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:


Scissors Fob #2; Sinnets And Turk’s Head Variants Make A Handsome Fob

Scissors fob #2; Turk's Head knots, an 8 strand sinnet, and a tassel.

Scissors fob #2; Turk's Head knots, an 8 strand sinnet, and a tassel.



My Lady Rose makes allowances for my predilection for tying knots on anything that can’t outrun me and doesn’t bite me first. Over time she has seen the utility in some of the things I do. Lanyards, fobs, and leashes are some of the things she has grown to appreciate having on her own things. Its a fair trade deal: I tie them, and she cuts me slack on some of the other things I want to adorn with knots. I do suspect she averages in a testosterone fudge factor, but however she arrives at it, we have a deal.

All of the statements I have made in various posts dealing with lanyards and their kin also apply here. I seem to have a mental preset for what constitutes a proper size fob for scissors. I have made 4 or 5 of them, all without preplaning, or measuring — they are all within an ace of being the same length and look much alike.

The knots on this one are, from the attachment point:

I cut 4 strands of paracord in a neon green. I then made a short section of 4 strand braid and folded it across the handle. Next I seized the strands with a constrictor knot.

I plaited a 3″ section of 8 strand square sinnet next. At the outboard end of the sinnet, I tied another constrictor knot to act as a seizing.

I then fed 2 of the strands through the center of a wooden bead. I worked a short section of 6 strand crown sinnet over the bead. Then I seized all 8 strands close below the bead with another constrictor knot.

To help add bulk to the head of the tassel I put on a whipping, about 1 1/2″ long.

Finally, I returned to the handle end, and dressed the transition points with Turk’s Head knots.

The Turk’s Head just below the handle is one of my standards. It has 5 Leads X 4 Bights — this knot closes up nicely on small-diameter rounds.

The knot just above the bead is a 3 Lead X 8 Bight Turk’s Head.

The knot just below the bead is a Pineapple knot that counts out to 10 Leads X 8 Bights in its finished form.

I trimmed the ends of all 8 strands to give a rough, but very robust, tassel. Having a tassel on the end greatly increases the odds of seeing it even on a very crowded desk. After a day of shuffling papers it seems there are always a couple of strands of the tassel in easy view — even if the scissors have crawled off and tried to hide by burrowing under something.

Thank you for coming by my site. Sing out if you see any way I can improve either my site, or my knots. I always appreciate any thoughtful comments — and you don’t need to be a knot tyer to comment. Your thoughts on the looks of things are as important to me as your thoughts on the structure of the knots. After all, most of the people who end up with the knots that leave home don’t tie knots — they judge only on looks or usefulness. That is as it should be; it would be unfair to expect people to comment outside their area of knowledge. Come back again. If you see me in the parade, wave; it makes me feel better to know someone is watching:

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  
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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  
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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  
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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  
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A Bracelet Made From A Chain Sinnet Accented With A Turk’s Head Knot

A square chain sinnet makes a nice bracelet.

A square chain sinnet makes a nice bracelet.

This Turk's Heads dresses the ends of the sinnet and adds an accent.

This Turk's Heads dresses the ends of the sinnet and adds an accent.

While tying knots using my “Monkey Method” I ended up with a 12″ length of this chain sinnet. Because it is nice to make something My Lady Rose likes and can use, I decided to make a bangle bracelet. Because the chain sinnet has some stretch, she can ease it over her hand. It will not fall off after it recovers its normal length, but unlike many of the Turk’s Head bracelets she can remove it — without a knife.

After careful measurement I sewed the ends of the sinnet together. To dress the joint and add a little flair, I clapped on a Turk’s Head knot. It is tied in black paracord and has 7 Leads X 6 Bights, doubled. It isn’t perfectly symmetrical because of the way the ends overlap. It is close enough for casual wear, but I wouldn’t wear it to the Queen’s tea party.

I have made other things that are kin to this; you can find them at these links:

This is a bracelet made from a prolong knot. The toggle is held on by a Turk’s Head.

This cuff bracelet made from a 3 pass Gaucho knot gets a lot of traffic.

A choker necklace made from a series of carrick bends.

Roses for My Lady Rose to wear on her hat for a Run For The Roses party. A top down shot of the largest rose is here.

Thank you for dropping by my site. If you know of any way I can improve either my site or my knots I would like to hear from you. If you don’t wish to leave a public comment,p0-0p there is a link on the upper right part of this page. The “Write To Me Directly, Here” link sends me a private E-Mail. See you again the next time you drop by my parade of knots:

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 10:28 PM  Comments (2)  
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