An i-cord, which is basically a knitted tube with a tiny diameter, can have all kinds of uses. Mainly, I use i-cords as drawstrings. I've always really disliked making i-cords because I've always had to do them using my 8" double pointed needles. Working on only 3 or 4 stitches on a 8" needle is quite awkward. As such, I avoid making i-cords and generally crochet a string. As a person who has no qualms about mixing knitting and crochet, this has always been a fine solution.
I'd heard, though, about French knitting (or spool knitting) a while back and never really looked into it. But when I (finally) visited the new Michael's that opened up five minutes from my house, I decided to pick one up. It took a little while to get the hang of it but once I figured out what was going on, the work flew! Whereas i-cords used to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r., I was able to churn out one of considerable length in 20 minutes. Not bad at all. Another nice thing I learned while figuring out how to use it is that that there are all kinds of neat projects made using I-cords. Just google French Knitting! It's amazing.
The added bonus is that it's kid-friendly so as Z1 gets a little bit older, I can probably teach him to use it.