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Guild Supplies

Price List 2005

Item Price

Knot Charts
Full Set of 100 charts 10.00
Individual charts 0.20

Rubber Stamp
IGKT Member, with logo 4.00
(excludes stamp pad)

Guild Tie
Long, dark blue with Guild Logo in gold 8.95

Badges - all with Guild Logo

Blazer Badge 1.00
Enamel Brooch 2.00
Windscreen Sticker 1.00

Certificate of Membership 2.50

Parchment membership scroll
Signed by the President and Hon Sec
For mounting and hanging

Cheques payable to IGKT, or simply send your credit card details

PS Dont forget to allow for postage

Supplies Secretary: - Bruce Turley

19 Windmill Avenue, Rubery, Birmingham B45 9SP
Telephone: 0121 453 4124
Magazine of the
International Guild of
Knot Tyers

Issue No. 89

President: Ken Yalden

Secretary: Nigel Harding Exquisitly made chest becket by
Editor: Colin Grundy Barry Brown

Submission dates for articles

KM 90 07 JAN 2006
KM 91 07 APR 2006 Tributes Stuart Grainger/Denis
Murphy 5
Secretarys Blotter 8
Ropy Chess Set - Pt 4 10
2K7 Walking Staff 16
Solomon Man 19
The IGKT is a UK Registered
Charity No. 802153 R Scot Skirving? 20
Sling Bends for Climbers 28
Except as otherwise indicated, copyright
in Knotting Matters is reserved to the In- Vexillology 32
ternational Guild of Knot Tyers IGKT
2005. Copyright of members articles How to make a Halter 33
published in Knotting Matters is reserved
to the authors and permission to reprint
The Fiador Knot 34
should be sought from the author and ed- Kemps Trident Eye Splice 37
itor. All sources of quotations printed in
Knotting Matters are acknowledged. True Love Knot 38
ISSN 0959-2881
The Pretzel 40
Presidents Letter

his year the Immortal Memory the Sea at the end of June, Portsmouth
of Horatio Lord Nelson has not was host to a large international fleet of
been far from the thoughts of both warships and tall ships. The Guild
many Englishmen and sailors world was represented in at least four areas
wide, this being the 200th anniversary of of this four-day event. Gordon and
the Battle of Trafalgar. the Solent Branch where on the South
What has that got to do with knot Railway Jetty, with myself and the
tying, I hear some say? Starbolins a mile away on West Wall.
Well, many organisers of events (Did I say Big Show!)
celebrating the battle have finally One Guild member was knot tying on
worked out that sailors hoisted flags, the ship the Grand Turk, and during his
sang songs and fired cannons; and with rest time joined in with the Starbolins
some prompting they also realised that tying more knots for the public. Derrick
sailors tied knots as well. What a busy Babington was busy afloat pulling the
year we have had, I shall journal some Victory Cutter, not to forget the hard
of the events. work over the years by Johnny Hayes
Having blown the cobwebs off my and the Victory Riggers preparing for
memory of 45 years ago when first this day. Many contacts were made,
I worked with serving and heaving and possibly we have a new Russian
mallets, Gordon Perry and myself made speaking member.
a set of rigging shrouds to scale, with One tall ship worthy of note was
the rattling down being completed by the Gloria Buquescuela ARC, from
the IGKT Solent Branch. This was part Columbia, because of the blending of
of the Flower Festival commemorating maritime and national craft skills the
Trafalgar which was being placed in St ships fancy ropework was outstanding;
Marys Church in the Castle Portchester. so with high hopes we left guild literature
One memory worth keeping was the and details of our web page.
sight of IGKT members in the church Meanwhile, while we were about our
sitting on a step in a row with their business in the UK, work was in place
backs against the altar rail, bent to the overseas to make ready for the IGKT
task of tying Turks heads onto lantern NAB 2005, which was to be held on
supports. the waterfront, South Carolina, USA. I
The Royal Navy Boatswains joined company to travel out with some
Association had their annual meeting of our members, with Bruce and Linda
and dinner on 21st May in Torquay, with Turley arriving a day or so before we
a toast to the Immortal Memory. Two did.
Guild members, Ken Elliott and Bob With supper out of the way we
Pearce presented the poem Why Knot returned to the hotel at 10.50pm only
by Dee. With Bob performing animated to find bright lights shinning out of a
knot tying that stopped people in their window and a low hubbub of voices,
tracks. which could only mean one thing knot
For the 5th International Festival of tyers!! I stepped though the door and
it was just like a family gathering, with raffle raised some $750, with many
conversations picked up that had been items contributed by Bud Brewer, and I
started two years before. won one of your spikes, which is in my
In the middle of the room on a table ditty bag right now. So thanks Bud.
was a rats nest of small stuff. Which On our way home we met at Newark
was placed there by Keith Hudson. These airport a man with a Turks head on his
were the off cuts from R & W Ropes wrist, Patrick Buttner. So as knot tyers
in New Bedford, and this was perfect do, we started chatting and with a bit of
therapy for knot tyers and a wonderful luck we will shortly have a new member
way of bonding. With knot tyers hands in San Francisco.
in a mass of coloured string up to their
elbows the various conversations floated Having shaken off any jet lag we just
over the table whilst sorting it out. Over had time for the October Solent Branch
the next day various members turned up, meeting were we welcomed two fresh
including my friend John Cushman with faces, thanks to the Festival of the Sea.
his wife Carole together with a supply of Then it was time to repack our bags and
Sam Adams just in case I had forgotten travel to Den Helder in the Netherlands
what it was like. for the IGKT Half Year meeting. Lesley
The AGM on the Friday included and I flew with out any hitches to
reports from the various branches Amsterdam from Bournemouth (nearest
attending the meeting. As well as giving and cheapest); others unfortunately
an International welcome I reiterated my experienced problems with fog, vehicle
thoughts already covered in KM87 p3. breakdown and unexploded WW2
During the AGM it was proposed that bomb (an English one) on the runway at
the Guild, in the name of NAB should Amsterdam airport.
sponsor the project Spirit of South Set up day was Friday- again walking
Carolina which is a pilot schooner being through the door was just like the meeting
built for sail training. Raising funds with in South Carolina, the family coming
the Plank Ownership program, at $50 a together with a wonderful bonhomie
foot of plank. with faces from Italy, Belgium, Germany
A hat was passed round there and and the UK and that was just the day
then, on counting up it was found that we before the meeting. We had a visit in the
fell short by just a bit, so Skip Dickens afternoon to a fender maker who makes
very generously said we could do it the rope rubbingstrake which is fitted
again, so we passed the hat one more on the Dutch work boat that has been
time. It now shows on the ships log donated to the Spirit of South Carolina
that the IGKT has sponsored five foot of project, small world. The fender makers
planking, well done NAB. son, Joost Wezelman was a very able
On Saturday night in the boat yard knot tyer and delighted to see the
beside the Spirit of South Carolina we workshop full of like minded folk, and
had our Knot Supper. Then Tuesday saw was thrilled to have Des Pawson sign his
us back in the yard again to witness the book. He then attended the meeting the
first plank laid. next day, and stayed all day.
All in all it was an excellent meeting At the half yearly meeting I was
one you should all be proud of. The pleased to be able to pass on the regards

from Garry Sessions and others from the
NAB meeting. After the formal meeting
I was chatting with Dave Walker, Charlie

Tyrrell and Nicola Chandler, regarding
our Youth Forum. Concerning possible
plans for a page in KM also one on our
Web Site.
....A special request from me to the
gifted writers....

I know you can write six pages on one lease look at page 19 of this
knot, BUT can you lower your sights issue of Knotting Matters. Guild
and produce one page that Nicola can member Nicola Chandler has
use for the Youth Forum, in other words been tasked with producing ideas for our
K.I.S.S. younger members. The idea being that
The Knot Supper was excellent, held as well as appearing in this magazine,
on a floating restaurant- with good food the simple project will also be posted on
and good company and a toast to absent the Guild website. Hopefully, this will
friends all following a good meeting. encourage new and younger people to
join the Guild - none of us are getting
Afterwards Lesley and I managed any younger, so we need new blood.
to fit in a culture visit to Amsterdam,
catching up on diamonds and art, Her first offering is from a previous
subjects missed as a young sailor but Knotting Matters, by Tim Field -
Lesley soon educated me! We also Solomon Man. So please, help Nicola
visited Floris Hin who made us very by sending in your contributions.
welcome, unfortunately he had been Its now only just over a year away
working at a wooden boat show during to 2K7, the 25th anniversary of the
the main meeting so couldnt attend. Guild. Our President, Ken Yalden, the
Back in England, all this still leaving Council and the Solent Branch are
time for me to visit Lincoln with Gordon, busy beavering away to make this a
the Two Boatswains and the rigging, for momentous occasion and once more take
a black tie and medals Trafalgar Day knot tying to the public around the world
Dinner on the 21st, raising funds for the Our last big event, 2K2 at Fareham was
King George V fund for sailors. With an enjoyable and memorable time. Start
a 07-00 start the following morning to making your plans now!
put up the rigging and stand, adjacent Finally, on a personal note, I was
to the Brayford, ready for a small boat honoured to receive a Diploma in
Trafalgar re-enactment. It was a good Lifelong Learning from Coventry
little show with folk keen to join the University at their recent graduation
Guild. ceremony. What has this to do with
During the dinner I was asked, knot tying? Well, among the subjects
Whats happening in San Francisco studied to gain the award, were writing,
next June, Ken? So it sounds like I had journalism and Photoshop, all of which
better start saving again. are used in the production of your
Ken Yalden magazine.

STUART GRAINGER (deceased) - a tribute

compiled by Geoffrey Budworth

I would like to urge everyone who knows about knots to use their imagination to
establish new uses for the old techniques, because I believe it is only in that way
that the beautiful old knots can be brought back to real life outside museums.
(Stuart Grainger, 15th May 1985)

tuart Grainger, who died on 30th for 21 years. He played an active role
June 2005 at the age of 72, was in the Knotting Extravaganza (1986)
a qualified foreign-going Master and the Bradford Textile Art Festival
Mariner who served 10 years at sea in (1990); and he served as IGKT President
the merchant navy before he swallowed in 1991 and 1992, presiding over the
the anchor and settled back home in the Guilds 10th AGM, a milestone birthday
UK. Here he became a freelance author celebrated with champagne and cake.
and craftsman of some renown. Then he nominated, as his successor to
He devised, made and sold maritime the presidency, the individual who had
safety equipment (including the brought him into it, Glad Findley.
lifejackets used aboard the ocean He could be a hard-headed businessman
liner QE2); aids for the disabled; and when dealing with the Guild; but he
pyrography ware; also ornamental shared tips and techniques freely with
knotted products as diverse as door individual members, while others from
stops, key fobs and fenders, lamps whom he sought advice and guidance
and laundry baskets. He contributed discovered a generous and helpful
regularly to such magazines as Popular collaborator.
Crafts and Woodworker. And he wrote To those who never met him, Stuart is
books: Making Aids for Disabled Living known for his unbeatable books and
(1981); An Introduction to Pyrography booklets on knotting: Sollys Single-
(1982); and Handmade Helps for Strand Star & Variations on the Theme
Disabled Living (1990). (1985); Ropefolk (1986); Knotcraft
In 1984 Stuart was persuaded by Glad (1989); Turkshead Alternatives (1991);
FindlayIGKT (Surrey, UK) to join the Knotted Fabrics (1997) and Creative
International Guild of Knot Tyers. As he Ropecraft (2000); all of which are
already belonged to more than enough enhanced by his masterful illustrations.
organisations, including the Devon Several of these publications continue to
Guild of Craftsmen, and was Chairman generate cash for the Guild and most, if
of Governors for a large comprehensive not all, of them remain in print. He also
school, he agreed with a smidgen of created for the Guild more than one
reluctance to enrol for a trial period of series of postcards featuring knots and
twelve months - and remained a member an IGKT promotional leaflet or flyer.

He drew and donated an improved cover opposition then defeated it.
design for Knotting Matters, which On the issue of an IGKT education-
first appeared in April 1987 [KM #19] &-training scheme, he was against
and was used for 16 years until June any complex system of examinations,
2002. He wrote more than 30 articles badges and diplomas, because it would
and letters for the magazine, including be expensive to administer and manage.
two instalments titled The Business of There was, in his experience, miniscule
Knotting [KM #19 & 20] that distilled demand for knotting courses. What
- for those members contemplating beginners needed, he declared, were
making money from their knot work sources of published information,
- his own hard-won experience of supported - if possible - by personal
selling direct to the customer, or through advice on a one-to-one basis.
retailers and by mail order. Stuarts final years were blighted by
Stuart invented the Gripspike (or a physical deterioration which - sadly
Gripfid), made in polished brass with - robbed him of the ability to do the
a Turks head handle, which was a tool creative work at which he had been so
to cherish. He produced several small adept and accomplished.
batches, selling some and giving away He is survived by his wife Ann, their
others. So useful have they proved son and daughter Edward and Claire,
themselves for basketry, knotting, ply- and four grandchildren; but he will also
splitting, weaving and other handicrafts, be remembered by knotting devotees
that some individuals now make their around the world.
own. One day - who knows - they may [This has been a wholly personal
be mass-produced. perspective on Stuart Grainger. Those
In the late 1980s he began to teach Guild members who recall other aspects,
himself computer graphics and went that I have omitted or overlooked,
on to create one of the first videos of may now like to let us know their own
animated knots with commentary and reminiscences through the letter pages
background music. of KM.]
Stuart believed that the best knot
work deserved a place alongside
other traditional crafts - such as
cabinet making, embroidery, lace
making, pottery, and weaving - whose
practitioners are duly acclaimed; but,
when he tried to promote it, he came
up against a substantial minority of
established craftsmen who did not wish
to know about the IGKT. In the summer
of 1988 he initiated a debate to change
our name to The International Knot
Crafts Guild. The Committee (as our
Council was then called) voted 7-to-3 in
favour of putting this motion to a vote
by the members, whose conservative

Denis (Spud) Murphy
Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy (Retired)
(1923 - 2005)

enis Spud Murphy died in (SCC) but a shared passion for knots
hospital at Plymouth on 27th soon developed.
June 2005 after a period of Spud was a Naval man through and
declining health. He has left an enduring through having joined the Royal Navy
legacy, however, in the fields of knotting as a young man where he entered the
and Sea Cadet Corps activity! As a Gunnery Branch. Throughout WWII
very practical man of action and deed he spent most of his time at sea in the
in both spheres he set an example that Mediterranean and suffered hearing
may well prove to be unique. For most impairment from constant close exposure
of the time that we in knotting knew to the sound of gunfire. Later, he secured
him he worked industriously, and with a commission and reached the rank of
admirable skill, without calling attention Lieutenant Commander by the time he
to himself. From time to time though, retired from a long Naval career. From
we had a glimpse of the contribution he that background he developed the strong
was making, and had made over a long sense of commitment that led eventually
period, through the masterly organisation to his contribution to the SCC and
of an event or the presentation of yet towards the well-being and training of
another magnificent knotboard. young people. His last appointment was
Here in the UKs West Country Branch as South West Region District Officer for
of the IGKT we presented Spud with a the SCC. Every SCC unit in the South
certificate of life membership some West was given a knotboard that he had
years ago in recognition of his generous made, and he maintained close links
and tireless work. It was only in the with the Corps long after his official
last couple of years that he found the retirement. A fine example of Spuds
journey from Plymouth to our meeting artistry can be found by a visit to T.S.
place near Bristol more than he could Weston in Weston-super-Mare where
manage. Within the current Branch it hangs in the entrance hall. He also
membership we have the member presented (I quote) stunning knotboards
(another Plymothian) who introduced to various Naval Establishments. HMS
Spud to the existence, and immediate Raleigh has several in Vigilant Block,
membership, of the Guild in the mid which is the main Sea Cadet Training
80s. She used to run across him at sales Section of the establishment.
where he and his wife Barbara would be Spuds wife and constant companion
searching for miniature perfume bottles pre-deceased him, to his enduring
to be decorated with his magnificent sadness. He is survived by three
needle hitching. There is also another children, three grandchildren and five
highly skilled member who joined with great-grandchildren.
equal alacrity as soon as he learned We recognise a great loss!
about the Guild from Spud who by then
was an ambassador for it. Their point of Vernon Hughes...on behalf of all
initial contact was The Sea Cadet Corps members of the West Country Branch.

Notes from the Secretarys Blotter

fter what has been a relatively dry was the reason why, - and if you are still
and warm spring and summer, it waiting, - perhaps you had better write
has now started to rain, and is to me again.
continuing to rain, and rain. The answer As one would expect, the increase
to that of course, is to bury myself in my in membership fees has not proved
little office, and start jotting down lots of popular. I did invite comments from the
notes on my blotter, so, as they used to membership earlier in the year, and that
say on the wireless many years ago, If resulted in just two communications, one
you are sitting comfortably, then I shall in favour and one against. We do value
begin your comments on the way the Council
My summer has been quite busy, runs the Guild, for without them, we
what with visiting France and taking an can only hope that we are doing it for
ancient knot tyer to inspect the ropewalk better, rather than for worse.
in Rochforte, then back at work for Changing the subject completely,
a week and on to Turkey to attend a there are in circulation a number of
friends wedding. Then, in June we were colourful postcards bearing the Guilds
invited to spend some time with some website address. If you have any of
friends in Sweden. Naturally I tried to these, please destroy them as the website
make contact with those knot tyers in quoted no longer exists. It did have a
the vicinity, but as it was midsummer I link to our new site, thus for a long time
suspect that they were all enjoying the it continued to work, however this is no
festivities. As the seasons rolled on, longer the case. For those of you who
October arrived, and it was off the Den may have forgotten, the website address
Helder in the Netherlands for the Autumn is For those who are
meeting, which was hosted by the Dutch much more Internet literate than myself,
Branch. At this gathering the attendance you will have noticed that we dont have
figures were the best that we have ever a Chat Room facility. Until we create
had for an Autumn meeting, and this was our own we have been offered the use
despite the problems experienced whilst of Dan Callahans, which is accessed
travelling from the UK. Whilst I was on via the link from our own site where
my way to the meeting the cam belt on Gordon Perry, recently elected Council
my car broke, wrecking the engine, and I Member and once editor of Knotting
had to hire a car to complete the journey. Matters, is hosting a three-hour session
There was also the fog, which had on a Sunday afternoon. Gordon has also
settled on Schipol Airport, disrupting all agreed to take on the duties of Overseas
incoming flights. Co-ordinator, a role originally created
by Brian Field.
Having told you all about my summer,
if any of you have had to wait an eternity As with the obsolete postcards,
for a reply to their correspondence, that some members are still handing out
membership leaflets with the old the Council for several years, Denis
subscription rates quoted. I do have having been the Secretary of the South
plenty of the current leaflets should you West Peninsular Branch, whilst Stuart
require them, alternatively, if you do was the President of the IGKT from
wish to use up your old stock, would 1992-4. In addition I must mention Ian
you please ensure that the fees have been Murray who died some time ago, as he
corrected. left the Guild a small legacy in his will.
It is now less than two years away We thank him for that, and leave you
from our twenty-fifth birthday, and with the thought that you might consider
mention has been made of a celebration doing something similar.
to mark the event. If this is to be anything Finally, Darrell McNurlan had made
like the success of the 20th birthday, an instructional CD called Basic Knot
then we are looking for some serious Tying, which aims to teach children eight
sponsorship to finance it. If you have any basic knots. He has just a few left and is
suggestions, contacts, donations, etc, I making them available to members for
would be very grateful if you would let $10 (US dollars) plus postage. If you
me know; otherwise the event may not would like one, please contact Darrell
be financially viable. at 27469 El Ranco Dr, Sun City, CA
I must take this opportunity to mention 92586, or ring him on 619 992 3487,
the passing of two well-known members (unfortunately his name does not appear
of the Guild, Denis Murphy MBE and in the 2004/5 edition of the handbook).
Stuart Grainger. Both members served Nigel Harding

Inca bean counters used string theory

he mystery of a string-based communication system used by the Incas may be
unravelling the enigmatic string bundles, known as khipu, consist of a strand
from which dangle sometimes thousands of subsidiary strings, each featuring
a bewildering array of knots. Of the 600 or so khipu known, most date from between
AD 1400 and 1500, but a few are 1000 years old. Spanish colonial documents suggest
that khipu were used to keep records and communicate messages. But academics have
puzzled over how to read the information. The Incas did not develop writing.
Now anthropologist Gary Urton and mathematician Carrie Brezine at Harvard
University think they have begun to unpick how the knotty code was used. The pair
built a database containing key information about individual khipu, such as the number
and position of subsidiary strings and the number and position of knots.
They used this to search for similarities between 21 khipu discovered in 1956 at
the key Incan administrative base of Puruchuco, near Lima in Peru. They found that
information encoded in some of the more complex khipu appeared to be a collation of
information from strands on simpler ones.
Local accountants would forward information on accomplished tasks upward
through the hierarchy, with information at each successive level representing the
summation of accounts from the levels below, Urton says.
New Scientist - 20 August 2005

Ropy Chess Set - Part 4
by Frank Brown

Rook for the purpose. The ends are drawn into

his piece is the only one in the body of the piece and cut to length.
my little creation that is made This completes the base of the piece as
using classical fancy knotting. seen in
It is constructed using eight lengths of Remove the seizing and crown four
cord, which are seized in the middle. more rows. Commence tying a star knot
Commence crowning for four rows as shown in Figs 4-3 and 4-4. I suggest
and then construct one of the diamond that any knotter who is unfamiliar with
sinnet knots as shown in Fig 4-1. The this knot consult The Harrison Book of
particular knot chosen is entirely up to Knots by P.P.O.Harrison, ABOK 727, or
the knotter, and I found the one shown, Stuart Graingers Creative Knotcraft for
being a variation on a wall knot, suitable details.

Fig 4-1

I apologize unreservedly for not
giving detailed instructions for this knot,
but those in references are far better than
any I could deliver. The finished piece,
sans base, is shown in Fig 4-5.

Bases, board and box.

Once all the pieces have been
constructed, they are glued to their
bases. I made mine from 25-mm pine
dowel, cut using a jig to obtain uniform
thickness. After sanding, the pieces were
glued to the bases using a 5-minute
Araldite. Each piece was then painted
with enamel, using a pin and string to
hang each one out to dry. Two coats
Fig 4-2 appeared to give an acceptable finish.

Fig 4-3

Fig 4-4 Fig 4-5
The board was made for a piece of 12- of string in the saw cuts and covered
mm MDF allowing for 40-mm squares the edges with a 7 strand flat plait. The
with shallow saw cuts delineating the corners were covered with ocean plait
squares. This action helped considerably mats. All these decorations were made
when painting as it aided the placement using the same netting line.
of the masking tape. The squares The box was also constructed from
required about three coats of black or the MDF. It is approximately 240 x 140
white paint and were finished with a x 90 mm. A simple becket handle, well
satin Estapol spray. To give the board a soaked in paint and sinnet pins for the
very ropey appearance I glued lengths brass latches finished the rope work. The

Fig 4-6
Fig 4-7
results are shown in Figs 4-6,4-7 and All I have to do now is learn how to
4-8. play.

No Sailor, I Knotmaster
by Jennifer Wren Series No. 27

You must have been a sailor,

They declare with a know-all air,
Knotting ventured,
Every time I knot a ropes end knotting gained.
With my customary care.

It irks me, I can tell you,

This mentality so threadbare,
Which assumes one must go boating Constrictor knot
To be able to tie knot ware.
(tied in the bight)
Save for trawlermen at sea,
Knot-tying mariners are rare;
But knots thrive on terra firma On rare occasions, when it
From the Falklands to Finisterre. is necessary to attach this
On land in every region, knot to a ring or endless rail,
Be it Benares or Bonaire, it must be tied with a working
There are those who practise knotting
With accomplished savoir faire. end. Otherwise tying it in
the bight like this is quicker,
In Chad, Chile and China,
Not to mention Londons Mayfair, slicker and preferable.
In Vietnam and the Vatican,
Theyre knot-adept, I dare swear.
Take a turn with the working
Most ardent knottologists end around whatever is to be
(As I am sure you are aware)
Live out their lubberly lives on land, seized (fig. 1). Pull out a bight,
And acquire all their knotting there. as shown (fig. 2), and pass
So I rebut the slander, the loop over the end of the
That would brand me a bche de mer. foundation (fig. 3). Tighten
I learnt my knots from a how-to book.
Now the truth is out ... I dont care! (fig. 4).
2K7 Walking Staff
by Glen A Dickey

n KM, Issue 81, December 2003, their walking staff show them with pride.
Page 45, John Kennaugh said Today After making a staff, Scouts are eager to
Scouts no longer feel embarrassed if learn other knots and work on knotting
they are not too good at knots. This is projects.
true in the United States also. But with I use standard walking staff blanks
2K7 on the horizon I feel the IGKT has which are available at Scouting
an opportunity to make some positive stores throughout the USA. They are
changes. Ive found that if you ask a inexpensive and readily available to the
Scout if he would like to learn how to scouting community. The cordage I use
tie an ocean plait or a Turks head knot, is cotton cordage which can be hard to
the answer is usually no. But if you find, but a 5/32 nylon cord is available
show some of at most hardware stores in the USA and
your knot work can be substituted. I choose to varnish
at a Scouting the wood on my staffs to give them
function, you will a dark color which makes a pleasant
be surrounded contrast to the light colored nylon or
with Scouts eager cotton cordage.
to learn how to tie The cotton cordage is a #72 three
the knots youve stranded cotton cord. It is slightly
displayed. smaller in diameter than the 5/32 nylon
One of the cord. The cotton works up well and
most successful can be varnished when its done. This
projects for freezes the hitching making it into a
Scouting Ive permanent handle for the staff, sealing
been able to
do is a walking
staff decorated
with hitching.
Its something
that catches the
eye of everyone out dirt and moisture.
who sees it, isnt For the top part of my walking staff I
that hard to do, use ringbolt hitching. (See photograph
is inexpensive #1) To start the ringbolt hitching, I
for the Scouts first lay down three parallel strands and
wallet, and is a cover the three strands with French /
great conversation grapevine hitching for about an inch.
piece. Scouters (See photograph #2) This gives me
who complete a secure base from which to start. I

Of course, as
a Scout leader
and trainer, I
then ringbolt hitch for about a foot, have to be able
lay the three strands as flat as I can, to do more than
and French/grapevine hitch for another my students.
inch to secure the end of the ringbolt In addition to
hitching. After this part is completed, I the ringbolt
use a paint brush and all of the hitching hitching, my
is painted with two coats of Minwax walking staff has
clear Polycrylic varnish allowing the the following:
cotton dry thoroughly between each St. Marys
coat. The cotton soaks up the varnish, hitching, (See
becomes impervious to water, and fuses picture #3)
the hitching to the walking staff.
Zigzag hitching. (See picture #4)
An 8L5B Turks head. (See picture #5)

After the two coats of varnish have The ends of each section of hitching
dried, the French / grapevine hitching are covered with different Turks heads.
at each end of the ringbolt hitching is These help teach the scouts there are
covered with a 3L4B Turks head knot. different types of Turks heads which
(Also called the Boy Scout woggle.) The sometimes lead into further knot
woggles are painted with two coats of projects.
varnish and after they have thoroughly
dried, all of the hitching is covered with I hope fellow IGKT members will
a final coat of varnish. find this an acceptable project and can
use it as a way to get Scouts interested in
knotting for 2K7.
Ringbolt hitching: Descriptions of
how to tie ringbolt hitching can be found
Scouts who have seen a walking staff in: The Pocket Guide to Knots & Splices
finished this way are eager to make by Des Pawson (ISBN: 007858-1446-9)
their own. They are amazed that most page 93. ABOK #3605.
of the knotting has been done with just
half hitches. The walking staff serves Note: What I call ringbolt hitching is also
as a great teaching tool, is not too called common three stranded coxcomb.
difficult to teach, and is a tremendous This is documented in The Handbook of
confidence builder for young Scouts. Knots by Raoul Graumont. Published
Most importantly, after theyve made by Cornell Maritime Press. Page 115,
their own staff, they can truthfully say knot number 344, plate 36. ISBN: 0-
theyve done the work. Ive had over 87033-030-6. It is also documented
70 Scouts who have made their own in Fishermans Knots and Nets by
staff using ringbolt hitching. Most were Raoul Graumont and Ehner Wenstrom.
more than eager to go on and learn other Published by Cornell Maritime Press.
knotting projects. Page 119, knot number 248, plate 49.

ISBN: 0-87033-024-1 ABOK - explains this as French
French or grapevine hitching: Also whipping with three strands but doesnt
called French whipping or Grapevine show it.
whipping. ABOK #3450. Zigzag hitching: ABOK #3610.
St. Marys hitching: Ashley explains this can be done with
(Also found found in The Pocket two to five strands.
Guide to Knots & Splices by Des Pawson Boy Scout Woggle: It is also a XLXB
(ISBN: 007858-1446-9) on page 95. Turks head. ABOK #1283.

from our South of England stringer

There is a Norfolk-based wholesaler here ( and it looks as

in the UK who trades through 13 retail if inspiration for the contents may well
shops called Hawkins Bazaar. These have been one or other of the numerous
are currently located in towns and cities knotting manuals compiled by IGKT
south of a line from Bristol to Norwich, members, although there is no printed
although others are planned, and they sell acknowledgement to any particular
a tempting range of traditional toys and source. The kits are basic but not bad,
novelties of the sort that grandparents simple yet sufficient, well-made and
recall from their own childhoods worth the asking price of 4.99 each. I
(and so cannot resist buying for their smiled at the disclaimer printed on two
grandchildren). of the three boxes (NOT the
Hawkins cornucopia rock climbing one, which
of a catalogue for sensibly warns of potential
Christmas 2005 hazards and the possibility
features several new of accidents or injuries)
products, however, announcing: Hog Wild
and these include and its distributors are not
three knot-tying kits responsible for the unbridled
- one for basic fishing happiness caused by the use
knots; another for boating & sailing of this product.
knots; and a third for rock climbing To obtain by mail order any one, two
knots. Each kit comes in a slim display or all of these kits, contact Hawkins
box measuring 612 x 412 x 12 inches, Bazaar, St. Margaret, Harleston,
containing an instruction booklet for 16 Norfolk, IP20 0HN, England. Tel: +44
knots, and two 24-inch x 5mm pieces (0)870 429 4000; fax: 0870 444 6441;
of sheath-&-core cord, plus (depending or point-&-click on
upon the kit) either a giant blunt hook, shops for new locations and special
a small cleat; or a miniature karabiner, events; location maps; opening times;
with which to learn and practice the stock levels, quoting catalogue numbers
knotting. EA-08694 (fishing knots); EA-08695
These products, made in China, are (climbing knots); and EA-08696 (sailing
manufactured for Hog Wild Inc. knots).

The Solomon Man

ere is something for the young or young at heart. This new page will be for the
up and coming knot tyers amongst us. We will also publish it on our web site,
so get all your friends to log on. First produced in Knotting Matters, issue 49,
it is reproduced with kind permission of Tim Field

Who Was R. Scot Skirving?
by Des Pawson

ome of you will know of the little In 1883 he sailed for Australia on
book Wire Splicing by R Scot the emigrant barque Ellora. In Sydney
Skirving, first published in 1932 he set up in private medical practice,
by Brown Son & Ferguson and still in and became honorary physician and
print today [although the last printing later consulting physician at the Price
was 1980 it is still available] But who Alfred Hospital, Sydney, a post he held
was R Scot Skirving? for over 70 years. He served in South
He was born in 1859 in Campton near Africa in the Boer war and in the RAMC
Haddington in East Lothian Scotland. in London during the first world war.
At the age of 12 he went to Eastmans During his lifetime he published many
Royal Naval Acadamy in Southsea [near papers on medical matters
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England] The He was still in medical practice when
idea ws to join the Royal Navy as a he died in Sydney on the 15th of July
cadet, but, due to a dificulty in getting 1956, aged 96.
a sponsor, he passed the upper age limit
for joining as a cadet. Nevertheless,
at the age of 14 he made a couple of
voyages to Iceland in a small cargo ship
before returning to England and joining
the Cadet Ship Conway, then berthed at
When he was 15 he became an
apprentice in the sailing ship Tantallon
Castle, visiting the Cape, Calcutta, New
York, Australia and rounding the Horn.
It was on his way back from Australia
that he was taken ill with beri-beri and,
at the age of 17 was invalided out of the
Merchant Navy.
On his return to the UK he studied
medicine at Edingburgh University On
graduation, he discovered that yet again
his age was against him. Being just
under the required age of twenty-one he
was unable to take up the post of House
Physician at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
for which he had applied. Until he met
this stipulation he studied additionally in
Dublin and Vienna.

He never lost his love of the sea, and other than visible light (especially by
ships and owned a series of yachts in X-rays or gamma rays). About the time
Sydney. He published his little book he wrote his Wire Splicing book he was
Wire Splicing in 1932, at the age of 73. also working on his memoirs, which
The only clue to his medical background were later edited by his grand daughter,
is perhaps the skiagram of an eye splice, Ann Macintosh and published under the
that is the first illustration. A Skiagram title Memoirs of Dr Robert Scot Skirving
is a photographic image produced on 1859-1956, published by the Foreland
a radiosensitive surface, by radiation Press, Sydney, in 1988.

Book Review knotting, its tools and techniques.

Knots - A Complete Guide, by Lindsey The main contents are sorted
Philpott into sections - stopper knots, ioops,
first published (2004) by New Holland hitches, bends, special knots, bindings,
Publishers Ltd (London, Cape Town, braids, splices -with tying instructions
Sydney, Auckland) augmented by nearly 700 step-by-step, hands-on, full colour photographs. Extra
ISBN 1 84330 455 4 (hardback)* advice, tips and lore appear in boxes
ISBN 1 84330 456 2 (paperback) outside the text. There is also a quick-
* UK price: 17.99 reference system of icons or pictographs

indsey is an avid knot tyer with a to indicate special applications
large knotting library at his Long (climbing, camping & outdoor pursuits,
Beach home, who has provided decorative, fishing, general purpose, and
forensic knot analyses in several sailing).
criminal cases. He is also a licensed US Supplements include a glossary of
Coastguard captain, a voluntary rigger terms (from Abseil to Z-laid); an
and mate aboard many of the square- index meticulously cross-referenced,
rigged vessels in the Southern California but with two frustrating page numbers
area, and a Staff Commodore of two omitted.(insert:
yacht clubs in Marina del Rey where he Bunny-ears, see Figure-of-Eight
and his wife keep their own boat. He is Loop - page 54; French Bowline,
also President of the Pacific Americas see Portuguese Bowline - page 44);
branch of the IGKT which he helped to recommended further reading; and a
found in 1997. bibliography (totalling nearly 70 books,
His glossy 160-page book - a sizeable ranging in dates from 1644 to 2003).
28.5cm x 22cm (11 x 8% inches) - is For anyone looking to buy their first,
a first-rate effort of the kind we have second or third knotting manual, this
come to expect from Guild members, is as handsome and helpful a product
containing a sensible selection of over as you will find anywhere. If you have
100 knots from the Aibright Special to seen it all before, but still buy knot books
the Zeppelin bend. (because they contain knots), you ought
An opening section outlines the perhaps to wait until they see this one
basics of cordage construction and use, reduced in price at a discount store.
care and coiling, with a brief history of G.B.

Knot Gallery

Above - Taken at an archery tournament at Guildford, Sussex on 9/6/95 the property

of Mrs Shirley Jones of Earley, Reading, Berks.
Photos by Don Lewry (UK)

Facing - Sea chest constructed from mahogany by Gary Sessions (USA). Dimensions
are 12.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches tall. The front of the chest is decorated with a
carved eagle appliqu and two carved stars.

Overleaf - Intricate lace work by Europa Chang Dawson (UK) from a design of Skip
Pennock (USA)

Above - Two knotboards made by Alan Hemmings (UK) for the Sherbourne Abbey
Fete. The boards measure 5 foot 3 inches long and are mounted back to back on an

Overleaf- A good example of practical rigging, serving an eye. Photo - Graham

MacLachlan (France)

Facing - A two-tone boatswains lanyard made with four strands by Robert Black
(USA). The work consist of four-strand braids, Mathew Walker, Star and double
diamond knots.

Back Cover - Members, Willeke van der Ham, Dave Walker, Gordon Perry and Colin
Grundy enjoy a chat in the sunshine at the Guild AGM, Beale Park. Bill Meakin
meanwhile spends his time working away at a hammock. Photo - Barry Brown

Sling Bends for Climbers
by Joshua E. Buhl

Figure 1 - a strop bend Figure 2 - one sling girth hitched to

the other

he bending of two webbing slings is the serious question of the strength of
is a frequent problem for climbers. the strop bend and girth hitch when tied
Most often this is accomplished in webbing, as they tend to become very
using a strop bend [3](Ashley #1493 angular. Compare figures 3 - 6. Former
[2]), or by girth hitching one sling Black Diamond Quality Assurance
to the other, as a climber would say, Manager Chris Harmston has conducted
by which is meant a girth or ring hitch tests of the strength of brand new nylon
tied with one sling onto one strand and spectra slings joined with a girth
of the other sling. The strop bend is hitch. The results show that the girth
topologically equivalent to a girth hitch hitch reduces the strength of the slings by
but is tied and lies differently. The girth approximately 30%. [4] Chris has stated
hitch often spills into a strop bend when that, Girth hitching is not recommended
pulled tight or tied quickly, and since by Black Diamond. [6]
these knots dont lie well in webbing, Karl Lew of
it is sometimes difficult to say whether has proposed [5] a variation of the strop
a given knot is a strop bend or a girth bend which is essentially a strop bend
hitch. See figures 3 and 4. with a twist and is one of the simple
The advantages of the strop bend Simon variety of knots published
and girth hitch are their ease of tying by Harry Asher in 1989 [1] applied
and absolute security. However, they to slings. See figure 7. Karls climer
have two disadvantages when tied in hitch lies better than the strop bend and
webbing: 1) theres no canonical form appears to be stronger. It has been tested
and they dont lie well in most forms, by Chris Harmston and was found to
especially when tied quickly, and 2) they reduce the strength of the slings by only
are not adjustable in length. Also, there 12-20%, although only three samples

Figure 3 - girth hitch pulled tight and half Figure 5 - an angular strop bend
spilled into a strop bend

Figure 4 - a quickly tied girth hitch spilled Figure 6 - a flat lying strop bend
into a strop bend

were tested. [5] As in the case of the

strop bend and girth hitch the climer
hitch is not adjustable in length.
The adjustability of length when
joining slings can present a serious
problem for climbers. Climbers often
have the problem of having one sling be
too short, which results in the connected
rope rubbing over a corner of rock, or
not running straight, etc., increasing Figure 7 - Karl Lews climer hitch
rope drag and abrasion, while two
joined slings are often too long for the slings prusik style to the other with
application, which is impractical or many wrappings, usually resulting in
amounts to a safety risk, since it can a big tangle, bulky and prone to snags,
result in shock loading. Climbers must wearisome to untie, and a considerable
sometimes resort to joining one of the safety risk, since such a knot can

Figure 8 - a Prusik bend Figure 10 - step 1: tie a becket hitch

Figure 9 - pulled tight, its a Prusik mess Figure 11 - step 2: snug up the becket

no longer be visually inspected for strap bend given by Ashley (#1492)

correctness. with the important difference that the
A sling bend then which is easily tied tampen, being an eye, is passed back
and untied, adjustable in length, easy over the standing part, as shown in figure
to check visually, and secure would 12. This last step, which is not strictly
be a an important addition not only to necessary for non-critical applications,
the climbers repertoire, but to that of is the critical feature of this bend for
any knot tyer. The bend presented here any application where safety is a factor,
has not, to our knowledge, previously as it makes what otherwise would be
appeared in the literature, and is certainly an very unsecure knot in slick nylon
not well known. or spectra webbing, 100% secure. If
The simple steps required to tie this for some reason, the third end is not
bend are shown in figures available, it also possible to secure this
10-13. This bend is easily seen to be bend with a carabiner as shown in figure
closely related to the classic sheet bend, 16. The total length of the joined slings
or more specifically to the becket hitch is easily adjustable by varying the length
(Ashley #297), and is a variation of a of the tampen loop, snugging up only

Figure 12 - Step 3: pass the tampen Figure 15 - compact form, back side
loop over the standing part

Figure 16 - secured with a carabiner

Figure 13 - Step 4: finished knot,

adjustable form the sheet-bend-part of the knot. If
adjustability is not required, the tampen
loop can be nicely snugged up onto
the knot body as seen in figures 14-15
providing a flat, compact form.
Slippage of the tampen loop when
not snugged up to the body of the knot
is of course possible, but our experience
has shown that this bend does not slip
even under heavy loading. Slippage
under shock loading could even increase
safety for climbers by acting to absorb
energy. We ask sling manufacturers
with the necessary testing equipment
to investigate the strength of this bend
Figure 14 - compact form, front side compared to the strop bend and girth
hitch as well as slippage conditions.

[1] Harry Asher. The Alternative Knot [4] Karl Lew. Black diamond girth
Book. Nautical Books, A. & C. Black, hitch test.
London, 1989. knot5.htm.
[2] Clifford W. Ashley. The Ashley Book [5] Karl Lew. The climer sling hitch. http:
of Knots. Doubleday, 1944. //
[3] Geoffrey Budworth. The Ultimate [6] The tradgirl climbing
Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework. safety faq.
Anness Publishing Ltd., 1999. climbing faq.

The flag of the International Federation of

(The federation of organisations devoted to flags, their design, history and

from Richard Hopkins

knot tyer would describe this
design as a yellow sheetbend
with the ends pulled down going
sideways across a blue background.
How much symbolism has been missed
in this description. An account of the
competition to design the flag and the
reasons given to justify the pattern are
quite amazing.
The blue background evokes the
maritime origins of many flags while the
knot itself represents the halliards, which support flags and the way they may be
The two loops of the knot recall love knots often used to decorate heraldic displays
and symbolise the friendship of vexillologists of all lands.
The loops of the knot represent the two hemispheres and in adding the four ends of
the halyards we get six for the six parts of the world. This emphasises the international
character of the federation. (Presumably the six parts of the world are Europe, Africa,
Asia, Australasia, North America and South America.)
The fact that the ends extend across the fag and disappear beyond either end
expresses the almost infinite extent of vexillological studies in time and space.
The two interlaced cords also symbolise the combination of fellowship and
scholarship, which is supposed to infuse the activities of the vexillologists.
Phew - and I just thought it was a picture of a knot.
How to make a Halter.
by Gino Pietrollini

n old woman of Marcellina 1 Tailor (cobbler, tucked, marline)
(Rome, Italy) shows me a splice
halter made as follows. Take 5 2 Wall knot
metres of rope and tie it as the following 3 Splice
drawing: 4 Reversed splice
A = about 60 cm
B = about 20 cm
Italian donkeys or horses when
walking, keep to the right. It is better
have the donkey to make the halter to
measure. I have seen others halters but
only in this one have I seen the wall knot
before the splice. The wall knot prevents
the unlaying of the strands.

Fid Earrings
Turned in Oak
from HMS Victory
by Guild member
Richard Pitt
and mounted on
silver findings
(length of fid 35mm approx)
5.00 (8 Euros) per pair
Postage U.K. 0.75 Telephone: 01473 657698
Elsewhere at cost Email:

The Fiador Knot
by Geoffrey Budworth

Most all other knots can be traced to rearranging [or flyping] the 4-part
sailors and sailing ships - but not the crown so that it swaps places with
fiador. It came hundreds of years ago the 4 rim parts. This manoeuvre was
from the Argentine Pampas and up described on pages 2-3 of KM#14
through Mexico and into the Southwest - [January 1986], by John Smith who
and it came on horses and not on ships. aptly labelled it the umbrella flip.
(Bruce Grant - 1972) When fluency with diamond and
footrope knots has been acquired, try a

A fiador knot [say fee-adore] is fiador. Middle the rope or cord and make
an indispensable part of the fiador an overhand loop in one part (fig. 1).
rope which links a horses Interweave the other end as shown (fig.
noseband, bridle and reins or lead rope to 2). Then tuck the two resulting bights
create the hackamore used to break and down through the square central
neck-rein the animal without using a bit. compartment, at the same time lifting the
It is a knot with a reputation, however, long ends up alongside the larger third
being one that few individuals can tie. bight (fig. 3). Take care to allow the final
This is because the fiador resembles a 3- shape to form (fig. 4). Tighten the knot.
part x 4-bight diamond knot or footrope Well done. Anyone who can tie this
knot; but, while either one of those knots classic ole fiador - if only as a part
is easy enough to assemble using four piece - has tackled extreme knotting and
separate strands, the fiador must be survived. To discover other ways of
achieved with a single strand. tying the basic knot, as well as many
Nevertheless, learn both of them first.... more ornate and elaborate fiador knots
and the fiador will follow. (including the three shown), locate and
See how a footrope knot [A#693] study:
has four ends emerging from a 4- Edwards, Ron - Knots for Horse-Lovers,
part crown at the TOP of the knot published (2001) in Australia by The
but each of its four strands leaves Rams Skull Press
one of 4 bights at the BOTTOM of Hall, Tom - Western Tack Tips,
the knot. The diamond knot published (1987) in the USA
[A#696], conversely, has the 4 Hall, Tom - More Western Tack Tips,
bights on top and the 4-part crown published (1998) in the USA
beneath. Turn one knot or the other Perry, Gordon - Knots, published (2002)
upside-down and they appear in the UK by Grange Books plc ISBN 1-
identical. Only the person who tied 84013-493-3
them will know otherwise. Schaake, A.G. (et al) - Braiding -
Alternatively, one loosely tied knot Regular Fiador Knots, published (1990)
can be converted into the other by in Hamilton, New Zealand, by the

Department of Mathematics and The Knot in a Bottle, published (1986) in
Statistics, University of Waikito ISBN 0- the USA by Owl Printers, Box 272,
908830-02-5 Faith, South Dakota 57626
Ulrich, Eugene - Four Methods of Tying
The Hackamore Diamond Knot - plus

The Kemps Trident Eye Splice
by John Kemp

thought it was about time that legs, using adjacent strands in the
I explained in more detail The standing part of the rope, as you
Kemps Trident Eye Splice which I would in a normal eye splice.
mentioned in my article in KM83 p42. 7. Continue to splice the crows feet
I have experimented with various down the standing part (this bit is now
designs but have finally decided on one the same as if you were making an eye
that I feel looks and performs the best, splice in the middle of a piece of rope
which I have called The Standard K (Ashley p 416) as far as is appropriate
T Eye Splice. Below I will endeavour for the type of rope you are using. A
to explain the method - you will find it tapered finish always looks good.
helpful to refer to my original article 8 The three remaining strands, one
mentioned above, in particular the strand from each of the three eyes, is
drawing on page 43, whilst reading my now spliced up the standing part for
method below. one tuck only. This is important - if
Method you splice further it will cause a spiral
1. Make a Kemps trident. The length of deformation of the Standard K T Eye
the trident legs need to be long enough Splice.
to form the desired eye size plus 9. After the above single tuck tie a
enough to carry out the splicing tucks manrope knot
(if you are using say 8mm 3 strand with the three
rope you would need your trident legs strands and work
to be approximately 300mm long for a it up tight before
small eye). cutting the ends
2. Take one of the trident legs and form off close to the
the size of eye you require. At this knot.
point put on a temporary whipping. 10. You have
3. Unlay the free strand of the leg, now made The
leaving the other two still joined Standard KT
as a crows foot, to the point of the Eye Splice.
temporary whipping. I hope the
4. Do the same for the other two trident above makes
legs. sense and you
5. Take one of the trident legs (the crows have fun having
foot part) and make a splicing tuck a go. If you have
against the lay in the standing part any observations
of the rope. Pull the working end or comments I
through until the point at which you would welcome
temporarily whipped is against the a chat (details
standing part. in Membership
6. Do the same for the other two trident Handbook)

True Love Knot
by Capt. Grey Chisholm

ometimes new ideas are not new at marlinspike seamanship, the art of knots
all, but combinations of old ideas. and splices, I start with the overhand and
Over forty years ago, my father square knot.
taught all us kids (maybe to keep us out So how does the grommet, overhand,
of his hair for a while) how to tie a rope and square knot come together? I weave
grommet and how to play quoits. and tie knots, sennets, and Turks heads in
silver and gold as jewellery. A customer
asked about a True Lovers Knot. In
my study and reading, Ive heard of
both the square knot and two interlinked
overhands described as Love Knots or
True Lovers Knots. The description
comes from both knots having equal and
balanced parts interwoven and working
together. She favoured the square knot.

Fig. 1 Grommet.

The grommets were simple endless

loops of rope. Wed unlay a piece of line
then re-lay it on itself. Then sail makers
splice the ends of the strand back into Fig. 2 Square Knot.
the body of the ring. Thus making a ring
four or five inches across with no visible
beginning or end. Naturally, unlaid three
strand line would make three grommets.
Wed throw the rings (or try to) over a
stick pounded into the ground and Dad
would have a few moments peace.
He also taught us just about every
basic knot we might need and how to use
them. He taught us sheet bends, figure-
eights, bowlines, various hitches, and
of course the ubiquitous overhand and
square knot. To this day, when I teach Fig. 3 Linked Overhand knots.

Though I started my knot tying career
as an outdoorsman and a sailor working
with manila, cotton, and leather, these
days most of my knots are in metal.
But this lady knew that her sweetheart
Fig. 4 - Linked
Overhand knots
tied inside a

Fig. 5 - Overhand knots tied inside

a grommet.

decided to go with the interlocked

overhands, but I was already focused on
the square knot. So I did both.
As we all know, there are no new
knotsI am sure this has been done
was unlikely to wear jewellery. Not an before somewhere. But still, I truly
atypical male response (I make jewellery enjoyed the creative process and working
yet rarely wear more than in manila again.
my wedding band). So
this lady wanted me to tie
a Lovers Knot in regular
line. I translated regular
as to mean manila. As we
e-mailed back and forth, an
idea grew in my mindwhat
if I tied the square knot
inside a grommet! Then
youd have a love knot tied
in an endless loop. Or, two
equal and balanced parts
interwoven and working Fig. 6 - Pulling on
together woven inside of the bights of the
eternity! overhands in Figure
I got excited to work in 5, forms a square knot
manila again. My customer tied inside a grommet.

The Pretzel
by KMs science correspondent

nyone who watched instalment island off the east coast of Africa -
6 (out of 9) of the latest BBC2 cannot have failed to take notice of the
television documentary series Pretzel.
Horizon, on the evening of Thursday This was an enormous semi-rigid
13th October 2005, about a multi- inflatable tube-and-netting raft which
national team of scientists in the tropical was lowered onto the top of the forest
rain forest of Madagascar - the large canopy by means of an airship, to provide
a precarious
platform some
100 feet above
the ground from
which botanists
and entomologists
could study
the flora and
fauna there. The
programme, titled
Madagascar - a
Treetop Odyssey,
covered a 3-month
period of work
to record and
classify as much
as possible of
the biodiversity
and biochemistry
to be found in
that rapidly
Of particular
interest to KM
readers, of course,
will be the fact
that the functional
form the raft
builders chose for
the tubular frame
was a trefoil knot.
area and will be sorely missed. His
leaving has left a vacancy for the post
of branch librarian, which has been
expeditiously filled by one of our Essex

members, Irene Turner.
Our seasonal greetings are extended
to members world-wide.
John Halifax

Pacific Americas Branch

East Anglian Branch The show season is over for IGKT-PAB
Eighteen members, friends and associates (at least for the North folks, snow has
from Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk attended come). We finished out with two fine
the autumn gathering at Stowmarket shows in the Puget Sound area... the
on Saturday 24th September, which North PAB folks.
commenced at 1330 hours and were The first show was a Family Fun
welcomed by the inimitable Tuffy Day at our favourite venue, the Seattle
Turner who conducted the agenda, ably Center for Wooden Boats. Other events
assisted by the members. in the area that weekend took the
The topic this meeting was a general crowd. and a first annual may not
discussion about sailmakers splicing, be much anyway. But the folks who
presented by Geoffrey Youngman (in the came had committed to the day so
absence of Des Pawson). The essence we had more time with each person. It
of the subject being that such splices was a wonderful event with about 2,000
are tucked with the lay as against the visitors. The CWB went all out and the
lay of the rope or wire, similar to the Virginia V was there (the largest wooden
Liverpool salvage wire splice. steam ship on Puget Sound) as well as
The remainder of the meeting was one of the last remaining Foss Tuglines
taken up with, four roving workshops, wooden boats, George Foss. With fewer
discussion groups led by Europa people there was more time to spend with
Dawson on tatting; Ken Higgs on each visitor. We had a good PAB turnout
Scooby Doo, the latest (cool) in-thing, (remember that we are far spread and
childrens plastic knot folding braiding. few at that). Our Clint Funk memorial
Norman Southgate on cross pointing, training table got plenty of use. Clint
and Tuffy Turner on the colourful art/ made a table with four stations, each
craft of Turks head ball knots, which with the basic knots, with rails, and
he usually makes from multi-coloured bollards. It is an interactive knot board
skipping ropes etc. and a wonderful tool. Visitors will
Our well known and time served stop and play with it; but then you step
branch librarian Ken Higgs and his wife over. Hi, you can make the knots, now
Elizabeth are emigrating to Scotland. learn how they are tied in the working
Ken is a well-known exponent of the world. It really grabs their interest, a
ancient art of Japanese braiding and matter of timing. Catch them after they
macram in the Felixstowe and Ipswich have formed the knots to match the knot

board, but then show them how easy (San Diego, Los Angeles and Dana
these knots are when tied as they are in Point), as well as trying our hand at some
the world of sailors and other knotters. new venues (Channel Islands Harbor
We hooked many new members. where the ill-fated Irving Johnson went
Next we went to Ballard for the aground and the island of Santa Barbara
Commercial Fishermens Fall Festival. - look it up, it exists!) and the always
This is a sentimental journey for us. amazing Cabrillo Aquarium, trying to
It was here where we tied the huge keep our heads above water.
cruciform Turks head on 9-11-04 and We had a terrific three days at LA with
where Clint worked with his training a festival location that could not be beat
table. This is a charity event and our and festival-goers coming in at all hours
donation of a cruciform (Patrick Duceys to sign up. We went to the top of the
donation of his original design) went tallship Cuauhtmoc (pronounced ko-
at auction for a blessedly unbelievable hwa-de-mock) and visited 12 tallships
amount. This year we donated a bellrope. in all, then we went on to San Diego to
Might net a dollar. We had a great turn enjoy the tallships again in the company
out (about 14,000) so there was not as of the tallship Star of India (formerly the
much personal time with guests as at the Euterpe) and the Californian and Medea,
family fun fair. Many new members were enjoying the company of the dart players
signed on. We all worked like slaves and in the local pub, the Elephant & Castle
once again learned to eat and tie knots at (beat them, of course!). Our next stop
the same time. Just as at family fun fair. was the Channel Islands Harbor where
The food was provided to PAB as a gift we introduced the locals to the monkeys
as was our site. These shows are the heart fist, the Solomon bar and of course our
of the northern turf of PAB. I would urge very own interpretation of the now-
each branch to make a training table, famous baggywrinkle. We once asked
that is an interactive knot board. Let the the Japanese ship, Kaiwo Maru, what
visitor mess about with it and then come the name is of that famed material, only
in to show them (not embarrass them) to be told it is known as baggywrinkle,
how easy these seemingly difficult knots about which we have been asked the
are made with just a flip of the wrist. most convoluted questions!
We got a contact for some wonderful Our trip moved then through the
cordage at one of the shows. Things just northern Channel Islands group where
seem to present themselves when you we met with a German tourist whose
put your best foot forward! children were dressed as pirates. They
Nothing else on our PAB plate until wished us well as they went on with
the spring. Of course it is always spring their journey, only to return within the
in SoCA, so they may have RaceLA or hour with a fishhook in the skippers
other affairs. thumb! We removed it with much rum
Roy Chapman and small needle-nosed pliers and we
got his grateful response from Germany
Southern California when we returned to port. Charlie Bell
Well, we all in Southern California have showed off his incredible skills at the
also been busy with our efforts at the tallships display in Dana Point, and we
Tallships Festivals in three SoCal cities were blessed with having a visit by the

incredible Joe Soanes, following which Kate Nicholls, Roy Morris, and Clive
we listened to the golden tones (if they and Caroline Sandrey.
could be called that!) of Lindsey, singing Once again, the Guild did their part
sea-shanties. All in all a most memorable in WoW (Wild over Water) as the Nutty
Fall season (thats autumn to those Knots base, where children came to
others in the world) which could only be either learn knots or made rope. WoW
followed by the indefatigable Tom and is an activity for children to learn all
Jimmy Ray thrilling the visitors to the about boats and waterways. The children
Cabrillo Aquarium - thanks guys! Rock go around the show trying their hand
on SoCal!!!! at different tasks and gaining a stamp
Lindsey Philpott in their passport. A completed passport
wins them a prize. Bruce and Lynda
North West Turley had them making rope on a
small-scale ropewalk, while Dave and
The Guild was well represented at this
Sheila Pearson, and Ian Schofield taught
years annual Inland Waterways National
the finer points of Scoobi-do.
Festival, this year held at Preston Brook
Among the many who showed an
in Cheshire. As per usual, Ken Nelson
interest in knot tying, was Dawa Geljen
had been busy before our arrival and
Sherpa over here on a visit from Nepal.
erected the stand for us. Ken is the site
Who knows, perhaps we may have our
chippy (carpenter to the rest of us) for
first Nepalese member soon?
the whole of the show, so was always
A number of the members either
under pressure. Although the weather
camped at the show or stayed aboard
wasnt that bright, it didnt stop the huge
their boats, which gave a good time to
crowds from coming.
relax during the evening with a quiet
The IGKT was well to the fore in
drink. Heres looking forward to next
running Craft Workshops. Ben Selfe
year at Beale Park.
taught Turks heads, Ken Nelson did
From our Midlands Stringer
decorative narrowboat ropework, and
Dave Walker
taught boaters
how to make
their own button
fenders. Sue
Morris taught
how to make
dog leads, while
Colin Grundy
splicing and side
back at the Guild
stand, the public
was entertained
by Alex Carson,

on the boat, I had a knotting stall at our
local fete. It was most popular, and it
was surprising how many of the men
said they had no idea knotting was alive
The views expressed in readers letter do not and well! Some of them were ex-Navy
necessarily reflect those of the Council. The and had not seen knotting since their sea
Editor reserves the right to shorten any letter days. I know there are meetings around
as necessary. the country, but without transport it is
difficult to get to them.
Judith Duckett
Narrowboat Nutwood, UK
Lost Member Judith met me and other Guild
It was good to meet up with you and the members at the Inland Waterways
other knotters at the Preston Brook show. National Festival during August, and
Your stand was most impressive, and it challenged me over the content of
was good to talk to like minded people. Knotting Matters. See my response
As I explained, my membership of the in the editorial of KM88 - Ed.
Guild lapsed. Being on a fixed income
we have to watch our expenditure, and
whilst we applaud and want to support
the aims of the Guild, we do feel that Hello All!
we are not getting much out of it. The Its a few years since I did much
magazine is superb, well produced and knotting, but my enthusiasm was
very readable, but not much of it is rekindled recently.
relevant to us. We would like instructions I was working long hours for little
on how to do some of the things that are reward trying to get my new business
photographed. running, when I decided a few weeks
Not all of us are capable of the ago that I needed a break. Having loaded
vision and expertise to design our own up the camper van with food, booze and
bits and pieces. If some instructions a mountain of chord, books and tools,
for simple objects were given it might I set off to find a quiet corner to relax
help us to start. Also, if knotters could in. I had a thoroughly enjoyable few
make small things easily they could days, relearning old skills and asking
pass this knowledge on, and it would myself why Id let things slip.
prove more interesting to non-knotters Ironically, its my wife Sheila (not
that just a KNOT. Previously we have a knot tyer) whos missed the IGKT
been involved with both Scouts and most! She always loved the meetings as
Sea Cadets and know how interested she found guild members such lovely
the lads would have been in producing people to be around, which I cant
something. Also small objects could argue with.
be sold at fetes and school days, thus Its with great sadness that Ive read
spreading the word about knots. so many Obituaries in recent Knotting
In the days of sailing, word of mouth Matters. Some of those folks I was
was how knowledge was spread. privileged to know, or at least meet, and
Years ago, before we came to live it serves to remind me that we are here

but for a short time and should enjoy the Rosary Knot
company of friends rather more than we
Having followed Geoffrey Budworths
tend to.
instructions on tying the Rosary Knot
I look forward to re-establishing old
and then studying the result I have come
to the conclusion it is the same as the
Phil Cook Sailors Knife Lanyard Knot described
via Email in Eric Franklins Knot chart No. 63 as
(aka Phil the Rope, a nickname given published in Scouting magazine many
to me by a dive boat skipper who wanted years ago.
to distinguish between me and another John Kennaugh
regular diver called Phil, who didnt Callington, Cornwall, UK
spend all his spare time on the boat tying

St Mungos Knot I cannot recall any previous articles in
Knotting Matters on this subject, and this
I have a question that has been posted to
got me wondering. Our Mission, is to:
me, I would like to post to the members
* To promote the art, craft and science of
of the Guild, re: Saint Mungos knot.
knotting, its study and practice
This knot seems to be a decorative knot
* To undertake research into all aspects
(perhaps a plait) of Scottish origins and
of knotting.
is applied to the tails of cows to keep
* To establish an authoritative body for
them safe from witches spells, &c.
consulting purposes.
I have found reference to this knot
Surely, then as a Guild, if we are to
in Sir Walter Scotts, The Two Drovers.
take our Mission seriously, then this is
(She canna do that, said another
an aspect of knot tying that should also
sapient of the same profession. Robin
be studied?
Oig is no the lad to leave any of them
Is there any stout-hearted member/s
without tying Saint Mungos knot
prepared to delve into this one?
on their tails, and that will put to her
speed the best witch that ever flew over Stan Fromunder
Dimayet upon a broomstick. Via email
It may not be indifferent to the reader
to know that the Highland cattle are Stockholm Tar
peculiarly liable to be taken, or infected, Who doesnt like the tarry smell? My
by spells and witchcraft, which judicious efforts to reproduce it at home have been
people guard against by knitting knots of a failure. I tried Stockholm (vegetable)
peculiar complexity on the tuft of hair tar with several different solvents. I
which terminates the animals tail. ) contacted several rope suppliers and at
I cannot find a knot by this name in least three nautical museums, but none
ABOK. Is anyone familiar with this could help except for a suggestion that I
knot? Does it appear in ABOK by try bitumen paint and white spirit, which
another name? Where can I find an I havent done yet. An IGKT member
example of this knot, if not in ABOK? said I needed pine tar and meths. One
As for St. Mungo, he has a church company keeps its recipe secret.
named after him on Parson Street, So now the problem is obtaining
Townhead, Glasgow. He was also known pine tar. The EEC has banned it as
as Kentigern, Bishop of Strathclyde, the being carcinogenic. I dont need cancer,
name Mungo means dear one. If this but can anyone tell where this tar is
helps or is a clue. available, please? I would travel a long
Frank Rodriques way with a little tin to get some.
New Bedford, MA, USA Alan Hemmings
Sherbourne, Dorset, UK
I noted two items of a similar vein Bowline on a Bight
in Knotting Matters 88, the 10-Point The bowline on a bight shown by Vic
Knottological Health Check-up, and The Burt (KM88) is a modified way of tying
Cost of Loving. Both articles referred to an Anglers loop (ABOK #1017). Izaak
bondage. Walton first described the original knot

in his book The Compleat Angler in Roseway. (The first owner - 1915 - had
1653 a loop tied in gut and called an a granddaughter Rose that always got
anglers loop. It was later published her own Way). It was surprising to me
by Genio C Scot (fishing in American how few basic knots were known. I taught
waters 1870) who called it the perfection the star, diamond and crown diamond, 3,
knot. Fishermen many, many years ago 4, 5 and 6 strand Turks heads, etc. The
found it easier to tie as shown by Vic odd and even elongated Turks head
Burt. Today it is never used in modern using jigs and Cronan Rules I have
lines. developed making the long Turks head
The bowline on a bight described very simple, and lastly I taught wire rope
in the 1948 edition, Training Course splicing on the dock - ships side, to nine
for Boatswains Mate and in the third crew including the Captain, plus three
edition 1964 Marlinespike Seamanship it standers by from yachts at the marina.
is shown as an application of tightening The Roseway operated out of the new
a lashing. marina one block from our home.
This knot tied in laid up rope as a loop A year ago, Rohn Walberg, Captain of
has a tendency to jam, even more so as a the tall ship Bounty came to our home
form of lashing (this can be eased by an where I taught him wire rope splicing.
extra turn around the bight.) He had not spliced wire in over 20 years.
I find that the best knot for lashing is He thanked me several times and told me
the Divers hitch, which does not jam how he would never splice wire rope any
and pulls free with one pull. other way again.
Owen K Nuttall In 1943, shortly after enlisting in the
Linthwaite, Huddersfield, UK U.S. Navy I was sent to a Bosuns school.
The Chief Bosuns Mate had retired, but
Pass it On called back in the Navy and taught wire
A few years ago I read a saying that rope splicing at the school. I got my first
was common during the age of sailing Petty Officer stripe out of that school. He
ships. I didnt copy it down, so I may not said, A Bosuns job is to teach, to pass
have got it just right. Between you and it on, and you dont know how to splice
eternity could be the right knot. wire rope until you can teach it. Over
It would be just as important in this the years since then, as a sailor I taught
day and age to tie knots correctly - and about 10-20 people how to splice wire.
the right knot for the situation - for Every one of them thought splicing wire
sailors of course, mountain climbers, rope was difficult and were truly amazed
cave divers, riggers, iron workers and at how simple it is. I was one of the lucky
any other number of trades people. ones; the old Chief knew his stuff. Im
Might I suggest the IGKT adopt the making notes, and doing sketches with
old saying - or one similar - to place on the idea of doing a handbook on splicing
a letterhead, or the cover of Knotting wire rope - every step, start to finish. No
Matters, or on a placard posted at IGKT guessing, simple.
functions. It makes a point. Consider the quote about knotting
For three months this summer I had the and eternity, they go together.
opportunity to teach advanced knotting Jerry Cronin
to four crewmembers on the schooner St Ignace, MI, USA

Knotting Essex Branch
12th March 2006
National Motorboat Museum, Wat Tyler Park,
Pitsea, Essex

Diary Contact: Don Woods

Tel: 01708 229178

28th January 2006
Contact: Jan Hoefnagel
24th AGM Tel: 078 614 6002
13th May 2006
Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury
Contact: Alex Carson
Tel: 01743 356466
Nigel Harding
Half-Yearly Meeting 16 Egles Grove,
14th October 2006 Uckfield,
France Sussex, TN22 2BY
Contact: Graham McLachlan Tel: 01825 760425
Tel: 0233 076704 E-mail:
Guild Annual Subscription rates:
25th AGM Juniors 5
14th May 2007 Seniors 18
Fareham, Hampshire Families 22
Contact: Ken Yalden Corporate by arrangement
Tel: 02392 259280 Payable by cash/cheque Eurocard, Master-
Email: card or Visa. Taxpayers in UK - we would pre-
fer a covenanted subscription.
East Anglian Branch EDITOR:
8th April 2006 Colin Grundy
Museum of East Anglian Life 115 Upper Eastern Green Lane
Stowmarket, Suffolk Eastern Green,
Contact: John Halifax Coventry CV5 7DJ
Tel:01502 519123 Tel: 0794 6841157
Midlands Branch
13th February 2006 Advertising Rates:
The Old Swan (Ma Pardoes), Halesowen Members Non-members
Road, Halesowen Full page 32 49
Contact Bruce Turley Half page 19 22
Tel: 0121 4534124 Quarter Page 10 15

Guild Supplies
Price List 2005

Item Price
Geoffrey Budworth
Knotlore - 2 a miscellany of quotes from fact and fiction 2.50
The Knot Book 4.99
Plaited Moebius Bands 2.50*
Knot Rhymes and Reasons 1.50*
The Knot Scene 2.00*
Brian Field
Breastplate Designs 3.50*
Concerning Crosses 2.00*
Eric Franklin
Turksheads the Traditional Way 1.50 *
Nylon Novelties 2.00 *
Stuart Grainger
Knotcraft 4.00 *
Ropefolk 1.30 *
Turks Head Alternatives 2.20 *
Creative Ropecraft (Hardback - 3rd Ed.) 9.95
Knotted Fabrics Hardback 9.00
Colin Jones
The DIY Book of Fenders 9.95
Harold Scott
A Guide to the Multi, Single-Strand Cruciform Turks Head 4.00*
Skip Pennock
Decorative Woven Flat Knots 12.50*
Knotting Matters copies of past editions 2.50
(Some past editions available - contact the Secretary for details)
*bulk purchases of these items available at a discount - phone for details
Cheques payable to IGKT, or simply send your credit card details
PS Dont forget to allow for Postage

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