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I-cord Tips and Techniques

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Although there are other ways of doing it, my method for a three stitch I-cord knitting with a double pointed needle is as follows:

*With working yarn coming behind work from the third stitch on needle, knit 2, slip 1, yarn over, knit 1 (a contrasting coloured picked up stitch), pass 2 stitches over (the yarn over and slip 1.) Slide stitches to opposite end of needle and repeat between *.

The yarn over encases the knit second color stitch, concealing it. The same principle applies no matter how many stitch I-cord you are working with.

Applied I-Cord Report:

This was a small survey of my knitting friends. I asked for their favourite APPLIED I-cord methods. But for the record, Elizabeth Zimmerman's KNITTING AROUND, has 17 listings in the index for I-cord, including "applied I-cord" and "built-in I-cord". I'm not going to detail them here. I'm sure most of you have access to an EZ book! Also most knitting magazines and books now have instructions on making regular I-cord. The following relates only to APPLIED I-cord used as an edging.

Knitter's Magazine "Knitter's School"
method - the one I tried first on my Baby Surprise

1. With dpn, cast on 3 or 4 sts, then pick up and k 1 st along edge of piece -- 4 or 5 sts.

2. Slide sts to opposite end of dpn and k2 or k3, then k2tog through the back loops, pick up and k 1 st from edge. Rep row 2 for I-cord.

Somehow I made a mess of those first cast on stitches - seemed too fiddly to me, so I turned to the one I finally used. This one worked beautifully for me on the Baby Surprise sweater (pattern in KNITTER'S Fall '99):

HANDKNITTING WITH MEG SWANSEN, p. 81: Applied I-Cord - On the "wrong" side, with a smaller dpn, pick up one stitch for each ridge along the selvage. On regular size needle, Cast On 3 sts in border color. Transfer the 3 sts to the dpn and *K2, slip 1, K1 (a picked-up stitch), psso. Replace the 3 sts to the pick-up needle and repeat from *.

Here are the responses from my friends - their favourite applied I-cord methods:

1. The only I-cord edging I have ever done was straight from the instructions in Sue Esser's Midnight Express Vest. It really looks nice and I didn't think it took too long. I enjoyed doing it.

So here it is for those who haven't seen it:

CO 3 sts, K2, sl 1 as to K, YO, insert needle into the sweater edge and pick up a st. (You now have 5 sts on your needle)

Insert the left hand needle into both the YO and the slipped st. and slip them over the last st. You now have 3 sts on your needle and begin again

2. Do not pick up any selvage sts. Cast on for your I-cord and knit 2, slide your needle tip between selvage and knit the 3rd I-cord st and the selvage st together.

3. What you wrote above (#2) - works just fine. Especially if the I cord is done in the same color as the sweater (garment, afghan etc). But the one I suggested doing (on the Midnight Express
vest) works better if you don't wish the garment color peeking through (as it will). Therefore I almost always use the one mentioned above (#1.)

4. You asked about our favourite applied Icord - I like 'em all! Usually I only pick up a dpn worth of stitches at a time to work since I'm constantly changing the ratio of I cord stitches to selvage stitches. I kind of do it by feel. I can also drop what I'm working on and run to get children without worrying about losing too many stitches!

5. I've done both methods and I prefer the one where you just knit together the last stitch of the I-cord and the selvage edge. For me the idea of having to pick up all those stitches first is just too much work.

6. I like picking up all the stitches from the edge of the piece, then doing the I-cord. This is mostly so I don't lose my place - I'm easily distracted, you know!

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