Lucet Cord Making

lucetthumb.JPGThe lucet is a device of ancient origin, used for knitting yarn into strong, slightly elastic cord that has historically been used for many purposes, including lacing clothing

Here's how to use one

Making Cord Using The Lucet

lucet2.JPGTo begin, lay the yarn across the lucet so that the cut end trails downward past the handle - place the working end of the yarn back through the middle of the lucet

(In this tutorial, the 'working end' of the yarn will refer to the main part - with the yarn ball still attached)

lucet3.JPGNext, loop the working end around the back of the left-hand prong and back through the middle

lucet4.JPGThen loop around the back of the right-hand prong (you now have a figure-of-eight loop on the prongs)

Bring the working end of the yarn across the front, laying it down across the left-hand prong - but above the first loop that is already there

lucet5.JPGTurn the lucet over (clockwise) - so as to carry on wrapping the working end around the prong

(For later reference, this is the point from which the procedure will need to be repeated)

lucet6.JPG When you've completely turned it over, lay the working end of the yarn across the top of what is now the left hand prong - so you have the original figure-of-eight loop, plus a new strand above it

Take hold of the lower loop on the right hand side

lucet7.JPGPull the loop up and over the strand of yarn above it - pus the loop back off the top of the prong

lucet8.JPGPull the short end of the yarn tight



Pull the working end of the yarn tight


Now repeat from step 4 in these instructions - being sure to pull the working end of the yarn tight after each stitch

lucet10.JPGBefore very long, the cord will start to develop.

Finishing Off

When your lucet cord is sufficiently long, cut off the remaining yarn on the working end (leaving a bit to work with), then thread this cut end through each of the remaining loops on the prongs, then take the loops off the prongs and pull tight

If you need to cut the finished cord, the end may unravel - but this may be prevented by tying a knot in it

The Lucet

Lucets have been found amongst archaeological remains dating back to the Vikings - and the device is probably very much older than that - it may also have been invented more than once (separately) by different cultures

It is believed to be the historical precursor to French Knitting (The technique is almost identical)

My Lucet

lucet11.JPGMy lucet is a pocket-sized one - I made it from a section of reclaimed hardwood timber from a pallet, cut out with an electric jigsaw, then sanded smooth

Lucets are often longer and more slender and fork-like than mine

lucet12.JPGThe reason mine is this particular, dumpy shape is that it's a spare one left over from a batch someone asked me to make for a school history activity - the shape not only makes it tough and durable, but it conserves timber; I cut many of them out of the same plank - the handle of one was cut out from between the prongs of the next

The Hole

The hole in the middle of the lucet is optional, but traditional - once started, the cord can be threaded through the hole - this prevents the work accidentally slipping off the prongs if it has to be put away unfinished