Tutorial: I-Cord, I love you.

I-cord is one of those knitting tools that make me happy I learned to knit. I realize it's not everyone's favorite thing to knit, especially when one is called upon to knit 3 feet of it, TWICE, when making bag handles, but I really like it. I like the way it starts out flat and then becomes 3-dimensional, a little like turning a heel. I like the way it's mindless knitting and one minute you look up from it and when you look down again, it has grown, as if by magic. I love that you can knit it by itself or use it as an edge on a finished project like a blanket. I love that you use double-pointed needles but knit in the round in a way that is unexpected. I just love it.

Today, I'd like to show you how to knit a simple I-cord.

 

All of the above examples use a cast on of 4 stitches. Obviously, needle size and yarn weight make a difference in the size of your i-cord.

Using a double-pointed needle of a size appropriate for your yarn, cast on 4 stitches (or whatever your pattern calls for). (fig. 1)

 fig. 1

fig. 1

Knit one row, then, instead of turning your work so that the working yarn is coming from the right side of the knitting, slide the work down to the other point of the double-pointed needle. Your working yarn is coming from the left side ON THE BACK of your work. (figure 2) Knit one row, then repeat the process of sliding the work down. The tricky bit is to always remember to slide the work and not turn the needle around. With some practice you'll get the rhythm down.

 fig. 2

fig. 2

 fig. 3

fig. 3

After you've knit a couple of rows (fig. 3) you'll want to give the bottom of your work a tug, pulling it down away from the needle. See what happens when you do that?

Magic. (fig. 4)

 

 fig. 4

fig. 4

You'll notice that your cord looks like a small diameter tube of stockinette stitch fabric. You can also make it look like garter stitch by alternating knit and purl rows. When you have reached the length you need, bind off. If you are attaching the cord to make it a bag handle, leave a long tail when you cut the yarn and use it to sew the cord on where it needs to go.

It really is as easy as it sounds and it's a great tool to have in your Technique Tool Kit.

For you seasoned I-cord pros, what are some of the ways you've used I-cord?