Saturday, February 2, 2013

Built-In I-Cord - Perfect Edges Everytime

I spend way too much time on the Ravelry forums.  I know I do.  I justify this time sink by telling myself (and Mr. Verdigris Knits) that I am doing "market research."   Through such research, I've determined that one area where knitters are often challenged is creating scarves with nicely finished edges. 

Daily, there is at least one thread about the effects of slipping edge stitches.  The degree in variation of opinions and directions about just this one tiny aspect of knitting is overwhelming.  Too bad, I'm going to put yet another variation out there.

The built-in I-cord edge. 

To me, this is just about perfection on a scarf edge, or any exposed edge for that matter.  And the results are perfect every time.  No need to worry about loose stitches, or the edges being too tight.  It simply works, and it looks like a couture finish.  And that little column of stitches makes the perfect hiding place for yarn tails.  Your tails will never be exposed again. 

Here's the I-cord edge worked on the Stripe it Rich Scarf - a new design that will be published in the near future.  If your project involves color changes every 2 or 4 rows, I-cord edges can completely hide yarn carried up one side of the scarf.  Completely.  Isn't that wonderful.  I won't make another 2-color slip stitch scarf without this edge treatment, EVER. 

And its as easy as adding 3 stitches to each edge of the scarf pattern and work as follows:  Knit the first 3 stitches of every row and slip the last 3 stitches of every row purlwise with yarn in front.  That's it.  Amazingly simple and beautiful. 

If you are changing colors every other row (as is typical for many slipped stitch patterns) just make sure the new color is picked up from underneath the old color and the yarns will be carried up practically invisibly. 

I've posted a video of the technique on the knitting videos tab.  I hope you give it a try and let me know how you've used it.

What if you want a solid color I-cord edge on your 2-color scarf?  I'll cover that in the next post. 


  1. Sarah that is ingenious...I use colours a lot and stipes and I hate how its carried up and I love making I cord's but I never thought of adding them to the edges of scarves,definitely bookmarking that tip !

  2. I've added an icord edge to the multi-directional scarf and to a scarf with the hold hands feeding ducks pattern, both of which I liked, but did not like the unfinished looking edges. In the case of the multi-directional scarf, I had to add extra icord stitches to keep the icord from being tighter than the scarf itself. I think I added about 1 extra icord stitch for every 3 or 4 rows.

  3. Thanks. I was just thinking about this over the weekend. Now I don't have to think too much!

  4. It looks like I have to upgrade to Google plus to see the video, is that true?


    1. Try a different browser. I have tested on several different browsers and it is working for me. Or email me and I will send you a direct link.