Author Topic: Releasing a Chain Sinnet (#2868) from the "wrong" end  (Read 3323 times)

dfred

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Releasing a Chain Sinnet (#2868) from the "wrong" end
« on: September 15, 2009, 05:51:53 PM »
Conventional wisdom seems to indicate that the Chain Sinnet can only be released from end where the final tuck (or a toggle) locked it.   A few days ago I was putting a painter on a canoe, the bulk of the painter still being secured with a CS, and I inadvertently tied the working end to the canoe.   I retied the correct end and proceeded on a canoe trip, but later I started wondering if it was really true that the CS only unravels from one end...

About 30 seconds and a few trial tucks later I had the answer:  untuck the end from the overhand portion of the original slip-knot while preserving the loop, then reinsert the end back through the loop in the opposite direction.  The CS then "unzips" in a most interesting way.  One minor caveat with this method is that if the finishing end of the sinnet is still "unlocked", that is not tucked through the final bight, the line is left with an overhand knot in it.   And likewise if the sinnet is toggled, the toggle is left caught inside this overhand knot.  However if the sinnet is finished with the normal final tuck, then the line comes completely free.

I am positive this method cannot be new, but what surprises is that it is not more well-known and that many sources seem to suggest that the CS can only be released from the working end.  I am currently away from my full book collection, but Ashley makes no comment on the matter -- at least not at #2868.  I did find Charles Warner in A Fresh Approach to Knotting and Ropework implying it can only be released from the finishing end: "To untie, be careful to start from the finishing end, not the start; just remove the last tuck (or the other finishings for the bight) and pull, when the whole thing spills" (p. 57).  The few other books that I have either don't mention the CS, or if they do, make no statement about releasing (e.g. Day's Sailor's Knots).

I did a fair number of web searches and the only thing I managed to find was on Grog's Animated Knots page on the CS, where it states: "The chain is released by withdrawing the end. It has to be the end you used to complete the chain. Withdrawing the other end merely shortens the chain by one link."  Well, actually, I did find some Wikipedia-sourced matches containing the text, "Note that the chain sinnet can only be released quickly from one of its ends", which somewhat ironically I myself had written back in November 2007!   I removed this statement from Wikipedia yesterday...  :-[  
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 05:52:50 PM by dfred »

Znex

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Re: Releasing a Chain Sinnet (#2868) from the "wrong" end
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 11:36:31 PM »
Ha Ha... very good! I was not aware this could be done either.

dfred

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Re: Releasing a Chain Sinnet (#2868) from the "wrong" end
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 09:58:41 PM »
A while after posting this I realized that the CS can still be released at the working (i.e. finishing) end even if the working end is tied or otherwise unavailable.  Simply make a bit of slack in the final bight and invert/pull the entire sinnet through; this has the same effect as untucking the working end...  The wrong end method described above is still interesting, mostly likely as the basis for a rope trick, bar bet, etc.

I played a little with #2869 and it appears this can be released from either end in the normal way, and when both unraveling ends meet in the middle the line is free of knots.  (I'm not 100% sure I started it exactly as shown in ABOK, I'd have to try it again before I'd wager on it. :) )

 

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