International Guild of Knot Tyers

Knot Playing Cards

Knot Playing Cards

Running W, at P0 Box 1307, Wilsonville, OR 97070, USA via Facebook, 2018

At the international gathering of IGKT members held in May 2002 at Fareham, Hampshire, England, to celebrate the Guild’s 20th year of existence, I met the courteous and capable Gary Sessions representing the Texas branch. And he gave me a neat deck of playing cards. Each card depicts how to tie a different knot. That’s 52 knots, from the Alpine butterfly to the Water knot, with many tried and trusted old cordage contrivances in-between. There is even, for those intrigued by knots named after individuals, a Jesse Walker’s hitch (the five of spades). The area around each card’s coloured illustrations is printed with uses and tying instructions. One joker features the hangman’s knot, the other the Matthew Walker knot. For extra value, a 55th card has knot tying tips, terms and techniques on one side, and lists the cards, suit by suit, on the other. The hearts suit is devoted to camping knots; spades to horse riding; diamonds to climbing; and clubs to boating and fishing. A 56th card contains suggested reading on one side, including books by Guild writers Blandford, Budworth, Pawson and Toss, the other side being devoted to safety first tips for using knots and rope. While this deck is not, I suggest, for serious card players - too distracting - it is nevertheless a superb product with potential for teaching and testing knowledge of a broad range of knots. The committed collector of knotting memorabilia will, of course, desire one for its own sake.

GB