I-cords can make a simple hat, sweater or cardigan pop and say “wow”. They can be sewn onto a garment, used for felted purses, used to make spirals, flowers or even used to make faux cables. While they look very complicated, they are very easy and simple to create.
To create a standard I-cord, use two double-pointed needles, yarn of your choice and cast on three to five stitches. Knit one row and do not turn. Slide the knitted stitches down to the other end of the needle and pull the yarn snuggly from the last stitch (around the back) and knit another row. Repeat until desired length is met and gently tug the finished cord to close the gap in the back. Bind off and weave ends into the cord.
To attach an I-cord to a garment, knit all of the I-cord stitches in the row, except the last stitch. Slip the last stitch and knit a stitch from the garment , then pass the slipped stitch over the garment stitch. Like a standard I-cord, slide the knitted stitches to the other end of needle and repeat until desired length is met.
For a unique clean edge to a neckline or front edge of a garment, use an I-cord knit bind off. Before binding off, cast on three more stitches at the start of the bind off row using a cable cast-on. Knit two stitches then ** knit two stitches together in through the back loop. Slip the three worked stitches back onto the left hand needle and pull the working yarn tightly across the back of those stitches and repeat from ** until the bind off is complete. Using this method will give a firm, raised I-cord edging for a very finished look.
Tip: If using this technique over a large piece, to avoid puckering, substitute a knit three together in the back loop in place of the knit two together in the back loop. This will insure the knitted garment will lay flat.
Here’s a video showing how to create and I-Cord:
For more ideas on how to use I-cords in your knitting, take a look at Nicky Epstein’s Knitted Embellishments. Nicky dedicates a entire chapter, including instructions, on how to use different types I-cords for finished items.
Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!