The Walking Stick Memorium; A Look Back At Knots That Served Well, And Now Are Gone To Fiddler’s Green.

The first two knots on the Walking Stick Adventure.

The first two knots on the Walking Stick Adventure.

I was looking through some older pictures of my knotwork. These were taken with an older, less capable camera than the one I have now. My skills with the picture box were slighter, as well. To top it all off, these shots were taken as a reference tool for my use, never to be published. Now, faults and all, they are going to be seen around the world. This is in keeping with my plan to show those things which are less than perfect so I could profit by the instruction of others — and because this tuition would be via Internet, others could profit as well.

I started putting the knots on this cane in 1998. I added them one, or one set, as I got the time, materials, and became physically capable of doing it. The last of the knots were added in 2000. I realized that they were being asked to perform beyond their design limits — hell, beyond all reason and hope. Just before I slew them all with a sharp-edged instrument, I took these shots so I would know what was, and where it was. Many of these knots had 9 or 10 years of active service. The stains from using the stick to push aside obstacles I didn’t mind. It was when they started to fray and unravel I saw it was time to give them one last chance to participate in the high equinoctial ceremonies to “The Gods Of Ropes And Knots”. After that they were called to the front of the company, all hands being present. They were cited by name, rank, and occupational specialty. They were then paid off in full and given pre-paid passage to Fiddler’s Green — quarters there having already been arranged.

Memento Mori … all my friends here gathered … Memento Mori … all my enemies too far to reach … Memento Mori … watch close your time, for it surely comes to each …Momento Mori.

All the past now having been given its due, we start on today. The pictures are less than I would have preferred, but the subjects are gone beyond recall. I hadn’t planned to have a BLOG … so I surely hadn’t planned to use them on it. But many things have reminded me of late that it would be unfair not to give them the best I can. And so I call my friends to come and stand review one last time. I shall ┬áselect the best shots of each, and tell their story in the best light. Be kind to them, but not so kind as to lie. If you see a true fault — sing out, so all may benefit. After we have climbed the stick knot by knot, there will be an overall shot to draw it all together.

The knots used on this Walking Stick friend of mine were, starting at the left/bottom end of the cane:

The knot on the far left is a Spanish Ring knot of 2 passes. I now know the method which should be used to count the Leads and Bights on this knot. Unfortunately there is no way by which I can honestly do this. The picture is too fuzzy, so we miss on this one.

I can not tell by count the true nature of this knot, backed up by data. I can say that between my memory and the picture I believe it to be a Turk’s Head of 5 Leads X 4 Bights, tripled in paracord. Each pass got its own color; two of the green and the center one in black.

The first two mates are gone on to Fiddler’s Green, but not forgotten. They have now been seen, in effigy, by more people than ever saw them live …. Memento Mori.

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back tomorrow for the next memorial for those knots next highest on the stick:


Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 3:09 AM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear sir, I found this link on Stormdranes blog and archived it with many others. I am recently going through these and happily stumbled accross yours and in reading just the intro and have been compelled to write ASAP so my fingers are doing the talking. When it comes to welcoming comments I have one. One of the wraps around the bottom of a walking stick your olive drad and black turks head, after cutting the ends off make it long enough that you can use something like a wide flat tipped screwdriver to push the ends into the work for a sharp look. Personally I do not like to tie work to have its appearance devalued due to the frey bits. Thank you, Knotty Hands Bruce
    PS What kind or hand tools do you use?

    • Knotty Hands:

      First thank you for stopping by…and also for taking the time to comment.

      Yes the ends on that knot are raggedy and frayed. That was one of the first knots I put on that stick so it is about 14 years old when pictured.

      Being low on the stick it took a lot of abuse and was repaired several times. When it got so I couldn’t repair the final tucks any longer I decided to cut all the knots off and start over. So it was actually this fault that started everything.

      This is the kind of input that I like to get. Sometimes you are just too close to your own work to see it properly.

      Over the years I have collected many tools and implements which I use to help tie knots. The most useful and the rarest among other knotters are the crochet hooks I use to pull the under tucks through on decorative knots. They are designed for this use and time tested for function. Tapered to east the passage while pushing it through a tight gap — a hook to grab the other line and pull it back, one that is carved to smooth out the return trip. The only lack for this use is the lack of a handle to grasp for the sometimes hard pull back under the “over” cord. I build these up by stacking Turk’s Heads until it feels right. Then you have a near perfect tool. Because they make them by the tens of thousands for crochet use they are cheaper than specialty knotting tools. The others? A very sharp knife, needle-nose pliers, diagonal cutters, wire loops, fids, and the ever important fingers.

      Thank you again for the comment.

      Come back again.



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