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Loopy I-cord cast on help

I am knitting a bottom up tank that my daughter wants with no rib on the bottom and no rolling of hem. I-cord cast on I thought. How hard can that be? Cast on a 3stitch I cord cast on, 103st for the back. Thought I was good and tight. But no. Looks like I have a row of yarn overs on my first row. So it’s ripped out. Is there any way to avoid this or is it the nature of the beast? Thanks!

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I’ve never tried an I-cord caston so I am not sure of a fix for that.
However you can get the i-cord finish for that bottom by using the functional equivalent of a provisional caston. 2 ways to avoid an actual provisional CO (google either for instruction, videos etc) are:

Backward loop caston, which makes loose loops you can then easily pickup after you’ve finished the top. (If the loops seem very loose you could try a smaller needle). Or

TechKnitters COWYAK which is elegantly simple to start but a little more complicated to free the stitches when you need them.

Anyway once you’ve finished the top you can put live sts on the needle to add the I-cord “upside down.” To correct the tendency to curl up I recommend knitting the I-Cord from the wrong (purl) side and/or a row of garter stitch between stockinette and I-cord.

Good luck.


My much-less-experienced-knitter-reaction was to suggest to add the I-cord afterward, even though I’ve only ever done that on a potholder! I’m delighted to see a much more thorough answer that I can learn from, too! Love the Lounge!


On. I’m going to try this. So I am on the right side. I will puro a row and then will be on the wrong side. I then start the icord cast off while on the wrong side. Is this what you said??

Yes that’s what I meant. Theoretically, when you start the I cord on the wrong side it will tend to curl toward the wrong side and somewhat counter the stockinette curl. But to clarify because you had asked about casting ON, that this won’t work to make sts to knit up from. Instead it’s as you called it a cast OFF to finish the live sts after you’ve knit up the sweater (or you could do it after kniting up at least a first few rows). Have fun!

Another option: a folded hem. From the bottom up, work stockinette stitch to desired hem length on needles one size smaller than body, purl one round, change to needle for body size, work as desired for body. To finish, whipstitch edge to underside.

Another solution to tension issues with backward loop cast-on (it only took me 40 years to figure this out!), is to put the needle through the back of the loop when you throw it around your thumb; it adds just a little more tension to the stitch. Then you won’t end up with big loopy stitches that can get totally out of control by the end of the row.

Wow what an inspiration! After, for me, nearly 60 years knitting, duh! Thanks.

It is entirely possible to create a long enough piece of I-cord to go around bottom edge measurement, then rotate the work 90 degrees to pick up all along a row of stitches, and finall another rotation at the beginning end to pick up the three cast on stitches. This gives you a completed cord edge, and the stitches to carry on with mounted on your needle. It’s a great way to start a neckline, but could be the bottom.

That being said, I would actually do a provisional crochet cast on, and complete the cord at the end of the project, as has been mentioned.