The picot in tatting is either decorative or functional.
The Decorative Picot
The picot which is purely decorative can be altered in number, in placement in the line of tatting and in size to create many beautiful variations. Those picots which form the outer edge of a piece of lace should be regular in size to enhance the overall lacy effect of the tatting. It is advisable to use a picot gauge or other measuring device to insure regularity of size in picots.
Additionally, the use of a picot gauge allows the creation of picots of graduated sizes which can greatly enhance a ring or chain. It can create flower or leaf-like motifs as well. Vertical use of picot gauge. Horizontal use of picot gauge
Long picots can be crossed to form "X" patterns when joined on opposite sides or any number of patterns. Long picots can also be twisted to fill space or create interest in the design.
Very long picots can also be cut at the points for dandelion effects. Individual strands may be frayed to create a fluffy, silky look, too.
The Functional Picot
The picot also functions as a point of attachment for joining rings and chains. It can be made long and the length incorporated into the design. Or it can be made very small and hold the lace elements tightly together.
If the picot is used for joining a strip of rings, the joining picot should be made slightly larger as it is slightly "used" in the joining process; If, it is desired that the lace lay flat and straight. If, however, the lace is being placed on a round object, it may be preferable to enhance the curve of the lace. In this case, make all the joining picots exactly the same size and a curve is automatically formed in the tatting.
The Picot in Beaded Tatting
The picot can also be used to add beads after the tatting is complete, i.e., during joining. Picots which are used for joining also sometimes are made slightly larger that the other picots to allow for the small amount of thread which is used up in the joining process. If you intend to place a bead over such a joining picot, it must be long enough to accommodate the length of the bead as well as allowing for the join.
If the diameter of the bead will allow it, use a small crochet hook size 14, 15, or 16 to insert into the bead. Use the hook to catch the picot and apply tension to the picot so that it flattens out. Then slide the bead off of the crochet hook and onto the picot. DO NOT REMOVE CROCHET HOOK. Use crochet hook to complete join by pulling up the loop thread and passing the shuttle through the loop. Snug stitches into place and continue.
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