Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cotton rope bracelet

Cotton rope knotted with fishtail knots

I was very surprised with the way this turned out. It's just cotton clothesline, about the cheapest you can get at any store. It came out looking kinda "Beach-y". Living near the beach in Florida, we see a lot of kids who tend to favor natural fiber clothes for a beach bum sort of look. This goes along nicely with that look. I'd like to try it with a variety of knots and see if any others come out looking as good.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bracelet day

So, my wife is starting to tabulate how much this hobby is costing the family. I justify it by reminding her I don't play golf, poker, or go out drinking with my buddies anymore. The problem is that it's currently costing me about as much as any of those other things.


But, there is hope: A garage sale is scheduled in our community in a couple weeks, and promises a good deal of foot traffic. So, I figured it would be a good time to test market some items and see if there's any interest in things like bracelets, key fobs, lanyards, maybe a dog leash and collar... So, I spent a couple hours on Sunday knocking these out:

Variety of bracelets, plus one key fob made with leftover cord.

Double-pass turk's head bracelet made with 1/4" poly cord - black , with red/white trim.
Pair of double-pass turk's head bracelet made with 1/4" poly cord - blue, with black/white trim.

Double-pass turk's head bracelet made with 1/4" poly cord - Red, with black/white trim

Pile o' bracelets

"Survival" bracelet - Cobra knot around a double core with a side-release buckle using paracord - Yellow, with green/black trim

Fishtail bracelet made with 1/4" poly cord. I am not a fan, 1/4" was too bulky for this knot when formed into a bracelet.

Monkey Fist keyfob made with leftover yellow/green/black paracord. Core is a small wooden ball purchased at a craft store. Lead is a 4-strand round braid.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Took a stab at a simple coxcombing project over the weekend. Just a 12" dowel and some mason line. I wouldn't recommend mason line for something important. but this was practice. The key is tension - keep the tension on all the time.

I really like it, and liked doing it. Next time, I'll use a little better rope. Since this was just a little half-inch dowel, using anything thicker than the mason line would have come out looking disproportionate.

But I still liked the way it turned out. I capped the ends of the dowel with a couple of turk's head knots.

Simple Coxcombing - just a series of half-hitches, switching directions with each pass.

Another view: Simple Coxcombing

Saturday, March 23, 2013


A coworker was checking out a Monkey Fist I made for my desk that has a rubber ball core. I use it for "stress-relief".

"Stress-Relief" Monkey Fist. Rubber core, paracord, 4-strand round braid, with a large split ring.
When I first brought it to work, i introduced it to my team as "The Judge" - you know, black & white?

Whatever. I thought it was funny.

Now, I walk down the line of cubicles bouncing it off the flimsy walls like a prison hack bouncing a nightstick off the cell bars, to let everyone know the beatings will continue until morale improves.

So anyway, this guy grew up in Argentina and told me about Boleadoras, a throwing weapon used by gauchos to capture running game.
Bola, Wikipedia Commons
It's use also goes way back to the days of early man, but I think even the casual knot enthusiast can see where a series of Monkey Fists can be braided into a Bola.

Adding this one to my To-Do list.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Progress update: My First Knot Board

As promised, here is an updated post on the progress with my first knot board:

Flat Turk's Head in the center and round Turk's Head on top. 4-strand flat braids coming in diagonally from the corners to create doubled Carrick Bends to frame 4 quadrants in which knots will be organized.

Close view of the center.

Close view of the corner with the 4-strand flat braid, ending in a loopy scroll for a little flair. Haven't glued anything down yet, which is why it's pulling up a little.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

4-Bight... uh... Turk's Head!

I want to say this is a 4 bight, 3 lead Turk's Head, but to be perfectly honest, I have a hard telling the number of leads just by looking at a Turk's Head. I get that the bights are the number of bends, in this case, it lloks like 4 to me. And the number of Leads is the number of times it crosses, but somehow you don't count every time it crosses?

See what I mean?

Anyway, if someone wants to point me to a great way to tell by looking at a TH what the number of Leads would be, i would really appreciate it. Hopefully, if you post a link in the comments, it won't get caught up waiting for moderation. If it does, well, I promise I will get to it and free it up. Eventually.

Anyway, a little flatter line and this one would make a good coaster, donchathink?

Turk's Head Coaster
4-Bight, 3-Lead (?) Turk's Head

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Celtic Knot Crucifix

Celtic Knot Crucifix
Trial crucifix made of plain cotton clothesline, using a Celtic Knot pattern.

I was feeling kind of bad that I took up knotting as a hobby shortly AFTER my mother and aunt's birthdays this year. I am working on a knot board for my father's 70th birthday, but I don't want the rest of the family comparing this to their lousy presents this year.

So, for my Irish-Catholic mother of 4 grown men (she's already earned her free pass to heaven, y'all!) and her sister, who still points out that she is my only blood-aunt, I thought learning a Celtic Knot and fashioning it into a crucifix might be a good option. I did this one as a trial, and gave it to a coworker who demonstrates more faith that I possess. my plan is to use a nice, white nylon, and mount it to a small wooden plaque that i will stain with minwax in the same tone as the knot board linked to previously.

Celtic Knot Crucifix
So, I thought it was cool. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another friend, another Monkey Fist

Monkey Fist
The core is an old golf ball.
Monkey Fists are turning out to be the most-requested item from friends. After seeing this Monkey Fist, I was asked for one by a Packer fan. I had some yellow/green paracord, so knocked this one out in a couple hours on a Saturday. I really like the Fishtail Knot strap on this one.

Usually, I try to get the working ends to all meet at the same point so I can go immediately into whatever braid I am using for the strap, but this was proving difficult for some reason on this day.

Old age, I suppose.

Anyway, I still like the way it turned out.As a bonus, I finally got to use one of my new tags I designed. When time permits, I will upload some pics of them. I have gone the route of printing my own, and have about a dozen unique, humorous (hopefully!) catch-phrases, printed on a craft-like cardstock and tied to the piece with a thin strand of sisal.

I like 'em, and since I don't charge for my work, I don't particularly care if the recipient likes the tag! :-)

The Inadvertent Dog Collar

Lesson learned: Measure twice, cut once. This started as a bracelet made with a double-core fishtail knot. Needed something easy that I could pick up and put down while visiting a theme park. I can't ride most of the rides due to a neck injury, so when the family is riding I am the designated pack/purse/lanyard mule. To occupy my time, I figured "Why not knot?"

Not having access to my usual tools and rulers I was eyeballing everything, then managed to cut a gouge in my thumb, so I spent most of my time making sure I wasn't bleeding on the cord rather than finishing the project properly.

Looks good standing alone:

Double-core fishtail knot "bracelet"
Not so much, on my wrist:

I should have either shortened the "bracelet" or picked up more dumbbells to get bigger forearms!
Fortunately, one of my knotting companions is a Bichon-Poodle mix, born in Lynchburg, TN, and carrying the obvious name of "Jack Daniels". I'll figure out how to add a D-ring after the fact, and this should fit him perfectly.
I have daughters. THEY dress up the dogs for Halloween!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Initial Foray Into Knot Boards

*Interim post: Will update as it progresses*

Getting started: 3/8" nylon braid framing the board, with this Turk's Head dressed and tightened into a ball as a focal point

After seeing a number of brag knot boards online, I have the itch to try one myself. My father just celebrated a milestone birthday, and I want one for my office, so I figured I could do two at once. After going back and forth over materials - do it all myself vs. buy a shadow box - I decided to go DIY as much as possible. I picked up a couple of 2X2 pieces of sanded plywood at HD, and pulled out some Minwax and lacquer and got started on the wood. Here's how it's been going so far:
Mahogany - A nice, rich look, exactly what I was going for
Did not work as well as I'd hoped. Ended up with an uneven gloss. My fault, I just couldn't get my hands to operate in a way that gave a smooth, even finish.
Didn't quite get the glossy shine I wanted, either.
Where it stood at this point. Looks ok in the picture, but I was disappointed.
When in doubt, ask the wife!
Now we're getting somewhere
I like the way the grain pops on this piece
Unbelievably rich look in real life. Like a chocolate bar!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's a Monkey Fist, it's a Turk's head...?

It's a Monkey Head? A Turk's Fist?

I don't know. It started as a Turk's Head, then I wrapped and dressed it into a ball. There is no insert, it's just formed around the rope (3/8" nylon dockline). It looks similar to a Monkey Fist, and swings at the end of the line. The plan is to use it as a focal point on my first knot board.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Paracord Bracelet: Snake Knot

I created this with leftover cord from my dog leash project done in University of Alabama colors:

Snake knot bracelet in the colors of the Crimson Tide

I gave it to my daughter and it immediately went MIA. Darn kids...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rattlesnake Tie Fob

Rattlesnake Fob made from paracord

I created this fob and left a bit of extra line to use it as a bookmark. I was inspired by this video from J.D. at TIAT:

According to the video, the Rattlesnake Tie is in actuality Clifford W. Ashley's Over-And-Under Heaving Line Knot or ABOK #541, found in The Ashley Book of Knots