Knots - A Complete Guide by Lindsey Philpott
New Holland Publishers Ltd 2004 ISBN 9781843304555 (hardback) ISBN 9781843304562 (paperback)
Lindsey is an avid knot tyer with a large knotting library at his Long Beach home, who has provided forensic knot analyses in several criminal cases. He is also a licensed US Coastguard captain, a voluntary rigger and mate aboard many of the square-rigged vessels in the Southern California area, and a Staff Commodore of two yacht clubs in Marina del Rey where he and his wife keep their own boat. He is also President of the Pacific Americas branch of the IGKT which he helped to found in 1997. His glossy 160-page book - a sizeable 28.5cm x 22cm (11 x 8½ inches) - is a first-rate effort of the kind we have come to expect from Guild members, containing a sensible selection of over 100 knots from the Albright Special to the Zeppelin bend. An opening section outlines the basics of cordage construction and use, care and coiling, with a brief history of knotting, its tools and techniques. The main contents are sorted into sections - stopper knots, loops, hitches, bends, special knots, bindings, braids, splices -with tying instructions augmented by nearly 700 step-by-step, hands-on, full colour photographs. Extra advice, tips and lore appear in boxes outside the text. There is also a quick-reference system of icons or pictographs to indicate special applications (climbing, camping & outdoor pursuits, decorative, fishing, general purpose, and sailing). Supplements include a glossary of terms (from ‘Abseil’ to ‘Z-laid’); an index meticulously cross-referenced, but with two frustrating page numbers omitted. Bunny-ears, see Figure-of-Eight Loop - page 54; French Bowline, see Portuguese Bowline - page 44); recommended further reading; and a bibliography (totalling nearly 70 books, ranging in dates from 1644 to 2003). For anyone looking to buy their first, second or third knotting manual, this is as handsome and helpful a product as you will find anywhere. If you have seen it all before, but still buy knot books (because they contain knots), you ought perhaps to wait until they see this one reduced in price at a discount store.