A Hand Mirror With A Grip Improved By A Long 2 Bight Turk’s Head And A Plaited Tail

An improved grip with Turk's Head knots and a sinnet fob makes a handsome mirror.

An improved grip with Turk's Head knots and a sinnet fob makes a handsome mirror.

Today’s post illustrates a couple of things — I really will tie knots on anything that can’t outrun me and which doesn’t bite me before I can restrain it with the first pass of rope. The other is that even under these circumstances I can still produce an article which is improved by my ministrations.

This hand mirror started out just like the other million or so some plant made in the year it was  produced. At first the stock article was “good enough”, but at some point The Gods Of Ropes And Knots sent an idea into my dreaming mind: it would be greatly improved if covered with the knotted rope markers which would label it evermore as a child of the elder gods. From the early days of Earth’s History, when they ruled all the realm and men were allowed to prosper only if they worshipped these same Eldridge Gods Of Rope And Knots. I woke in the morning with the idea of tying a knot which would be used to dress the handle on this mirror.

The knots used were, from the mirror end:

A Spanish Ring knot — while these are commonly used to dress the less-than-perfect end of another knot, this was the first knot tied. It strengthened the handle and stabilized it, and also provided a dressed edge for the Turk’s Head which followed to work against.

Next came a Turk’s Head knot of 15 Leads X 2 Bights, doubled, in white paracord. This is one of the more useful Turk’s Heads, as it can be extended to any length needed. It can also be decreased or increased by the normal split-the-tracks method. I don’t often do that, because as you increase the bight count you hamper the greater asset of being able to tighten down on a very small diameter round.

The next knot started at the loop on the end of the handle, a fob consisting of a short length of 4 strand round sinnet that terminated in a double stack of Matthew Walker knots. The ends were left long and randomly trimmed to make a rough tassel.

The total length of all the knotting is just under 1′ — this makes it easy to spot — even when it has other things in mind for that night’s entertainment.

All of these knots add up to a very useful grip and fob system that performs its task well, as humble as that might be. Long years of faithful service have left us with a familiar problem. A lot of those long-serving entities are now showing their age and infirmity …. it seems like all at once they need an update. To top it off, they want a really nice job with really nice rewards — in their view they have labored in the vineyards and now want the good things they were promised then for delivery now. Me being caught in the middle, I need advice; how can I do my job while satisfying the whims and desires of these inanimate objects? If I fail to please them, they shall surely take it out on innocents.

I need your help. How can I tie knots on this go around that will satisfy them and save My Lady Rose from the tyranny of insulted objects that think they are of a higher station than is their true lot in life?

What would you do if you were in my position … at the mercy of the Gods Of Ropes And Knots.

Thank you for coming by my site. Come back again; it will either be going along smoothly …. or I will be at the mercy of the jinn.

Today I really want to hear you sing out:


The Viking Knit; Fender Hitching Done In Wire Rather Than Cord

I was out looking around the void for new knot-related pages. Through a series of tangential links, I found this page on the “Viking Knit”. It is a small diameter tube made by fender hitching wire around a dowel. They show a sample with five rows of hitches. After it is hitched, it is removed from the dowel, then pulled through a series of progressively smaller holes in a wooden drawplate. This sets the knit securely, stretches it to double the length, and evens out the profile to a perfect round. I would imagine it also evens out any small imperfections in the hitching.

For some reason fender/rib hitching and its kin have never appealed to me. I have done some over the years, but given a free hand I always figured out some way to accomplish the task at hand with another knoting method. The closest thing that I find pleasurable is Spanish Grafting. This isn’t the mordida we all hear about, but ABOK #3553 & #3554.

This is a very interesting idea, and the end product is capable of being very handsome. They show some done in a silver wire that would make a fine gift for someone that has put up with living with a person addicted to knots. I have found that the occasional gift produced by tying knots goes far towards greasing the ways for your next big project. ?? Maybe I am talking about the Mordida after all — if so, it is a much more pleasant version, with much more pleasant people to deal with.

Thank you for dropping by my site. Come back again; I’ll try to keep the music lively and the marchers moving in cadence:

Published in: on November 26, 2009 at 2:18 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

A Square Chain Sinnet Made From One Strand Of Black Paracord

A square sinnet made from black paracord.

A square sinnet made from black paracord.

This is the next piece in my small collection of chain sinnets. This is the simplest in structure, being made of only two loops.

In the days of commercial sailing, sailors had to work continually on maintenance. They had only natural materials for use in hull and rigging. Once a vessel was launched, it started a decline into oblivion. How quickly this happened was, to a large extent, determined by the handling and maintenance. A vessel which wasn’t pushed too hard, and which had steady work on those parts that needed it, lasted longer. A longer life meant a better chance at making money for the owner.

One of the common tasks on board a ship was unmaking large cordage that had been taken out of service, and remaking it into smaller, useful lines. Many of these were then made up into chaffing gear and the like. Some of it went back aloft to serve in those places where a lighter line would do. One of the ways to make these lines was to lay them up into twisted cordage. One of the ways to make them was to make them into sinnets.

Because this sinnet is worked in two loops, it builds faster than the square sinnet in the blue bracelet I posted earlier. Because that sinnet has four loops, it has more body and is more clearly defined in cross-section. It feels more square and holds its shape better.

Thank you for dropping by to see my parade of knots. I appreciate your visit. Come back again; I try to keep something new up to reward your return. Next time you’re at the parade, wave when you see me:

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 6:29 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

A Single Strand Chain Sinnet Of Triangular Cross-section

A chain sinnet of triangular cross-section, of single strand braid.

A chain sinnet of triangular cross-section, of single strand braid.

This sinnet at first glance seems to be kin to the last sinnet I posted. The “Flat-Bottomed Chain Sinnet” is like this one only by a loose semblance of the cross-section and the chain sinnet structure. They are made from entirely different braiding methods, and the structure is different. All three corners on this distinctly triangular sinnet look the same, and are produced by the same actions. The other sinnet’s top corner is similar to this one — the bottom two corners while alike, are different from the other corners in both these sinnets. This sinnet looks the same no matter which corner is up, and the same on all three flats. The Flat-Bottomed Sinnet is just that — from the bottom it is wide and flat. The peak on the flat-bottomed sinnet is low and blunt — maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the distance across the bottom. This sinnet is the same across all flats, and makes a noticeably high peak.

This sinnet was made in paracord, as a prototype for a lifting handle. It is strong, but also soft and flexible. It would work for some things, but I ended up choosing another sinnet for this project. I do think this sinnet will appear in some future project. It is handsome, strong, comfortable to hold, fast to make up, and very flexible — I can only assume that My Lady Rose wishes I had similar virtues in like proportions.

Thank you for dropping by my site. If you can think of any way I can improve either my site or my knotting skills, please let me know. See you next time you drop by my parade of knots:

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 7:07 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

A Flat Bottomed Chain Sinnet, In Blue Utility Cord

A chain sinnet -- flat bottomed and nearly triangular in profile.

A chain sinnet -- flat bottomed and nearly triangular in profile.

This is another chain sinnet I made while my brain was elsewhere — my fingers stayed busy with the Monkey Method of knotting. When I saw the sinnet that resulted, I had to put my brain back on watch to figure out how I was doing it.

This is a single strand chain sinnet. If you were to cut it and look at the end, the profile is flat bottomed with 2 sides sloping up to a truncated point. A sort of mutated / morphed triangle, if you like. Depending on how you work it, the width ranges from 3/4″ to 1″. The height ranges from 3/8″ to just over 1/2″. Pulled tight, it closes up nicely. Left loose, it has a more open and lacy look.

This sinnet works up fairly quickly, and if you pull on the end string it vanishes in a quick flurry of motion. If you want to keep it around, you must lock the last loop — even the slightest pull will start to unravel it if you don’t.

Thank you for pausing you surfing long enough to look at my site. Come back again; I try to keep the parade of knots moving. Something new to reward your visits is always nice.

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 8:15 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

A Hot Sauce Bottle With A Dramatic Flame Graphic In The Turk’s Head Knots



The flow of hot sauce bottles meanders on. This is the next logical step after the new-to-me knot on this bottle.
At any rate, on with the show! The knots used on this bottle were:

On the cap is a 5 Lead X 9 Bight Turk’s Head knot in the now traditional black paracord.

The neck of the bottle has a mouse made of some sort of Turk’s Head. The knot you can see is a Herringbone knot worked on a base Turk’s Head knot of 9 Leads X 8 Bights.

The shoulders of the bottle are covered by a Gaucho knot of 2 passes.

The next knot is a twisted and laid up 3 strand grommet. This carries 1″ length of Solomon’s Bar Square Knot Sinnet. The sinnet is capped by a Chinese Button Knot / Sailors Knife Lanyard Knot – your choice of names – doubled. All the ends from the sinnet and the button are led up through the center of the button and trimmed to make a tassel.

The body of the bottle is covered by three 7 Lead X 6 Bight Turk’s Head knots, doubled. They are made of alternating colors of black and white paracord. The edges of each are interlaced in a wave-like pattern that, when done on each side of the center knot, reminds me of the fingerweaving pattern called “Flame”.

After the hundreds of thousands of years that millions of people have played with string, you have to be careful about claiming novelty. This is new to me, but maybe I just don’t get out enough. Perhaps it is the latest thing in blue jeans and I missed it. I do have to admit that the concept of calling this a flame pattern is from the Native American Indian fingerweaving – on their sashes they call a pattern much like this a “flame”.

I would like to know what you think of this bottle. Is this edge interlacing new, or just new to me? Thank you for coming by and staying long enough to get through this:

A White Gaucho Knot Of 2 Passes Tied Over A Wooden Ball To Make A Fob for a Key Chain

A key chain fob made from a Gaucho knot over a wooden ball.

A key chain fob made from a Gaucho knot over a wooden ball.

One of the puzzles I must solve is what else to tie knots on? My frugality balks at not saving some of the better knots, particularly when I have used the same line to tie so many practice knots that it is fuzzy. I could tie several more knots with the same line and eventually have to throw that piece away. Or I could try to tie a single, really good one and put it on something that would benefit from the addition.

The problem is an eventual lack of things about the right size that don’t already have knots of their own. Some end up having multiple layers of knots – if the latest one is sufficiently better than the last …. over it goes. The lesser knots have been sacrificed to the gods of decorative knots and cords and, though forgotten and unseen, are not gone but live on through their utility.

The Lady Rose is generally understanding of this process, and occasionally takes advantage of it. Her latest request was for a new fob for her key chain. It had several requirements which, once met, left enough room for artistic effort to satisfy my urge to tie.

The requirements were:

To be done in white paracord to make it easy to see.

To be have a distinctive feel and be large enough to find easily by touch in a purse.

The knot should be tied with an open weave, over an attractive core, because she likes that look.

It should be one of my tight knots so that it won’t come undone.

This is the knot that came about. A Gaucho knot of 2 passes. This ends up by count as a knot of 12 Leads X 11 Bights and over 2 under 2 weave done over a 1″ wooden bead. By habit I don’t count or specify the Leads or Bights of a Gaucho knot … should I? This is just a habit I fell into because they are hard to count, and before the birth of the It’s Knot Art Blog only I needed to know. There was no one else interested, so it wasn’t worth the effort. Do you want to know? If so leave a comment and I shall start posting the count.

The Gaucho knot was cranked down so hard that it is difficult for some to believe it is not a wood carving done as a gimmick poser.The ends were led out and tied in a 1″ long Solomon’s Bar sinnet. The purpose of this was to allow her to hold the ball in her hand and let the keys dangle between her fingers. This makes a secure hold, but still allows the use of the hand to carry something else also. The reason for the Solomon’s Bar instead of a two strand loop is that the structure of the sinnet improves both the security and comfort of the grip. A two strand loop having no structure is harder to have fall in the right position without having to juggle & jingle it.

There is a very small loop to allow the split ring on the key chain to be attached. This is followed by a Sailor’s Knife Lanyard Knot ABOK #788 doubled. Some call this the Chinese Button doubled knot ABOK #601, but structurally they are the same knot. The ends are left long and trimmed to give a casual two strand tassel.

She is happy … so I am happy. But a Question lurks, hiding until I’m ill prepared and then creeping up on me in the dog watches, and asking in weaselly, whiny voice: “Well that was OK, but was that really the best you can do? All the knots, braids, plaits and sinnets you know or could look up and you use that one!” I would like to better my skills. To do that I need input, advice and guidance. No matter what you use or who has inspired or guided you, you could be a someone who ties knots or someone willing to voice your opinion about how they look. Either is equally valuable to me. Either is equally welcomed by me. I await your pleasure … and your comments.

Thank you for spending the time and effort it takes to visit my site. I also appreciate that; after all that is also input.  Come again: