An Applied I-Cord is a nice way to finish any knitted piece. In this post, I will be showing how to knit an applied i-cord to finish a washcloth or dishcloth. We will cover going around corners with i-cords and grafting the ends of i-cords for a seamless finish. These techniques are also applicable to any blanket or throw.
It is fair to say that knitters aren’t always crocheters and crocheters aren’t always knitters. I am relatively new to crochet, just knowing enough to add some sweet borders to my dishcloths and blankets.
I have been asked by knitters for some suggestions to finish knitted projects that don’t entail a crochet hook. A knitted applied i-cord is one way to add an edge to your knitted work to finish it nicely.
Reasons to add an Applied I-Cord to your Knit Projects
Since discovering i-cords, I’ve realized that there are so many applications. If you would like to add a simple edge to a knit or crochet piece, an applied i-cord is perfect.
And not for nothing, it also has the added benefit of deterring a piece of knit fabric that wants to roll from rolling! So, if you’ve spent hours knitting a blanket, washcloth, or throw only to find that it starts to roll, pop on an applied i-cord to see if that will help!
An Applied I-Cord can help stop your knitted fabric from rolling!
How to Knit an Applied I-Cord
Most of the i-cords I have seen range from 2-5 stitches.
In this case, we will be knitting a 3-stitch applied i-cord
Using double-pointed needles, cast on 3 stitches
After the 3 stitches, insert the needle, with the point closest to the last stitch you just cast on, into the edge of the material that you will be adding the i-cord to. Your tail and working yarn will be at the same end.
Don’t start your i-cord at a corner, come in an inch or two.
Wrap the working end of the yarn, not the tail from the cast-on, around the needle and pull through the fabric, resulting in 4 stitches on the needle. Push those stitches to the opposite end of the needle.
As it relates to picking up your stitches, for stocking stitch, pick up one stitch for every stitch on cast on and cast off row and every other row. Plan to pick up 2 stitches for every 3 rows for garter stitch patterns. Bear in mind this is a general guideline. Your tension and the yarn you will be using will determine how frequently you should pick up stitches to avoid puckering of the fabric or flaring of the applied i-cord. Just gauge from time to time as you go along, adjusting as necessary.
The working yarn will be at the end of the 4 stitches. By gently pulling this yarn up from the end of the row to work the stitches at the beginning of the row, you are forming the ‘tube’ of the i-cord.
Knit the first 2 stitches, then knit the next 2 together through the back loop (K2 Tog TBL), resulting in 3 stitches on your needle.
Put your needle under the next stitch on your fabric, wrap your yarn around the needle, and pull the yarn through, resulting in 4 stitches again.
Push the 4 stitches to the other end of the needle and repeat the process until you reach the corner.
At the corner, we are going to work the applied i-cord a little differently to get a crisp turn.
- Work up through the corner stitch as you have been.
- Slide your stitches down and K2, K2T TBL, but don’t pick up the fourth stitch…leaving only 3 stitches on your needle.
- Slide those 3 stitches down and knit them, but this time when you get to the end of the row, add the 4th stitch by pushing your needle through the fabric and picking up a stitch, in the same place you did in step 1.
- Slide those 4 stitches down and K2, K2T TBL, but don’t pick up the fourth stitch, leaving only 3 stitches on your needles.
- Slide those 3 stitches down and knit them, but this time add the 4th stitch by pushing your needle through the fabric and picking up a stitch, in the same place you did in step 1 and step 3.
- This will complete your corner stitches, and you can knit the rest of your i-cord as you had been previously. Repeat these corner instructions for the remaining 3 corners.
Work your applied i-cord until you meet back up where you started. We are going to graft both ends of the i-cord together using a modified Kitchener stitch.
How to Graft the Ends of an Applied I-Cord
Work your applied I-cord right up to where you started it.
Move the stitches up to the front of the needle and cut your yarn, leaving a good foot or two just for good measure.
Thread the yarn onto a tapestry needle
Once again, your thread will be at the end of your stitches, like it has been throughout knitting the i-cord.
Step 1…With your tapestry needle, come in, from back to front, of the first stitch on the knitting needle. Pull the needle through and gently pull this stitch off of the knitting needle
Step 2…With your tapestry needle find the first V formed by the knit stitch on the back of the i-cord row that is not on the knitting needle and pull your yarn through it.
Step 3…With the tapestry needle, go back in the center of the first stitch you pulled off in Step 1, from right to left
Step 4…At the same time, go through the second stitch on the knitting needle, from right to left, back to front.
Step 5…Gently let this second stitch fall off of the knitting needle
Step 6…Find the second V formed by the knit stitch on the i-cord row that is not on the knitting needle and pull your yarn through it.
Step 7… With the tapestry needle, go back in the center of the last stitch you pulled off and through the next stitch on the knitting needle, from back to front.
Continue in this pattern until the back and the front of the i-cord are joined. Weave in your ends.
Once you get the hang of it, an applied i-cord is really simple and you will appreciate how it finishes the edges of your knitted works.
You could easily skip the crochet hooks altogether and add an applied i-cord to the edge of any of the other knitted washcloths on my site.
To refer back to these directions on how to knit an applied I-Cord, bookmark this page or pin the following image.
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