Author Topic: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!  (Read 12964 times)

Andy

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Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« on: October 07, 2009, 02:53:03 AM »

Greetings everyone!

First of all, as an Ashley devotee and knot-aholic, what a treat to find this forum! Looking through some of the threads, I can see there are hundreds of years of knots expertise here. Wow!

I am looking for a bit of insight from other knot lovers. I recently came upon a very fast way to tie a slipped constrictor in the hand (under three seconds). Given the usual reproach heard of the constrictor (hard to untie), and given that slipped constrictors can be slow to make, I like that a lot.

I have no doubt that in the long history of knots some idle boy scout or unemployed ship hand has also stumbled upon the same technique, but I wonder if any of you has:
1) seen the method before,
2) seen it documented and, if yes, named.

Because I discovered this method on my friend's birthday, I am calling the method the "Sofia Constrictor Method", but if it already has a name I would love to know it.

Also excited to hear any comments you might have.

To see the method, please go to my "best knot pages" (pictorials of about 40 knots) and click on "Sofia Constrictor Method".
Or here is a direct link to the Sofia Constrictor Method.

If you have any questions about the diagrams please let me know. Basically, the knot is tied in three swift motions. The first makes an "8" around the hand. The second pulls a bight through the fingers. The third drops the top loop over the bottom loop.

Eagerly awaiting to hear from you!

Wishing you all a beautiful day,
With smiles and warmest regards,

Andy
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 07:20:36 PM by Andy Asan »
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roo

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 05:05:40 PM »
I am looking for a bit of insight from other knot lovers. I recently came upon a very fast way to tie a slipped constrictor in the hand (under three seconds). Given the usual reproach heard of the constrictor (hard to untie), and given that slipped constrictors can be slow to make, I like that a lot.

I have no doubt that in the long history of knots some idle boy scout or unemployed ship hand has also stumbled upon the same technique, but I wonder if any of you has:
1) seen the method before,
2) seen it documented and, if yes, named.

Because I discovered this method on my friend's birthday, I am calling the method the "Sofia Constrictor", but if it already has a name I would love to know it.

Also excited to hear any comments you might have.

To see the method, please go to my "best knot pages" (pictorials of about 40 knots) and click on "Sofia Constrictor".
Or here is a direct link to the Sofia Constrictor.

If you have any questions about the diagrams please let me know. Basically, the knot is tied in three swift motions. The first makes an "8" around the hand. The second pulls a bight through the fingers. The third drops the top loop over the bottom loop.


Thanks for the images.

1.  I don't find the constrictor to be hard to tie as I currently know it:
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/boaconstrictor.html

2.  The "Sofia" method is overly complex and not particularly memorable, in my opinion.   If you want to call it the "Sofia method", that's fine, but don't re-name a knot based on an alternate method of tying.

3.  If you are using a constrictor to close a bag, it's likely that you don't need to use a slipped version.  Bend the bag neck, and the knot will loosen.  Some people pull a portion of the knot upward while bending the bag neck to aid in untying.
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Andy

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 06:00:52 PM »
Hi Roo,

Thanks for your reply!


> If you want to call it the "Sofia method", that's fine, but don't re-name a knot based on an alternate method of tying.

Yes, you are right. Very useful clarification. On the original post yesterday I asked about naming the method "Sofia Constrictor". I changed that to "Sofia Constrictor Method". And the same on the web page.

> The "Sofia" method is overly complex and not particularly memorable, in my opinion.

I guess everyone has their own knotting style and preferences. For instance, you know the method of tying an Alpine Butterfly around the hand? For my taste, that's fun and easy, although I love the twist method too. The "Sofia" method is very similar in feel to the "Alpine butterfly around the hand", but even faster and easier. I wonder if I have explained it well. It's really three swift movements with the right hand (if you're right handed).

Thanks for the link to your constrictor page. I had seen it before and I love it.
As far as "slipped constrictor" methods, I am aware of three. The one you describe. The Sofia. And using the "shortcut method", but starting with a bight. Each knotting method has its advantages of course. The "Sofia" is for times when you want to drop a slipped constrictor over an object of fairly small diameter (typically under four inches, although you can enlarge it once you take it off your hand). It might appeal to the kind of knot tier who likes to drop formed knots over things, as with one of the clove hitch methods.

By the way, your nickname and pic suggests that you are in Oz? I normally live outside of Lismore (NSW), out in the bush. But presently in the States in the Louisiana bayous.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Andy
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roo

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 06:19:55 PM »

Thanks for the link to your constrictor page. I had seen it before and I love it.
As far as "slipped constrictor" methods, I am aware of three. The one you describe. The Sofia. And using the "shortcut method", but starting with a bight. Each knotting method has its advantages of course. The "Sofia" is for times when you want to drop a slipped constrictor over an object of fairly small diameter (typically under four inches, although you can enlarge it once you take it off your hand). It might appeal to the kind of knot tier who likes to drop formed knots over things, as with one of the clove hitch methods.

By the way, your nickname and pic suggests that you are in Oz? I normally live outside of Lismore (NSW), out in the bush. But presently in the States in the Louisiana bayous.



If you look closely, the coil-twist-fold method is very much related to the method you present, but it doesn't require lacing rope around your fingers a certain way.  The finger-lacing tends to limit the size of the end product.

Secondly, the coil-twist-fold method also allows the formation of a slipped constrictor.  You just place an extra portion of cord or rope in the center before the fold operation. 

P.S. If you check my profile, you can see that I live the USA, despite my Australian-looking photo.   I'm nowhere near Louisiana, though.
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Andy

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 08:03:02 PM »
Hi Roo,

After playing with the "coil-twist-fold" on your site for about an hour, I love it. What a beautiful way of tying a constrictor.

I also played with the slipped version. For my personal taste, it's not nearly as easy or fast as the "Sofia method". But "easy" is a personal matter, and I understand that different people find different things easy. I respect that. The two methods feel very different in the hand.

I love learning new ways of tying old knots, and I'm grateful to you for making me experiment with the "coil-twist-fold".

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Andy
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 01:49:31 AM »
I recently came upon a very fast way to tie a slipped constrictor in the hand (under three seconds).

That might get one the form of the knot, but applying it to something
could well see some frustration at slipping the in-hand-formed C. over it.
Coincidentally, a short time ago I came across a way to use the C. as a
bag knot -- i.e., a method of tying it that seems appropriate to the task
of fairly quickly and material-efficiently tying it.  Perhaps others can find
this method for themselves, but just tying the C. around a bag (or some
clump of things -- e.g., a hank of rope), and then untying it by removing
a turn from up around the bound object(s) and see how the knot is
undone -- then reverse the steps.
NB:  In what I have found, the END (initial short bit, and presumably
if bagging stuff the other end will be cut to size when done) lies
farther from the end of object(s) than the to-be-cut end;
or, were the knot then converted to the Clove hitch, this end
would lie CLOSER.

Quote
Given the usual reproach heard of the constrictor (hard to untie),...

... you can smell that the utterer is parroting some knots book or
other parroting of some utterance long ago made but poorly substantiated.
Well, yes, the knot grips quite well (well enough, e.g., to make me really
wonder why H.N.G.Bushby had nothing to say about it in his (private)
"Notes on Knots" (v.V), where he converted "Tom Bowling's" words into
what we regard as the correct manifestation -- viz., what Ashley later named
and advocated:  how can its grip not be remarked at?  BUT, tugging on an
end should generally yield a defeating of the knot integrity (which makes
it unsuitable qua hitch, mostly), and show a means to untying it,
esp. if one has some tool (screwdriver, marlinespike).

Quote
and given that slipped constrictors can be ...

I dare say that if slipping can have beneficial effect, then
the knot can be untied easily enough without the slip-tuck --
otherwise, one will struggle about as much trying to pull this
end out as one would in any case trying to loosen an unslipped C..

Quote
go to my "best knot pages"
 (pictorials of about 40 knots)

Your images of Ashley's Stopper need correction/improvement:
the Slip Knot should be oriented such that the S.Part and end
make a sort of "X" crossing.  Which lends itself to setting the
knot, which entails making this intermediate Overhand TIGHT
-- if much load is expected:  it will not be tightened by loading,
so it's now or never!  Then the tuck of the end should be able
to be shown with a quite straightforward arrow, and not one
that must snake itself deceptively over/under several other parts.
(It's a shame that so many publications botch this simple knot.
And, though simple and one might even muse "kind obvious",
AND published pretty well, I've yet to find one in the wild
-- only in knots books, or maybe by those fancying themselves clever.
But it does seem to have the attributes of a good practical knot.)

You recommend a small book or e-publication/file entitled "What Knot".
This is curious:  there is a book jointly (but separately) authored by
two of the IGKT --viz., Budworth & Hopkins-- with this title; AND there
is a tiny, cheaply produced book bearing the same name, wherein
one sees an image and the title question What knot? on the
right hand page, and turning this page over then sees the answer
(something like this).  It was a book memorable for having the
same title as the one I wanted to see, but otherwise is the usual
Knotting 101 half-mistaken collection of odds & ends, rehashes
of information that wasn't great to begin with.  And now here
comes a third thing by that title!?

It, btw, botches (Smith)Hunter's Bend :  it ends up being
a sort of not-quite-right Rosendahl's Zeppelin bend.  tsk, tsk.

--dl*
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DerekSmith

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 11:25:21 AM »
Hi Andy,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for bringing your method to us.  I hope that you now hang around to enjoy the controversy and banter.

As for Sophia,  I'll see your three seconds and raise it to one second.

The method I use to tie the constrictor in hand takes ca 0.8 seconds and adding in a slip takes this up to ca 1.3 seconds.  The constrictor is one of the knots I use regularly and I wondered why it had never occurred to me to 'slip' it, so, well done for adding this twist (so to speak).

I have spent the last two days sitting on a hilltop scouting for a lost greyhound (yes we found him) and during that time, I twiddled and fiddled with the slipped variant of the constrictor to get the 'feel' of its nature.  Yes it works and it is a nice variant and a slick method of tying, but something was jarring and continued to bug me until this morning.

It has been a useful exercise because it has allowed me to realise that I subconsciously categorise knots into two groups - Temporary and Permanent.

Temporary, I intend to untie - my shoe laces, or anything I tie in my climbing rope, or a holding knot as a 'third hand' etc...

But until now, I had not realised that I also tie knots that I have absolutely no intention of untying - cable tie style fixings - put them on and the only way they are coming off is when the cord frays or by cutting it off.  These are my Permanent knots and I don't want them to be untie-able.  I want the peace of mind that nothing is going to shift them short of the cord failing.  To better describe my mental image of these knots it would be clearer to call them 'Jams' instead of 'Knots'.

And yes, you will have guessed, the Constrictor (and the Myrtle which I make from the Constrictor) are my two most used 'Jams', my Permanent Knots, my 'cable ties'.  I put a constrictor around my bean poles and have no intention of untying it - the hemp will be cut off and composted along with the bean haulm at the end of the season.

And that was what was jarring me, one of my Permanent knots -- was not permanent any more...  what is going to stop the sky from falling down now !!!

So, while I have to credit you with ingenuity, in order to reinstate my karma (and keep the sky from falling), I am consigning the 'Slipped Constrictor' to the bin of non-knots and bad dreams, but it has been a very useful exercise in realisation of how I mentally categorise knots.

Derek

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 07:23:01 PM »

Hi Dan, hi Derek,


Thank you for your replies! It's a treat to share all this information about knots.

Dan:

Quote
Your images of Ashley's Stopper need correction/improvement

Wow, you are absolutely correct. What a keen eye. I had been tying it wrong all along. I am glad you pointed that out and to have learned the correct form.
So I changed my pictures of the Ashley stopper / Oysterman's stopper.

Quote
That might get one the form of the knot

Thank you for validating the form.

Quote
tying the C. around a bag (or some clump of things -- e.g., a hank of rope), and then untying it by removing a turn from up around the bound object(s) and see how the knot is undone -- then reverse the steps.

Dan, could that be the same as Ashley 1251? (his method for tying a constrictor in the bight). I tried removing a loop, and that's what I got.
I have a picture of Ashley 1251 here.

Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts about slipped constrictors and about loosening the constrictor's grip.


Derek:

Quote
The method I use to tie the constrictor in hand takes ca 0.8 seconds

Wow. That is fast. Very fast.
Are you using this method?

I enjoyed reading your adventure with permanence and impermanence. Glad the universe is back in place for you :)

Thanks again to you both for your thoughtful responses,

Wishing you all a gorgeous day,


Andy
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DerekSmith

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 09:29:24 AM »
Hi Andy,

No, Grog's fast method demands a considerable amount of structure and uniformity in the rope in order to perform uniformly as the twist is applied - try doing it with a piece of recycled binder twine and you will be very lucky to make the knot at all, let alone fast.  However, my method, follows exactly the movement of the second Grog method, but in the hand instead of on a table.

Recycled binder twine always comes with a knot in it and invariably some pre-set twists and kinks.  Tying a constrictor with this sort of 'rubbish' twine requires the twine to be under control at all times, you can't rely on it laying obediently where you put it.

I am afraid that I do not have pictures of the tying method - I need both hands to tie it so I have not managed to come up with a way of holding and using the camera at the same time, so descriptions will have to suffice.

Start with the cord in both hands in the manner of Grog's first method, move the hands together to form a loop, but have right hand cord in front of the left hand cord - (Grog's method shows the right hand cord behind the left hand).

As the loop is being formed by the right hand, put your left thumb through the loop and hold the top of the loop with your left thumb against your left forefinger.

Continue moving your right hand in and release the cord with index finger and thumb, but still retain control with the other three fingers holding the cord against the palm of your hand.

In one continuous movement, put your right index finger through the loop and take hold of the loop at the bottom using finger and thumb, then pull the bottom of the loop in towards yourself, up, and then over your left thumb  --  and that is it.

If you take Grog's second method, look at it upside down, but hold the ends in your hands instead of laying it on a table, then the cord movement is identical.

The method is fast partly because it optimises the moves and cord exchanges, but also because of practice - I must have tied the knot by this method many thousands of times so I could do it in the dark or behind my back.

I noticed in Grog's write up that he uses the constrictor to lash the ends of rope.  I wonder is he knows how close he is to the lovely Myrtle ??  Make a constrictor, poke an end or a byte through the loops and then start to tighten the constrictor - the two bands will attempt to rotate the cord you fed into the loop.  let this rotation progress and it will wrap the entrapped cord a complete turn and will form one of the simplest and loveliest knots I know - the Myrtle by Dave Root.

Happy knotting

Derek

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 11:18:33 PM »

Hi Derek,

I totally hear you about plastic twine.

Thank you for sharing your ultra-fast constrictor method! I spent 30 minutes playing with it, and I think I got it. Wow, thanks, man, this is very cool! How fast! As you said, a continuous flow of the hand, just what I like.
Took a few pix using the timer, is this it?





Quote
one of the simplest and loveliest knots I know - the Myrtle by Dave Root

You know, I absolutely love Dave Root's site but I'd never heard of the Myrtle. And I couldn't find it there, or anywhere! Does it have another name? I followed your instructions and got some kind of psychedelic bowline. Is that why you find it lovely, and is that what to expect?

Great being in touch.

Warmest regards,
Smiles,

Andy
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DerekSmith

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2009, 09:01:35 AM »
Hi Andy,

Yes, that is it.  And hey you clever bugger - camera on a stand with a timer, how logical - now I feel a bit stupid for not thinking of it.  Well done with the picture sequence.

As for the Myrtle, a while back, Dave spotted a knot used to hold up a tree, and brought it to the forum.  After some chatter it sort of picked up the name Myrtle because it was holding up a Myrtle tree.  The strange thing is that I cannot find any posts relating to it any more - maybe I just dreamt it.

Any way, the Myrtle is ultra simple.  To demonstrate its form, take two cords, make a loop with the first cord then take the second cord, pass an end through the loop, bring it round over the point where the two parts of the first cord lay beside one another and then back through the loop again.  The Myrtle is just two interlocked loops, each loop holds the ends of the other loop.  When dressed and set in 'grippy' stuff, this knot is virtually a 'Jam' because it has no hinges to allow it to be opened.  The joy of this little knot is that once set, load can be applied to any two cords, any three cords or all four and it won't distort or spill. 

Of course, a knot must not only be good at what it does, but it must also be easy to tie, and with the constrictor being so easy to make (as above), it makes the perfect starting point for the Myrtle - pass a cord through the middle of a constrictor and begin to tighten the constrictor which will 'decompose' into a simple single turn, and in the process it will have wrapped the inserted cord into another simple turn trapped within the constrictors own turn - and there you have it - two entwined turns, the Myrtle.

Does anyone have a link to the original post on this knot please, because I cannot find it using the search facility...

Derek

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 09:48:14 AM »

Andy

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2009, 07:18:50 PM »
Hi Derek,

I started a new thread for the Myrtle discussion.

Back to the constrictor / slipped constrictor:

Quote
camera on a stand with a timer

Actually, on a pile of knot books :)

Great to know that this indeed your method. It's fabulous. Adopting it as my standard method of tying constrictors in the hand.

Now, on an earlier post you mentioned that adding a bight to make a slipped constrictor would add about half a second.
I have not found a flowing motion for doing this. Do you have one that feels good? At the moment, I still find the "Sofia method" the easiest, most flowing way of making a slipped constrictor in the hand.

If you are not afraid of going back into slipped constrictors, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Smiles,

Andy
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DerekSmith

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2009, 10:20:10 PM »
OK Andy,  just for you.

Bring the hands together to make the first loop, but instead of going straight for the 'pick up', rotate your right hand to bring the cord which is being held by your outside three fingers around, and hand the end to lay alongside the two strands on your left hand index finger.  This creates the slipped lop pointing out to the right.  Let go of the cord with the right hand, reach down for the 'pick up' and fold the loop up and over and there you have it, a slipped constrictor taking just a fraction longer than the PROPER constrictor.

With a little practice you get to making the first loop and folding the slipped loop at the same time, let go, 'pick up' and fold.

Derek

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Re: Slipped Constrictor in under Three Seconds!
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2009, 11:30:21 PM »
Thanks Derek, You're the best. Will report back after experimenting. Cheers, -Andy
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