Learn How to Make I-Cord Knitting Like a Pro

Learn How to Make I-Cord Knitting Like a Pro

Knitting is a wonderfully versatile craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items with just a few simple tools. One technique that every knitter should have in their repertoire is making I-cord. I-cord is a narrow, tube-like strip of knitting that can be used in a variety of ways, such as edging, decorative accents, or even as a standalone accessory. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of making I-cord and show you how to incorporate it into your knitting projects.

To make I-cord, you will need a set of double-pointed knitting needles and some yarn in the color and weight of your choice. Begin by casting on three stitches onto one of the needles. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your right hand, and slide the other empty needle into your left hand. The working yarn should be at the back of your work.

Using your right hand needle, knit the first stitch as you normally would, but instead of sliding the stitch off the left needle, bring the yarn around the back of the work and knit the same stitch again. Repeat this process for the second and third stitches, knitting each one twice. At this point, you will have three stitches on the right needle and the working yarn at the back of the work, ready to start the next row.

Continue working in this manner, never turning your work, but simply sliding the stitches to the right end of the right-hand needle and bringing the yarn around the back of the work before knitting the next stitch. As you work, you will notice that a tube-like structure begins to form, creating the I-cord. Keep knitting rows until your I-cord reaches the desired length.

Pro tip: If you want to add a little flair to your I-cord, you can experiment with different stitch patterns, such as ribbing or seed stitch. This can create a more textured and visually appealing I-cord.

Once you have finished knitting your I-cord, you can bind off by knitting the first two stitches together, then passing the first stitch over the second stitch. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later, and pull it through the last stitch to secure it. Now you have a completed I-cord that you can use to add a finishing touch to your knitting projects.

From edging a blanket to adding decorative accents to a hat, I-cord can elevate your knitting projects and give them a polished, professional look. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, mastering the art of making I-cord is a skill that will serve you well in your future projects.

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles

When it comes to making I-cord, choosing the right yarn and needles is key to achieving the desired results. Here are some factors to consider:


Yarn Weight: Choose a yarn weight that is suitable for the project you have in mind. Thicker yarns will create a chunkier I-cord, while thinner yarns will produce a more delicate cord.

Fiber Content: The fiber content of the yarn will affect the drape and appearance of the I-cord. For a smooth and polished look, opt for yarns with a high percentage of animal fibers like wool or alpaca. For a more textured and rustic appearance, consider yarns with added silk, linen, or other plant fibers.

Color: Consider the color of the yarn and how it will complement or contrast with your project. Bold and vibrant colors can make a statement, while neutral or subtle shades can provide a more sophisticated look.


Needle Size: The size of your needles will determine the thickness of your I-cord. Choose a needle size that corresponds to the desired gauge of your project.

Straight or Double-Pointed Needles: I-cord can be knit using either straight or double-pointed needles, depending on your preference. Straight needles are easier to handle and work with, especially for beginners. Double-pointed needles are useful for projects that require knitting in the round or creating I-cord edging.

Material: Needles can be made of various materials, such as metal, wood, or plastic. Consider the weight, feel, and comfort of the needles in your hand when making your choice. Some knitters prefer the smoothness and speed of metal needles, while others enjoy the warmth and grip of wooden needles.

By carefully considering these factors and experimenting with different yarns and needles, you can create beautiful and customized I-cord projects that suit your style and preferences.

Casting On for I-Cord

Before you can start knitting I-cord, you’ll need to cast on. Casting on for I-cord is slightly different from traditional knitting, as you’ll be working with just a few stitches instead of a larger number.

To cast on for I-cord, follow these steps:

  1. Hold your knitting needles together in your preferred method (either using the magic loop method or double-pointed needles).
  2. With the working yarn, make a slipknot and place it on the first needle.
  3. Insert the second needle into the slipknot from left to right, creating a second stitch.
  4. Tighten the slipknot slightly to secure the stitches.

You now have two stitches on your needles. These will be the foundation stitches for your I-cord.

Note: It’s important to keep your tension loose when casting on for I-cord. This will make it easier to slide the stitches along the needles as you knit.

Once you have cast on the desired number of stitches for your I-cord, you’re ready to start knitting!

Working the I-Cord

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to work the i-cord knitting:

  1. Start by knitting a few stitches using the working yarn. Generally, 3 to 5 stitches are sufficient for an i-cord.
  2. Hold the working yarn at the back of the knitting with the right needle.
  3. Take the left needle and insert it into the first stitch on the right needle from left to right, as if to knit.
  4. Wrap the yarn around the left needle counterclockwise.
  5. Pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the left needle.
  6. Do not slip the new stitch off the left needle.
  7. Transfer the stitch from the left needle back to the right needle, without slipping it off.
  8. Repeat steps 3 to 7 until the desired length of the i-cord is achieved.
  9. Remember to keep the tension consistent throughout the knitting process to ensure an even and neat i-cord.

Once all the stitches have been worked, you can either cut the working yarn and weave in the end, or continue working on the i-cord by picking up stitches from the edge of your project.

Note: Remember to work I-cords in a smooth and even manner to prevent the stitches from twisting.

Increasing and Decreasing in I-Cord

Increasing and decreasing in I-Cord knitting allows you to create different shapes and designs. Here are some techniques you can use:

Increasing in I-Cord

  1. To increase in I-Cord, you can simply knit or purl into the front and back of a stitch. This will create an extra stitch and make your I-Cord longer.
  2. Another way to increase in I-Cord is by using the Make 1 (M1) technique. This involves picking up the strand of yarn between two stitches, placing it onto the left needle, and knitting into it.

Decreasing in I-Cord

  1. To decrease in I-Cord, you can simply knit or purl two stitches together. This will reduce the number of stitches and make your I-Cord shorter.
  2. Another way to decrease in I-Cord is by using the Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK) technique. This involves slipping two stitches knitwise, inserting the left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches, and knitting them together.
  3. Alternatively, you can use the Knit Two Together (K2tog) technique to decrease in I-Cord. This involves knitting two stitches together through the front loops.

By using these increasing and decreasing techniques, you can create different shapes and patterns in your I-Cord knitting projects. Experiment with different combinations to achieve the desired effects.

Binding Off the I-Cord

Once you have reached the desired length for your I-Cord, it’s time to bind off. Binding off the I-Cord is quite simple and can be done in just a few steps:

  1. Knit 2 stitches. Start by knitting the first two stitches of the I-Cord, just like you have been doing throughout the knitting process.
  2. Slip the first stitch over the second stitch. Take the left needle and slip it into the first stitch on the right needle. Lift the first stitch up and over the second stitch, dropping it off the right needle. This will leave only one stitch on the right needle.
  3. Knit 1 stitch. Now, knit the remaining stitch on the right needle. You should have only one stitch on the right needle at this point.
  4. Cut the yarn. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail that is long enough to weave in later. You can use a pair of scissors to do this.

And that’s it! Your I-Cord is now bound off and complete. You can now use the tail of yarn to attach the I-Cord to your knitting project or to weave it into the stitches to secure it in place.

Blocking and Finishing the I-Cord

Blocking and finishing your I-cord can help to enhance its appearance and make it more polished. Here are the steps to block and finish your I-cord:

  1. Prepare your blocking materials: You will need a clean towel or blocking mat, T-pins, and a spray bottle filled with water.
  2. Wet the I-cord: Fill the spray bottle with water and lightly mist the I-cord. Make sure the I-cord is thoroughly wet, but not soaking wet.
  3. Shape the I-cord: Gently shape the I-cord into the desired position. For example, if you want a straight I-cord, straighten it out. If you want a curled I-cord, wrap it into a coil. You can use your fingers to help shape the I-cord as needed.
  4. Pin the I-cord in place: Use T-pins to secure the I-cord in its desired shape. Place the T-pins along the length of the I-cord, spacing them out evenly. This will help the I-cord maintain its shape as it dries.
  5. Let the I-cord dry: Allow the I-cord to air dry completely. This may take a few hours or overnight, depending on the thickness of the I-cord and the humidity level in the room.
  6. Remove the pins: Once the I-cord is fully dry, carefully remove the T-pins from the I-cord. Be gentle to avoid any damage to the I-cord.
  7. Finishing touches: If desired, you can give your I-cord a final touch by steam blocking it. Hold a steam iron a few inches above the I-cord and gently steam it, being careful not to touch the I-cord directly with the iron. This can help to further enhance the I-cord’s shape and appearance.

Following these steps will help you to block and finish your I-cord, giving it a professional and polished look. Enjoy your beautifully finished I-cord in your knitting projects!

Using I-Cord in Projects

The I-Cord knitting technique is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of projects to add a unique touch. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate I-Cord into your knitting projects:

  • Edgings: I-Cord makes for beautiful and sturdy edgings on garments and accessories. You can use it to finish off necklines, hems, cuffs, or even the edges of blankets and scarves.
  • Drawstrings: Add a drawstring to your bags, hoodies, or pouches by knitting an I-Cord. It not only adds functionality but also gives a polished look to your project.
  • Decoration: Use I-Cord to create decorative elements on your knitting projects. For example, you can make loops, braids, or even designs like hearts or letters by shaping the I-Cord as you knit.
  • Handles/Straps: Knitting I-Cords can also be used to create handles or straps for bags, purses, or even belts. They provide strength and durability while adding a nice finishing touch.
  • Eyecatching details: I-Cord can be used to create bold, eyecatching details on your knitting projects. For example, you can attach it as an accent on the back of a sweater, or use it to create loops for buttons or other closures.
  • Embroidery: Another way to use I-Cord is to embroider it onto your projects. This can add texture and dimension to your knitted designs, making them stand out.

These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate I-Cord into your knitting projects. The only limit is your imagination! Have fun experimenting with I-Cord and discover new ways to enhance your knitting projects.


What is I-cord knitting?

I-cord knitting is a technique used to create a narrow, cord-like strip of knitted fabric. It is typically made using double-pointed needles, and it is often used to create handles, cords, or decorative accents in knitting projects.

How do you make an I-cord?

To make an I-cord, you will need double-pointed needles and yarn. Start by casting on the desired number of stitches onto one of the double-pointed needles. Then, without turning the work, slide the stitches to the other end of the needle. Knit the stitches across the row, pulling the yarn tightly across the back of the work. Repeat this process until the cord reaches the desired length.

What can you use I-cord knitting for?

I-cord knitting can be used for a variety of purposes in knitting projects. It is often used to create handles for bags or purses, drawstrings for clothing or bags, decorative accents on hats or scarves, or even as a border or edging for a knitted piece.

Are there any variations of I-cord knitting?

Yes, there are variations of I-cord knitting that can add different textures or patterns to the cord. One variation is the twisted stitch I-cord, where the stitches are purposely twisted before knitting them. This creates a slightly different look and texture. Another variation is the slipped stitch I-cord, where stitches are slipped instead of knitted, creating a different pattern.


Knitting Tutorial: Making an I-cord

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