Why Do I Show Less-Than-Perfect Knots?

A gentleman used the direct E-Mail link to ask why I showed less-than-perfect knots on my site. He was of the opinion that they dragged down the impression the better knots gave you.

That is true. If all I showed were stunningly perfect masterpieces, my site would make me look like a knot tying wizard. That isn’t my goal. I started this whole operation to learn how to improve my knots. If all I show is the fantastic examples, the only thing I can do is reinforce what I already know. We all learn more from our mistakes than our successes, which are just how we keep score. By exposing my weaknesses I may lower the overall impression of my site, but that also gives the people who are better than I am the opportunity to teach me — or at least give me some hints. Living as I do in an isolated part of the country, and nowhere near anyone who appreciates knots as a craft/art, I have only casual feedback based almost solely on appearance. I want a higher level of critical examination of my knots — that is the reason I am here. The only way I know to achieve that is to show my failures, or near misses, alongside my successes. That is also the reason I constantly repeat my invitation for you to tell me how I can improve my knots and my site. The major difference between what I say and what you usually hear along those lines is that I truly mean every word. I want to hear from you, whether you are coming from knowing the deep dark secrets of the most arcane and rare knots … or you are coming from a viewpoint which only considers the look. Both are valuable to me, and both are equally appreciated. In return I try to give you a site which is interesting, entertaining, and helpful. If you enjoy my site, or learn from it — if you come back more than once because it pays in some way — then I have done my job.

Thank you for visiting my site, as always. If you have read this post, you also deserve a special thanks — no eye candy here. Come back again; I’ll get the parade of knots back on the march:


Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 5:16 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Medicine Bottle #35; Turk’s Heads Make This A Handsome Bottle

Medicine Bottle #35; a very handsome example of Turk's Heads covering a bottle.

Medicine Bottle #35; a very handsome example of Turk's Heads covering a bottle.

I suppose that as long as I have to take all this demon-cursed medicine I’ll have homes for my knots. Given that I have doctor’s instructions to exercise my hands every day, I now have a valid legal excuse to tie knots — every day. If I didn’t have a friend who gave away most of my bottles I would be awash in knot-covered bottles.

This is one of the better bottles. The knots used are, from the top:

The white knot is a Turk’s Head of 5 Leads X 14 Bights, doubled in paracord. The shape is created by the underlying mouse.

The mouse is composed of the top of the knot which covers most of the bottle, and another Turk’s Head of 3 Leads X 8 Bights, doubled in black paracord. In person you can just see the bottom edge of this knot — the photo is artfully arranged to obscure most of it. You can still see it if you look at the large shot, and maybe zoom in.

The knot that covers the body of this bottle is a Turk’s Head of 8 Leads X 5 Bights, tripled in black paracord.

The three knots conspire to make this a very handsome example — I may end up keeping this one. After 12 or 14 years one of my bottles that I open 6 times a day is starting to falter. Probably my fault as much as its — I put the lids on bottles the same way I work knots down — tightly, very tightly.

Thank you for coming by my site. If you see any way to improve my knots, or my site, please sing out. That’s the only way I can make it better for everyone; myself and my visitors. Come back again; after all the sacrifices I make to the Gods Of Knots And Ropes I should be graced with a site worth looking at:


A Jam Jar; Empty Now, But Its Outer Self Is Improved By Turk’s Head Knots

A jam jar covered in Turk's Head variants.

A jam jar covered in Turk's Head variants.

As anyone who has been here before knows, I tie knots on just about anything that is in the right size range. I end up doing a lot of containers of different sorts. I sometimes even wait for them to become empty. This is one of those times. Now if I can only think up a purported use for this jar to justify the time, effort, and money spent. … … … I know — I needed another jar to store my things that will fit through the mouth of this jar. I know I have some lying around here somewhere…

Now that the happy hour is over, on to the knots, from the top:

The top knot is a little crowded because of the shape of the jar. It is, however, one of my stock knots. A Gaucho knot of 2 passes. The final count is 9 Leads X 7 Bights of single strands of paracord.

The white knot is a Turk’s Head of 9 Leads X 4 Bights, doubled in paracord. To be honest, looking at it now it also appears to be a little crowded. Funny how I didn’t see that when I was tying it.

The lowest knot, and by virtue of being the one which isn’t being pushed out of shape by the bottle, is the feature knot. It’s a Turk’s Head of 7 Leads X 13 Bights, doubled in green paracord. Even without the other knots being compromised, it would be a hard knot to beat.

Now I have to go look for something to store in this bedeviled jar.

Thank you for dropping by my site. If you know of any way by which I could improve my site, or my knots, please sing out. I would greatly appreciate your input. Come back again; I’ll try to have something new to hold your attention:


Medicine Bottles #33 & #34; 2 Gaucho Knots And 2 Headhunter Knots

Medicine bottles #33 & #34; Headhunter knots and Gaucho knots galore.

Medicine bottles #33 & #34; Headhunter knots and Gaucho knots galore.

Some of the tops on my prescription medicine bottle are reversible. One way is a simple screw off top, like mankind invented centuries ago. The other way is the “child-resistant” top which, as near as I can figure, was invented by a team of the top demons in Hell and Satan himself. I always thought that if the adults were too lax to keep the bottles out of the reach of children who were prone to devouring anything they got their hands on, that it was Mother Nature,s plan. By using both sides of on a cap you can mate 2 bottles up, mouth to mouth. It helps to keep things a little less crowded.

Now that I have surely offended someone, on to the knots, from the left side:

The first knot is a Headhunter knot done in black paracord.

The next knot is also a Headhunter knot. The difference is in the Bight count. The first knot has 9 Bights, and this one only 6. They are both of the over 2, under 2 weave characteristic of Headhunter knots of 2 passes.

The first knot on the second bottle is a Gaucho knot of 3 passes, done in black paracord.

The last knot on the far right is also a Gaucho knot, this one of 2 passes. There is also a difference in Bight count between the 2 Gaucho knots, similar to the Headhunter knots.

Yes, these two bottles with their knots sharing a family likeness, but with differences, were a self-assigned study. The more knots I learn of different form and structure, the more options I have when trying to make a project come out right. It is also more satisfying and less likely to bore — a constant hazard for me.

Thank you for coming by my site. Your visits and any comments are welcomed. That is why I am here in the first place. Come back again; as master of this parade of knots I’ll try to keep them high-stepping down the street:


Medicine Bottle #32; A Turk’s Head Layered Over A Gaucho Knot Make This Bottle Resist Tipping

Medicine bottle #32; 2 Turk's Heads and a Gaucho knot improve both looks and function.

Medicine bottle #32; 2 Turk's Heads and a Gaucho knot improve both looks and function.

For some reason, unknown to either myself or the Gods Of Ropes And Knots, I kept tipping this bottle over while trying to sort through the bedside grouping of its kith and kin. I added the layered Turk’s Head over the bottom of the lower knot already there. It worked. I don’t know if it was physics, or psychology, or magic, but from then on I never tipped it over. Tip resistant — I had a buddy like that — he made it really hard to get good service in a restaurant.

The knots on this bottle are, from the top:

This knot is a Turk’s Head of 9 Leads X 7 Bights. The weave is under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2. Tied in a single strand of black paracord, this is a small but handsome knot.

The main knot is a Gaucho knot of 2 passes. This was the star knot until I had to overlay it with the next knot to make it resist tipping.

This is now the “top knot”, even though it is in the lowest position on the bottle. By now you know the story so here are the specs; This is a Turk’s Head knot of 5 Leads X 9 Bights. I actually raised this from a 3 Lead knot. The 3 Lead didn’t seem as if it would perform the designated task, and this was one time looks were a distant second. Not that it isn’t a fine looking knot, mind you.

Thank you for dropping by my site. Come back again; I’ll try to make sure it is worth your while:


Medicine Bottle #31; 3 Turk’s Heads And A Button Knot Adorn This Bottle

Medicine Bottle #31; Turk's Heads and a Sailor's Knife Lanyard knot make a handsome covering.

Medicine Bottle #31; Turk's Heads and a Sailor's Knife Lanyard knot make a handsome covering.

This is another faithful servant, though not so long-serving as #30. For anyone who came in late, I try to make these bottles easy to differentiate in dim light, assisted by touch. At 0-dark-30 in the morning I don’t think it fair to wake My Lady Rose because I have to take my meds. The choices are a very bright light that always wakes her … bumbling around in the dark that wakes her some portion of the time … using a dim light and my coded knots to find the right bottle. Only the last one has any chance of keeping her happy — and when she’s happy, I’m happy.

The knots on this bottles are, from the top:

A thin black Turk’s Head knot of 3 Leads X 14 Bights.

The white ring is also a 3 Lead Turk’s Head, this one of 8 Bights — tied in a utility cord of slightly larger diameter. This knot also serves as the carrier for the Chinese Button knot – also called the Sailor’s Knife Lanyard knot. This knot was tied and then doubled — by either name. I’ll give you 1,932 guesses as to what the 2 major uses of these knots were.

The feature knot on this bottle is a Turk’s Head of 9 Leads X 7 Bights, doubled in black paracord. The weave on this knot is one of my favorites; over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2, from either edge. This weave and its inverse, starting with an under 2, I find very handsome. Because of this, I tie more than my fair share in these 2 weaves.

Thank you for coming by my site. If you know of any way in which I could improve either my site, or my knots, sing out. I would greatly appreciate your input. Come back again; the next band is warming up for the parade:


A Top Down Close-Up Of One Of The White Wedding Roses Made From Nested Turk’s Head Knots

A top down close-up of a white rose made from Turk's Head knots.

A top down close-up of a white rose made from Turk's Head knots.

A gentleman residing overseas used the “Direct Message” link to make a request. He shall therefore remain nameless — but I am happy to comply with his desires. He wanted a detail shot of one of the large white roses, preferably top down. Luckily I had taken a couple of extra shots when I still had the wedding roses I made for a friend of My Lady Rose in hand.

To recap for those who came in after the opening credit roll, these roses were made by nesting different-sized Turk’s Head knots. The difference in size was achieved by tying knots with differing Lead and Bight counts. Also, some of the knots were of the same count, but were made with more passes. Some of the outer knots were tied with a Herringbone/Pineapple interweave that stopped short of the top rim. This allowed me to add strength and body to the knot where needed. Because I stopped the interweave short of the top edge, a casual observer would see no difference. The pollen-bearing stamen was imitated with a short tassel of embroidery floss.

Like all my knotted structures it had to comply with my self-appointed rules: no mandrel, no wire supports, no glue, no hidden tricks other than the knots themselves. The only things allowed other than the cords which form the main structure are other cordage add-ins, like the floss/stamen trick. I do allow myself some thread or twine used as seizings or sewing as a consolidating and bracing material. There is a limit to how much of this I consider sporting. Most of the actual structure for these roses comes from the paracord itself.

Mind you, unless the end user is another knot tyer I do not expect them to know or care about such things. For regular people you can only expect them to care about looks, and if applicable, function. I normally don’t even mention these arcane tidbits of knot tying lore.

Thank you for coming by my site. If you can think of any way I can improve my knots, or my site, please let me know. I greatly appreciate your visits, and any input you give me. Come back again; the  parade of knots goes on, and on, and on:


Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 7:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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