Book Reviews

International Guild of Knot Tyers


Articles about Turks Heads from the first 150 issues of Knotting Matters ​

Published by IGKT 2021

As the title of this book implies it is indeed an exploration and will therefore appeal to a wide selection of people with different knot-tying interests and experience. The layout is clear and the simple wire binding is ideal allowing pages to be laid open while attempting any of the examples in practice. The pages are enhanced by fill-in photographs of some of the splendid Turks Heads that have been tied by Guild members in the past. The variety of Turks Heads which can be tied for both practical and artistic purposes makes this an ideal subject for collection from previous magazines. It will also prevent the possible loss of this information and make it available to non-Guild members.

While the articles have all appeared in print in Knotting Matters over the years, it can be a complicated business to track them down, get ideas and make comparisons. This book simplifies the job and provides all manner of interesting challenges for beginners through to seasoned experts. Many of us may find inspiration to attempt new projects and can use the comparisons to evaluate which approach is the most suitable. Do we want to tie it in the hand? What is the disc method? Should we make a cylindrical jig? What are the rules of what is and isn’t possible in constructing Turks Heads? How do we estimate the length of cord we need? 

Some of the articles  probably appeal mainly to serious Turks Head practitioners but they will stimulate comparisons and discussions between the experts. Many may be encouraged to try new methods and approaches to enhance their standard procedures and build on the experience of those who are no longer with us. 
The exchange of ideas always stimulates new approaches and projects as is apparent from some of the references in the articles. 

The articles are listed in the Contents page and are printed in the order in which they appeared in Knotting Matters.One possible improvement could have been the addition of an index of the authors, many of whom have more than one entry, thus making it easier to group and cross reference the articles. 

In summary, this book fits neatly into the Guild Constitution of aiming to promote education in the art, craft and science of knots and knot-tying and makes it very difficult to resist the challenges of trying something new. Indeed a couple of non-knot-tyers, when shown the book and encouraged to flip through it briefly, responded with the comments “That looks interesting” and “I wouldn’t mind having a go at some of them”.          ​

Penny Bodger