Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Make an I-Cord

In our knitting, we use i-cords a lot. Every mouse, every snake toy, purse strings, cowl/ponytail hat ties, hat ties...the list goes on and on. They are super handy little buggers, and you can use them for anything imaginable. You can use two double point needles, a circular needle, or even handy dandy little i-cord making tools. It all depends on what you need, what you have, and how you make it. For the mice and snake toys I go 'old school'. I make the mice and snake toys on size 11 double point Brittany needles, I only have two on hand - not sure where the rest of the set is. I start the mice toys at the nose, and end with the i-cord tail. First you need to cast on, or decrease down, to the amount of stitches you are going to use for your i-cord. I always use four, but you can test out different numbers for yourself. Knit across the four stitches as usual:

Then just slide them to the end of your needle, so the first stitch you knit in the last row is now the first stitch you knit in your second row. (The yarn is still attached to the far left stitch, but is pulled across the back so you can knit the far right stitch.)

It's as simple as that. You just keep knitting across the four stitches, never turning the i-cord around. Basically, the yarn comes across the back (you need to keep it fairly tight) and the first and the last stitches come together on the back side.

Sorry for the blurry picture! This is the backside, you can see the purl stitches from the last row, but then how the knit stitches come together below.

For the ball and string toys however, I use the Embellish Knit. I used a different hand held device for a long time, and that worked pretty well too, but the Embellish Knit has a hand crank:

The only trouble with the Embellish Knit is that it doesn't technically do heavy yarns. The cotton I use for my ball and string toys is just a bit heavy - and eventually I will break my Embellish Knit. But - it's better (and faster!) than hand knitting a six foot long i-cord. No matter how fast I can knit, this little crank device can knit a lot faster. I even found a video online that showed a lady who had pulled the crank out, and inserted a drill....then the i-cord knits up really fast!!! :)

What do you use i-cords for? Have you ever made one, or were you intimidated by the lack of turning? Let us know in the comments!

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