Instructions for Lucet cord or Braiding Cord
Using a lucet, frequently also called a knitting fork, is not difficult, but learning how to use one is tricky if you do not know someone who can show you in person. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the option of learning to use a lucet from an expert and most of the illustrations available online are somewhat confusing. That is why I decided to make this tutorial with as many photographs as possible. Hopefully, I can make learning a lucet a bit easier for someone else than it was for me.
The lucet, also called a knitting fork, has existed for hundreds of years. Archeologists have uncovered Viking lucets. There are several different ways to make lucet cord. On this page, I will demonstrate one of the easiest ways. I will also post a second page with a slightly different, more complicated process. Lucet cord can be used for almost anything - shoestrings, purse straps, ties for aprons and petticoats - you name it. Lucet cord can be made with multicolored yarn or multiple strands for an attractive appearance.
How to Thread a Lucet
First, you want to thread your lucet. It is not necessary to keep the lucet threaded the entire time because the diameter of the hole limits the diameter of the cord. However, I find it helpful to thread the lucet to begin with because it makes holding on to the tail end easier during the first few steps. Thread it from back to front so the tail end is sticking out towards you.
Next, wrap your yarn around the lucet to begin the cord. Basically, you want to make a figure eight. Bring the yarn from behind the right prong and wrap it around the outside. Then, pass the yarn behind the left prong and back around the font. This basic position is how your lucet should look after each additional knot is made in the cord.
Then, make one additional wrap around the right prong. Just like the others, this wrap should come from behind, go around the outside of the prong and then return to the front of the lucet. You will repeat this step throughout the cording process.
Now, it is time to make the first knot in the cord. Pull the bottom right loop up over the top loop. Keep the top loop on the prong as it now becomes your new bottom loop.
Then, flip the lucet over from left to right and pull the knot tight. I like to think of the flip as rotating the lucet half a turn clockwise, if you were looking down on it from above. It is very important to hold the tail end firmly at this point so you can tighten the knot. It may slip to one side or the other while you are tightening. That is fine, just recenter is before you start the next wrap on the lucet.
Now you can form your next loop. Just like always, pass the yarn around the back of the right prong and wrap it around the outside of the lucet. Then, bring the bottom right loop over the top loop, flip the lucet and tighten as before.
After a few more flips. the cord will start to take shape.
Continue this process until the desired length of cord has been reached. The cord looks like a four sided braid and, when tightened properly, is very sturdy. It may take a few tries to get the process down. Do not despair - you can simply take the yarn off the lucet prongs and pull to unravel the cord so you can start over.
How to End a Lucet Cord
When your cord is long enough, carefully pull it from the lucet prongs. Cut the yarn going to your ball or skein, but leave enough to work with. You can always trim excess later. Then, pass the end through both loops and tighten them down. This can be a little tricky because you have to ease the slack through the loops. If you simply pull all at once, one loop will tighten but the other will not.
The Finished Lucet Cord
You've done it! Now you know how to make your own lucet cord. Use embroidery floss for a fine braid or choose something chunky to go with a knitted purse.
My lucet was made for me, but they are fairly inexpensive and available for purchase online.
ASHISH on November 29, 2019:
i was wondering, what if they put the luci backward? would i still work? if not how, do fix??
Sue on October 05, 2019:
I do most things left-handed. Do you have any advice for me, I'm feeling very awkward as I try to hold the lucet and keep the yarn on it!
Natasha (author) from Hawaii on March 09, 2017:
I'm so sorry this reply is late in coming, but of course you may use them!
DiAnn Boehm on September 24, 2016:
May I use these instructions for my lucet braiding class at my knitting guild?
Natasha (author) from Hawaii on April 10, 2012:
Hm, I didn't know you could make cord with two needles like that, but it makes sense. I'll have to take some coiffures of lucet cord in use!
Christen Roberts from Harrisburg, PA on April 10, 2012:
In knitting, we call these i-cords (short for a not-friendly word). You make it with two double pointed needles. The tools for this cord, however, are far prettier. What else do you use it for? I'd love to see...
Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on January 10, 2012:
Hairpin lace has a few similarities to this--made on a "fork", but a line of crochet goes up the center, leaving loops along each side. Great illustrations--I think anyone could follow your clear instructions.
Arlene V. Poma on December 31, 2011:
Wowee! I've never seen a lucet. Now, I know what one is and one looks like--thanks to your Hub. Very nicely written. Voted up, bookmarked, and everything else. I am a beginning knitter, so maybe if I use a lucet, there will be some hope for me.