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ez icord.jpgThe I-cord is a tube knitted in the round with two double-pointed needles.  Elizabeth Zimmermann named it the Idiot Cord in honor of her accidental discovery of the simple technique. The I-cord is a perfect example of her attitude toward knitting: let it be fun, free of needless complications, and full of discovery. In this picture from The Opinionated Knitter, a wonderful collection of her newsletters, Elizabeth wears an I-cord attached to her glasses.  Once you learn to make one, you'll be searching around for anything that might be improved with an I-cord.


Cast On and Knit

To begin, cast on 3 stitches onto one of your double-pointed needles. Knit these 3 stitches normally, from the left needle to the right.

The Slide

Now all 3 stitches are on the right hand needle and the yarn is attached to the left stitch. Slide the stitches from one end of the needle to the other like this: 

The Trick of It

Without turning the needle, place the needle in your left hand.  The yarn is coming from the far left stitch. Pulling the yarn so that it is snug, knit the 3 stitches from the left to the right needle. Everything is normal EXCEPT the yarn is coming from the last stitch in the row instead of the first when you begin knitting this row.

When you have knit all 3 stitches onto the right needle, slide the stitches from one end of the double-pointed needle to the other. Repeat these steps, pulling the yarn snug at the beginning of each row to insure even stitches.  Bind off normally.

Reader Comments (7)

Thank you for such a clear tutorial on how to make I cord.
I thought it was so great I have created a link from my blog
I hope thats ok with you
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate
I've made a nice cord by using a wooden spool with 4 nails atop, and this is similar in result. I like that this is smaller, thinner. It would make a nice necklace, as Kate I am going to try it out.......thanks!
January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Nice tutorial, thank you!
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria del Valle
I perfect my i cord thanks.
March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Rita de Paula
Exciting and fun to learn of new designs, clearly presented, thank you.
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBluey
I am working with a mary maxim pattern for rainbow entrelac blanket. It now calls for I-cord border. At this point my brain and eyes are crossed up. Do you know what I-cord border may be?
May 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjacque steinberger
Hi Jaque

I think it probably means an attached i-cord around the edge like this:

Hope that helps!

May 7, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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