Lucet: Turning String into Better String

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The other night, my husband decided to sew a pouch for his golden dollar coins, and I volunteered to lucet a drawstring for him.

Lucet is a simple, old technique–dating back to the Vikings at least–for making braided cord. I learned it from some of my medievalist friends in college.

All you need is a lucet. (If you’re patient, you can even do it on two of your fingers.) My handy husband made this lucet for me.

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I usually use #10 crochet cotton, but you can use any string or yarn. You start from the bottom and make a figure-eight around the prongs, then the beginning of a second figure-eight.

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Next, you bring the lower string up over the prong and let it go. Cinch the whole thing up carefully. Finish your figure-eight, going around the other prong, and pull the lower string up over the other prong. Cinch again.

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If you keep doing that, you get cord!

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Having grown up with a Strickliesel (Knitting Nancy), I find it easier to use this thing, instead of my fingers, to draw the loops up and over the prongs.

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It makes nifty square cord, good for laces, drawstrings, necklaces, and what-have-you.

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I realize this isn’t a thorough tutorial. If you want to learn more, just go Google “lucet.” Even better, find someone with a lucet in your local branch of the SCA. She (or he) would love to teach you.

Happy yarning!

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