Practical knots & knotting.


“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`Practical knots & knotting; knots which are primarily of utility before appearance. You should keep in mind that many knots are both practical & decorative.

I have no relationship with the sites I review, other than a few which I have been a customer of. I will not receive any direct rewards, fiscal or otherwise, for my reviews or any visits you may make.

ANIMAL HANDLING

ARBORISTS & TREE SURGEONS

CAVERS & CLIMBERS

Vertical Devices: If you are interested in the hardware used in the ascending or descending vertical ropes, this is the place for you. You can’t buy anything here, but Dr. Gary D. Storrick has a private collection which covers much of the field, both new and old. For many of the items he has a description which goes into more technicalities than most will understand — it’s over my head. He also had what I can only assume are very well informed opinions/comments on them. It isn’t knots per say, but it is rope/knot related. I included this for those of you who may have broader interests in ropes and knots than my beloved Turk’s Head knots. Reviewed 2010.01.20.

Xstremesport4u: As you would guess, this site is dedicated to several extreme sports and their related skills. I thought that knots would be very visible — I was wrong. While they do have a few nice video tutorials on knots they are hard to access. The best way is to go to this page where most of them seem to be archived. While there, look around; they do have some amazing posts about people doing amazing things. Reviewed 2010.01.17.

DOCTORS & EMT

FISHING

COMMERCIAL

FLY TYING

NON-COMMERCIAL

Carpfishing UK: As advertised, this site is about one man’s view on carpfishing in the United Kingdom, and how he thinks you can do it better. So why am I, a knot – oriented person reviewing his site? Because along with all the other information on the site, there are two pages devoted solely to knots. These are the knots you use on the fish’s end of the rig. One knot in particular caught my eye because I hadn’t heard of it before. The Mahin knot appears to be a further evolution of the Allbright Special. The Allbright has a long history of successful use. This may work in the Mahin’s favor, although many people may shy away from its fairly complicated structure. As an aside, it seems many Americans who catfish would profit from reading some of the European carpfishing sites, just as they would profit from reading about some of our catfishing methods. Both of these fish seem to live similar lives and fill similar niches in the ecology, and they seem to exhibit much of the same behaviors. I would think that because of all this similarity a lot of the fisherman’s methods would apply to both. Reviewed 2010.01.22.

Fishing Knots: This is a subset of the larger site “Fishing Cairns”, an angling site on techniques used in Australia. This page starts a two-page preview of a book. The second page is the first chapter of the book, and shows twenty two knots. The knots are shown by the completed step method, along with a narrative to bridge the gaps. It also gives a short explanation of each knot, and notes any particular virtues or weaknesses. If the preview is any indicator, the book is dense — it gives a maximum of knots with enough for your average fisherman/knot tyer to compete each knot. You might want to go here to see if he lists any knots that may be new to you. Who knows, it may work as planned — by nibbling on the presented tidbits you may be tempted to take the bait book. Nota Bene: The book is evidently out of print, so would probably be available only at a used book seller, or perhaps on-line. Reviewed 2010.01.23.

Leadertec: This is a salt water fishing site which has excellent one page how-to-tie on the knots used to rig the fish end of the line. Folks who do this call that the terminal rig. You need special knots to tie most modern fishing lines. They are stronger than ever & don’t rot — but they are very hard to rig so you get their best. Leadertec, which has a store on the site, offers tips for how to use the good stuff as a customer education and loyalty tool — a better plan than many have.

Marine News: A site based in the world down-under, Australia & New Zealand. The general site is aimed mostly at the boating fisherman. They do a very nice job on the overall site, but the knot portion is outstanding. They cover a claimed 350 knots with how-to-tie animations. The animations are above average, and if you scroll down from the animation, they also have further textual information. Many of the knots are aimed at the fisherman and his specialized lines. That still leaves a lot of the 350 knots for others. Like many sites, there is a commercial side to this one; listings for boats for sale, fishing guides, product reviews. Of course all this supports the knots portion of the site as well as the site as a whole. I have no problem with someone making a living; the money they make supports the site. What I am interested in is how well theY do the knots, and all of the knots they cover, they cover well, so it is definitely worth a look. Reviewed 2010.01.23.

GENERAL SITES WITH BROAD COVERAGE IN THIS FIELD

All About Knots: This is a blog site that approaches knots from a level above that of the normal “practical use & how to tie” seen on the net. I tried to find the author’s name so I could cite him but the only identification mark I could find were the initials “AAK”; further the document does not say. He sounds somewhat pedantic (this is used to mean the original meaning — sounding academic or sounding like a teacher — not any negative connotation), but appears to be backed up by his research and level of knowledge. If you are looking for something above the normal level of discourse, give him a try.

Animated Knots By Grog: Grog has a very nice site with animated tutorials for a surprising number of knots. They mostly fall in the “Practical” category, and are sorted into broad fields of use  – categories like “Boating” and “Household”. You may end up finding the knot you want under a heading you didn’t guess. Unlike some animated lessons that run so fast a cheetah couldn’t catch them, these let you slow step through while you tie along with the bouncing ball. (No ball really, just an old saying) The site and the lessons are very well done.

Do-It-101.com — Knots, Splices, and Rope Work: This appears to be an online version of an old book on knots. If memory serves, it is a book by A. H. Verrill, at least  the illustrations call that book to mind. In its day it was considered an excellent source,and  it still is for basic knot information. The progress in materials and manufacturing, as well as the science of failure testing. is what makes it less useful today. For a book written at the turn of the 1900’s it has held up well. If you don’t have a copy and need a quick look, it is here. Reviewed 2010.01.30.

Klabautermann Knotentafel: No, you’re haven’t bumped your head; this just looks to you how an English language site must look to others. The site is in German, but is still very usable because of an excellent system of picture/icon links. The animated knots on this site are a cut above some of the others I’ve seen, markedly so. Herr Matthias Böving has some very smooth looking animated GIF files, some with a novel look at things. If you held a gun on me, the only complaint I could come up with is the same problem most animated knot sites have — you can’t watch the screen and the cord in your hands at the same time. I like the sites which allow you to drastically slow down, or step through, the animations. This site is well worth a visit, particularly if you are having problems following the animated knots on other pages. Reviewed 2010.01.22.

Knots And Knot Tying: This site by Mr. André van der Salm is a bilingual trip through knot land. Even without the English cheaters, the site would be worth going to, even if you have to navigate using the picture icons. Each knot is shown in a stretched-out position which, along with the narrative, is more than enough to tie the knots with. As you can tell by my site, I like the Turk’s Heads and all their kith and kin. It is no surprise then that I especially liked his page on Turk’s Heads, and his tutorial page on clapping a Pineapple interweave into a Manrope knot. I have long kept his site in my bookmarks. After a visit you may too. Reviewed on 2010.01.15.

Knots By Net Knots: This site is put up by a company trying to sell you some pocket-sized waterproof cards with how-to-tie for knots. As a goodwill tool and as advertising, they offer a preview of the cards on the Internet. There are four categories of knots: 1. Fishing Knots, 2. Outdoor Knots, 3. Boating Knots, 4. Paddling Knots. Naturally, there will be some overlap and some you think are either missing or unneeded. For what it is, it makes the grade. The lesson on the net is available in both still sequences and controllable animations, something that many other sites would profit by emulating.

Knots-guide: This is a site that blazed into life in 2008, then stopped, never to be updated again. Still, until the inevitable bit rot sets in, it is an excellent site. The graphics and narrative allow you to tie a few dozen knots if you simply follow along as directed. The site was originally an unknown language, but now, even if you extract the URL from the long one Google gives it, it reverts to an English translation. The translation is of higher quality than average. I’ve been tying knots for years, so for me to find a new knot that isn’t in some highly specialized field is a pleasant rarity. This site did that, twice, as well as provided some new insight into old friends. I recommend that you cruise this site. It is small because it failed to grow over the years, but it is quality stuff. Reviewed 2010.01.23.

Knotheads World Wide; an excellent site. They major part of the site is a lively forum community of skilled knot tyers — who don’t mind sharing their time and talents. The site has a very nice collection of tutorials, though some of them do expect a certain level of knowledge from the user. The gallery is well stocked with members photos. This site should be listed at the top of your click list.

Lay Hands: This site is sub-titled “The Most Useful Knots For The Average Person To Know”. It is run by a Mr. Dave Root, who very generously provides a zipped file of his entire site for off-line use. If you will have your portable computer, but not a portable Internet, it is very worthwhile to download the site. He does an excellent job of covering the knots the title suggests — both practical and decorative. It is impossible to cover the entire scope of knots, but he does a fine job on those he chose.

Marine News: An excellent site with information and animated how-to-tie pictures for 350 knots. See additional information on this site above under the “Fishing –> Non-Commercial” category. Just scroll up.

More Than Knots: This site by Mr. Glenn Dickey certainly lives up to the billing. I’m sure he has done other interesting things with ropes/knots, but the two projects shown on this page are “More Than Knot”. In addition to photos of his own work, he has some very nice pages of group projects he was involved in. He has worked on tying the leather knots and lashings which held together a museum’s authentic copy of a Celtic war chariot. As if that weren’t enough to talk about with other knot people, he also volunteers with other members of the IGKT to keep up the rigging on an authentic reconstruction of Columbus’ Santa Maria. In addition to maintenance there is an annual down-rig/up-rig cycle to keep most of the gear out of the Columbus, Ohio winter weather, something most residents would love to do. A cup of coffee, some light cord to fiddle with, and knot stories told by Mr. Dickey — that would be a very entertaining morning. Reviewed on 2010.01.15.

Notable Knots: As the name implies, this is not a site about every knot you’ve never heard of, but one about the knots the author found to be above average in some way — notable. Many of the knots are ones you’ve run across before if you are into knots. A few were new to me, and I have been knotting as a hobby for years. The individual knots have a one-page instruction sheet. These sheets have a simple and minimalist look, but contain everything you need to learn to tie each knot. There are also some tidbits of information which will appeal to people who think that ropes and knots are either a good tool, or a good hobby. Reviewed on 2010.01.15.

NÚT DÂY: If you run this through an on-line translation bot you get “Knot”. This site is among the few which link back to my site, as per Google. They were also one of the first to do so. On its own merits it is an interesting site. You get a look at some of the knots you know from a different viewpoint. There are also some knots that I haven’t encountered before, labeled as being “Siberian”. I can only assume that these knots were brought by the Soviets when they had more influence in the region. Unless you speak Vietnamese you should plan on using you favorite translation bot. The pictures are an uneven ride; adding the narrative, even one done by a bot, smooths things out a little. Reviewed 2010.01.23.

Roper’s Knot Page: This is the other site about knots which seems to pre-date the Internet. If you are looking for instructions on how to tie basic, as well as not so basic, knots you would profit from a trip here. The list of knots in his index page is impressive. He has also stuck with a web site which teaches you the knot, not one that dances and sings for your amusement. There is also a page with links to people who link to his pages — a very interesting way to find other knot sites and people.


MARTIAL ARTS

The Art of Tsukamaki: Or maybe you would prefer a loose translation? “The Art of Wrapping the Hilt on Japanese Swords”. This is an information dense, one-page exposition on all that one American man has learned in his pursuit of excellence in this art/craft. If you are interested in the Japanese sword, or more particularly this aspect of the crafting of them, this is an excellent page. If you are interested in knots in general, it may warrant a look just to gain another facet of knowledge. The Sageo knots at the bottom of the page show an entirely different take on the task of sword knots than most European systems used. Reviewed 2010.01.30.

Also take a look at the sites on slinging and slings … scroll further down this page.

MODERN CORDAGE

NETS & NETTING

Anne Liese’s Fibers And Stuff: A site with a good tutorial on net making — like a good skirt,it is short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject. She also gives a list of netting needle/shuttle vendors. Her motivations are based in the SCA, so there is some historical stuff that I like, but which you may not. Take the cream and leave the sticks.

OCCUPATIONAL

RESCUE, HIGH ANGLE , SWIFT WATER;, AND TECHNICAL RESCUES

Elite Swiftwater: Is the home for a training institute for swiftwater and rope rescue. The site is very polished, as you would expect from anything styled as an institute. If you follow through the “Tips & Tricks” link you will find four well done video tutorials on some knots and their applications. They are the ones you would expect given the aim of the institute. I would prefer that the instructor had worn clothing which had more visual contrast with the ropes. That said, they are still better videos than many on the Internet. Reviewed 2010.01.17.

ROPE MAKING, ROPE WALKS, SPINNING OF SMALL STUFF, AND THINGS THAT ARE KIN.

Spinning for Chinese Knotting: This is a subset of a larger site on spinning and related arts, the things made with the new spun product of your wheel. At the bottom of the page are some links to spare looking but more than adequate instructions for the standard Chinese knots. I am putting this here for the rest of the page. There are many other places to learn the knots, but this is the only one on which I have found information on re-spinning to make better knotting cords. I think this might be a way to replace the famous “Dreadnaught Cord”. If your interest lies that way, it will be worth a visit for a starting point, if nothing else. Reviewed 2010.01.30.

SCOUTING

Folsom’s Knots: Is a site aimed at Scouters. It has a nice selection of animated knot tying lessons. They are mostly the basic knots that you would expect given the stated aim. The one thing which non-scouts might not expect is the page on Turk’s Head knots — they tell me these days they’re called woggles. He uses heat to shrink and set synthetic cords into a tougher knot. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

Knot Knotes: This site was made with the intent of being a resource for Scouts. Luckily for us happy folk who tie knots, there is much overlap. He covers a broad but shallow area: bending two pieces of spaghetti together to test knots, how to tie the normal array of Scouting knots, decorative knots, and even some knot humor. He does lead the Scouts to explore some things beyond the knots to get their next badge. One that caught my eye was a page on knots with a structure like the Zeppelin bend — overlaying loops shaped like b’s and q’s, or p’s and d’s. This isn’t a site you will need every day, but it one you should visit once, and keep in mind. You never know when you will break your spaghetti off short and have to bend on a piece to make it long enough. Reviewed 2010.02.01.

Pioneering Made Easy: A scouting resource page which concentrates on knots and pioneering. The knots are the normal suspects, but the pioneering has some pleasant surprises — like the “Long Range Bolt Shooter”. All information is available on-line. Each knot or project is also available as a Microsoft Word document. If you do not have a program which can read that format, there are free programs available to let you read, but not edit, Word doc files. One is made by Microsoft itself. A quick search will find one for your operating system. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

Pioneering Projects.Org: Has a nice collection of pioneering projects. Most are done as single page pictures of the finished project. This is more than enough if you already know knots, lashing, rope-work, and pioneering. It is not nearly enough if you are a rank beginner. It also has links to other resources, some downloadable free E-Books being among the noted. It’s worth a visit if you qualify; if not, wait a while — wait and learn. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

Scouting Resources In The U.K.: Has a wide range of things for and about scouts. The thing of interest here is the sections on knots and pioneering. For those who are/were not a scout, pioneering is using rope, axes, machetes, shovels, and found wood and other resources to build useful/needed structures. These may range from tables or raised fire beds to flag poles and bridges across streams. For all this you need knots and their close kin, lashings. The on-line coverage of knots is well above average with easy to follow, one-page directions. You may also download some one-knot-per-page PDF files. The other subjects covered may also be of interest to many, scout or not. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

The Knotting Dictionary of Kännet: A dictionary of knots, which also contains about 2 dozen one-page knots lessons. They are aimed at scouts and are the basic knots — with a few rarer ones for good measure. Mostly practical, but a couple havedecorative uses.

SHOELACES

Ian’s Shoelace Site: A comprehensive and passionate (???) site about all things shoelace. How to lace and tie your laces in many different ways — some for style, some for function, some a mix. He also has a lot of information on the laces themselves. A surprisingly sticky site if you are interested in knots — amazingly so if you are interested in shoelace knots in particular. One of his pages in particular has 17 different ways to tie your shoelaces.

SLINGS & SLINGING, BUILDING NEW ONES, AND SOME HISTORY.

Slinging.Org: All things about slings & slinging – think David and Goliath, or maybe some young shepherd pegging rocks at a wolf to protect the herd of goats. Young shepherds must have been tough — or the penalty for losing a goat was extraordinarily severe. They have historical & general information, as well as lessons on how to build and use them. They also have a very active forum with thousands of posts showing in the statistics. One of the rooms is about a wide assortment of other primitive weapons (things that derive their power from man’s muscles) An excellent site; if you’re interested, go have a look.

SPECIALIZED KNOTS

Six Exploding Knots: The Show Stopping, Jaw Dropping, Exploding Knots Of Peter Suber. Mr. Suber has long been known as the originator of the “Knots On The Web” links list. What some don’t know is that he has developed 6 exploding knots. No not T.N.T.; these are knots that securely hold a load — then release it cleanly when the rip cord is pulled. The older releasing knots didn’t always function cleanly — you had to clear them the rest of the way by hand. These knots fall apart when released and then totally disassemble and drop away — perfectly, cleanly, quickly. Mind you, you should never bet life or limb on a knot that releases. But for when you need them, these are the best.

SPLICING

MODERN MATERIALS

Sampson Rope: This rope maker’s site has extensive tutorials on how to splice the ropes and cordage they produce. Much of that knowledge would cross over to other ropes of similar constructions and materials. See the full review under Rope Makers & Manufacturers. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

TRADITIONAL

Sampson Rope: This rope maker’s site has extensive tutorials on how to splice the ropes and cordage they produce. Much of that knowledge would cross over to other ropes of similar constructions and materials. See the full review under Rope Makers & Manufacturers. Reviewed 2010.01.14.

WIRE ROPE

TUTORIALS & LESSONS

A Site About Nothing: I’m told this is a reference to a TV series; beats me, I tie knots instead of watching most TV. I will say that other than the blurb on the first page it isn’t a site about nothing. It is a site about “adventuring” — think camping in the Outback for several weeks without contact with the world. Not camping in Yellowstone Park with 300,000 other lucky ticket holders — and protected by rangers, readily available medical aid and helicopter evacuation. Go to the “Crafts” tab, then navigate to the knots using the links on the upper right section of the page. He has done about 40 tutorials on knots, all well written and well photographed. He even has a page showing three methods for tying constrictor knots in-hand. Reviewed on 2010.01.15.

Published on January 6, 2010 at 5:48 PM  Leave a Comment  

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