International Guild of Knot Tyers

Turk's-Head Knot Tips by Torn Hall

Turk's-Head Knot Tips by Torn Hall

Torn Hall (1990)

Introduction to Turk's-Head Knots by Torn Hall

Torn Hall (1996)

Geoffrey Budworth writes “ I am a Torn Hall devotee. When I need to tie an unfamiliar or forgotten TH knot (simple or complex) I merely open one or other of his books and do as he directs. It is - for me at least - as simple as that. At the first attempt, more often than not, I arrive at that reassuring snake-&-ladder stage of locking tucks or - to use his words - 'laying and splitting tracks' when you know it will come out correctly. These two books by an IGKT member are written primarily for US leather and rawhide braiders but they are just as useful to those of us who work with cordage. Which is why many knot tyers now refer to orthodox TH's by the Spanish-American name casa knots, because they will house one or more interwoven strands to create those impressive herringbone, pineapple, sobre, gaucho and custom gaucho knots. Casa knots can be enlarged, of course, but they will also 'evolve' into something quite different such as Spanish ring knots. 3 Then again, the 1996 book introduces us to the Barcus, Fan, Flores button, Grant, Hansen, Hood, Horn and Norton knots. Both books have lucid introductions and each book complements the other. The 1990 one is weightier, with more knots (150-plus) but comparatively few illustrations, relying instead upon cryptic printed O-U-O sequences. The slimmer 1996 version has fewer knots (50-plus) but features step-by-step drawings for each and every one of those it does contain. The 1996 book also explains how, from mathematical formulae, to construct and use those flattened over-&-under diagrams known as 'algorithms'. If your brain, like mine, tends to seize up at the sight of such words, let alone a few arcane algebraic symbols, just ignore them. The extraordinary thing is that you can tie knots from the author's 1990 book without drawings, and tie knots from his 1996 book without instructions (although they are supplied). Knotters able to interpret his words AND pictures, however, will be enlightened and empowered by the ultimate 'Aha, gotcher!' experience. For, as Torn Hall remarks in his 1996 book; 'In the past this whole business of lying turk's-head knots has been needlessly complicated. It is time for people to see how enjoyable it is to work with turk's-head knots ... These knots are easy to tie and easy to remember how to tie. ' Contact Torn Hall at HC 67, Box 27, Lonetree, WY 82936, USA, to inquire as to availability and price (including packing & postage) for his publications, which also include: Western Tack Tips (1987) and More Western Tack Tips (1998)”