Ravel Cord – Machine Knitter’s essential tool

The most common use of ravel cord is to separate waste (scrap) knitting from your main knitting.

OK, I know that caps is considered “yelling” on the web … but I’m on my soapbox.

Scrap and ravel for machine knitting  ravel_cord1


I recently had a friendly discussion with 2 very experienced machine knitters who told me that they are still using the original ravel cord that came with their machines.  One confessed that she washes her cord when it gets grungy. Yikes!

I love the freedom of using any suitable yarn as  ravel cord and having the ability to cut it.  I’ve never been able to keep track of those little pieces that came with my machine.

Crochet cotton is my go-to for scrap and ravel.  It’s inexpensive.  Ecru or white colors seems to work with most yarns I use.  It’s smooth, strong and slippery … and I can toss the scraps when I’m done!

I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a cone of ravel cord, but perhaps there is something in your stash that you could use. I use the yarns shown (the first one I can locate when I’m in a hurry).


Characteristics of Ravel cord

  • Similar weight to your garment yarn
  • Contrasting color
  • Smooth and slippery
  • Strong (you have to cut it and can’t break it with your hands)


machine knitting ravel cord

Ravel Cord Options – click for larger image

OK – Off my soapbox … back to knitting 🙂

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One thought on “Ravel Cord – Machine Knitter’s essential tool

  1. Lori

    October 4, 2016 at 1:26pm

    I use omega nylon. Cut to fit, perfect

  2. Author

    Knit it Now

    October 4, 2016 at 6:43pm

    I’ve always used nylon cord used for nets, macrame, etc. It is available in different sizes, and neon colors. It removes with out a trace, is reusable, and inexpensive. It is available at Joann’s, Hobby lobby, Michaels, etc.

    Just my thoughts. Keep up the good work!!! Love reading the things, and I’m even knitting some!

  3. evilcostumelady

    October 4, 2016 at 11:13pm

    I got some of the “Gosling” cord from the fabric store (home-dec department) to use with my bulky machines.
    It is a little heavier and a bit stronger than regular ravel cord (which I have broken pulling out of something that was really tight…) I wind it onto small clamshell bobbins (as I do with regular ravel cord) .

    One thing I do like about the ‘regular’ ravel cord is that it comes in colors. I have several lengths of each color, and use matching colors on areas that are getting joined to each other later (having outwitted myself and joined the ‘wrong’ things together once too often, lol)

  4. Author

    Knit it Now

    October 5, 2016 at 12:16am

    Thanks for your input!
    When I first started Knit it Now, I was “blasted” because I cut my ravel cord … who knew? Glad to be validated that that’s not the “wrong” thing to do! LOL!

  5. Barbara A Wiley

    October 5, 2016 at 1:58am

    I use kite sting. It is cheap and comes on a spool that is easy to hold one handed when you are knitting across.

  6. Pat

    September 18, 2017 at 11:18am

    Thank you for your information on Ravel cord. I always found it to be very helpful. Not having been using my machine for a long time. The last time I tried to use it, I knitted it in lol. So I need to practice with.

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