Book Reviews

International Guild of Knot Tyers

Trambling by Desmond Mandeville 
Reviewed and Interpreted by Geoffrey Budworth

Published by IGKT 2021

The word ‘trambling’ derives from a knotting pastime in which the knot tyer is said to be ‘rambling’ along a sequence of knots. You are allowed to change the structure at hand, one tuck at a time, but you are not allowed to let the construct fall apart. Trambling by Desmond Mandeville is a book that has been long in the making, but well worth the wait. Geoffrey Budworth reviewed and interpreted a considerable body of trambling notes that Desmond bequeathed us upon his passing away in 1992.

Several of Desmond’s ideas were printed in Knotting Matters. But the backdrop, with the larger historical and evolutionary picture, lurked beyond the horizon, left in a state of unpublished manuscript. These notes deserved a push towards completion as well as presentation in a more comprehensive manner.

By gathering Desmond’s legacy into one book, Geoffrey’s work admirably accomplishes both objectives. He offers the reader a fascinating overview of how trambling came into existence and positions the subject in the context of other knot research. This highly original investigation hovers between formal and frivolous. Formally, it may well unleash new creativity in various scientific branches, where knots’ invariant properties dominate a global understanding of their nature. Frivolously, it will aid any knotter in leisurely pursuit of the next knotty surprise along an exciting tramble.

Pieter van de Griend