An i-cord makes a beautiful finishing edge along your work.
It's ideal for scarves, or for example the edge of a vest. It's also used in the collar of pattern Eileen.
Keep in mind that an i-cord will make your work somewhat heavier and slightly more ridig along the edge. This can be perfect - or a disaster. It all depends on your project and the yarn you're working with.
With a highly elastic quality yarn like Supertwist Merino DK, you can knit a soft, flexible i-cord that will not sag.
Important: This i-cord edge requires 3 stitches on both sides of the work. (You can make the i-cord bigger if you like, using 4 or 5 stitches.)
If you want to add the i-cord to, for example, a scarf and it's not included in the pattern, you need to cast on 6 extra stitches. Three for each side.
This is how you knit your i-cord:
- Insert the right hand knitting needle purlwise through the first 3 stitches and slip them onto the right hand needle.
You can also slip them one by one.
- The slipped stitches are on the right hand needle.
- The working yarn passes behind the work.
- Knit the next stitch (the fourth stitch) according to your pattern. In this case it's a regular ol' knit stitch.
- See the yarn running behind the 3 slipped stitches?
Now you come to the point where you might need to develop some feeling for the tension. You'll want to tighten the i-cord, but not too much. The sweet spot differs per yarn and per project. For me, using Supertwist, this worked best:
- Pull simultaneously at the yarn and the i-cord. Not very hard, just put some tension on them both. Now wiggle your right hand needle forwards and backwards. This way you wriggle the yarn and the stitches neatly in line, without tightening the one stitch too much and the other too little.
Slight tension on the i-cord and the working yarn, and wiggle away!
- Continue knitting your pattern (in this case, all knit stitches) with a normal tension on your yarn. Keep in mind that you have already knitted your first stitch in pattern - the current fourth stitch on your needle!
- Last, but not least! Purl the last 3 stitches.
Repeat this each row.
Allow yourself to knit a couple of rows before you judge whether or not you got the tension right. It takes a while for the i-cord to settle and take shape.
So knitting the i-cord boils down to this:
- (cast on 6 extra stitches);
- slip the first 3 stitches purlwise;
- purl the last 3 stitches.
Not too bad, right? An easy trick for a beautiful finishing touch.
I wish you lots of happy i-cording!
Did you enjoy this? I sure hope you did!
Are you happy? I'll dance a jig!
Do you have suggestions? I'd love to hear them.
Are you unhappy? I'll fix it!