French Sennit

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Cut eight pieces of cord 12 ft long and one 6 ft long.

“Middle” the 12ft length. This gives us 16 strands at 72”.  The single 6 ft strand will make the 17th. strand.

(You want to treat the ends of the cord to keep them from fraying out while working.  I use CyanoAcrylate (super Glue) but be sure you get the THIN or FAST-SETTING type with the sort of bottle with a nozzle so you can apply only a small quantity to the line.  Always work over a piece of scrap (carpet, cardboard, whatever) when applying CA to line... it has a tendency to drip off the end and then ‘someone’ is gonna be all over you for ruining the carpet/floor/her life...  caution is advised!... ed)

If using Nylon burn the loose ends.  When starting and if using nylon carefully fuse (or tie)  the strands together about 5 inches down from the start.  If using cotton or similar cord seize the strands by wrapping with a small diameter cord.. The purpose of leaving the extra cord at the beginning is to give you something to work with when bringing the two ends together after you finish your neckpiece.

Secure the strands to a fixed object then separate the cords with a group of ten on one side and seven on the other. (see fig 1)  Starting with the ten side on the left (or right...doesn’t matter... ed.) side,  plait  the three outboard lines over two and under five (See figs 2 & 3).

Now you have ten strands on the right and seven on the left (see fig 4).  Reverse the plaiting, three over two and under five.  Continue this way until you get the length of the Lanyard to fit over your head.  

Be careful to keep the seven and ten groups separated or you will have to undo several plaits to figure out where you went wrong.  Also about every five plaits separate the loose hanging cords to keep them from being tangled.  If using nylon you can usually shake the cords and pull a couple out from the tangled mess.    It is pretty easy to do this but if you make too many plaits without un-tangling the loose ends, it is much more difficult. When doing this make sure you keep the part you are working with separated.  After you get the hang of it, you should be able to finish this section in an hour or less. (If you’re in the Military, active or reserve, be sure the lanyard is large enough to put on and take off without disturbing your cover!  I can’t tell you the number of times some 06+ or CPO asked me to take it off so they could look at mine... ed.)

When you get to the desired length of the neckpiece of the lanyard,  bring the two ends of the plaited lanyard together.  Make sure you keep the ten and seven groups of strands separated until you tie the ends together.  

Using one of the loose strands wrap the two ends together.  This part will later be covered with a Turks head so don't make the wrap too long.  Cut off close to the wrap the 17 loose strands you started with ( the extra 5 inches) Take eight of the long loose ends ( four from each outside edge ) and get them out of the way for now.  With the other nine strands that are now in the middle,  bundle eight for a core and with the other strand make continuous half hitches around it. (see pic below)  Do this for about 4 inches to make your strop (instead of the half hitches you could substitute a round or square plait if you like).  Cut off the eight strands that you placed out of the way.  On the end you are working with cut of two of the nine strands.  If using nylon burn the loose ends.  Take one of the seven remaining strands and place it over a chair or something to get it out of your way for now. With the remaining six strands make a simple over and under plait in groups of two over two continuous reversing the process until you achieve about an eight-inch length. (see pic below)  Bring the loose ends together at the starting point where the half hitch section ends and wrap them together  with the loose single strand that you had gotten out of your way.  Cut off all the extra loose ends.  Where the sections come together will require Turks heads to cover the wraps.

If you don't want to make a large Turks head with several bights, use a slightly larger cord and chase it around four of five times.   How you end it off is up to you.



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