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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Becoming a Luceteer!

My second class was in Luceting.

I really didn't have any idea what this was...but I remember tatters mentioning it in their I signed up!

The class was given by Mr Lucet himself...Ziggy Rytka...a fellow that was a very good start.

This is what Ziggy says about Luceting

The Lucet has made cords for over one thousand years and is what ties doublet and hose in the middle ages, bodice ties for the Elizabethans, ornamental frogging in the 18th century, right up to the Victorians who made neck chains and watch fobs from silk.
It is the birthplace of bag ties, glasses cords, shoelaces...the list is endless.

This is the introduction to Ziggy's story..

I first came across the Lucet in 1992 whilst playing the part of a wounded 17c soldier in the Whitefriars Museum in Coventry. Of our troupe two of the chaps were from a medieval society and one evening, in camp, I saw them using a Lucet… They taught me the Lucet in ten minutes flat. On the way home on the mini-bus I luceted a piece of wool I had acquired from somewhere, and when that ran out, unravelled it and started again, and again!

The Lucet that he copied from the medieval players made his hands ache so he set about designing his own, came up with his best design and started producing them by hand in his workshop to take to Civil war events teaching people how to use them.

He found that the loops kept coming off the lucet in transit so he invented a bobbin which fits on to the lucet to kept them well as holding thread.

In 2003 he started The Lucet company producing a new design of plastic Lucets and bobbins.

He gave us a little drawstring bag....he said we would use our first cord for that, instruction leaflet and a card....and our choice of ceramic beads and coloured thread for our work...we never did get as far as using the beads!

And we were off, learning the beginners method...

Having mastered that we were on to his Fast Grab method...

It was all pretty easy until I forgot where I was, my threads came off the lucet and I needed to learn to unlucet....definately not to be recommended.

All to soon the hour was over....

Ziggy wears what he makes and I had to admire his shoe laces...

..."they look like tatting" I remarked.
"they are not tatting!" was his reply sounding rather offended.

Yes I know that!!

Off to his little spot on the Braidmakers buy a kit...Lucet, 2 bobbins, 2 hanks of perle 5 and his book on Advanced Luceting...and to watch him work.

Absolutely amazing!!

More lovely stuff on Ziggy's website

Now I know you are going to ask what I have made!!!

Well I luceted on the train all the way home,like he says it's very relaxing.
I did finally master the fast grab's quite difficult to make an even cord...make that VERY difficult!!

This little bit, less than 6 inches took 3 meters of thread...well at least I know that.

I don't know if I will ever have the time to master the Advanced Luceting but at least I know what it's all about.

I am thinking necklace cords and am about to dye Rainbow Bright in size 10 to play with...and yes Rainbow Bright is coming back!!!!

Next I must get back to showing you some real tatting! too many diversions!!!


  1. Oh how lucky you are! I have one of his lucets and have tinkered with it but it must have been amazing to take a class from him.

  2. I have to echo Donna -- how lucky! I've admired his website and his lucets, but have figured and re-figured and decided I can't afford to order anything from overseas right now. One day, though I am going to order his book and a lucet. I got mine from Lacis, and have made a bunch of square cord some flat ones, and a two color one. I really want to do the fancy things he does, though! Again, how lucky you are!!

  3. I've met Ziggy at the NEC too!!! I've had a lucet now for around 30 years but have only used it from time to time. Tatting always 'gets in the way'!!!!!

  4. For those stateside who might be interested in becoming a Luceteer; Karey Solomon at Graceful Arts Fiber Studio has patterns of what was called "Spool Knitting" A bone Lucet is $6.00 and the patterns (a reprint of 1909 publication) is available for $12. You can e-mail Karey at: OR
    PO BOX 9 Hector NY 14841 USA. That would hold one over until the exchange rate is a little more user friendly on this side of the pond! LOL
    Just thought I'd pass on FYI. BEV

  5. I have a regular lucet and have made simple cords. His stuff looks way more complicated! Wow - what fun! sis & cousin & their husbands are on their way to Ireland! I think they are only going to be around Shannon though. Well, Adare Hotel as that is their last name but spelled Adair.

  6. Ho Donna,it was a great class but too short. That's cool that you have one too.

    Hi Marty, I think I was lucky too, to get to go to any craft show is lucky. Now my appetite is whetted to see what workshops there are next year I am a sucker for new crafts even if I never do them...tatting would suffer if I did! He is a nice guy.

    Hi Jane, well now you really are the lucky one with the NEC on your doorstep. Next years Dublin exhibition will have to compete with Glasgow which is a zillion times bigger!

    Hi Ridgetatter, great that Spool knittimg the same as my Corking and different from the Luceting, so what are the patterns? I am a bit confused.

    Hi Gina, you do it too, I have never seen it before.
    On their way to NOVEMBER!! hope they have a great time and it stops raining! well it did stop today after a torrential night and the sun shone.

  7. Oh YAY!!! I just learned lucet this past September....and I love it! I had no idea you could do so much more with it. I would love to take a class from this "character"! Lucky you!

  8. Hi too! Unfortunately his classes at a show will never be more than beginners.
    Can it compete with tatting tho!

  9. Well, the advance info on Karey's Lucet supplies says:
    "used for cording created on a 2-prong lucet or four prong knitting devices." She offers a 2-prong bone lucet for 6 dollars. That's all the information I have at hand; but, anyone interested in learning more ~ could contact Karey directly.
    I am just too old to try 'newer' thread methods and I so enjoy tatting that I'm not tempted beyond a general interest. There are a number of fiber arts I would explore if I were in my 40's to 60's LOL
    I still enjoy counted x-stitch; but need new glasses before I do any needlework and I still want to do the blackwork piece (the Cashel Linen FINALLY arrived ~ almost a year later!)
    hugs, Bev

  10. Hi Bev, Now I understand, can be any number of prongs. That makes sense, so my two classes were very much related. Great. Thanks for that info.
    I don't want any new crafts either but couldn't resist a class, happens so rarely.
    Cross stitch I would like too but have to resist, I have cute UK Brownie Guide kit given to me years ago.

  11. I love my lucets, and use them to make cording for jewelry and well as cords for closing my medieval gowns. A friend of mine is a particularly talented woodworker, and makes the most amazing smooth, comfortable-to-use lucets I have ever had the pleasure of working on. His website is here:

    He makes double lucets and ones with handles too! Beautiful work.

  12. Hi Christine,thanks and wow! aren't they gorgeous. I like the idea of a single brass pin so that you can remember where you stopped...that's one thing that got me.
    I am amazed that there is so much info out there.

  13. Wow, great post! I have owned a lucet for several years now and never successfully made a cord. But you have inspired me to try again.

    Hurray for more HDT!!!

    And hurray for such great posts!

  14. I bought a lucet but haven't try it yet, wonder if I could ever figure it out. How lucky you are! I'm filled with envy!

  15. Ziggy seems like a fascinating person to learn luceting from! I have the teeniest tiniest lucet EVER! I will have to show it on my blog. That looks like a really cool lucet! I will have to get me one someday! I will check out his website and lucets when I have more time and probably make a purchase next year when the money is in the budget again for some crafty goods.

  16. WOW!! Ziggy's Lucet display is awesome!! Those giant lucets are crazy!! I have not seen the lucet that has the spool at the top. Very intersting. Thank you for the intersting post Pamela.

  17. I've been having computer troubles - only just seen this! What a wonderful class you took, and I love the shoelaces!
    I think I would have bought everything on the stand if I had been there, those lucets look so tactile!
    I have one,


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