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How to Knit an I-Cord

Learn how to knit an i-cord in this Howcast tutorial.


I'm going to show you how to make an Icord.

For this you're going to need double pointed needles. So, I've got four stitches cast on to this double pointed needle.

For the first row, I'm going to knit them like normal, one, two, three, four, now if I were going to knit this in rows I would then turn it around and do something on the back.

However, do not turn it around, what you're going to do is, you're going to slide it with the same face facing you to the other end of the same needle and insert this needle and knit the four again. But, this time, your yarn is going to be coming from the fourth stitch instead of the first stitch where it should have been coming from had you worked at the back.

So, again, knit one, two, three, four, do not turn, do not do anything just slide it down, switch the blank needle to your right hand and knit the four again.

So, when you pull the yarn from that fourth stitch around to knit the first, what you're doing is sort of, making a little tube. That's why it's called a cord. And, here it is again, there's the yarn coming from that fourth side, you're going to pull it tight here when you knit the first stitch, which then sort of pulls the back together and makes it round.

And the I in Icord, short for idiot, which is no longer really proved terminology, but the idea behind idiot cord was that this was so simple that anyone could learn it. So, if it's confusing you, don't worry, just practice you will get it. Finish the row, slide it down, I'm showing you on bulky yarn but you could use any size yarn and really any number of stitches up to a point. Smaller numbers of stitches are what we usually see.

That's an Icord, there's the back, there's the front, it's nice and round. But, an Icord by itself is only so useful, there's a way to do an attached Icord. I'm going to show you here on this piece of garter stitch. So we've got garter stitch in the middle with attached Icords on the side which is a little more complicated.

So, here I am working across one side of my garter stitch and I've got a three stitch Icord on both sides. So, because I want the yarn to be coming from here, when I knit that stitch on the other side, I'm going to pass the yarn to the front and slip these three stitches over.

Then when I turn it around I'm ready to knit this first stitch with the yarn that's coming from over here. So, I'm going to knit nice and tightly, two, three and that sort of pulls these three stitches around to make an attached Icord. Let's just shoot over to the other side and see if we can do it over there.

You can do attached Icords on the bottom brim of hats, on the cuffs and necklines of sweaters, you can do them hanging down from earflaps as low tassel holders. So here we are.

Now this time, what we're going to do is we're going to leave the yarn in the back and we're going to slip these three stitches over and we're going to purl these stitches so that we can maintain the stockinette stitch of our Icord and the yarn is coming from here which is good, that means it's going to pull this closed.

So this time, we're going to purl three with the yarn coming from all the way over here, but working the first stitch. And then I'm going to move the yarn and continue to knit my garter stitch. I'm just going to pull this stockinette tube shut and I'll be working this one as illustrated before.

So that is how to do an attached Icord.

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