How do I use an i-cord machine?
Find out how to use this clever little gadget.
We love making things by hand and by hook, but there are times when we think it’s OK to cheat and let a machine take the strain of a time-consuming technique. An i-cord-making machine definitely fits that bill and is a great investment for expanding your creativity.
There are various models of i-cord-making machines available, but each one works in a similar way – we’ll show you how in the steps below. We used a machine from Prym called the Knitting Mill Mini, which comes with a weight. Step 1a With a 4ply or DK cotton yarn, thread the end under the guide on the left of the machine, into the groove in the lip of the upper edge, and down into the centre of the machine until it emerges from the base. Tie a knot in the end of the yarn to form a loop (this is where we’ll hook the weight later).
Step 1b Now turn the handle slowly (there should be an arrow on the side of the machine to show you which direction to turn it in – it’s usually clockwise) so that the machine’s first hook catches the yarn.
Step 2a Turn the handle again until the machine’s second hook is about to catch the yarn. You need to skip this hook for now, so use a crochet hook (in any size) to move the yarn out of the way.
Step 2b Turn the handle again so the machine’s third hook catches the yarn in the same way as Step 1b. Skip the machine’s fourth hook using a crochet hook in the same way as Step 2a.
Step 3 Now you’ll be back to the machine’s first hook. Turn the handle so it catches the yarn but make sure the first loop of yarn lies below the latch on the hook – use your crochet hook again to guide the yarn into the right position.
Step 4a Turn the handle so the machine’s second hook catches the yarn. At the same time, make sure that the machine’s first hook has pulled down the new loop of yarn through the old loop of yarn.
Step 4b Repeat the process in Steps 3–4a with the third and fourth hooks.
Step 5 You should now have securely started the i-cord and you’ll be ready to get going! Hook the weight onto the loop of yarn at the base of the machine.
Step 6 Lift the machine so the weight is pulling on the tail end of yarn and turn the handle to create the i-cord. Make sure there’s no tension on the yarn entering the machine by pulling out lengths from your ball of yarn. Reposition the weight as needed so there’s always weight on the i-cord at the base.
Step 7 When you’re ready to fasten off, just cut the yarn leaving a tail approx 7cm. Keep turning the handle until the i-cord falls out of the base of the machine. Remove the weight. Undo a little of the i-cord you’ve made until it’s the right length for you, keeping the last row of loops visible. Carefully insert your hook into these loops, starting with the loop next to the tail end of yarn.
Step 8 Work yrh and pull through all the loops. Continue pulling the loop until the tail end comes all the way through.
Step 9 Pull the yarn tail gently to secure the loops. Now you can get creative with it!