Book Reviews

International Guild of Knot Tyers

The Wee Lighthouse Knot

Wee Light House

Pieter van de Griend, 2019, republished by IGKT

This 20-page booklet was unknown to me prior to its recent re-publication, and I have worked through it a few times, following the instructions to make my own Wee Lighthouses. The illustrations, all drawn by the author, are beautifully clear and almost render the text superfluous. On p.9, the author suggests that colouring the diagram could help understanding the structure of the knot and seems like good advice.

If I have any criticism, it is that the author, one way or another, insists too much that constructing this knot is difficult (pp. 1, 3, 6, 20). Of course, this is probably not the sort of knot to give someone who has never tied any fancy knots before, but I would suggest that those with an interest in knotting would be well able to follow the explicit instructions and complete their own Wee Lighthouse knot. It would be a pity if less confident people decided not to try because of the author’s “warnings”! Nevertheless I suggest that first- timers attempt the knot using thicker string and avoid slippery materials.

One ‘trick’ suggested by the author, is the pinning of the strands for the initial sennit. I have tried various ways of working around this: clamping, tying in the hand, but in the end I have come back to pinning!

The booklet left me asking questions at first: “Why didn’t the author start with a four-strand flat or round sennit instead of a three-strand sennit requiring   the introduction of the fourth strand?” Or “Why did he make this Turks Head rather than another.” But then I realised that I was missing the point. Pieter van de Griend has given us a model which, once we have understood it, leaves us free to create our own variations on a Lighthouse theme. Perhaps members might share some of their variants with Knotting Matters.


Maurice McPartlan