Beadwise: Watch and Learn How to Play with Beaded Picot

What’s a great way to add texture and color to your beadwork, hide visible edge threads, and personalize your designs? You guessed it: beaded picot!

There are so many kinds of beaded picot that I couldn’t possibly list all the variations even if I tried. You can vary the stitch patterns, as well as the color, size, and number of beads used. So you can see how the options available rapidly spiral beyond comprehension. Here’s a quick peek at a basic picot edging for three beading stitches.

The “Rules” of Beaded Picot

While rules are made to be broken (especially in beading!), there are two main guidelines for beaded picot. Generally speaking, picot looks best when done with beads slightly smaller than those used for the main piece. For example, a piece worked in size 11 seed beads looks nice with a picot edging using size 15 seed beads. Likewise, a piece made with size 8 seed beads is complemented by picot in size 11 seed beads.

The other sage advice for picot involves using odd numbers of beads for each unit. By picking up an odd number of beads (usually three) for each stitch, you’ll ensure that each cluster of picot has a distinct central point that can stand up and show off.

Picot is easy to add to peyote stitch – and you can create all sorts of variations from here.

Picot is easy to add to peyote stitch – and you can create all sorts of variations from here.

Picot with Peyote Stitch

To add beaded picot to a standard peyote stitch, you’ll follow the peyote thread path, but you’ll pick up an odd number of small seed beads between each up-bead. This adds a delicate wavy edging to your beadwork.

To learn more ways to have fun with picot and peyote stitch, check out Melinda Barta’s book, Mastering Peyote Stitch and Sherry Serafini’s online workshop, Bead Embroidery: Adding Found Objects to Your Projects. And don’t miss the chance to practice your skills with project downloads, such as the Chance for Romance Bracelet and the Flowerpot Bracelet.

Top your herringbone columns with delicate clusters of picot.

Top your herringbone columns with delicate clusters of picot.

Picot with Herringbone Stitch

With its neatly-stacked, two-bead columns, herringbone stitch looks great finished with little clusters of beaded picot. When your beadwork is the length you want, weave through the top row of your beads, adding an odd number of picot beads atop each column.

To take your beadwork up a notch, consider Best of Beadwork: 8 Projects by Designer of the Year Laura McCabe and Melinda Barta’s online workshop, Herringbone Stitch: Basics and Beyond.

Since picot covers up exposed edge threads, it makes a nice addition to brick stitch.

Since picot covers up exposed edge threads, it makes a nice addition to brick stitch.

Picot with Brick Stitch

Beaded picot is a great way to cover up the exposed edge threads of brick stitch. Pick up an odd number of beads for your first unit and then catch the second thread from the edge to secure them. Before adding another set, pass your needle back up through the last bead of the picot cluster you added. When you continue, you’ll use one bead fewer for your sets because one bead is shared between two picot units, and you’ll catch the thread closest to your needle each time. Practice up while making project downloads like the Genie Gems Bracelet and the Summertime Blues Necklace.

Brush up on picot while making these project downloads! Clockwise from top left: Chance for Romance Bracelet, Flowerpot Bracelet, Summertime Blues Necklace, Genie Gems Bracelet.

Brush up on picot while making these project downloads! Clockwise from top left: Chance for Romance Bracelet, Flowerpot Bracelet, Summertime Blues Necklace, Genie Gems Bracelet.

With a taste of what’s out there for beaded picot embellishments, you’re ready for a picot extravaganza.

Go be creative!
Tamara Kula
Producer, Bead & Jewelry Group


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