I-cords, in which the “I” stands for “idiot proof”, happen to be the icing on the knitted edge, the right cord for baby wear, and the best way to smarten edges and ends.
I had read about I-cords a few years ago, but the knitters had never seen such a piece of knitting.Its actually a bit of clever knitting, done with double pointed needles and 3 stitches. We use it for our baby wear cords, as well as to provide a neat edging to jackets, sweaters and throws.
Initially, the knitters would baulk at the thought of knitting an I-cord border. It took me a while to figure out whether one should pick up the stitches from the front or reverse side ( reverse side looks better), as well as calculating the exact ratio of stitches, so that the I cord would neither sag nor get stretched ( leave the 5th stitch alone). With some help from online tutorials, a little help from Elizabeth Zimmerman, and lots of common sense and perseverance, we have become adept at doing this little finishing detail.
Let me share our secrets for knitting a good I-cord detail…Use a thicker needle than the one used for the body, skip the 5th stitch, while picking up and knitting the I cord. Also, be careful if using contrasting colours for the cord–the base colour pops out. To prevent that happening, we loop the yarn an additional time, before knitting the last stitch. This process adds a thickness to the Icord, as well as ensuring that no contrasting colour pops out and mars the perfection…
And that, is that!