How to Knit I-cord Shoelaces

Learning how to knit I-cord like this pattern for making your own I-cord shoelaces is simple and fun. Once you understand the principle behind I-cord, you will find this simple and easy project will let your imagination gallop free in designing fun, funky or plain utilitarian shoelaces for all of the shoes in your home.

Making I-cord
You will need a pair of double-pointed knitting needles in a small size for this project. Try using size 1, but 0's or 2's will work fine as well. The yarn should be a fine gauge, so a fingering or sport weight would be perfect. If your shoe has a particularly small shoelace hole, you will want to try a smaller needle and finer weight yarn.

Cast on 3 stitches and knit them as you normally would. When you finish, however, do not turn your knitting around. Just push it to the other end of your double-pointed needle and, bringing the yarn across the back of your knitting, knit the three stitches as you normally would. Repeat that process again and again. After you have completed a few rows, give your knitting a firm tug downward. The gaps will close and you will clearly see your newly knitted I-cord. Make sure that as you are knitting, you keep your stitches snug on the needle to avoid loops sticking out.

Shoelace Lengths
The great thing about making your own shoelaces is that you can make them any length you want. There is nothing more annoying when you get a new pair of athletic shoes than the laces being barely long enough to tie comfortably. Or worse, they are way too long so that even when you make the bows really big, you still keep stepping on them.

Find the shoes you will be re-lacing and take the laces out to use for a guide. Do you like their length or will you make them a bit shorter or longer? Standard shoelace lengths for athletic shoes are 27 inches for three or four pairs of holes, or 36 inches for five or six pairs of holes.

Finishing the Shoelaces
After you have made two I-cords in the length you need, you are ready to finish the ends. Commercial laces come with little plastic bits (called aglets) at the end to help you lace up easily and keep the laces from unraveling.

You have several options for making aglets for your laces. If the shoes you are using have metal grommets to lace through, you can use a more flexible aglet such as masking tape or nail polish.

For a masking tape aglet, wrap the tape tightly around the end of the lace. For a nail polish aglet, soak the ends of your laces in the polish until saturated, and then hang until completely dry. Glue will also work for this task. If you have a pair of shoes where the shoelace eyelets are merely holes poked in leather, you will need an aglet made of sterner material. You can make aluminum aglets out of a soda can and some jewelry pliers. (A pair of gloves is nice too. Aluminum is sharp, so be careful).

Cut a piece of aluminum ¾" square. Fold down two sides opposite each other, about an eighth of an inch, to avoid raw edges at the top and bottom of your aglet.

Roll the piece of aluminum onto the end of the shoelace as tightly as possible.

Set your aglet on a hard surface. Place a screwdriver at the base of the aglet, where the shoelace comes out, and smack it with a hammer. You've crimped the bottom of the aglet, and it should stay on nicely. Lace up your shoes and admire!

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