Casting on to either side of knitting?

I’m trying to make a baby “devil hat” (really cute, with horns and “devil tail ends”). It has earflaps with two i-cords to tie the hat on, but it requires that I cast on an extra stich on either side of the i-cord to make 5 stitches (the i-cord flares out into the “devil tail ends”). I cannot figure out how to do this and then knit into it.

When I go to knit into the stitch it comes right off the needle. Also, to cast on to both ends requires me to run the yarn across the i-cord, if I’m not mistaken. I am fairly new to knitting, though I’ve made several projects with web video help. So maybe I’m just doing something wrong. Should I keep trying the extra cast on, or should I use some kind of increase?

And could someone tell me how to [U]correctly[/U] do this?

Would you please give the actual pattern directions for what you are attempting to do? Just the part you are trying. Don’t quite understand why you are having difficulty inserting your needle into the I-cord and keeping it on the needle so you can do an increase.

If you want to cast on a stitch on either side of the icord, first work the stitches on the icord, then cast on one stitch at the end of the row. Now, turn your work (you are working flat now to make the earflap,) work the stitches on your needle (this would be the wrong side of your work) and cast on your next stitch at the end of this row.

Or you can simply increase by knitting into the front and back of the first and last stitch on your icord.

That makes sense… I should have thought of casting on, and then working the stitches. I guess the way it was worded in the pattern made me think I had to just cast on instead. Then again, this particular pattern had me scratching my head on more than one occasion.

Thanks so much for replying!