Applied I-Cord

Applied i-cord is a simple, professional option for finishing many knitted garments. It functions much like standard “plain” i-cord, except that you slip the last stitch of each row, pick up a stitch from the garment, and pass the slipped stitch over. For a more detailed photo tutorial (and a peek at the scrumptious kettle-dyed yarn my hubby got me for Christmas), read on:

Cast on

1. Cast on 3-4 stitches. The i-cord in this tutorial uses 4.

Slip Stitch

2. Knit to the last stitch on the needle, then slip your final stitch as if to knit.

Pick up

3. Use your newly emptied needle to pick up a stitch from the neckline, sleeve, or wherever you are applying your i-cord. This example uses the back neckline. Knit the stitch.


4. Pass the slipped stitch over the picked up stitch and off the needle. You are now back to your original number of stitches.

Turn work

Slide your stitches to the other end of the needle. The stitch attached to the garment is now at the bottom of your row. Repeat steps 2-4 until your i-cord is the desired length.

How widely you space your picked-up stitches will vary depending on the direction and pattern of the fabric. Every few rows, stop and gently tug the i-cord to make sure it’s not bunching or leaving gaps against the garment. If the cord looks bunched, tink back and leave more space between your picked up stitches. If the cord looks stretched and tight, pick up stitches more frequently. If you are working around the outside of a corner, you will need to knit 2-3 rows of standard i-cord before working the center stitch. If you are working around the inside of a corner (as in a v-neck) no special treatment is necessary.


When your i-cord reaches back to the starting point, bind off and seam using mattress stitch.


Et voilà, finished i-cord!

Need a project to practice on? Try my Potomac.


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