Friday, January 23, 2009
I've been working on a poet shirt for my spouse to wear as part of his Morris kit and it needed some cord. I wanted it to be white and non-slippery so it would stay tied and didn't really think a cut off shoe lace would look the best, so I got out my lucet and whipped up 4 feet of lucet cord while watching a few episodes of the Muppets.
I dug out some white pearl cotton I just happened to have and found my lucet. Lucets have been used for cord making for hundreds of year, possibly as far back as the Viking age. It typically has two prongs, although I have seen some four prong ones. I made this one a while back, along with others to be given away as largess at an SCA event. It's made out of walnut, using my scroll saw. I drew up the basic shape, modified it to be comfortable in my hand, cut it out and sanded it so all the edges are rounded and smooth. I experimented a bit with various wood finishes and settled on wax being the most comfortable surface for holding in my hand and sliding the string over the prongs on the lucet.
The process for making cord on a lucet is similar to that using a Knitting Nancy - the old four nails in a wooden spool that I made long rope things with as a kid. I'm not going to go into how to do it here since there are great web tutorials out there and some wonderful YouTube videos that do an excellent job of showing the process. Actually, there are several ways to make cord on a lucet, but this time I did the most simple and most common way which makes a nice square cord. I also use the lucet to make a nice flat cord suitable for trim.
Here's a picture of the cord close up.