I-Cord is a very useful way to knit a thick cord that was invented by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Some say it’s called I-cord because it looks like a letter I, others say it’s because it’s so easy that even an idiot could make it.

I-Cord is knitting in the round on a very small scale, using only three (or sometimes four) stitches. If you’ve ever used a French Knitting bobbin, a spool or a Knitting Nancy the final result is the same, although with I-Cord you’ll just be using two double pointed needles. Here’s how to knit I-Cord.

1. Cast On 3 stitches on 1 double pointed needle.

2. Knit 3 stitches.


3. DO NOT turn the needle around. Instead, slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and knit them all again.


4. Repeat step 3 until your I-Cord is the desired length.


5. Bind off.

I-Cord always looks messy at first, but as you knit more rows you can pull on the cast on tail and this will bring the two sides of the knitting together and make the I-Cord look more neat. If you don’t knit that first row, but slide the stitches to the other end of the needle straight after casting on your I-Cord will have a more rounded end.

I have used I-Cord in my toy designs, for the Snake Maker, the Pumpkin Head and the Spider patterns. I’ve also seen it used to make ties for cardigans or hats and coiled and sewn together to make small round mats or baskets.

It really is that simple and versatile. If you haven’t tried it before just pull out some yarn and a double pointed needle now, it will only take a few minutes.


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