At Christmas I gifted myself some Blacker Swan 4ply yarn to make myself a Field Study. Blacker Swan 4ply has the same yardage and thickness as Rowan Felted Tweed DK, which are both akin to a US sportweight. This means Blacker Swan is a great yarn to substitute for Felted Tweed, which I chose to do because I have wanted to knit myself something in Blacker Swan ever since Sue gave me a sample of it back in 2012. It is such beautifully soft yarn!

After all the gift knitting during the months before Christmas, it felt wonderful on Christmas Day to cast on something for myself. I still value that smugly indulgent experience, even though I have since ripped out all the knitting I did then and in the following few days; about 6 inches of the body! :-O

I ripped out because I wasn’t happy with how the picot hem was flipping up. The flip was so pronounced that I worried that it would continue to do so after blocking, and that fear was interfering with the pleasure of my project. So I swatched a little to try out some flip-reducing ideas, then having chosen a solution I liked, I ripped out my lovely Field Study and started again.

A few years ago I read a tip somewhere which recommended knitting the underside of a picot hem in a finer yarn than the main yarn to reduce the bulkiness of the double-layered hem. I tried this out for the hem of Skipper, and liked the result so much that I am doing it in my own Field Study, using a bit of laceweight yarn from my stash. Because it is for the underside, the shade doesn’t have to match the main yarn. In fact, I rather like the idea of using a clashing shade to funk things up a little. I have very few laceweight shades in my stash though, so have simply ended up with a different shade of green to the main colour. Still, I rather like the effect:

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After working the provisional cast-on, I worked in lace weight on 2.5mm needles, then switched to the main yarn to knit the final stocking stitch round before the picot hem round. Then a few more rounds in the man yarn before the joining round.

To stop the hem from flipping I worked 5 rounds of garter stitch immediately after joining the picot hem, still working on the 2.5mm needles. I love how the contrast colour middle ridge pops! To do tis yourself, work as follows:

Round 1: purl in main colour.

Round 2: knit in contrast colour.

Round 3: purl in contrast colour.

Round 4: knit in main colour.

Round 5: purl in main colour.

After the garter stitch I found the fabric still had a bit of a tendency to flip where the colourwork began. I fixed this by gently pressing the bottom of my knitting with my steam iron.

Though it was a lot of work, and rather heartbreaking to rip out days of work, I’m glad I did it, as I’m now very happy with the bottom of my Field Study! :o)

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3 thoughts on “Picot Hem Hack

  1. How lovely! And brilliant! I think the end result of ripping back and finding a new technique has paid off well. It looks fantastic!

  2. How very clever! I am always a bit leery of a picot hem precisely because of its wish to flip up. I’ve used smaller needles, and 10% fewer stitches (think that’s an Elizabeth Zimmerman idea) but I love the pop of color from the contrasting lace yarn as well as the little colored garter strip.

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