Grafting I-Cord Ends 101

IMG_7504The Royal Cowl pattern uses an i-cord cast on and an i-cord bind off. Each of these techniques gives a beautiful formal edge to the top and bottom of the cowl.

To complete the sophisticated look, it is important to graft the ends of each i-cord edge together seamlessly. It’s kind of like doing the kitchener stitch. Here’s how.

When the i-cord cast on is complete, the pattern instructions state that the remaining 4 stitches be placed on a small stitch holder or a small piece of scrap yarn. Similarly, there are 4 live stitches left at the end of the i-cord bind off.

Step 1: Place the 4 live stitches on a knitting needle. Thread tail of yarn onto a tapestry needle. Bring the tail through the stitch on the right end of the knitting needle by inserting the tapestry needle through the back of the stitch (as shown below). Lightly pull the yarn through, taking the stitch off the needle.

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Step 2: Moving to the beginning of the i-cord, find the first stitch on the right hand side of the i-cord and insert the tapestry needle from right to left under the two legs at the base of the V of that stitch (as shown below). Pull the yarn through.

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Step 3: Come back to the stitch that was taken off the knitting needle. Insert tapestry needle into the top of that stitch from right to left. Continue to bring the tapestry needle under and through the next live stitch on the knitting needle (as shown below). Slip it off and pull yarn through.

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Step 4: Move back to the beginning of the i-cord and insert tapestry needle into the next stitch from right to left under the narrowest part of the V of that stitch, as in Step 2. Pull yarn through.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until all stitches have been worked.

Step 5: Insert tapestry needle into into the top of the last live stitch that was taken off of the knitting needle. Thread it through the cowl to the wrong side (as shown below), if not already on the wrong side. Secure with a knot on the wrong side and weave in the end.

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Repeat these instructions to graft the other i-cords ends together.

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The result is a beautiful, seamless i-cord edge. Happy knitting!


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