Here's a little diagram of one, notice the I-cord on the last diagram. I love mine, picked it up in Tennessee when I left my knitting at home and wanted something new to try. I can whip out a cord in a few minutes. I guess it's the old fashioned way of doing it.
There's no cheating in knitting! :P Spool knitting/corking is probably just about as old as knitting itself! http://www.allfreecrafts.com/kids/corker.shtmlThe first thing I noticed when making my first Icord was it was a way to do spool knitting on needles. And the round loom knitting that has made a comeback is indeed just corking on a larger scale.
OMG I did that when I was a kid. Except, it was with a tinker toy, not a spool. My dad taught me how to do it, I think. I was like 7 or 8, I don't really remember much about it. I don't think I got very far on the project before I got bored. I should ask him about it...
I had a slightly bigger plastic one that I used to make Barbie dresses.
Fear the Sock Monster! RAWR!
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche Double Pointed - a knitting blog