Easy I-Cord Drop Spindle Wrist Distaff

I was totally inspired by Crystal Calhoun’s Fiber Helper/Wrist Distaff pattern, but I wanted something more simple (and less flat knitting), so I made up my own pattern. You can download it in PDF format. The Pattern is below, at least until I figure out how to make the PDF download work again.

John and I also have a lot of very light 2” wooden discs laying around from our experiments with making drop spindles, so on my second distaff, I put one of those in the distaff disc in between the increase and decrease sides. Yeah, that just made it hang right. 🙂

Let me know what you think of it!

Drop Spindle Distaff


100% Cotton, suitable for dish clothes
Worsted weight

Needles & Notions

4.00 mm (US6), double pointed needles (dpn) x 4
Tapestry or yarn needle (for bind off & weaving in ends)
Optional: stitch marker for marking start of rounds when making the disc.


Not important for this project, but I got 16 st over 12 rows for a 4”x4”
(10cmx10cm) swatch


Invisible Cast On: crochet a chain with a few extra chain stitches on each end more than the number of stitches you will cast on. Starting a few stitches in and pick up and knit thru the back bump of the chain stitch. When you need the live stitches, unravel the crochet chain, picking up the cast on stitches as you go.

I-Cord: using dpn, cast on 3 stitches. Knit to end. Without turning the work, move stitches to the right end of the needle and, pulling the yarn from the left (last worked stitch), begin knitting the second row. Continue to end of cord.

K2tog (Knit two together): insert your right-hand needle through the second and the first stitches to be worked on the left needle as if they were one stitch you were knitting. Complete your knit stitch. (causes a 1 stitch decrease)

K3tog: as with k2tog but knitting three stitches instead of two. (causes a 2 stitch decrease)

K1FB: Knit into the front and back of the next stitch to be worked.

K1Be: pick up the stitch just under the next stitch to be worked and place, knit-wise (left leg of the stitch behind, right leg in front) and knit the stitch.

PM: Place marker

Pattern Instructions

Handle and Cord


  • Using the invisible cast on method above, cast on 3 stitches and start making I-Cord.
  • When your cord can wrap around your fist without stretching, unravel your cast on and place on a third dpn.
  • Knit one round with all six stitches.
  • Next round, k2tog – 3 times (back to 3 stitches and 2 dpns)
  • Continue making I-Cord for 4 to 6 inches (10 to 16cm)


Making the Disc


  1. Your first dpn holds 3 stitches to be worked. With your second dpn, K1Be, PM, then K1FB (2 stitches remain on first needle, 3 stitches are now on the second). Repeat with the third and fourth dpns. (9 stitches)
  2. Knit the next round.
  3. *K1Be, k1* to end of round (18 stitches)
  4. Knit
  5. Knit
  6. Knit
  7. *K1Be, k1* to end of round (36 stitches)
  8. Knit
  9. Purl
  10. Purl
  11. Knit
  12. *k2tog* to end of round (18 stitches)
  13. Knit
  14. Knit
  15. Knit
  16. *k2tog* to end of round (9 stitches)
  17. Knit
  18. *k3tog* to end of round (3 stitches)

Optional: knit 3 rounds of I-Cord

Bind off

Leave at least 4” (10cm) and cut cord, thread on yarn needle and pull thru remaining stitches in the order you would work I-Cord.

Optional: run the yarn thru the remaining stitches another time.

Pull tight and weave in ends.