International Guild of Knot Tyers

John Richings

I’m 79 years old. My very first introduction to knots was as a Wolf Cub in 1945. Just after moving into Scouts, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of scouting and our troop built a replica of Tower Bridge. Before I learnt any more knots or lashings, I first became competent at the Sailmaker’s and Palm and Needle whipping for all the new rope that was involved in the project. The longest spars we used were 20ft, the towers were 30ft high and the decking was made of railway sleepers. I achieved my Queen Scout in 1953.JohnRichings

I was first encouraged in knotting - when an apprentice on the docks - by a foreman rigger who had been to sea in sail.

After getting married and moving around the country, I came back to Scouting in the early 70s. Back at my old Scout Group which now had the distinction of being Admiralty-recognised.

Eventually, I moved onto District work, the South Glamorgan Adult Leader Training Team and then Assistant County Commissioner.

I really started seriously doing sinnets and other more complex pieces in about 2005. I came across Charles Hamel’s website and his friends’ contributions to the site. Charles is an avid disciple of Schaake’s academic analyses of Turks Heads, Herringbone and Pineapple knots.

Now there is software available, designed by Charles and Claude Hochet which makes it a bit easier to design knots..... in fact it did get a bit competitive.