How to: work an I-cord cast-off

I've never been among I-cord's many fans. It's a pain. It's not that interesting. There are better options (meaning: options I personally like better) for many of its supposed uses. And yet, there are times.

An I-cord edge treatment – worked as part of the body, not sewn on afterwards – can be a neat and effective finishing solution. And I'm all about choosing the right tool for the job. Thus, for my Wraparound cowl with its Chinese waitress cast-on, I-cord leapt out as the appropriate cast-off. It's a good match for that cast-on (though not an exact one), it has the same benefit of setting colour changes at right angles to the main body and provides an elegantly rounded finish.

So here we go.

This particular I-cord is, unusually, worked over only 2 stitches. Most patterns call for 3 or 4. Always start by casting on 1 stitch fewer than the total number of I-cord stitches required, and knitting that many before working your decrease. 

1. Cast on 1 stitch.







2. Knit 1, knit 2 together through back loop. (Yes, this will twist your front stitch, but it won't show – and is far less fiddly than any other left-leaning decrease!)

3. Slip both stitches back to lefthand needle.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all stitches are cast off and you have 2 stitches remaining.

5. Pass first stitch over second. Cut yarn and pull through. (If working in the round, skip this step and instead Kitchener to starting point.)

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