A drink coaster made from a Pineapple knot, top-down detail.
A drink coaster made from a Pineapple knot, normal view.
The first question I can feel in the vibration of the strands making up the web of existence is: Why in Hell do you have pink paracord? Is there, somewhere, an army which encourages the killer spirit in their paratrooper units by using pink parachute risers? Did I start off with white paracord and mutate it by exposure to high radiation levels? ( Enough of that ) The reason for the pink paracord will become self evident over the next few posts — it was a practical decision, and a useful end product. You are free to write in your guess — who knows if you are original and amusing enough you may get a pink ????????????? of your very own, to have and to hold.
I used to tie most of my knots with cotton sash cord, the type used to hang the sash weights in double-hung windows. It was a readily available commodity, well made, easy tying, and available in any good hardware store. Double-hung windows and good hardware stores are both rare today. Cotton sash cord is a specialty product made in limited amounts for the restoration market. Paracord, once rare and expensive, has become the commodity cord of the day. It is widely available, strong, and relatively inexpensive. You can find it at various levels of quality and cost; and in many colors — even pink. So now I make most of the things I make in paracord.
This knot was tied with the system now known to my steady readers as “The Monkey Method”. I was playing with a piece of paracord left over from some other knot project. I have been trying to discover a handsome and useful coaster design using paracord. Most of them have failed on one or both points. A coaster needs to be several things: even and level for secure footing, have enough body to hold its shape in use and handling, be attractive enough so that the recipient doesn’t put it in the “keep but don’t take out unless William is coming over” drawer, easy and quick to make, repeatable so you can make sets. I want to use paracord for the same reason I tied this knot with it; it’s what I have the most of in spools, and cut off ends.
This knot is very close to being a successful coaster by those standards. It is a Pineapple interweave over a Turk’s Head knot. Other than being a little small it is an excellent coaster — well, I guess there is that “pink” thing. The only fault is how I dealt with the ends. Because I wasn’t planning to make this ( I wasn’t even thinking — plan?? ) I didn’t preplan how I was going to treat the ends. After I decided this knot was worth the effort of working it down, I accidentally found the ends at the center of the knot. I tied them in a half-knot and then used my crochet hook tool to pull the ends up along the side of one of the radials. Pulling them tight and trimming closely allowed me to hide the ends quite well. The fault is in the half-knot at the rim of the center opening. If you look at the bottom of the hole on the top-down detail shot, you can see the irregularity this made. I may be able to work this better on the next one — but the best idea would be to let the ends meet on one of the radial runs, and trim them close. With laid cord you could thin them down to smooth the transition. I have never tried pulling some of the inner strands on paracord and then trimming half of them out — it may work. The next one will also be a little larger in diameter so you don’t have to be an attentive user and a good shot to hit the bull’s eye every time.
I would like to hear any ideas you have for making the “PPP — Perfect Paracord Coaster”. (PPP = Phony Patent Pending) While admitting this hasn’t been a steady front burner project, I would like to solve this quest. There is a limited call for baggy-winkle and jokes about the lunatic fringe, both made from unused cut-offs.
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