How to Work an I-Cord Cast On

Sometimes slow and steady makes the prettiest of details. That’s certainly the case with the I-Cord Cast On. This cast on creates a beautifully rounded edge and a polished look you're sure to fall in love with. You can find this stunning technique at the top of the pockets in the Sarah cardigan and along the back neck, upper fronts, and the top of the pockets in the Zoe cardigan. We’ll be honest, it’s a bit time-consuming. But we promise, the final result is worth every minute. 

Here's How You Do It:


Use the Right Needles

It’s helpful to use fairly pointy needles for this technique. Julie likes to use Addi Olive Wood tips that work with her addiClick set. Use the needle size that is called for in the pattern you’re knitting.


Cast On 3 Stitches

You can use any cast on you’d like, Julie uses the Long Tail Cast On.


Slip Stitches to Left Needle

Slip all of your cast on stitches over to the left needle. If you’re using circulars you can slide them all the way down to your left needle. (Please note, you won’t be able to do this in the following step.) The cast on tail and the working yarn should be coming out of the last stitch rather than the first stitch now.



k2, kf&b, Slip Stitches to Left Needle

Pulling the working yarn across the back of the cast on stitches, knit 2 stitches. Then knit through the front and back of the third stitch. Slip all 4 stitches from your right needle to your left needle. 



Repeat step 4 until you've reached your desired stitch count. Each time you repeat, you're adding one stitch.  

Note: It’s the same whether you’re knitting English or Continental style. Either way, it is a laborious cast on. But it does result in an I-Cord edge that has the most lovely braided look...some things are worth the wait. Enjoy!

Patterns with an I-Cord Cast On



The I-Cord Cast On can be found at the top of the pockets in the Sarah cardigan.



The I-Cord Cast On can be found along the back neck, upper fronts, and the top of the pockets of the Zoe cardigan



Hi Eileen, Only if you wanted to do some modifications on the neckline as well. In the sweaters that Julie uses this cast-on for, she gives instructions for continuing the I-cord down the fronts of the neckline. Emma doesn’t include these instructions and the long tail cast-on works well. Enjoy your Emma A!

Eileen Kramer

Would this be a good cast on for Emma version A, in bulky yarn?

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