Applied I-Cord Edging

Applied I-Cord Edging

Applied I-Cord Edging

Before I did it for Dad's sweater, I had never tried using applied I-cord as an edging. In fact, I didn't really understand what it was. I did some web searching (as I mentioned yesterday) and came up with two places where I got some insight into how it is done. The best information I found was at Knitting-And (here and here) and in Bonne Marie's TekTalk on I-cord.

Both of these sites provided lots of good info, but I am an intensely visual aide oriented person when it comes to learning something new related to knitting. If I can't see a picture (or detailed series of pictures), I have a hard time really understanding what I am doing. Most of the time, the hardest thing for me to do is just get started. So with that in mind, I took this series of photos for myself and for anyone else who needs a little help getting the process started.

(As a small aside, if you haven't figured out how to use the macro setting on your camera, it is very worthwhile thing to find -- gives you good closeups when normally you would get blurry photos).

The first thing I needed to do was decide how wide I wanted my I-cord to be. I just wanted a simple edging about 1/2 inch wide. Since the gauge of LoTech is about 4.5 stitches/inch, I decided to do a three stitch I-cord (one stitch gets pulled around to the back, so only two are on the visible edge). In addition to the three stitches for the I-cord, yoo also need an extra stitch -- kind of like a selvedge stitch that goes into the seam when you mattress stitch two pieces of a garment together. Thus, I needed to cast on 4 stitches to get started.

Step 0: Cast On The Number of Stitches You Want for Your I-Cord + 1)

After you cast on, you want to slip all the stitches toward the working end of the needle and switch the needle to your left hand. (This is simple, but is probably the most confusing thing to me about I-cord since I was used to knitting back and forth).

Step 1: Setting Up for the First Row -- Sliding the Cast On Stitches to The Working End of the Left Hand Needle

You can use either circular or double pointed needles (you need to be able to knit from both ends of the needle -- Thanks, Michelle for reminding me of this). I wanted the edge to be very firm so that I could attach the zipper to a firm surface (the yarn is merino, and thus is somewhat soft and squishy), so I also chose to do the I-cord edging using the same size needles (two sizes smaller than those I used for the body of the sweater) I used to do the ribbing.

Then you want to knit all the stitches but one onto the right hand needle -- this is the start of the I-cord.

Step 2: Start the I-cord -- Knit all But One onto the Right Hand Needle

Next, you want to slip the remaining stitch knitwise (as if you were to knit it) from the left needle to the right needle. The orientation of the stitch is important. Once you slip the stitch, it will look kind of elongated compared to the rest of the stitches, but that is okay.

Step 3: Slip the Remaining Stitch Knitwise from the Left Needle to the Right Needle

Next, you need to pick up the first possible stitch at the base and edge of the garment you want to attach the cord to. Be sure to pick the stitch up so that it has the right orientation on the needle.

Step 4: Pick Up a Stitch on the Edge of the Garment

Now you're going to knit the stitch you picked up off the left hand needl and onto the right so that you have one more stitch than you started with on the right hand needle.

Step 5: Knit the Picked Up Stitch Off the Left Needle to the Right Needle

For the last step you are going to pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knit.

Step 6: Pass the Slipped Stitch Over the Last Knit Stitch

Et Voila! You've finished your first row.

Step 7: Completed First Row of Attached I-cord

Now all you need to do is repeat all the steps except the cast on step until you have worked over the edge you wish to work over. I did not follow any regular rule about the interval of stitches I picked up from the front panel. Instead, I just sort of "read my knitting" and picked up the stitch that was most even with the stitch I was going to slip after I gently tugged the I-cord stitches into place. This worked out fine for me and didn't distort the edge of the garment. An example after I had gotten a little farther:

The Finished Product

I hope this was useful. I did it mostly so that I could re-trace my steps someday (I am always forgetting how to start things like this). I will eventually move it into the "TechKnit" section of my site. If you have any comments on how I could make it better or more useful, please let me know!

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