Cording Stitch is a technique that creates a tidy fold in the fabric, handy for decorative pleats and tucks, tidy edging at cuffs, collars, and hems, or even as a drawstring channel. You might recognize this stitch from the edges of our Lightweight Raglan Pullover and the pleats of our Tiny Tucks Top!

Cording Stitch | Purl Soho

Here’s how to work a basic Cording Stitch…

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Use the tip of the right needle to pick up the purl bump from the wrong side of the fabric, four rows directly below the next stitch. (Your pattern may indicate a different number of rows, but here, we’re picking up four rows below.)

NOTE: If you anticipate having trouble identifying the stitches you need to pick up, scroll down for tips on adding a “lifeline.” This is a step you do before you work the Cording Stitch that helps indicate which round you’re picking up!

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Next, place the picked-up purl bump onto the left needle, then knit the next stitch on the left needle and the picked-up stitch together.

Repeat these steps to end of row, round, or as directed by your pattern. As you continue, you’ll see that you’re creating a round fold in the fabric, like a cord!

ADDING A LIFELINE

A “lifeline” is a length of yarn you weave into your knitting to help you later pick up stitches consistently across the same row or round. You have to plan ahead a little to add one. Here’s how!

You add the lifeline just before knitting the row or round into which you’ll pick up for the Cording Stitch. For example, we worked the Cording Stitch four rows below, so here, we place the lifeline just before knitting those four rows. At that point…

Thread a tapestry needle with a strand of yarn about 1.5 times the length of your piece, and orient the piece with the wrong side facing you.

Cording Stitch | Purl Soho

Beginning at the first stitch of the last row worked, insert the tip of the tapestry needle from top to bottom through the purl bump and pull through, leaving a long tail.

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Repeat this step on all the stitches to the end of the row.

Cording Stitch | Purl Soho

That’s it! Work the required number of rows or rounds until you’re ready to work the Cording Stitch, then when you go to pick up the first purl bump, it’ll be right there on the lifeline waiting for you, along with all the other purl bumps in that row. Once you’ve worked the Cording Stitch, just unpick the lifeline and save it for next time!

We hope you find plenty of uses for this clever technique, and if you’re making our Lightweight Raglan Pullover or Tiny Tucks Top, that you find the Cording Stitch adds a little something extra!