I learned to tie many of my knots by watching others who were more skilled. I learned to tie many of my knots from books. I learned to tie some of my knots by the “monkey method” — playing around with some line until it ended up in a knot. Because most of the people I learned to tie from were boat people, I learned to tie as they did. Tie the knot in hand, and then place it in its final spot, and work it down til tight. Some knots you have to tie in place, because of how and where they will end up. I very rarely tie on a mandrel. I will admit that I have been considering it — it seems like most of the people who have a name in knots use this method. This leads to a repeating behavior; I tie a knot in hand, then I think it is too-good-to-kill. Then comes the search throughout the house for something that is the right size, and which will not be rendered useless by having a knot on it. As I was going through the house the other day, knot in hand, I found a bag of (brand name redacted) lighters. The Gods of the Knots had given me victims worthy of sacrifice, and it would have been foolish of me to slight them. The irony in all this comes form the fact that the original knot that was so good I didn’t want to untie it, is now a mouse. It serves this purpose well, but will never be seen, nor heard from, again.
The knots on this lighter are, starting from the fire end:
A Turk’s Head of 5 Leads X 9 Bights.
The central knot, and the one that covers up the sacrificed mouse, is a 9 Lead X 8 Bight Turk’s Head, doubled, in white paracord. The use of a Turk’s Head as a mouse would be considered a waste of time and effort in a commercial endeavor. That is true, but I recommend it highly for those times that the mouse can not be allowed to fail. The knot not only holds its shape well, but also doesn’t slip or slide. The ends of the line don’t work lose because of the way the ends are tucked into the knot. It is also the perfect time to practice a new knot. If it is less than perfect it is still perfect as a mouse.
The black knot around the bottom is a 3 Lead X 8 Bight Turk’s Head.
The rest of these lighters will also be sacrificed to the Gods of Knot Tying. This will be done in no particular time or order. It will depend on the phases of the moon, and if there is a dead chicken available for use. Is there enough wood for a bonfire, and do I have enough woad dye to cover my entire body? Are the neighbors going to be gone? The pictures of these be-knotted lighters will join the parade at the whim of the Gods.
As always I appreciate you visiting my site — have a look around. If you have any ideas for a way to improve either my site, or my knotting, I am always open to thoughtful suggestions. In particular, some of my posts have been put up for public input on the future of those projects. I am also open to entirely new things. It is by doing new things that we learn, not by repeating the things we are comfortable with. See you next time: