Knitting,  Tips & Techniques

what does the I in I-Cord stand for?

The “I” stands for “idiot”, not for me!

Elizabeth Zimmermann was a British-born hand-knitting teacher and designer. She revolutionized the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series on American public television.

She was the one who rediscovered this simple technique of knitting cords and called it I-Cord since it is such an easy technique that even an idiot could do it.

While the technique is relatively easy, it requires some skill and prior experience. So calling someone who can’t make it an idiot seems a bit excessive to me.

Luckily today there are many techniques for making the I-Cord, and there are some that are actually very simple.

What is an I-Cord in Knitting?

An I-cord is a narrow, cylindrical tube of knitting that is typically used as a decorative edging or to create a drawstring. It is made by knitting a small number of stitches on double-pointed needles and then sliding the stitches to the other end of the needle without turning the work. The yarn is then brought around the back of the work and knitted again, repeating this process until the desired length is reached.

I-Cord Techniques

Below you will find different techniques with different types of knitting needles.

  • Double-pointed needles
  • Circular needles
  • Straight needles

knitting UK | Beginners | I-Cord | Techniques 

I-Cord with Double Pointed Needles

  1. Cast on three or five stitches with double-pointed needles.
  2. Knit one row. Do not turn.
  3. Transfer the needle to your left hand without turning it. Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle.
  4. Knit a second row by bringing the working yarn behind the work and starting with the first stitch. Tug the cord from the bottom after each first stitch to help it take shape and even out the tension.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the desired length is achieved. 
  6. Cast off.

Only 3 to 5 stitches. If you want to add stitches you must add a third double-pointed needle.

It will start to take shape after the 4th or 5th row.

I-Cord with Circular Needle

  1. Cast on three or five stitches with circular needle.
  2. Knit one row. Do not turn.
  3. Slide the stitches from one end of the circular needle to the other.
  4. Knit a second row by bringing the working yarn behind the work and starting with the first stitch. Tug the cord from the bottom after each first stitch to help it take shape and even out the tension.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the desired length is achieved. 
  6. Cast off.

At least 3 stitches.

It will start to take shape after the 4th or 5th row.

I-Cord with Single-Pointed Needles

  1. Cast on three or five stitches with single-pointed needles.
  2. Knit one row. Do not turn.
  3. Slide the stitches from the tip of the needle directly onto the tip of the other needle. So that the yarn appears to be at the wrong end to knit another row.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the desired length is achieved. 
  5. Cast off.

Only 3 to 5 stitches.

It will start to take shape after the 4th or 5th row.

Flat I-Cord with Single-Pointed Needles

  1. Cast on four stitches with single-pointed needles.
  2. Knit one stitch, bring the working yarn to the front and slide the next stitch to the right needle, bring the working yarn to the back, knit the next stitch, bring the working yarn to the front and slide the last stitch. Turn.
  3. Repeat steps 2 until the desired length is achieved. 
  4. Cast off.

Only 4 to 6 stitches.

It will start to take shape after the 4th or 5th row.

I-Cord Knitting Projects

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