How to Make a Twisted Cord to Finish Knitting

Preparing to Make Twisted Cord

Sarah E. White

Making a twisted cord is a pretty quick and easy way to add a cord or strap to a knitting project. You can make them any size you need, from a cord on a baby bootie to a strap for a purse. They can be used in much the same way you'd use an I-cord, but they're a lot faster to work since there's no actual knitting involved.

To get started, decide how long and how thick you want your finished cord to be. A rough estimate is that your finished cord will be about one-fourth the length of the yarn you start with. (The cord shown in this tutorial started 2 yards long and ended up about 18 inches long, for example.)

Each piece of yarn is folded in half, twisted, and folded on itself again, so using two lengths as shown in the picture gives you a cord that's eight strands thick. You can use more or fewer pieces depending on the thickness you need for your desired application. Once you've cut the yarn to the proper length, tie all the pieces together loosely at one end.

  1. Get Ready to Make Twisted Cord

    Now that you have all the pieces for your twisted cord ready fold the yarn strands in half and loop them over something to hold them in place while you twist.

    That something can be a post on a chair, as shown, or a doorknob, a friend's finger, or whatever else you have handy. This step is essential to getting your cord properly twisted.

    In a pinch, you could probably tape the looped yarn to a table or other surface, but looping the yarn around an object is more traditional.

    The yarn is placed around a chair peg in preparation for twisting
    Sarah E. White
  2. Twist the Cord

    Now you're ready to start twisting the twisted cord. Stretch the yarn out to its full length (still folded in half though, of course) and begin twisting.

    Continue to twist consistently in the same direction. As you go, the yarn will tighten up and begin to look more like one piece instead of several strands of yarn being twisted together.

    Step three of making a twisted cord
    Sarah E. White
  3. Add Another Twist

    When your yarn looks nice and twisted and feels like it can't take much more of the pressure you're putting on it without turning into a big knotted mess, slide the loop off whatever's been holding it.

    Keep holding the other ends of the yarn in your hand and allow the cord to fold back on itself. It will naturally twist on itself and make a nice looking twisted cord. If there are spots in your cord where the tension is a little uneven, you can smooth them out with your hands.

    The cord after the second twist has been added
    Sarah E. White
  4. Finish the Twisted Cord

    Now that your yarn strands have about as much twist as they can take, you'll notice you have an end of the cord that's a bit of a mess with all your yarn ends and the loop that was on the end of your chair or doorknob.

    You may even need to add a bit more twist here to make the end consistent with the way the rest of the cord looks. Do that, then the way we usually finish a twisted cord is to thread the yarn ends through the loop and tie it all in a neat little knot.

    Trim all but a tiny bit of the loose ends, leaving enough that the knot won't come undone.

    Finished twisted cord
    Sarah E. White