Quick Tips: Irish Crochet & The Padding Cord

I know that I’ve been posting a lot about Irish Crochet lately and I promise to get back to the amigurumi and food soon but I just wanted to post a quick tutorial. When I started researching and trying out Irish Crochet, a lot of the terminology was a bit foreign but nothing more so than the padding cord- a thicker yarn or series of yarns meant to increase the thickness of your stitches. But it wasn’t the padding cord that confused me; it was that no one ever actually used those two words. Instead, it was “p c” or in charts a big circle with a number in the middle. What the what is that?

And when I finally realized what they were getting at, no one ever explained to me how to create one. I had to search and search before finally finding the two basic methods to create the cord. One, you can cut several strands of thread and, holding them together, overlap them to form a circle, make the number of stitches needed and then pull it tight. Or, two, you can wrap the needed number of threads around a cylindrical object, carefully slide those threads off without displacing their shape and then attempt to stitch around it without shifting any of the padding cord. Needless to say, both methods are incredibly tedious and don’t always work (at least not for the beginner).

So, I discovered what I would call a more steady method that, though not quite as smooth a finished object, makes for a lot less hassle.

First, determine the number of threads needed to form the cord and then determine the number of stitches meant to be worked around the cord. Let’s say that the number of threads needed is 10 and the number of stitches to be worked is 14. You can actually achieve the necessary number of threads simply by creating a doubled chain. As a rule, as well, I tend to make my entire chain two chains shorter than the needed stitches, i.e., 12 ch for 14 sc.

1) As seen in the first photo, create a chain of the necessary loops – in this case, 24.

2) As seen in the second and third photo, join the chain as you normally would to create a circle.

3) Slipping the work off your hook, create a figure-eight with your circle.

4) Fold the figure-eight in half to create a double chain.

5) Work the necessary number of stitches around the double chain, slip stitching in the first stitch to complete the circle.

As I said, it’s a tiny bit less smooth a technique than when using a traditional padded cord. But it saves me from twenty minutes start time just trying to get all of the threads of the cord even while trying to work around them. I’m all for working smarter rather than harder.

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4 thoughts on “Quick Tips: Irish Crochet & The Padding Cord

  1. Hello… Your post about irish crochet cording is just brilliant! I’m obsessed with learning this technique, but the basic beginning steps seem to be the most difficult… Like, how do I hold the cord and my yarn at the same time? I need four hands. Please post more about the beginning process including how to get all set up… Pretty please! Or should I say, pretty irish crochet rose please :-)

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