An iCord is a really narrow piece of circular knitting that’s worked on a pair of double-pointed needles. Its name is credited to the great knitting innovator and writer, Elizabeth Zimmerman, who called it the ‘idiot cord’ because she said it was so simpleanyone could do it. Although Victorian knitting books mentioned the use of ‘stay cords’ it was Zimmerman who rediscovered the technique and introduced it to modern knitters.
The cord is worked on just three or five stitches – to discover how to make an iCord go to the Customising Techniques strand in issue 7 of your Knit & Stitch Creative collection. The stitches are cast onto one of the double pointed needles. Instead of turning the work at the end of the row, the stitches are pushed to the end of that needle and then the yarn is drawn across the back, from the last stitch, to be used to knit the first stitch on the next row. If you’re using a fine yarn then your iCord will be a thin one – use a chunky weight yarn and you can create quite a thick iCord.
There are many uses for an iCord, the most obvious being to form ties. You could use iCords as handles for a bag or purse, or thread an iCord through the holes in a drawstring closure. An iCord would also make an interesting alternative closure on a garment – stitch a small lengths of iCord to the opening of a cardigan and tie them together to fasten. You can also use iCords for their decorative potential – sew them onto makes much in same way as you would a braided cord or trim.