How To Knit An I-Cord: A Beginner's Tutorial

How To Knit An I-Cord: A Beginner's Tutorial

As seen in our snaking vest and dress pattern, the i-cord stands out as an essential knitting technique, frequently employed for fabricating straps, handles, ties, or enhancing edges. Crafted from a minuscule tubular structure formed in the round, the i-cord method delivers an essential element of strength and endurance to your knitting creations.

@qingfibre Here’s a quick tutorial on how to knit an icord! An essential stitch features on the straps of our snaking vest pattern ! #knittok #pattern #tutorial #fyp ♬ wasted summer - rattyfishsquad

What Is The I-cord?

An i-cord, short for "idiot cord," (as coined by Elizabeth Zimmerman), is a simple knitting technique that creates a narrow, tubular strip of knitting. Despite its somewhat unflattering name, the i-cord is far from idiotic; it's a versatile and useful method in knitting projects.

The i-cord technique allows for a structured cord to be knitted that will ensure longevity and security to your knits which can be used in several aspects of knit and crochet projects, offering a professional and polished finish.

How Is An I-cord Made?

An i-cord is typically created by working a small number of stitches (often 3 or 4) on double-pointed needles or a circular needle, though it can also be made using a single crochet hook. The stitches are worked in a continuous round, resulting in a narrow tube of knitting. The key characteristic of an i-cord is that it lacks any visible seams or edges.

Common Uses of I-cords

  • Edges and Trims: I-cords can be used to add a polished and tidy edge to various knitting projects. This might involve attaching it as a border along the edges of blankets, scarves, or shawls.
  • Handles and Straps: One of the most common applications of an i-cord is in creating sturdy handles or straps for bags, purses, and other accessories. The tubular structure of the i-cord provides strength and durability, making it perfect for this purpose.
  • Ties and Drawstrings: I-cords can be employed to create ties or drawstrings for garments like hoodies, cardigans, and even pants. Its flexibility and texture make it an excellent choice for this use.
  • Decorative Details: I-cords can serve as a decorative element, adding a touch of texture and contrast to your projects. It can be woven through eyelets or grommets to create lacing effects, or used to create unique embellishments.
  • Toy Making: I-cords can be used to create features on knitted toys, such as limbs, tails, or hair. Its cylindrical structure makes it a great option for crafting these small components.


  • Circular or double pointed needles
  • Yarn of your choice - we used Qing Fibre Fjord in Lime
  • Tapestry needle

I-Cord Knitting Instructions

1. Cast on 3-5 stitches depending on the desired width of your i-cord, the larger, the more stitches cast on.

2. Knit one row and do not turn work.

3. Slide the stitches from the tip of the needle to the other side of the needle.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your i-cord is the desired length.

... And here's the end result.

And that's all there is to it! A sleek and sturdy I-cord ready to attach to any project you'd like! For a video tutorial, head over to our Tiktok.

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