Medicine Bottle # 45; A Turk’s Head Knot Adorns This Bottle Of Liniment.

Medicine Bottle #45; A Turk's Head knot graces this bottle.

Medicine Bottle #45; A Turk's Head knot graces this bottle.

Medicine Bottle #45; A Turk’s Head seems to improve everything — of course this might be the knot version of having the prettiest grandchild in the world. I do have to admit that this bottle didn’t really need the knot. It stands taller than most and is easy to open. I just happened to see it when I had this knot in hand — it seemed a shame to waste it.

The knot on this bottle is:

This is a white paracord Turk’s Head. The count on this knot is 10 Leads X 9 Bights. I couldn’t make this knot as tight as I like to — the bottle is thin walled, and weak in the middle.

The real surprise for me here turned out to be the fact that even though I thought this bottle didn’t need a knot, it was improved by one. But the knot makes the bottle easier to use in some way I can’t figure out. It just makes it feel better in your hand. I’ll have to research this phenomenon and report to the ruling committee at a later time.

Thank you for dropping by my site. As always, I am open to any thoughtful suggestions on how I can improve my site, or my knots. Come back again; the parade of knots marches on:


Turk’s Head Knots Form The Head Of This Tassel Which Is Used As A Pull Cord.

Turk's Heads grace the head of a tassel -- making a fine pull cord.

Turk's Heads grace the head of a tassel -- making a fine pull cord.

I am tasked with tying knots every day as a form of physical therapy. No matter how much you like knots, you start running short of new projects. One day I saw My Lady Rose trying to reach the door of a high cabinet, and was inspired to make a pull cord. That way she can at least open the cabinet and ensure the thing she wants is there before commencing the acrobatics of getting it down. Or calling for her tall person to get it for her. I’ll give you 2,438 guesses who that is — not that I mind. She just hates to impose on me. The end result is this pull cord.

The knots used in this project are:

I first took two lengths of a Kern-Mantle utility cord, and after middling them, I braided a 4 strand round sinnet. I put a constrictor knot on the ends to prevent unraveling. Below the constrictor I stripped off the outer covering and combed out the inner strands. Too thin of a bundle to make the tassel, but a start.

I then took several strands of the same cord and gutted them to get the core strands. I middled them and laid them alongside the braid so that the center was slightly above the constrictor knot, making sure they were evenly distributed around the core. I then seized them to the braid just above the knot with another constrictor knot.

Using a piece of the same utility cord, I made a 3 Lead X 4 Bight Turk’s Head to act as a mouse. After hanging the braid, I let the top strands fall down over the Turk’s Head and the inner strands. Just below the Turk’s Head I clapped on another constrictor knot. I now had a tassel with a small bulb-shaped head and uneven strands.

To dress the head of the Tassel I put on a Turk’s Head of 5 Leads X 3 Bights, tripled with black paracord. I left the weaves slightly open so that the head of the tassel peaked through.

I then combed out the strands and cut them off evenly. I thought I was done.

After some thought, I decided it needed a hand grip to take the strain, rather than letting it fall on the tassel. I then tied a series of unseen and unsung Turk’s Heads to mouse out the hand grip. The covering knot on the hand grip is a Turk’s Head of 9 Leads X 8 Bights, doubled in black paracord. Because this was to be the grab spot, I didn’t leave any exposed white strands. I haven’t the foggiest idea in all of Hades — how do you wash a tassel?

To give you some scale, the tails on the tassel are about 10″. The largest black Turk’s Head is 2″ tall, and about 1 3/4″ wide.

This pull cord had been giving yeoman’s service for about 11 years when the picture was taken. It is showing some wear, and some staining, but is still serving. In the passing years I have researched, and carefully considered, the problem of washing. It still has me baffled.

And now, a question for the scientists, philosophers, or really smart people in the audience. Why do the synthetics they make these cords out of attract some types of soil/stains. Could you by careful selection of fibers make an air filter which targeted specific pollutants?

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back again; I’ll try to keep things quick-stepping along the route of march:


Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 8:39 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Other, Larger Of Two Screwdrivers With Knot Enhanced Handles.

A large screwdriver with the handle much improved by stacked Turk's Head variants.

A large screwdriver with the handle much improved by stacked Turk's Head variants.

We live in world which is a marvel of mass-produced, affordable goods. As in all things, there are levels of quality available for differing levels of cost. The problem is they make things to fit the “average man” to get the most sales per unit of investment. What happens if you fall outside that average range in some way? All these marvels of the modern world don’t fit you. You can either spend astronomical sums buying custom made goods — or you can buy off the rack and customize them yourself. If you aren’t wealthy, or have a frugal streak, there is only one answer: buy off the rack and make them fit.

The knots used to make this screwdriver fit my hand are:

If you look at the picture at full size you will see it is made up of a stack of Turk’s Head variants. When I was clapping those knots on the handle I hadn’t even thought about a blog. I would try fit the handle and note where it didn’t fill my hand, add a knot in the worst spot, try fit, repeat til happy. Because of this I didn’t keep notes, so some of this is a best guess using an admittedly faulty system.

The handle at the start was about 1″ wide on the major part of the grip. After adding the knots it is just over 2″. The large knot that is on the butt/right end is a Gaucho knot of 2 passes, with 17 Leads X 15 Bights. Like all the knots on this project, it is done in black paracord. Paracord because it is very durable, and I keep reels of it. Black because it is on a work tool and black doesn’t show soiling or stains as much as other colors do.

Just to the left of the Gaucho knot is a Spanish Ring knot — the thinnest Gaucho knot as per Mr. Tom Hall. It is there to smooth out the bump where the edge of the large Gaucho knot ended. The step down to the next lower knot was too abrupt to give a comfortable grip.

If memory, prompted by that part of the knot I can see, serves me, the knot beneath those already named is a Turk’s Head. I think it has 13 Leads X 4 Bights, doubled.

Beneath all these, and visible as the last knot at the left end of the grip, is a Herringbone knot. It has 12 Bights on the exposed end. The count of the Leads is lost under the other knots. It served to fill in a dip in the original grip, and to add size and increased friction on that edge of the handle.

I seem to recall there being another small knot under there somewhere, to even out the profile of the grip. What that knot is will be left as an exercise for the reader.

The end shape, with a taper going from just over 1″ to just over 2″ is nearly perfect for my hands. I can put a lot more torque into the fastener than I could with the factory grip. It is also much easier for my battered and dinged up hands to hold.

Thank you for coming by my site. I appreciate your visits, and any comments you care to leave. Come back again; I don’t post every day, but I try to put something up often enough so most of your visits will be rewarded:


Medicine Bottle # 44; Graced With A Novel Herringbone Knot, With The Bights Worked To Form A Straight Line

Medicine Bottle #44; a straight edged Herringbone knot.

Medicine Bottle #44; a straight edged Herringbone knot.

Medicine Bottle #44; the next piece from the “Medicine Bottle Collection”. I am always trying to learn, or create, different variations for the knots I know, or new knots. Sometimes the variations change a knot so much that it may deserve to be called a new knot. This may be one of those times. What do you think about this?

The knot on this bottle is:

I was using the “Monkey Method” of knot tying, trying for something novel to clap onto a bottle to make it stand out at the Bottle family bedside reunion. I used white paracord because this was for one of the medicines I had to take at 0-dark-thirty. The basic knot is a Herringbone, of 14 Leads X 12 Bights. I worked the rims in the way used on the “Colima Lazy Man’s Knot” in Grant’s book. It not only gave the familiar straight edge, which is the defining characteristic of these knots, but also gave a new alternating short and long pattern where the bights turn back into the knot. I think this makes a very handsome knot.

The straight edges on some knots solve a few of the problems you face when planning/fulfilling a project. You can butt up to a hard structure with minimal gap, either visual or physical. You can also tie two straight-edged knots hard against each other with none of the core showing. This also gives a more even profile to a stack of knots. It is a good thing to have in your kit for those times you need it.

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Medicine Bottle # 43; A Bi-colored Pineapple Variant Covers Two Inches Of This 4″ Bottle.

Medicine Bottle #43; covered by a bi-colored, 2" long Pineapple knot variation.

Medicine Bottle #43; covered by a bi-colored, 2" long Pineapple knot variation.

Medicine Bottle #43; Back to the more normal prescription medicine bottles. This bottle is about 4″ overall; the knot covers just barely over 2″ of that. This knot didn’t increase the diameter too much, but it did make it much easier to open.

The knot on this bottle is:

This knot has my PPA (Phony Patent Pending) edge treatment. By stopping short of the edge bights of the knot by one crossing, a bolder border is formed. Particularly if two different colored knots abut one another, this makes for a more well-defined edge between them. Besides, this is the look that My Lady Rose likes.

The base knot in this interweave is a Turk’s Head of 13 Leads X 12 Bights, in green and black paracord. I always wondered how one specified the structure of a Herringbone or Pineapple knot. Last year I bought Tom Hall’s excellent work on the Turk’s Head and some of its variants. Now I know that I should give the total counted Leads and Bights, as well as which type of knot it is. As near as I can puzzle out, by his system this knot would be: a Pineapple knot of 2 passes, with an edge type of 2-2, with a total of 23 Leads X 25 Bights.

There is a saying around this part of the country: I don’t know much, and I don’t understand all I know. That about sums up me and my relationship to some of these knots.

If I am just tying whichever knot pops to mind and choosing whether or not to insinuate an interweave with its structure later, I call that “The Monkey Method Of Tying Knots”. I am quite capable of tying a knot which I can only roughly name. Trying to eliminate that hole in my knowledge of knots is taking some work, more work than actually cranking out the knots. I persevere, but progress only slowly — if I were a boat I would be a barge: slow, slab-sided and ungainly, without is own power source or steering gear, blundering along and going as much where the current goes as where I wish.

Thank you for coming by my site. I greatly appreciate your visits. If you have any ideas on how I can improve either my knots, or my site, sing out. That is the only way I will learn, and is the real reason I am here:


Medicine Bottle # 42; Almost Completely Covered By Three Gaucho Knots

Medicine Bottle #42; with three Gaucho knots covering all of it.

Medicine Bottle #42; with three Gaucho knots covering all of it.

Medicine Bottle #42: This is a different bottle than the run of the mill prescription bottles you normally see here. The prescription turned out to be a whole bottle. So rather than count out the pills, and then put them in another bottle, she just slapped the labels on the factory bottle. In addition to the savings in labor, it probably saved 4 1/2 pennies for the bottle. These little savings add up and are good for the profit margin, you know.

The knots used on this bottle are, from the top:

The lid got a Spanish Ring knot of 2 passes, in white paracord. This makes the cap bigger around, thus easier to turn. The knot also increases the friction, which also helps. Now if the government’s contract with Lucifer would run out, and it would quit making everyone use these hellish “child resistant caps” … I think it was a deal with the Devil to make more people lose their tempers and curse — possibly even driving them over the edge, so they take out their anger on their fellow man.

The first knot on the body of the bottle is a Gaucho knot of 2 passes. The Tom Hall book tells me I should count all of the Leads and Bights in the finished knot, no matter which knotting method I used to get there — so it has 13 Leads X 11 Bights.

The lower knot is also a Gaucho knot of 2 passes, which counts out to be 9 Leads X 10 Bights.

Why did I use the phrase “no matter which knotting method I used to get there”? I am what you might call an instinctive knot tyer. Most of the time I sit down with a project I’m working on, some cord, and an idea. I very rarely think about the Leads X Bights. Most of the time I think in terms of the width I need to cover, and maybe a particular look. I then tie a knot in hand, and check for fit and appearance. If it looks OK, I work it down tight, and dress the knot. If it doesn’t look right, I start over. Because most of the things I have done are all of the same general dimensions, I usually get it right. The decision to make a Turk’s Head, or some variant, is made on the fly. Mae West used to say that when faced with two temptations she always tried the one she hadn’t experienced before. I tie knots the same way. I will go out of my way to find a new knot, or a new variation on an old knot, rather than getting really good at tying one old same-same knot. What can I say? I have a very low threshold when it comes to boredom.

Thank you for dropping by my site. I look forward to your visits, and to any comments you leave. Come back again; I’ll try to make it worth your while:


A Small Brush With The Grip Dressed By A Herringbone Knot

A Herringbone knot graces the handle of a small brush.

A Herringbone knot graces the handle of a small brush.

I have a very competitive personality — if there is no one else to compete with, I compete with myself. I am always trying to improve my skills in whatever my present endeavor might be. I’m always trying to go bigger, higher, faster, further, or for a longer duration. This applies to my web site, as it does to everything else I do. In trying to better the photographs I take for my site, I discovered that the close-ups the site requires are different than any other pictures I’ve taken in the past. The tiniest speck of dust shows loud and large on a tight close-up. So I procured this brush to dust the knots off before I take the shots. Of course, a store bought off – the – shelf brush couldn’t live around here for long without ending up with a knot of its very own. It improves the grip by making a larger, high friction surface for me to get my fingers on. The whole brush is only about 4″ long, so there isn’t much for me to grab with my big mitts. The raised knot is a great improvement. Any bets on how long it is before the star of this post is demoted to mouse, and covered up with another “even better” knot?

The knot I used on this brush — so far — is:

Because of the small area I had to work in, I used a smaller knot. This is a Herringbone knot of 10 Leads X 8 Bights, done in an off-green paracord. It makes the handle on this little imp about 3 times thicker than it was — an enormous improvement in my ability to get a secure grip. The fact that it is also a high friction surface doesn’t hurt it a bit in that role either.

Thank you for dropping by my site. I appreciate your visits, and any comments you care to leave. Come back again; tonight, at the zenith of the first quarter of the moon, the rites to the Gods Of Ropes And Knots may bear fruit:


Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 7:30 PM  Leave a Comment  
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