how to make a finger knitted cord how to make square knotted cord


knitted i-cord

I-cord is an easy to knit string made on 2 double ended needles.

The i-cord was rediscovered (or "unvented") by Elizabeth Zimmermann. She named it the i-cord because she believed it was so simple even an idiot could do it!

You will need:

  • yarn leftovers
  • 2 x double ended knitting needles


Cast on a small number of stitches (between 2 and 5 works best).

Hold the needle so that the yarn is coming from the left most stitch.

Diagram showing set up for i-cord

Take the yarn across the back of the knitting.

Diagram showing set up for i-cord

Knit the right most stitch and pull the yarn tight. Knit across the rest of the row as normal.

Repeat until a knitted tube starts to form.


Once you have the hang of basic i-cord it's time to play. Below are some variations of i-cord that can be made by varying the number/pattern of stitches.

Diagram showing some variations of i-cord
  1. Plain – Cast on 2, knit i-cord
  2. Plain – Cast on 3, knit i-cord
  3. Plain – Cast on 4, knit i-cord
  4. Knobbly – Cast on 2, purl i-cord
  5. Knobbly – Cast on 3, purl i-cord
  6. Spiral – Cast on 3, k3, p1 i-cord*
  7. Spiral – Cast on 4, k3, p2 i-cord*
  8. Curly – Cast on 3, k4, sl1, k2, sl1, k1 i-cord*^

* The instructions are worked over more than one row of i-cord. Keep repeating the pattern of stitches maintaining the count when the yarn is taken around the back.

^ The spiral is much less pronounced if a smooth, non-elastic yarn is used.


Lots of websites have guides to making i-cord.

For a step-by-step guide with lots of photos try:
Stitch Diva's How to Knit I-Cord.

For a video tutorial try:
Judy Graham's Making an I-Cord.