PlanetJune Craft Blog

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how to crochet an i-cord

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/icord

Have you ever tried to crochet a really tiny tube or cylinder? I find that single crocheting in a ring with 5 stitches is challenging enough; let alone trying to make a 4-sc cylinder, or, almost impossibly, a 3-sc tube.

Knitters are lucky; they have a great way to make a very fine tube – it’s called an i-cord and it’s really easy to knit up on dpns (if you knit). But I have great news for you: you can also make i-cord using your crochet hook!

how to make a crocheted i-cord by planetjune

It’s very simple once you get the hang of it, and it’s an easy way to make fine tubes, as long as you like. You can use i-cord in amigurumi, as trim, or even to make bag handles. It’s versatile and works up quickly.

Note: you can also make a wider i-cord tube, by starting with more chains and dropping all but one loops off the hook. I’d recommend you don’t go too wide though, as it’s easier to accidentally pull out one of the dropped loops when you have more of them in play. I’d recommend you stick with a 3-ch or 4-ch crocheted i-cord. For anything wider than that, make a sc spiral (or learn to knit it on double pointed needles).

The easiest way to explain it is to show you, so I’ve made a video showing how to crochet an i-cord. And because I’m nice like that, I’ve done right-handed and left-handed versions.

Crochet an i-cord (right-handed)


Click to watch this video on YouTube.

Crochet an i-cord (left-handed)


Click to watch this video on YouTube.

See – it’s easy!

If you’d like to practice crocheting i-cord, I’ll have a new pattern that uses this technique available in a few days…


UPDATE: By request, here are my written instructions to crochet i-cord:

Crochet an i-cord (text instructions)

  • Ch 3. Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, yarn over and draw up a loop, insert hook into next ch, yarn over and draw up a loop (3 loops on hook).
  • Row 1: Drop 2 loops from hook. Hold onto the dropped loops with your non-hook hand so they don’t come undone. Yarn over and draw through remaining loop on hook. Insert hook into first dropped loop, yarn over and draw through (2 loops on hook). Insert hook into second dropped loop, yarn over and draw through (3 loops on hook).
  • Repeat Row 1 for desired length of i-cord. Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn end. Draw end through all 3 loops on hook and pull tight to fasten off.

That’s it!

95 Comments »

  1. Stacey Sprandel said

    Maybe I missing something here…When I practice this technique, my attempts end up being a short curving 3 stitch cloth rather than a tube. Even in the tutorial video I noticed that you are going back in forth in rows, so how and when does the project become a tube?

    • June said

      Stacey, if I were going back and forth in rows, I’d go into stitch 1, 2, 3, then back in the other direction: 3, 2, 1. Instead, I drop loops 2 and 3 after each row so I can work in a spiral, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3. Between stitch 3 and stitch 1, you pass the yarn behind the work from the end of the row to the start to begin the next row – that’s how the tube is formed. As the stitches are held on your hook in a row, not a loop, you can’t see the effect occurring until you’ve made several rows, so try making 10 or so, and if you still can’t see the tube forming, you must be doing something wrong.

    • arwa said

      I think I know what Diane means, I dont think that this technique gives a “closed” tube, instead, the piece will be curvy enough from the two sides to look like a tube. this is how it looks also in the video. i followed exact steps and the result is as i explained unless i am missing something as well

    • arwa said

      after a few rows, the yarn that connects stitch 1 to stitch 3 will tighten a bit and the tube will become closed.
      the technique is amazing

  2. Diane said

    What kind of yarn are you using? I haven’t got this worked out quite yet. I think it may be the yarn, which is sort of splitty. Thank you! Can’t wait to get this down.

    • June said

      I agree; I’m sure splitty yarn would make this technique far more difficult! I used Red Heart Soft yarn in this demo, but I’ve also made i-cord with all the different worsted weight acrylics that I use for my amigurumi and I’ve never had any problems with the yarn splitting.

  3. Barbara said

    Thank you for your demonstration. I found it very clear to understand.

    • Barbara Tschudy said

      Hi:
      I am amazed with this i-cord. It was a little tricky at first especially remembering to Chain 1 before you insert your hook into loop 2. Thanks so much for this new way to do i-cord. I like the way it looks. I am making a headband with it I like it so much. Your website is like the greatest too.
      Thanks so much for all your tips
      Barbara

  4. J Niskanen said

    I wanted to make a little Amigurumi fedora for a doll and I needed an oval shape to start and act as a top. The only tutorial I could find for making an oval suggested crocheting on both sides of a chain but that left a series of noticeable holes up the center. From the base it was rounded off with increases at the corners. Could this technique be used as the starting point for making an oval or do you have a better idea?

  5. C said

    Thank you so much for the technique, I wanted something similar to the French knitting cord and this is perfect.
    And it’s so simple too ;)
    With regard to the comments above, they must be missing something out as by the 4th round I was already noticing a “closed” tube forming and I’ve used all kinds of yarn, even the cheap variety and it all works perfectly.

    Thanks again for sharing x

  6. Sandra said

    Hello.

    Can you do it bigger. I mean with more than three stitches??

    Thanks.

    • June said

      Sandra, please see the note above the videos – I’ve answered your question there :)

  7. Laura said

    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed. Your video is so helpful that even though I have no sound on my computer I was able to understand exactly what I needed to do! Thank you!

  8. theresa milstead said

    l came across this on Pinterest … perfect timing. Thanks for taking the time to share. (I left a comment on youtube, too.)

  9. pat said

    genius! best idea i have seen in a long time. thanks

  10. Kelly Champion said

    I agree that in the beginning it looks flat with the sides curling in but after several rows, if you stretch it a bit and roll it between your fingers, the seam literally closes and disappears. Awesome technique. Thank you .

  11. RocĂ­o said

    Thank you very much for the demostration. Specially for the right hand :)))

  12. RuthT said

    Such wonderfully clear instructions! Thanks so so much for sharing!

  13. Dawnroll said

    I like to crochet to make for xmas

  14. Thandie said

    Hi June. What size hook are you using? And yarn? Thanks Am trying to make tube necklaces and want to get the right gauge. Thanks :)

    • June said

      I used worsted weight yarn and an E hook, but you can make an i-cord in any gauge – you’ll just end up with looser or tighter loops. You should experiment until you find the look you like best.

  15. Thandie said

    Hi June,

    Thanks for answering my last question. But now I’d like to know how do we finish off and join the two ends of the icord? I’m trying to make a necklace.

    Thanks

    • June said

      That’s outside the scope of this tutorial. You’ll have to figure out a way to sew the ends together; just make sure you stitch through each of the remaining 3 live loops so your cord doesn’t unravel!

  16. maria de lourdes klering said

    muito bem explicado,lindo trabalho.

  17. Becca86 said

    I’ve always thought perfect tiny tubes were for experimented crocheters only. Mine always turn out very ugly and seem to shrink on themselves for some reason (which is probably because I’m just doing them wrong). Thanks to your tutorial, I can do them just fine now! =D

  18. Isobel said

    Brilliant tutorial, so clear and easy to understand. I’ve just made a huge chain using a stretchy jersey yarn and a 10mm hook to make a necklace and it’s turned out exactly how I wanted it.

  19. ann said

    THANKYOU! a great tutorial.. really appreciate you sharing this easy technique!

  20. Karen said

    Hi June,

    I found your video on the I-cord very easy to understand. I would appreciate it if you could email the directions in text form.

    Thank you

    • June said

      Karen, I’ve added the text instructions to the end of the above post, in case other people would like them too :)

  21. Donna Gould said

    June, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much!

  22. Kaelynne Marie said

    Just wanted to thank you for this pattern! Super easy and sooooo pretty! What is your YouTube channel I’d love to subscribe;)

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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