Swatching is a necessary step in creating a knitted garment that fits, but not everyone likes to swatch, and many knitters consider it a frustrating use of time. But what if there was an excellent use for that swatch after the garment it is informing is finished? By applying I-cord to a simple rectangular swatch, you can transform it into a mug cozy that is perfect for gifting this holiday season.
When selecting the swatch to make a mug cozy out of, you might want to have a standard mug handy to measure against. Typically, a cozy extends most of the way around a mug but leaves a vertical strip open for the mug handle. You will also want to make sure that the swatch is at least 1/2 inch shorter than the height of the mug so there is room below the rim for the lips to reach the liquid. You will need two double-pointed needles and yarn to match the swatch you are using.
Begin with a length of I-cord
Cast on four stitches on one of the needles.
Do not turn the work; bring the yarn around the back of the work to knit the first stitch.
Knit across the row.
Slide the stitches back along the left needle to the tip and bring the yarn around the back of the work.
Repeat these last two steps until the cord measures half the gap remaining when your swatch is wrapped around your mug, plus an additional 6 inches to tie the bow with.
Applying the I-cord to the swatch
Knit across the four stitches, insert the right-needle tip into the edge of the swatch.
Wrap the yarn and pull through five stitches total.
*Slide the stitches back to the tip, bring the yarn around the back of the work.
Knit 3 stitches, then slip, slip, knit (ssk) the following two stitches together.
Pick up another stitch from the edge of the swatch.
Repeat from * until you reach the edge of the swatch.
A good ratio for picking up stitches is two stitches for every three rows.
Knit 3 stitches, ssk, and then continue working I-cord until the second length matches the first.
Repeat for the opposite side of the swatch.
Tie the cozy onto the mug above and below the handle.