How to make a lucet

If you are anything like me, you want to try something out before you make a commitment to buy.  For example, when I first started crocheting, I went to Michaels and bought a Susan Bates hook for a couple of bucks.  I didn’t commit to an entire interchangeable system or invest in a handmade hook.

You may be interested in trying the lucet, but you just may not be interested in spending $19 plus shipping to find out it's not your thing.

So I started taking a look around my house and searching Pinterest for ideas.  How could I make a quick and dirty lucet with materials and tools that most people already have at home? No special skills required.

The problem I found with most of the quick and easy solutions is that they are also uncomfortable and fiddly. They just might turn you off of the lucet because they don’t feel that great in your hand and they are harder to work with. So keep this in mind.  If using any of these quick and dirty options, do yourself a favor and use a nice traditional-ply wool yarn with a lot of spring, like a merino.   A yarn with good elasticity and no nubs is the absolute easiest to work with.

Here’s what I came up with ranked from lowest to highest effort required:

  1. Carving Fork:  No modification required!!  And very study. Drawback: The tines are a bit narrower than what I found comfortable and they are not flared out.  The reason that lucet tines are flared is to prevent loops from falling off.  The carving fork is also a bit too long to be comfortable in the hand.

  2. Plastic fork with 2 middle tines snapped off:  This was more comfortable in my hand than a carving fork and provided just about as wide a working area.  Drawback:  Same problem as carving fork as far as tines too narrow and no flare.  The plastic felt like it would snap off if I wanted to make a cord under higher tension.

  3. Two Crochet hooks Rubber Banded to a Glue Stick!  I know this looks crazy.  But I was trying to figure out a way to approximate the flared tines so that my loops didn’t fall off.  That part actually works: the hooks catch the loops before they fall off.  It also had a width I liked.  If I’d had more time and motivation, I would have looked for other things in my house that might have worked better than the glue stick as a base.  But I liked the fact that the glue stick base had little grooves to hold my hooks.  I could have used more rubber bands (but I didn’t have any) or some other kind of strapping. (Zip ties?)  This approach is definitely worth experimenting with more. Drawback:  Doesn’t feel that great in my hand. Using this particular solution I had to keep my “tines” short so that the whole thing kept together.  If you try something like this, figure out how to pull out the crochet hooks more.  Zip ties would have done the trick since they are sturdier than rubber bands.

  4. Modified Thrift Store Fork:  This required a set of pliers.  I rolled back the 2 middle tines, then flared out the outer ones.  It probably took me about 15 minutes.  It’s serviceable and sturdy. Might work really well with a larger serving fork. Drawback: The tines are too narrow for me.  I can imagine that working with a thicker wool wouldn’t give you a lot of room to maneuver and might get very frustrating.

Have you hacked a lucet solution together?  Let me know if you’ve come up with something you'd recommend.  I've started a board on Pinterest to track interesting ones and I would love to add yours.

And for those of you who never tried to lucet before for lack of a lucet - why not spend an evening and experiment?

Learn to Lucet

The most comprehensive guide to this ancient tool yet published!

Do more with the yarn you already have! Learn to use this ancient Viking cording tool to make strong and very sturdy cords that you can use in so many ways.

Make your knit and crochet projects even better. Use them to make drawstrings, lacings, buttons and embellishments for your knit and crochet projects. Also make jewelry, designer shoelaces, home improvement hacks and more with these strong cords.

Author Jennifer Hansen teaches you 6 fundamental cord types and give you full instructions for 8 fun, easy and useful lucet projects.

Learn more.