Knit an i-cord!  I-cords are so super easy to make…I have to admit before I learned how to make them, they were rather intimidating to say the least!  Once I figured out the secret, I wondered what I was so afraid of!  I-cords were “unvented” by our dear knitting mentor Elizabeth Zimmerman by accident, and she dubbed them “idiot cords” or i-cords for short.  They are super useful too, and can be utilized in many different practical and exciting ways.

A similar result can be achieved on a knitting spool/french knitter/knitting Nancy too!  To see and learn how to to this, click below:

How to Use a French Knitter

To get started making your own i-cords, all you need are two double pointed needles (DPNs) and some yarn.  For this demonstration, I used two US 8 bamboo DPNs and some scrap worsted weight yarn.

I-cords are usually made with a small number of stitches, anywhere between two and six is what you’ll usually see.  Here we’ll use three.  So, cast on three stitches (I used the long tail cast on),

Knit one row as you normally would,

Here’s the magical and exciting part…do not turn/flip your work as you normally would, but instead slide the work across the needle as shown below:

That’s it! Keep going until you reach the other end of the needle,

Now, knit these stitches…that’s it!  That simple step creates a wonderful and seemingly complex cord!  Isn’t knitting amazing!?!  Now, continue in this manner knitting and sliding, knitting and sliding until your cord is as long as you want it to be.  I like to give it a tug at the bottom every now and then to keep everything nice and straight,

When your cord is as long as you want it, bind off as you would in your knitting, fasten off and weave in the ends…

There!  All finished.  Have fun making these for whatever your heart desires, I put a link to a pattern below that you can use to practice your brand new skill!

Watch a video to knit an i-cord stitch by stitch:

Free knitting pattern using this technique:

Luggage Blossoms

More Free Knitting Patterns Here

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8 thoughts on “How to Knit An I-Cord

  1. Thank you so much. I saw a demo online demo on youtube oncebut still felt confused. Your explanation was so staight forward going to make one staight away.

    1. That is a great question! Instead of flipping your work over to begin a new row as you would normally do, Just slide the work across the needle without flipping it.

  2. is it possible to do this on straight needles and just slip it from one needle to the other without flipping to the other side?

    1. Yes it is possible! It is incredibly tedious, but possible. I tried doing it once this way because I couldn't find my set of dpns in the size I needed and it worked, it just took a lot longer. Good luck!

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