How to knit i cord edge

How to knit i cord edge

Knitting is a wonderful hobby that allows you to create beautiful and functional items with just a pair of needles and some yarn. One technique that every knitter should know is how to knit an i-cord edge. This simple and versatile edge can be used on a variety of projects, from sweaters and cardigans to scarves and blankets.

The i-cord edge, also known as the applied i-cord, is a narrow strip of knitted fabric that is attached to the edge of your project. It provides a neat and polished finish, while also adding durability and stability to the edge. The i-cord edge can be worked in a contrasting color to create a decorative border, or in the same color as your project for a more subtle look.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of knitting an i-cord edge. We will cover everything you need to know, from casting on and knitting the i-cord, to attaching it to your project and finishing off the edges. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, this tutorial will help you master the i-cord edge technique and take your knitting projects to the next level.

So grab your knitting needles and let’s get started!

What is i-cord edge?

The i-cord edge is a decorative knitting technique that creates a sturdy and neat border along the edges of your knitted projects. It is named after the technique used to create it, which is known as the “i-cord” or “idiot cord” method.

The i-cord is essentially a narrow tube of knitting that is worked on 2-4 stitches, usually using double-pointed needles or a circular needle. It is typically used for edging, as well as for creating cords, handles, and other decorative elements in knitting.

The i-cord edge provides a clean and finished look to your knitted pieces, preventing them from curling and fraying. It adds structure and stability to the edges, making them more durable and less prone to stretching or sagging over time.

There are various ways to incorporate an i-cord edge into your knitting project. You can work the i-cord as you go, picking up stitches along the edge of your project and knitting them together with the i-cord stitches. Alternatively, you can add the i-cord edge after completing the main body of your project by picking up stitches along the edge and then knitting the i-cord separately.

To create an i-cord edge, you will typically need to know how to knit, purl, and work decreases (such as knit two stitches together or slip slip knit). The i-cord edge can be worked in any yarn weight and can be customized to match the color and texture of your knitting project.

In summary, the i-cord edge is a versatile and attractive knitting technique that adds a professional and polished finish to your projects. It is a great way to enhance the aesthetic and durability of your knitted items, whether you’re working on a garment, accessory, or home décor piece.

Why use i-cord edge?

The i-cord edge is a popular knitting technique that adds a decorative and finished look to the edges of your knitting projects. Here are some reasons why you might want to use an i-cord edge:

  • Neat and Polished Finish: The i-cord edge provides a clean and polished finish to your knitting projects. It creates a smooth and even edge that eliminates any raw or jagged edges.
  • Prevents Curling: One of the common challenges in knitting is the curling of the edges. The i-cord edge can help prevent curling by providing some stability and structure to the edges of your work.
  • Enhances the Look: By adding an i-cord edge, you can enhance the overall appearance of your project. It adds a professional touch and can make your knitting look more refined and sophisticated.
  • Added Durability: The i-cord edge helps reinforce the edges of your knitting, making them less prone to fraying or unraveling. This can increase the durability and longevity of your finished piece.
  • Conceals Seams: If you have seams in your project, the i-cord edge can help conceal them, giving your knitting a seamless and seamless look.

Overall, the i-cord edge is a versatile technique that can be used in a variety of knitting projects, such as scarves, blankets, sweaters, and more. It adds a touch of elegance and professionalism to your work while also providing functional benefits.

Step 1: Selecting the right yarn and needles

Step 1: Selecting the right yarn and needles

Before you begin knitting the i-cord edge, it’s important to select the right yarn and needles for your project. The yarn and needle size you choose will impact the final look and feel of your i-cord edge.


For the i-cord edge, it is best to choose a yarn that is similar in weight to the main yarn used in your project. This will ensure that the i-cord blends seamlessly with the rest of your project. Additionally, consider the texture and color of the yarn. A smooth and solid-colored yarn will allow the i-cord edge to stand out, while a textured or variegated yarn may create a more subtle effect.


When selecting needles for the i-cord edge, use a size that matches the gauge of your main project. This will help ensure that the tension of the i-cord matches the rest of your knitting. It is also important to choose a needle type that is comfortable for you to work with, whether that be straight needles, circular needles, or double-pointed needles.

Once you have chosen your yarn and needles, you are ready to move on to the next step of knitting the i-cord edge.

Step 2: Casting on stitches for i-cord edge

To create an i-cord edge, you will need to cast on a certain number of stitches. The number of stitches will depend on the width of the edge you want to create and the gauge of your knitting.

Here are the steps to cast on stitches for an i-cord edge:

  1. Hold your knitting needles parallel to each other with the right sides of your work facing you.
  2. Take the working yarn that is attached to your knitting and leave a tail of about 6 inches.
  3. Take the working yarn and wrap it around the left needle from back to front, creating a loop.
  4. Take the right needle and insert it into the loop from left to right, going under the left needle.
  5. Use the right needle to pull the loop through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
  6. Slide the stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches for your i-cord edge.

Once you have cast on the required number of stitches, you can start knitting the i-cord edge according to the pattern instructions.

Step 3: Knitting the i-cord edge

Once you have cast on the desired number of stitches and completed the setup row, you are ready to start knitting the i-cord edge. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold the working yarn at the back of the work.
  2. Insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle from left to right, as if to knit.
  3. Knit the first stitch by wrapping the yarn around the right-hand needle and pulling it through the stitch.
  4. Instead of transferring the knitted stitch back to the left-hand needle, keep it on the right-hand needle.
  5. Slide all the stitches to the right end of the right-hand needle.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have reached the desired length for your i-cord edge.

Step 3 tips:

  • When knitting the i-cord edge, make sure to keep a consistent tension to create an even and smooth edge.
  • Take care not to twist the stitches as you slide them along the needle.
  • As you work, the i-cord edge will start to form a tube, which will add a decorative and finished look to your project.
  • Continue to follow your pattern’s instructions for the number of rows or rounds required for the i-cord edge.
Stitch Symbol Description
Knit stitch K Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle, insert from left to right, and pull the yarn through the stitch.

By following these steps, you can easily knit an i-cord edge to add a polished and professional finish to your knitting project.

Step 4: Attaching the i-cord edge to your project

Once you have completed your i-cord edge, it’s time to attach it to your project. Follow these steps to attach the i-cord edge:

  1. Hold your project with the wrong side facing you.
  2. Insert the right-hand needle of the i-cord edge into the first stitch of your project.
  3. Bring the yarn from the i-cord edge behind the project and hold it in your left hand.
  4. With your right hand, knit the first stitch of the project as usual, using the yarn from the i-cord edge.
  5. Continue knitting the project, using the yarn from the i-cord edge to knit the first stitch of each row.
  6. When you reach the end of a row, turn your project and repeat the process on the next side.
  7. Continue attaching the i-cord edge in this manner until you have completed all sides of your project.

Attaching the i-cord edge gives your project a finished and polished look. It also adds durability and stability to the edges.

Remember to adjust your tension as you attach the i-cord edge. Aim for a tension that matches the tension of your project to ensure a neat and even finish.

Congratulations! You have successfully attached the i-cord edge to your project. Your project now has a beautiful and professional-looking finish.

Step 5: Finishing off the i-cord edge

After you have completed the desired length of your i-cord edge, you will need to finish it off to secure it in place.

  1. Thread the tail: Take the tail of your yarn and thread it through a yarn needle.
  2. Weave in the ends: Insert the needle through the back of the i-cord stitches, going under the ladder-like strands in the middle. Weave in the tail along the edge of the i-cord, going back and forth through the stitches for about 1-2 inches.
  3. Secure the end: Once you have woven in the tail, trim any excess yarn, leaving a small tail. Use your yarn needle to pass the tail through the last stitch of the i-cord, and then pull it tight to secure the end.

By weaving in the ends and securing the tail, you ensure that your i-cord edge will not unravel or come undone during use.

Now that you have completed all the steps, you can admire your finished i-cord edge and incorporate it into your knitting project!

Tips and Tricks

  • Use the right needle: When knitting an i cord edge, it is important to use the right needle size. A smaller needle size will result in a tighter, more structured edge, while a bigger needle size will give a looser, more relaxed edge.
  • Keep tension consistent: Maintaining a consistent tension throughout the i cord edge is essential to ensure an even and symmetrical result. Take your time and pay attention to your knitting tension.
  • Use stitch markers: To keep track of your stitches and prevent mistakes, it can be helpful to place stitch markers at regular intervals along the edge. These markers can also be useful if you need to count a specific number of stitches.
  • Practice the technique: Like any new knitting technique, mastering the i cord edge requires practice. Take the time to knit a few small swatches or practice pieces before using the i cord edge on a larger project.
  • Experiment with different yarns: The i cord edge can provide a beautiful finishing touch to a variety of knitting projects. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of yarn to achieve different effects and textures.
  • Visualize the final result: Before starting the i cord edge, take a moment to visualize how it will look on your project. This can help you make any necessary adjustments or modifications before you begin.
  • Pay attention to pattern instructions: If you are following a pattern that includes an i cord edge, be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided. The pattern may have specific recommendations or variations on the technique.
  • Seek help if needed: If you are having trouble with the i cord edge or have any questions, don’t hesitate to seek help from experienced knitters or online knitting communities. They can provide valuable advice and troubleshooting tips.


What is an i-cord edge?

An i-cord edge is a knitting technique that creates a narrow, tubular strip of fabric along the edge of a knitted piece.

Why would I want to use an i-cord edge?

An i-cord edge adds a decorative and polished finish to your knitting projects. It can be used to create seamless edges, prevent curling, or add stability to a garment.

How do I knit an i-cord edge?

To knit an i-cord edge, you will need double-pointed needles or a circular needle. Start by casting on three stitches, then knit those three stitches. Instead of turning the work, slide the stitches back to the other end of the needle and knit them again. Repeat this process until the desired length is reached.

Can I use an i-cord edge on any knitting project?

Yes, you can use an i-cord edge on any knitting project. It works well for finishing the edges of scarves, blankets, sweaters, and more. However, keep in mind that the i-cord edge is not suitable for every design, so consider the overall look and structure of your project before adding an i-cord edge.


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