How to Make a Twisted Cord

  • 01 of 05

    Preparing Your Yarn

    Preparing to Make Twisted Cord
    Making a twisted cord starts with proper yarn preparation. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    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...MORE start out with. (The cord shown in this tutorial started out two 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 actually 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.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Getting Ready to Make Twisted Cord

    Getting Ready to Make Twisted Cord
    The yarn is placed around a chair peg in preparation for twisting. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    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.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Twisting the Cord

    Twisted Cord
    The twisted cord in progress. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    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.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Adding Another Twist

    Twisted Cord with Second Twist
    The cord after the second twist has been added. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finishing the Twisted Cord

    Finished Twisted Cord
    The finished twisted cord. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    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 I 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...MORE loose ends, leaving enough that the knot won't come undone. Use the cord however you want: as a bag handle, a tie or any other way that suits your fancy.