I cord (aka Idiot cord) is so simple.. (and so mind boggling simple) it's hard!
start with 2 dpn's
cast on 3 (or 4 or 5)
Knit those stitches.
*(they are now on right needle)
Put right needle into left hand (DO NOT TURN)
the yarn is at the left end (of the stitches)
the knit side is facing you.
slide the stitches to right end of needle. (yarn (to knit with) is at 'wrong end" of the row)
pick up yarn, and pull it to first stitch
(in other words--bring yarn from wrong end of row to right end)
Knit the 3 (4, 5) stitches)
REPEAT from *
It's alway knit (actually not true, see below)
the work never gets turned
the yarn gets pulled from stitch 3 (4, 5) and is used to knit stitch 1
the stitches are always knit 1, 2, 3, (4,) (5) (start again with 1)
This basic I cord.. (once you get, you'll give yourself a hit in the head (V8 style) and say "d'oh" (homer simpson style)
there are variations of I cord (garter stitch i-cord, cabled i-cord, doubled i-cord, etc --see Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein-- there are many variation)
OH, yeah the first few row/rounds of i-cord will look messy..
just give a tug, and it will look fine... and continue to give tugs, every few rows.
YOU never turn the work
(its a way of knitting in the round --so every row is KNIT)
(the reason for DPN's is to make it easy.
can you do i-cord on regular straight needles? Yes.
Knit the row
then slip all the stitches back onto left needle
and knit again.
(this is a PITA, i think.. but i've done it when i didn't have the right size DPN's handy)