A 12 Ounce Hot Sauce Bottle Covered In Turk’s Head Variants

A 12 ounce hot sauce bottle covered in Turk's Head variants.

A 12 ounce hot sauce bottle covered in Turk's Head variants.

The parade of hot sauce bottles marches on. This one, larger than most, gives a different look from the same knots, and a little more room to play. This now dead soldier went to his reward clothed in:

On the cap, a Spanish Ring knot more for grip than looks, but looks fine.

Just below is another Spanish Ring knot, this one in black paracord to hide any drips.

On the neck is an 8 Lead X 5 Bight Turk’s Head knot, the lead doubled, in white.

The shoulders are covered by a Gaucho knot highlighted with the now familiar lightning bolt.

The next knot was actually the last tied, a slightly crowded Gaucho knot of 2 passes, to fill in the last 3/4″ gap.

The next lower knot is 3 Lead X 11 Bight Turk’s Head done in white paracord; this also carries a Chinese Button knot / Sailors Lanyard knot.

The main body of the knot is covered by a Double Gaucho knot of two passes.

With but a little space left at the bottom I managed to squeeze on another Spanish Ring knot.

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Why Are There Buttons Hanging From Otherwise Well Formed Turk’s Head Knots?

A friend of mine asked me why I had buttons hanging from some knots. I thought that if they didn’t fully understand, then surely some of you might not.

In the late 1970’s I had the good fortune to spend some time with an elderly English gentleman. He was a naturalized citizen by way of reward for having a couple of ships shot out from under him while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine service during World War II.

In his youth he had sailed on some of the last guano clippers. But wait … I feel a vibration in the void … stronger now … the strings and knots in strings that make up physical existence are asking …What the hell is a guano clipper?

The clipper ships were the zenith of commercial sailing ships. Everything was designed around one task: to bring a small but highly valued cargo to market as quickly as possible. Acres of the finest canvas strained against the best lines made, to move hundreds of tons of beautifully formed wood. Coming into port three days ahead of your competition would pay off the vessel and make you a fortune. Three days late and you still made some money, and got no bragging rights. This name of this cargo? Not gold or jewels, not exotically beautiful concubines from the orient, nor opium, or cocaine. Tea was the cargo that made the great trading companies rich, paid off bets on the fastest passage in every pub, and paid the taxes that propped up governments.

The clippers then fell from grace – a change in markets and technology and peoples made them unprofitable. Ships which carried full sail in storms that made other vessels labor, hauled to under fully reefed sails. Their sailing masters could and would push vessel and men to the point just shy of breaking, and hold them there for days and weeks. Not even beauty under sail or paying off on bets on speed for fastest passage could stop the changing times.

Guano, the major cargo of these grand ladies now fallen, is bird crap. The finest of foul smelling, corrosive aged crap from million of sea birds deposited over centuries, was the best and cheapest fertilizer of its day. The clippers waited in line for months for a turn at the loading chutes, to be filled with loose bulk loads of guano. They sailed with ship and men covered in a coat of this powder that could burn out your nose, so that decades later this gentleman could taste only the strongest flavors. The storms met rounding the horn were the only things that cleaned the ships.

Having sailed as a young man just before the clippers fell from their apogee, he stayed with the only trade he knew. He did rise from seaman to bosun’s apprentice. Working aloft at night on pressing repairs you had no light other than, perhaps, a half moon hidden behind scudding storm clouds. Lanterns were expensive, dangerous, an extra burden, and perhaps their greatest fault, non-traditional. They had always done it this way, thus always would. Reaching into your tool bucket you needed a way to tell them apart. Some tools also required some means of telling which way the tools lay in your hand. The bosun he worked under had taught him to put button knots of different kinds on his tools, and he taught me. Another advantage he didn’t mention but that I observed was that it greatly improves your grip. The knot tied so it lies snuggly against the outside of your fist lets you retain your tool when your grip loosens. If you tie it so it lies between your two middle fingers, you can hold the tool by the button and have your thumb and forefinger free for some minor task of manipulation.

The bosun learned from those before, he learned from the bosun, and I from him. The reason we all kept doing it was that it worked to our advantage.

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Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 7:10 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Shaving Brush Topped Bottle, Covered In Turk’s Head Variants

An Unusual Knot Covered Bottle

An Unusual Knot Covered Bottle

This conglomeration of knots on a small – about 3″ tall x 1″ diameter – bottle was done to fulfill a special request for something “unusual”.

It has been a while, and like most people who should be keeping a “Knot Log”, it is observed in the breach more often than compliance.
So my best description is:

The bushy brush on the top was a tassel made with the internal fibers of a kermantle rope teased to the point of cruelty. When they started trying to fight back, I surrendered.

A mouse of some sort evened out the bumps at the neck of the bottle. This was covered by a bi-color Pineapple knot of 5 Leads X 4 Bights — for both base knot and interweave.

Next a black Turk’s Head knot of 3 Lead X murphmulmurgle Bights.

A white Spanish Ring knot.

Another black 3 Lead X ??? Bights Turk’s Head knot.

Another Turk’s Head knot, this one of 7 Leads X 6 Bights.

A bi-color Gaucho knot of 3 passes, with the lightning flash in black. This gives us ?? negative lightning ?? — anti-lightning ?? — at any rate another look than my usual, as requested. This knot was also tied so that the edges would be straight rather than the usual scalloped bights.

Just trying to keep my customers satisfied — from comments by the requester it seems to be a success.

I would like to know what you think of this unusual bottle, or anything else on the site.

Thanks for your visit, come back and see what is next on the menu:

A 7″ Long LED Flashlight Covered With Knots

A 7" Long LED Flashlight Covered With Knots

A 7" Long LED Flashlight Covered With Knots

The other collection of LED flashlights being complete, I went hunting for more victims to sacrifice to my illness. That is my very bad case of “amentis facere homo textus mundus com nodus”. This is the first slow and defenseless critter I could find.

The tube is thinner than the last bunch of flashlights and seems to call for a different treatment. That treatment ended up being, starting form the left end:

A bi-color 6 Lead X 5 Bight Turk’s Head knot tied in tripled paracord over a mouse of some unnamed and unsung Turk’s Head. This knot is closed over the butt of the tube, leaving only enough room to push the on-off switch.

The body of the tube is covered with 4″ of 3 strand bi-colored hitching. I have seen this same knot called grapevine hitching / French hitching / St. Andrews hitching / half-moku hitching / spiral hitching / and many others. Take your pick, no favoritism or disparagement intended. Me, I’m just somewhat confused and bemused by it all.

The last knot on the tube itself is a Spanish Ring knot in white paracord. This serves the usual dual function of grip to turn the focus ring, and dim light find-the-darn-light-quick white spot.

The fob is a short length of 3 strand braid with a diamond knot and Mathew Walker knot for finials. Depending on which end you pocket first you have either 8″ or 2″ of fob to grab.

Thank you for coming around; remember I am more than open to suggestions. I shall do my best to accommodate all requests.

LED Flashlight #04 Covered In Turk’s Head Variants



This is the fourth and last in this collection of LED flashlights covered in assorted knots. This one was also tied with my use in mind. The stacked Spanish Ring knots on the lens end of the tube adds an inch to the diameter. This fits my hands much better.

Starting from the right end of the tube the knots are:

A pair of stacked Spanish Ring knots tied in paracord then doubled. They are stacked because one just didn’t add enough thickness.

A single strand of paracord to carry the button knot which acts as a locater / grip enhancer.

A 7 Lead X 6 Bight Turk’s Head knot, doubled.

A 7 Lead X 6 Bight Turk’s Head knot tied in white paracord with a green pineapple interweave. The white improves your chance of finding it in dim light.

The last knot capping the other end is another Spanish Ring knot. I crowded the end cap to the point that it is non-removable unless you cut this knot off. This is an admitted sacrifice of function to form, something I usually try to avoid. I tell myself this is OK because of the presumed life of batteries in an LED flashlight; in reality I just didn’t want to cut it off after working it tight.

This is what is called an acceptable excuse in sales, you just don’t want to buy so you come up with something the other guy will accept as valid. It may or may not be the real reason but is “acceptable” to both parties, face saved all around.

Thank you for stopping by my site. Now all I have to do is find something else worthy of your download time for the next post. Come back and see it.

The Mystery Guest Knot Unmasked

No pictures today. If you need to see it, or see it again, the mystery knot is here. As there have been no correct guesses as to its identity, I hereby award myself an all expense paid dream vacation to a tropical Eden. …. That means I will dream of going to some tropical Eden, but not actually go because of the expense.

This experimental base for a wreath to be covered in knotted flowers or such artsy things is a form of sinnet made on a “purse mold”. This is ABOK #2877 and the sinnet method I used is ABOK #2889, but on a ring with many more than four pegs. After close examination it looks remarkably like a crochet of some type. Of course I don’t know how to crochet so this is a guess after looking at some pictures from the web. It was in its original form a tube of tight mesh about six inches wide and six long. If placed on your forearm and worked down, it would make a tube about four inches in diameter and about a foot long. If stretched to its fullest extent and worked a little, it was about eight inches across and about four long. Rolling this into a round cross section produces the mystery knot. It is a very sturdy base knot for further explorations and extrapolations. Like a knit or crochet, if you pull on the tag end it unravels in a blurring whirl.

For folks trying to figure out a way to tote some extra paracord on their hats, if left in its original tube form and used as a four inch tall hat band, this would enable you to carry many feet of cord. You would look a little funny, but no funnier than the guys with thirty feet of paracord in a loose coil used as a hat band.

Thank you for playing “Mystery Knot” and do play again – if I ever put another up. Maybe you could win a dream vacation also. Tune in next time when I might have more pictures:

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 11:31 PM  Comments (4)  
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LED Flashlight #03 Covered In Turk’s Head Knot Variants



Next in the collection of LED flashlights, one of two I made with myself in mind. This means mainly that I made sure the outside diameter of the grip was large enough to fill my larger than average hands. It also includes the slightly open weave on the pineapple knot.

Years ago, while upside down in a bilge under 18″ of water, I had to try to clear a stopped up pump. The water had flooded the engine room, and so had a scum of oil and grease floating on top of it. The “guarantied to work under 90′ of water” flashlight I had kept blinking out when submerged so I had to shake it violently to keep it lit. The handle had a nice looking and perfect feeling grip knot that worked well when dry or wet. When it got slicked over with the oil / grease slush it was incredibly hard to hold, and a hazard to crew and vessel as it tried to fly out of my hand when I shook it. After experimenting, I settled on the open weave knots that I make on some grips. The spaces give the slush a place to go, and the seperated strands of the knot clean off spots on your hands like a tire tread cleans spots on the road. The result under extreme conditions is a slimey but firm grip on the tool. Your immediate problem is solved and you can clean off the grease / blood / fish guts or whatever later.

The knots on this one starting at the left end are:

A mouse covered by a 7 lead X 6 bight Pineapple knot of the larger diameter and the open weave noted above. The 2nd color interweave is the same as the base knot.

A 9 lead X 5 bight Turk’s Head doubled in black paracord. From this, a dependant button knot is used as a location indicator and grip enhancer.

The end knot is a Spanish Ring knot of 1 pass.

I still haven’t figured out anything to do with the butt cap that acts as a lanyard attachment point, battery compartment access, and a place for the end mounted switch. Suggestions?

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