Learn Something New: I-Cord Edging

How to make i-cord edging

The I-cord bind off on my Caftan Pullover

I-cord is one of the easiest and most magical things to knit. The cord that forms as you knit is amazingly useful. And there’s more than one way to knit the I-cord. With a little change-up of the knitting technique, you can use i-cord edging to make a beautifully finished edge.

When I was knitting the Caftan Pullover, I decided I didn’t like the look of the four rows of garter stitch edging around the neckline, so I decided to use an i-cord edging method. It turned out wonderfully, as you can see from the photo at left. Here are two versions of this technique.

I-Cord Edgings: Attached or Applied I-Cord

This form of i-cord edging can be used as an edging on knitted items. In this case, you’ll be picking up individual stitches along the selvedge of a knitted item and incorporating them into the i-cord one at a time.

How to make i-cord edging
Figure 1
How to make i-cord edging
Figure 2

Step 1: Cast on 3 stitches.

Step 2: Knit the stitches, then slide them to the other end of the needle; do not turn the work but bring the working yarn behind the stitches to the first stitch on the needle.

Step 3: Knit 2 stitches, slip 1 stitch as if to knit, use left needle to pick up 1 stitch along edge of work (do not knit; Figure 1), slip this stitch knitwise to right needle, work last 2 stitches together as for ssk (the slipped I-cord stitch and the picked up stitch). Slide the 3 stitches to the other end of the needle; do not turn the work but bring the working yarn behind the stitches to the first stitch on the needle. Repeat Step 3 until the edging is complete.

I-Cord Bind-Off

This is a variation of the applied I-cord. It can be used when there are live stitches or picked-up stitches on left needle, thus it’s normally called a bind-off. This is the i-cord edging method I used on my Caftan Pullover.

Work as for applied I-cord, but work the decrease with the last I-cord stitch and one stitch from the live, (or picked-up) stitches. If using a circular needle, slip I-cord stitches back to the left needle and repeat until all picked up stitches have been worked.

Now here’s a really cool idea, from one of our readers:

I-Cord Glove Fingers (!)

This is a great idea for knitting the fingers of gloves, especially if you have thin fingers, or if you’re knitting gloves for a child. Knit four I-cords the length of your fingers, and one for your thumb. Use a crochet hook to zip up the ladder that I-cord tends to have, attach the fingers to the hand of the gloves, and you’re done! —New York Built

I just love that idea!

For more fun ideas for finishing and embellishing your knits, check out our video workshop, Knitting Creative Details with Vicki Square. It’s a really inspiring workshop, and the download is on sale for 5 bucks!


P.S. I’d love to hear more of the inventive ways you use i-cord in your knitting. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

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