used in other point ground laces (eg, Chantilly and Tonder) and in Binche and Flanders lace.
Below is a step-by-step description (plus illustrative diagrams) of how to make a picot on the left-hand side of your lace. At the end of this page, there is also a video that demonstrates the process.
Picots on the left-hand side of your lace are worked differently to picots worked on the right-hand side of your lace. Instructions, diagrams and a video on how to make a picot on the right-hand side of your work can be found here.
Twist the pair five times.
Place a pin underneath the left thread – hold the pin horizontally with the tip pointing right.
Wind the thread around the pin – 360 degrees – guiding the thread in the direction of the tip of the pin.
Once you have completed this, the thread should again lie over the top of the pin.
Lift the head of the pin so that the pin is perpendicular to your lace pillow.
Place the pin in the pin hole.
Tension the left-hand thread very carefully so that you reduce the size of the loop. Do not pull it tight – it should be kept slack at this stage.
Take the right-hand thread and wind it around the pin in a clockwise direction.
Tension the thread to tighten it around the pin. Pull the threads very gently – first the one then the other and keep going until they are evenly tensioned and the twists are evenly distributed around the pin. Be very careful not to snap the thread.
Twist the pair twice and tension again.
Work back through the passive pairs in cloth stitch.
Some contemporary lacemakers suggest twisting the pair only once (rather than twice) before working through the passive pairs in cloth stitch.
A final point to ponder
The method described above is the traditional way of working a left picot. It may not always give a satisfactory result. Depending on the type of thread being used and the diameter of the pin, you may need to put more than five twists on the pair used to make the picot. You can experiment by taking two pairs of bobbins and hanging them inside each other on a pin (like a rainbow). Twist the left-hand pair twice and the right-hand pair three times (thereby giving you five twists as you would if you were making a picot the traditional way). Work a cloth stitch with the two pairs to close the pin and then tension the thread. If it is very easy to tension the thread, then undo the cloth stitch and add a few more twists. Work a cloth stitch with the two pairs to close the pin and then tension the thread. If it is no longer possible to tension the thread tightly around the pin then there are too many twists. Experiment until you find the optimum number of twists for that thread type and pin size.
The video below demonstrates how to make a picot on the left-hand side of your lace.
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