Knitting Basics: I-Cord Bind Off

Blossom Lady
Mar 21, 2021 07:53 AM
Knitting Basics: I-Cord Bind Off

Looking for an alternative way to finish necklines, cuffs, and edging in your handknits? Try the smooth, rounded look of an I-cord bind-off!

While the standard bind off technique is simple, it doesn't always produce the cleanest or neatest of edges. If you're looking to add some flair or just want a smooth finishing touch on your project, this bind off is perfect. An I-cord is a little tube of knitting, usually only three to six stitches, and generally in stockinette stitch. If you've ever used a knitting knobby or done spool knitting as a child, you've made I-cord. Here, the cord is begun on the last row with a cast-on, and grows horizontally across the stitches being bound off. It's a brilliant little piece of knit edge engineering!

The I-Cord Bind Off creates an I-cord band along the bind-off edge. This makes an attractive, flexible edging for necks, cuffs, pocket openings, and other places where you want something simple yet finished. If you are not a crocheter, substitute an I-Cord Bind Off for edges that call for a crochet trim.

Characteristics

  • Attractive, substantial edge
  • Elastic edge
  • Uses more yarn than most other bind offs
  • Three-dimensional, rounded edge
  • Perfect for:
  • Necklines or places that will be stretched
  • Instead of a crocheted edge
  • Making with a contrasting color
  • Instructions:

    Step 1.

    With right side facing, cast on 3 stitches using the Knitted Cast On

    Step 2.

    Knit the first 2 stitches.

    Step 3.

    Knit 2 together (the last stitch of the I-cord and the first stitch of the knitted piece) through the back loops.

    Step 4.

    Slip these 3 stitches back to the left-hand needle purlwise. (Slipping purlwise ensures that you don’t twist the stitches.)

    Step 5.

    Repeat steps 2–4 until 3 stitches remain.

    Step 6.

    Bind off the remaining stitches using the Traditional Bind Off.

    Tips

  • You can use only 2 stitches for a very small I-cord or 4–6 stitches for a bigger I-cord.
  • You can work this in reverse stockinette as well; simply purl the added stitches instead of knitting them. This version looks especially good with garter stitch garments.
  • Happy knitting!
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