Lucet Cord

Lucet cord is used as lacings in may recreations of ancient costumes. I know that it predates the Renaissance, and am pretty sure that it is used in a lot of Viking costumes, but really am not sure of its age. What I do know is that it is a great cord and makes excellent shoelaces. The cord is square.

Authentic lucet cord is made on a two-pronged implement that resembles a little lute or sometimes a slingshot. Finniwig's is a good place to find a lucret. You could substitute two knitting needles, and use some tape or rubberbands to fasten them together with a little space between the needles.

Start by winding two figure-eights around the prongs. Lift the lower loops over the upper loops, and pull the yarn to tighten. Wind a figure-eight again, and lift the lower loops over the upper loops, pull the yarn to tighten. Continue this until the cord is the desired length, pass the yarn through the last two loops, and tighten. pull the end through to the center of the core, and do the same to the beginning tail.

Alternative: Take two double-pointed needles that would normally be much too small for the yarn that you are using. Make themas small as you can work without causing excessive hand pain. Cast on 2 stitches. K2. Without turning the work shove the stitches back to the end of the needle and k2. Never turn the work. The small bit of yarn that has to pass behind the work will disappear when you pull on the cord. Continue knitting the 2 stitches over and over until the cord is the right length. Finish as above.

The knitted version is also known as Mystery Cord, or Idiot Stitch. It can be used with 3 stitches also for a three-sided cord.

A much looser version can be made by children out of scraps of yarn just knotted together by using two or three fingers of one hand as a lucet. We used to make this to decorate the Christmas Tree when I was little.