What To Do With I-Cord

As the icy winter winds brought hail to our doorstep this week, I was feeling a lack of inspiration which always makes me a little dejected and probably not much fun to live with. Whenever I’m in this mood, a simple new project is often the antidote. In this case it involved a bowl of Koigu remnants left over from a blanket I made for my daughter a couple of years ago. A bag of these jewels has been sitting around my house for some time now, pleading “we’re so beautiful, why don’t you make us into something useful?” 






But what? The thought of a stripy scarf wasn’t getting me excited and I have enough tea cozies. Recently when I asked a man if he has ever knitted, he replied yes, he did some French knitting as a kid, but never made anything with it. This seems to be a common cry. What to do with that long knitted tube? Now that I’m on that train of thought, I can think of loads of uses for it, but this time I decided to make my own chunky yarn. With a pair of 6.5mm double-pointed needles, I cast on 5 stitches and got to work.Three DVDs and as many evenings later I had quite a substantial length of colourful I-cord, as it is known these days, made from my lovely Koigu. The convenient thing about I- cord is that you don’t have to weave in the ends; you just tuck them inside the tube. Mostly I chose the colours as I went, and switched every 20cm or so, but sometimes I blindly dipped into the bowl and left it to chance. It was fun to play.


Note: for a  tutorial on how to make I-cord with dpns, scroll down…….




Once my ball of yarn had grown big enough, I cast on 5 stitches with 15mm needles, and started working in VEIL STITCH, a simple, elongated and twisted garter stitch. Scroll down for a lesson in how to do this stitch. 


In no time I had a cheerful little 1-meter scarf that is long enough to tie around my neck cravat-style. It may seem like a lot of effort to go to for a small scarf, but I love because not only is it pretty, it used some of my sizeable stash. I plan to continue for a few more movies/evenings and make it twice as long.

Note: the yarns I used, Koigu KPPPM and KPM, are fingering weight. You could use any yarns, but I would recommend using a larger needle than normal for the yarn you choose, and if it’s a thicker yarn, cast on fewer stitches, so that the resulting cord is airy and not too dense. I made 19 meters of I-cord for my scarf. 

Now I must get back to my needles–Mel 






Here’s how to make the I-cord.

You’ll need a small number of stitches, from 2-6. 

Cast on your stitches. Knit them. When you finish the row, slide them back to the other end of the dpn. Do not turn the knitting.

Bring the yarn from the left side of the knitting, to the beginning of the row, pulling it taut, and begin knitting again. Do this on every row.  









Here’s how to do the VEIL STITCH. It’s a version of garter stitch, elongated and twisted. Every stitch on every row is made in the same way.


1.(below) Slide the working needle into the stitch as if to knit. Take the yarn around the needle as if to knit. 






2. Take the yarn UNDER then OVER the Left needle. 






3.Take the yarn around the working needle as if to knit ONCE AGAIN.






4. Catch this last loop and draw it up and onto the working needle.






5. Slide the stitch off the Left needle. The stitch will be double in length, and twisted.





14 Responses to “What To Do With I-Cord”

  1. Barb Says:

    Pretty! I love knitting with i-cord but hate knitting it. I’m an i-cord cheat: I use a hand-cranky knitting mill.

    How was your chili?

  2. Karen C Says:

    What a fantastic idea – this would be great for left over sock yarn!

    And I do love Kersti – although it’s on the higher end of my budget, I’m sure I’ll be using it more in the future!

  3. Ellen Says:

    Hi Mel!
    It’s me Ellen, one of your former loyal Wildfiber customers.

    I think this idea is brilliant! It looks amazing.

    I love your photos too. What’s your secret in having them come out so well?

  4. Rachel Says:

    This is a great idea! I’ll be linking to this over the weekend!

  5. Dani in NC Says:

    I saw this featured on the Craft magazine blog. You are such a blessing to me right now! I have all these sock yarn odd balls in my stashette. They are too pretty to throw away, but there isn’t enough yarn in any one ball to make anything other than baby socks. I have no need of baby socks, but I do have a teenager who would appreciate this scarf. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Alejandra Says:

    Love it! 😀 This is a great idea! I got a spool knitter today and I love the way this scarf looks… I think I should start making some I-cord…

  7. Anniken Says:

    I love your idea!! It is fantastic!!!!
    For me sitting in Denmark; could you please tell/show me this:
    “Once my ball of yarn had grown big enough, I cast on 5 stitches with 15mm needles, and started working in veil stitch, a simple, elongated and twisted garter stitch to be found on page 165 of Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns.”
    It doesn’t tell me much..

  8. ssk Says:

    I have added the photos for how to do veil Stitch:)

  9. Anniken Says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you so much!!!
    I will have a go at it! :)

  10. Colette Says:

    After making the i-cord, you could make lovely little floor rugs for a special room? Or a big bag, or……a teeny boppers skirt….. oh the endless possibilitys!! You bad girl Mel, Now I have more projects to add to my list!!!!
    Thanks! :-)

  11. Donyale Says:

    Love this idea Mel – thanks for sharing.

  12. flavia Says:

    bellissima idea!!! cosa mi suggerisci per l’utilizzo di questa tecnica???? oltre alle solite e noiose sciarpe?

  13. Samantha Says:

    Love this idea! I’m actually in the process of making TONS of I cord in all different colors to make an I cord afghan :)

  14. Mimi Says:

    I have been making I cord for a little over three years now for my aromatherapy customers. I was using smaller needles (12mm) until about 6 months ago when I decided to go with the larger(15mm) needles. It has helped my hands as I suffer from acute arthritis and the larger motions seem to calm my hands.

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