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!










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