International Guild of Knot Tyers

Pocket Guide to Knots and Splices by Des Pawson.

Pocket Guide to Knots and Splices by Des Pawson.

2001 by PRC Publishing 2001 ISBN 9781552672181 (Soft back) ISBN 9780785814467 (Hard back)

With hard or soft covers this book has 256 pages measuring 140mm by 165mm. When a person who makes his living from knots, splices and ropework, puts his name to a book, you know that the content will be of worth. You may find new knots, forgotten knots, or different ways of illustrating or tying knots, but whatever you do find will be of interest An introduction to the book gives some historical detail to the traditions of knotting. This is followed by descriptions of Materials, Tools, and Techniques used for tying knots There are then ten sections each devoted to a particular type of knot or ropework: Stopper knots, Whipping etc., Binding knots, Bends, Hitches, Loop knots, Lashings, Plaits and Braids, Splices and Decorative knots. A contents page precedes each of these sections, but I feel that the addition of a comprehensive index at the back of the book would prove useful. The book, which contains instructions for tying over 100 items, is profusely illustrated with excellent colour photographs which can help one to understand more easily the construction of many of the knots. However, some of the colours used are less successful than others. The Royal Blue cordage used on its own tends to confuse the detail in the knot, especially in the smaller illustrations. I particularly liked the variation shown for the Truckers Hitch, which appears to add to the security of the knot, but I feel that the Oyster Man’s Stopper Knot needs different illustrations. There is one caption, which gives an incorrect name to the knot illustrated. I’m not telling you which it is, I will leave you to buy the book and find it for yourself - in searching through the book to find it I am sure that you will find many items of knotting interest! This book can be recommended, and will be of interest to beginner and expert alike with the quality of the text and illustrations appealing to all. The beginner will appreciate each stage of the tying of a knot being covered in rather more detail than is usual with “pocket books”, and the expert will enjoy the clarity of illustrations, particularly for the complex and decorative knots.

S Maurice Smith