The first time you came across the term I-cord in a pattern, you probably had two questions. First, how do I knit I-cord? And second, what does the “I” stand for? If a more experienced knitter told you the “I” stood for “idiot,” you probably didn’t believe her. But, yes, the “I” really does stand for idiot! The inventor was making a statement that this cord is so easy an idiot could make it.
Sometimes, instead of knitting a flat surface, you want something more like rope. That’s where I-cord comes in. I-cord creates a long, curling, round project that, as the name suggests, looks like a cord.
How to knit I-cord
Knitting I-cord is really quite simple. First, you will need two double-point needles. I-cord generally uses somewhere between 3-5 stitches. After you’ve cast on, knit your first row of stitches, but then don’t turn your work. Instead, slide your stitches to the other end of the needle they’re on. (This is why you use double points.) Now you’ve got the right side facing you and the working yarn at the left-most stitch on your left hand needle. Knit into the right-most stitch on your left hand needle, pulling the working yarn across the back of your stitches to begin the next row. This is the action that creates the closed-in cord appearance. Just keep repeating that process until your cord is the length you want it to be. Then bind off as usual.
How to knit an I-cord bind-off
You can also use I-cord technique to make a thicker bind-off edge. To knit an I-cord bind-off, start your bind off row by casting on two stitches (or more for a thicker cord). Then slip those two stitches from the right hand needle onto the left hand needle. Now to begin the bind off, knit a stitch, then do a slip, slip knit with the next two stitches. (However many stitches you knit before the decrease will be one fewer than you cast on at the start of the row.)
How to use I-cord
Now that you know the basics of how to knit I-cord, you can add it to anything. What knitting project will you add I-cord to?
In case you missed it, jump into the discussion around cast-on knitting techniques. Come back to the Craftsy blog on Wednesday to see if the tools in your knitting kit match up with what everyone else uses!