How to Knit iCord

Knitting enthusiasts often come across various techniques that enhance their knitting skills while creating unique and exciting projects. One such technique that every knitter should be familiar with is called I-Cord knitting. It is a versatile technique that yields a tubular cord-like structure, often used to create decorative edges, bag handles and a variety of standalone projects.

I-Cord knitting is not only easy to learn but also opens up new possibilities for experimenting with various creative ideas. With just a few materials, such as double-pointed needles (DPNs) and your preferred yarn, you can begin exploring the world of I-Cords! As you unravel the mysteries of this technique, you will discover the various applications and variations of I-Cords, and before you know it, you’ll become an I-Cord knitting pro.

Key Takeaways

  • I-Cord knitting is a versatile, easy-to-learn technique for creating tubular cords.
  • Double-pointed needles and yarn are the main materials needed for I-Cord knitting.
  • Experimenting with I-Cord knitting can lead to discovering various applications and variations.

What Is I-Cord?

I-Cord is a simple and versatile technique in the knitting world that creates a narrow, tubular fabric resembling a cord. It’s often used for decorative purposes or as functional elements in various knitting projects. With its friendly and approachable technique, I-Cord knitting is suitable for beginners as well as experienced knitters.

The I-Cord technique involves working with a small number of stitches, typically three or four, and sliding them across your knitting needles to create the desired length of cord. The resulting tube-like fabric can be made from a variety of yarns and can be easily customized to achieve different thicknesses or textures.

I-Cords have a wide range of applications in knitting projects. They can serve as drawstrings for bags, ties for garments, or even as embellishments to add a unique touch to your work. Additionally, I-Cords can be used as an edging to prevent your knitting from rolling up, which is especially helpful when working with stockinette stitch patterns.

Knitting an I-Cord is a quick and fun process. To begin, cast on the desired number of stitches (usually three or four) and knit them as you normally would. Instead of turning your work, slide the stitches back to the other end of the needle and knit them again, pulling the working yarn tight across the back of the stitches. This creates the tubular shape of the I-Cord. Repeat these steps until your cord reaches the desired length and then bind off the stitches, weaving in the loose ends to complete your I-Cord.

Overall, I-Cord knitting brings a delightful and functional element to your knitting projects. Its tube-like structure and adaptability make it a favorite among knitters, allowing you to explore various creative possibilities with ease. Give I-Cord knitting a try and immerse yourself in this enjoyable and satisfying technique.

Materials Needed

Knitting an I-cord is a simple and versatile technique that can be used to create everything from decorative trims to handles for bags. To get started, you’ll need a few basic supplies. In this friendly guide, you’ll find everything you need to gather before beginning your I-cord knitting project.

The first thing you will need is yarn. Choose a yarn that suits your project, considering factors such as thickness, texture, and color. Yarn is available in many different fibres, such as wool, cotton, acrylic, and bamboo. Take the time to explore the many options available to you, as the yarn you choose will greatly impact the final look and feel of your I-cord.

Next, you’ll need a set of double-pointed needles (DPNs). These special knitting needles have points at both ends, allowing you to knit in the round, which is essential for creating an I-cord. Choose a pair of DPNs that are the right size for your yarn. This information can usually be found on the yarn’s label, which will recommend a specific needle size for that particular yarn. You can also use a circular needle instead of DPNs, depending on your personal preference.

Here’s a quick overview of the materials needed for knitting an I-cord:

  • Yarn: Choose a suitable yarn based on your desired thickness, texture, and color.
  • Double-pointed needles (DPNs) or circular needle: Select needles in the appropriate size to match your yarn.

Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’ll be ready to start knitting your I-cord. Remember to take your time, relax, and enjoy the process. With practice, you’ll be creating beautiful I-cords for a variety of projects in no time.

I-Cord Knitting Basics

I-cord knitting is a simple and versatile technique that creates a rounded, cord-like structure perfect for various knitting projects such as bag handles, jewelry, or decorative trims. In this section, we will learn the basics of I-cord knitting in a friendly and easy-to-follow manner.

To start, you’ll need to cast on a small number of stitches, typically between three to five, depending on the desired thickness of your I-cord. Use your preferred method of cast on, such as the long-tail cast on or the knitted cast on. Once you have your desired number of stitches on your knitting needle, you’re ready to begin.

Make sure your working yarn is at the left end of your needle, and that the right side of your stitches is facing you. Slide the stitches from the left end of the needle to the right end without turning your work. Then, pull the working yarn across the back of the stitches, maintaining a good tension so the cord forms properly.

Now, begin knitting your stitches using the knit stitch technique. Knit each stitch as you normally would, ensuring that the working yarn stays at the back of your work. The tension of your working yarn will help the cord form its tube-like shape.

After knitting all the stitches, slide the stitches back to the right end of your needle again, and repeat the process. Continue knitting and sliding your stitches until your I-cord reaches the desired length. Keep an even tension to maintain a smooth and consistent cord throughout.

To finish your I-cord, simply break your working yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later. Thread the tail through your stitches, pull it tight, and secure it neatly on the inside of the cord. Your I-cord is now complete and ready to be used in your knitting projects!

Step-by-Step I-Cord Tutorial

To knit an I-cord, you’ll need double-pointed needles (DPNs), as well as some yarn. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Cast on the desired number of stitches for your I-cord (usually 3-4 stitches). Let’s say we’re casting on 4 stitches for this tutorial.
  2. Knit all the stitches. When you reach the end of the row, do not turn your work.
  3. Instead, slide the knitting to the other end of the DPN. Your working yarn will now be at the leftmost stitch.
  4. Knit the stitches again, pulling the working yarn across the back of the work to keep the tension. This will create a tube-like structure.

Remember to always slide the work to the other end of the DPN and continue knitting. Repeat this process until your I-cord reaches the desired length.

Now, let’s talk about incorporating some variations:

  • For a two-color I-cord, you can alternate knitting with two different colored yarns. Just remember to carry the unused yarn up the inside of the I-cord while knitting with the other color.
  • If you’re working on another knitting project and want to add an I-cord edge, you can do so by knitting the I-cord stitches, then slipping the next stitch purlwise before turning your work. This will integrate the I-cord along the edge, creating a neat and professional finish.
  • To bind off your I-cord, slip all the stitches onto the left needle, then knit them together through the back loops. Cut the yarn, pull through the remaining stitch, and weave in the ends.

Congratulations, you’ve just knit an I-cord! With this simple yet effective knitting technique in your arsenal, you can now create a variety of projects, such as handles for bags, ties for garments, and even decorative trims.

I-Cord Variations

I-cords are a fun and versatile knitting technique that creates a neat, knitted tube. They can be used in a variety of projects, such as bracelets, bag handles, and decorative trims. In this section, we’ll explore some variations on the classic I-cord to add a bit more flair to your knitting projects.

One simple way to create a different look is by using multiple colors in your I-cord. You can easily change yarn colors to create a striped pattern, or even use two or more strands of yarn held together for a marled effect. To avoid tangling, make sure to twist the yarns at the beginning of each row while knitting.

Another I-cord variation involves incorporating a decorative stitch. For instance, you can add a slip stitch pattern to your I-cord to create a unique texture. To do this, simply slip the first or second stitch in the row, knit the remaining stitches, and then slide them back to the left-hand needle. Repeat these steps for each row, creating a slipped stitch pattern that spirals around the I-cord.

For those seeking more intricate I-cord designs, consider experimenting with different stitch patterns within the I-cord. This could include cables, lace, or even mosaic knitting. However, it’s important to note that these more advanced patterns may require additional attention and concentration to ensure proper execution. It’s also a good idea to practice with swatches or smaller projects before incorporating these patterns into larger works.

You can also create I-cord variations by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches. This will directly affect the thickness of the finished I-cord. For a thinner cord, simply use fewer stitches; for a thicker cord, use more stitches. Keep in mind that modifying the number of stitches may impact the overall length of your I-cord, so you may need to adjust your row count accordingly.

In summary, I-cord knitting offers a multitude of possibilities for personalization and creativity. By exploring different techniques, colors, and stitch patterns, you can elevate your I-cord projects and create unique works of knitted art, all while maintaining a friendly and enjoyable experience.

I-Cord Bind Off

The I-Cord Bind Off is a beautiful and versatile knitting technique that creates a neat and stretchy edge to your projects. This technique is perfect for adding a decorative touch to your knitted items, giving them a professional finish. Let’s explore how to knit the I-Cord Bind Off, step by step. Remember, we’re going for a friendly tone here, so don’t be intimidated - you’ve got this!

First things first: before starting the I-Cord Bind Off, you will need to cast on extra stitches for the I-Cord. This is typically done by using the cable cast-on method to add 2 to 4 stitches, depending on the desired width of your I-Cord.

  • Step 1: With your working yarn at the back, slip the first stitch from the left needle to the right needle. This is the slipped stitch.
  • Step 2: Knit the next stitch on the left needle. Now you have two stitches on your right needle.
  • Step 3: Pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch, essentially binding it off. You now have one stitch remaining on your right needle.
  • Step 4: Slid both stitches from the right needle back to the left needle.

Now, repeat steps 1 through 4 until all the stitches of your project have been bound off. When you’re done, cut your working yarn, leaving a tail that’s long enough to weave in. Thread the tail through the remaining I-Cord stitch, pulling it tight to secure.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The I-Cord Bind Off may take a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll love the neat, professional finish it provides.

I-Cord Applications

I-Cords are versatile and have many applications in knitting projects. They can be used to add decorative elements, create handles or drawstrings, or even as a functional component in various knit items.

One popular use for I-Cords is as handles for bags. By knitting a long, sturdy I-Cord, you can create comfortable and stylish handles that are easy to attach to any bag project. To do this, simply knit the desired length of I-Cord and sew each end to the bag’s opposite sides. The stockinette texture of the I-Cord adds a refined look to your finished bag.

I-Cord bind-offs provide a neat and polished finishing technique for your knitted projects. They work especially well for items with stockinette stitch borders, like baby hats, shawls, or blankets. This method involves knitting an I-Cord, while simultaneously binding off your project’s edge stitches, resulting in a clean, professional-looking edge.

Another great application for I-Cords is creating ropes or ties. For instance, you can use them as drawstrings on clothing, such as hoodies or sweatpants. You can also knit I-Cords in the round to create lightweight and durable jewelry or craft projects like lanyards and friendship bracelets.

Adding I-Cord details to baby hats is a delightful way to personalize and add style to these adorable projects. Knitting a small loop at the top or adding embellishments like tassels and pompoms can make the hat unique and playful.

Knitting projects with multiple I-Cords can lead to beautiful patterns and textures. For example, you can create intricate designs by braiding several I-Cords together or weaving them in and out of each other. This technique works well for cushion covers, table runners, and even wall hangings.

In summary, I-Cord knitting offers numerous creative possibilities to enhance and personalize your handcrafted projects. From bag handles to baby hat embellishments and stylish bind-offs, the I-Cord will surely become your go-to knitting technique for various applications. Happy knitting!

Tips and Troubleshooting

  • Stockinette Stitch: The i-cord is typically knit in a stockinette stitch where you knit every row. The stockinette stitch creates a smooth, curled fabric perfect for the i-cord. While knitting, ensure that you don’t unintentionally create any purl stitches, or your i-cord will have an uneven texture.
  • Using Circular Needles: Although i-cords can be knit using double-pointed needles (DPNs), it can be easier and more efficient to use a circular needle. Choose a circular needle with a smooth join between the needle and the cable, which will help your knitting move seamlessly between the two parts.
  • Tension Matters: Maintaining even tension throughout your i-cord is essential for a neat and professional finish. If you notice that your stitches are too loose or too tight, adjust your grip or experiment with different-sized needles to achieve the desired tension.

When it comes to troubleshooting, there are a few common issues that you may face while knitting i-cords. Here are some ways to identify and fix them:

  • Uneven Stitching: If your i-cord seems lumpy or uneven, make sure that you are knitting in the stockinette stitch consistently. If, despite following the pattern, your stitches are still not even, try using a slightly smaller or larger needle to correct the issue.
  • Loose End: Sometimes your i-cord may have a loose end that doesn’t look neat. In this case, use a crochet hook or a technique to weave the tail end through the last few stitches, securing it into place and giving your i-cord a clean finish.
  • Tightening the Cord: If your i-cord is too tight to comfortably fit through a casing or to function as a drawstring, gently stretch it lengthwise. This should help create some additional slack, making the i-cord sit more comfortably inside the casing or allowing it to function better as a tie.

I hope you find these tips helpful and easy to follow, making your i-cord knitting experience enjoyable and successful!


In summary, learning how to knit an I-cord is an enjoyable and useful skill for any knitter. This simple technique can be used to create a variety of projects, from decorative cords to embellishments on clothing and accessories. Its versatility and ease make it a great addition to your knitting repertoire.

One of the best things about mastering the I-cord is that it opens up new possibilities for creativity and experimentation. You can combine different yarn textures, colors, and thicknesses to achieve unique effects. Additionally, it’s a great way to use up leftover yarn, giving old materials new life in the form of exciting and functional knitted items.

To make the most of your I-cord knitting experience, remember to practice regularly and experiment with different needle sizes and yarns. This will help you find the perfect combination that works best for your desired project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you knit an I-cord for beginners?

Knitting an Icord is a simple and easy skill to learn for beginners. Start by casting on the desired number of stitches (typically 3 or 4) onto double-pointed needles. Knit all of the stitches, then slide them to the other end of the needle without turning your work. Bring the working yarn behind the stitches and knit them again. Repeat these steps until your Icord reaches the desired length.

Is French knitting the same as Icord?

French knitting, also known as spool knitting or corking, is a technique similar to Icord knitting. Both methods create a tubular, cord-like structure. However, French knitting uses a knitting loom or spool, while Icord knitting is done with double-pointed needles.

How many stitches does it take to knit an Icord?

The number of stitches needed to knit an Icord depends on the desired thickness. A standard Icord typically uses 3 or 4 stitches, but you can experiment with more or fewer stitches to achieve your desired result.

How do you knit an I-cord on circular needles?

Knitting an I-cord on circular needles is similar to using double-pointed needles. Cast on the required number of stitches and knit them. Instead of sliding the stitches to the other end of the needle, use a second circular needle to knit the stitches again. Then, slide the stitches back to the first needle and continue knitting until the I-cord reaches the desired length.

Can you knit i-cord edge as you go?

Yes, you can knit an I-cord edge as you go. To do this, simply cast on additional stitches needed for the i-cord (usually 3 or 4) at the beginning of your project. Knit the I-cord stitches, then knit across the main body of your project. At the end of the row, incorporate the edge stitch into the I-cord by knitting it together with the I-cord stitches. Keep repeating these steps as you work on your project to create an attached I-cord edge.

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