My applied i-cord adventures continue. Applied i-cord is the new dishrag. If it doesn't move, you really ought to apply some i-cord to it.
A reader asks (and she's not the only one): "What do you do when you get to a corner?"
I'll tell you what I do: I stop. I wonder why I didn't foresee this problem even once during the previous 6 feet of i-cord application.
I consider getting up off my hindquarters and pulling a book off the shelf. I consider googling: "applied i-cord corner". Surely I am not the first i-cord artiste to run smack into a corner.
But that seems like an awful lot of work. So I sat there and made something up. I don't think this is an invention, or even an unvention, because I don't think there are too many ways to do such a thing as make an i-cord go around a corner without making the corner curl (which is what would happen if you just kept i-cording--there would not be enough ease at the corner to prevent it from curling). I think the fancy name for this is: SHORT ROW. On the knitter's Swiss Army knife, the short row is the pen knife--you can solve a lot of problems with it.
Anyhoo, here's how I do it. Feel free to tell me there is a better way. (I already know about using double-pointed needles to slide the stitches instead of slipping them back onto the right needle.)
Today's i-cord victim, by the way, is a Baby Surprise Jacket that I made a while back because I felt bad to be the last kid on my block to knit a Baby Surprise Jacket. I came across it recently when I was frantically rooting through old shopping bags looking for something to apply i-cord to. The idea was to run applied i-cord all the way around the thing, and while I was at it, to use the i-cord to join the shoulder seams. So far it's working out OK. Fiddly doing the shoulder seams, but OK.
Applied I-Cord: How to Turn a Corner
You are approaching the corner. Let's review: until now, you have been working every row like this:
Pick up one stitch in the edge to which you are applying the i-cord and place it on the left needle, *slip the 4 stitches onto the left needle, k3, knit the 4th stitch together with the picked-up stitch, pick up another stitch from the edge and place it on the left needle; repeat from * until the edging is complete--OR UNTIL YOU COME TO A CORNER.
What you want to do now is work a couple of extra rows to ease the i-cord around the corner. At the same time, though, you want to keep those rows attached. Because otherwise it would be detached i-cord, or have a hole in it.
Work the next row, beginning at the *. as follows:
Slip the 4 stitches onto the left needle, k4 (INSTEAD OF 3, and do not work a k2tog with the picked-up edge stitch), NOW GO BACK TO THE * and work a normal row of applied i-cord, then repeat the short row one more time before resuming normal applied i-cord.
In other words, you work an unattached extra row twice, once before the corner edge stitch, and once after. I think this will make sense if you read it with the needles in your hands. If not, do not hesitate to shout out in the comments or send me an email.
[EDITED TO ADD: Reader Gretchen helpfully checked Meg Swansen's instructions on turning a corner with applied i-cord. To turn an outside corner, Meg prescribes working 2 rows of unattached i-cord before attaching to the corner stitch, and 2 more rows of unattached i-cord after the corner stitch row. The extra rows give a little more ease to turn a sharp corner. My improvised way, which worked fine for this baby jacket, made a slightly curved corner that I have plucked at until it looks sufficiently cornerish. Thanks, Gretchen!]
[By the way, is anybody else coming to the conclusion that what I am talking about is not really a short row at all? It's an extra row that's not attached. Nothing "short" about it.]
[ANOTHER EDIT: To make the beginning and end of a blanket's applied i-cord edging meet up tidily, check out Purl Bee's tutorial. Warning: provisional cast on! Kitchener!]
See how neat it looks?
Other uses for this technique: It is handy to work an extra row of i-cord, without attaching it, whenever you get the feeling that your applied i-cord edging is too tight.
Carry on, naughty i-cord monkeys.