Author Topic: Carrick Bend, revisited  (Read 17798 times)

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Carrick Bend, revisited
« on: November 13, 2010, 12:40:57 PM »
As the Carrick Bend and its common misinterpretation once again came up in the thread about useful knots, I go back to it once more to clarify how to tie and how to draw it up.

There are a few erronous statements in knot books about the Carrick Bend, most notably the one by Brion Toss in his book "The Rigger's Apprentice" ISBN: 0070650756 (The Complete Rigger, Wire and Rope ISBN: 0-540-07314-8). Such errors, in my opinion, do incredible damage to the knotting community.

In the recent thread on useful knots, once over it was stated that the knot is a clumsy affair, and also statements about it being prone to error occured.

The knot, contrary to popular belief, is one of the easiest to tie. When the technique is learned, it is virtually impossible to mistie, and it is neither clumsy, nor can it jam. I have an easily followed method described on my webpage: http://web.comhem.se/~u77479609/Carrick%20Bend.html. By that method, it is easily tied, even with gloves and in complete darkness, and there is very little risk of mistying it. When I tie it in that way, it consistently forms the right pattern and draws up correctly without any hassle. There is also a video on the webpage that shows the sequence.

Ashley says about the knot:
Quote
/.../ The Carrick Bend, when under stress, pulls up into easy loops, which may be readily opened with a few light taps /.../ (ABoK #1439)
Toss:
Quote
/.../ Drawn up (B), the Carrick Bend is secure but bulky, with a poor lead, and not easily untied. /.../ (The Complete Rigger, Fig 77 p 51)

Toss illustrates his notion with a sketch showing something that does not even remotely look like a Carrick Bend (image below, copyright Brion Toss. The image is presented as a quotation according to Swedish Law of authorship (1960:729) #22 and #23,1 amended Law (1993:1007) ).

How did this happen?
Evidently, Toss first pulled on the ends, till the knot was drawn up in an inverted fashion. Then he capsized the inverted knot by applying load, which rendered it severely misformed. When I search different books, the only notion I find about the way of drawing it up is the one in Ashley's book, where it seems not sufficiently pointed out, that the very method of drawing up the knot is by applying load on the junction. The ends shall not be drawn tight, they must be left loose.

Just as Ashley states, the knot draws up into easy loops when load is applied, and from that state, it cannot capsize. The second image below shows a properly dressed Carrick Bend.

I have been reluctant to point out the error, for several reasons, but I think that at least within the IGKT, it must be rectified. Errors in knotting books can do tremendous damage.

(Post edit: Copyright to the sketch, first image below, belongs to Robert Shetterly.)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 08:25:55 AM by Inkanyezi »
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Sweeney

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 05:08:00 PM »
I have a copy of "The Complete Rigger Wire and Rope" and knowing the carrick bend well I had never taken any notice of the drawing which, as you rightly say, looks nothing like a carrick bend.  Anyone tying the knot and expecting it to look like this when drawn up is going to be disappointed which is a pity as there are some good illustrations elsewhere in the book.

Barry

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 05:21:56 PM »
Just to clarify:
I regard this book as one of the very best books on rope usage aboard, and I do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about rigging. The flaw that I mentioned here is the only one, and it is really a pity to such wonderful work as performed by Brion Toss.

In fact, the presentation in the book of the slipknot bowline was my inspiration to develop a better way to do the same. I have no illustrations of it so far, but there is a youtube presentation of it (in Swedish) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTApTsLIe1g
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 05:34:15 PM by Inkanyezi »
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 06:38:59 AM »
There are a few erronous statements in knot books about the Carrick Bend, most notably the one by Brion Toss in his book "The Rigger's Apprentice"/b] ISBN: 0070650756 (The Complete Rigger, Wire and Rope ISBN: 0-540-07314-8). Such errors, in my opinion, do incredible damage to the knotting community.
...
<given supposed erroneous statement> (The Complete Rigger, Fig 77 p 51)

I hope that you see the difference in reference, here (bold vs. bold) : are they
somehow the same?  I have The Complete Rigger's Apprentice (c. 1998),
and your citations make no sense for it in either location or substance.
 [edit : oops, caption to illustration is same, maybe also (uncited) text --see later post]
So, there were some changes made, for whatever reason.
BUT, the presented mis-drawing of the knot is the same.

Quote
... once over it was stated that the knot is a clumsy affair,
 and also statements about it being prone to error occurred.

When I look at the Carrick bend, I see improvements --What if...?s--
by taking the ends through a common nipping circle, which begets
Ashley's Bend #1453, which proves problematic to draw up;
the further What if ...?s lead to #1452 & #1408 or Shakehands --the
general way of revising them of forming Overhands being common
in such explorations.

And the Carrick bend is rather *bumpy*/awkward in form,
more so than #1452 or #1408.

Quote
When I tie it in that way, it consistently forms the right pattern and draws up correctly without any hassle.
There is also a video on the webpage that shows the sequence.

That method did not impress me as even as simple as what I think is
usually done, which is building what I call "the lattice form" (what is
often shown as seized) and then capsizing that.  You, too, must capsize
the lattice form although you reach that state with a different set of
moves (which might, yes, preclude making the mistake of going the
wrong way 'round with the 2nd rope in laying it over-under-over...
the first, formed in a loop).  And that pulling-both-SParts to capsize
runs some risk of doing so in an imbalanced extent or with dangerous
slippage.

The Discovery Channel has a big hit on its hands with "The Deadliest Catch"
documentary series about the travails of Alaskan crab fishermen, who work
in sometimes severe conditions of wet & cold & extended working (fatigue),
and who occasionally must lengthen the haul lines for each crab pot
--pots that are said to weigh (empty) up to 800# (!!!).  The cordage
used here I've heard (from a rockclimber claiming to have worked aboard
a crabbing boat) is hard-laid, and tied together with the Carrick bend.
In one of the shows that I saw, two men were shown tying this knot:
they did so by one forming a Crossing knot and the other reeving the
2nd rope into it, to make a complementary Crossing knot, the 2nd
half of the (capsized) Carrick bend.
I surmise that your method (and mine) is simply impractical for such
firm cordage.  Their method, interestingly, has the potential to produce
quite some variety of knots : there are two sides of the pre-formed knot
to enter (top/bottom, say), and then two ways the reeved rope might
go in completing its matching structure!  But I suspect that the fishermen
get their instructions to do it just so and hew to that method.

Quote
<concerning Brion Toss's mis-drawn knot, etc.> How did this happen?
Evidently, Toss first pulled on the ends, till the knot was drawn up in an inverted fashion.
Then he capsized the inverted knot by applying load, which rendered it severely misformed.

I think that you're going overboard in guessing Brion's thoughts :
who knows what happened.  But some artist made the illustration,
and not necessarily accurately from what might have been given
to him, or maybe HE was to tie and then illustrate the knot, and ... .

Btw, does your Toss book contain the Anglers/Perfection loop?
If so, what does it say about that old venerable angling knot?

Quote
I have been reluctant to point out the error, for several reasons, but I think that at least within the IGKT, it must be rectified. Errors in knotting books can do tremendous damage.

Knots books are full of errors, and one can often see an error echoed
from one book through others.  Knot illustrators can bring their own
damage to knots presentations, and here too there is much copying
from one to the other, including copying errors!

Some years ago I tried to raise some outcry within the IGKT over a rather
favorable book review given to an absolutely atrocious "knots" book
--Great Knots, and How to Tie Them , by "Derrick Lewis".
My efforts got little reaction, which is a sad commentary on this guild
presuming to be a knotting authority, as was the book review, of course.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 09:10:19 PM by Dan_Lehman »

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 07:53:08 AM »
My bad, not giving due credit to Robert Shetterly, who made the drawing. The drawing is correct and meticulously made, I have confirmed it by forming the same tangle by drawing up the knot invertedly and then capsizing it. It may then render exactly the same form as sketched (image below). The pattern is mirrored compared to mine, which may cause the knot to jam by nipping strands into cuntlines in right-laid stuff.

And yes, there are at least four different printings of the book with three different names. The three of them that I have seen all include the error. There may of course be differrences in editing and page references between different printings (as even the book title changes). The one I have is ISBN: 0-540-07314-8, where the page references are those above. The quote is within the caption of the image.

The method I use for making the knot can be used in rather heavy stuff, and I have done it with thumb gloves. In the rather soft stuff mostly used at smaller boats the knot takes its final form consistently by just pulling the two standing parts apart, and it does not slip. Part of the trick is to leave ends sufficiently long from start. One of the major advantages of the method is that it can be done without the aid of vision.

Of course other methods may be more adequate under certain conditions. I know that one may prefer not to collapse the knot, and mostly it's easier to tuck the ends fisherman-wise than to seize.

I cannot see that the Carrick Bend should be "bumpy and awkward in form" compared to the mentioned knots. It is far easier to tie, as it does not include any overhand knots and requires only one single tuck. Look once again at the picture in the first post of the thread. The Carrick Bend is far from bumpy, it has a good lead and it is neat. The method of tying is swift; a coreography, where there is little risk of going astray, while most knots based on overhands need vision to a larger degree and are more prone to error. Some of them also have the disadvantage of jamming.

The reason I prefer Carrick Bend over the double sheet bend is that it is easier to tie and more secure. The Ashley Bend or the Zeppelin also are secure, but they are not as easily tied, and they are in no way less "bumpy" or "awkward in form". Knots usually have a complex topology, which must be exactly rendered for the knot be what was intended. There are few knots that may be as easily tied as the Carrick Bend. The only secure bend I know that is quite as easily tied is the Butterfly Bend with the alternative method, but I find it somewhat trickier to open. When the method for the Butterfly (bend as well as loop) is well learned, that knot also is very easy to accomplish in reasonably soft and not too large stuff. I guess it might be preferred by mountaineers.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 09:58:58 AM by Inkanyezi »
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Sweeney

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 09:33:55 AM »
Some years ago I tried to raise some outcry within the IGKT over a rather
favorable book review given to an absolutely atrocious "knots" book
--Great Knots, and How to Tie Them , by "Derrick Lewis".
My efforts got little reaction, which is a sad commentary on this guild
presuming to be a knotting authority, as was the book review, of course.

You have a point Dan and I think we should do more to publicise both the good and the bad points about published works especially drawing attention to errors which may lead to the risk of injury. I will bring this to the attention of Council members at or before the next meeting. However as always it is worth pointing out to newer members that the Guild consists of its members and a small Council of trustees from the UK and USA, all of whom are volunteers. We have no employees, no premises and depend on goodwill. Simply administering the Guild and publishing KM takes a great deal of time and effort.  Calls for help tend to fall on deaf ears or initial enthusiasm soon wanes but as always we'll do our best and think that in the case of book reviews we should be able to do something worthwhile but no promises yet.

Barry
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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 10:35:18 AM »
While there is little risk of injury by not understanding the Carrick Bend, the misconseptions surely cause many to avoid the knot, thinking that it is an awkward and bulky affair that is also prone to errors, and that its best use is for hawsers and cables, where it shall always be seized. When the knot is kept open and well seized, it really does not matter much which configuration is used. Even the whatnot will serve when it is well seized. Also, if one seizing breaks, that rope will slip out of the junction, even in a seized Carrick Bend.

it is the "Full Carrick Bend" without seizings, drawn up into the form Ashley shows in ABoK #1439 that is under-used because of false notions of its usefulness. It is presented in a way that makes it difficult to tie in hand, and several authors claim that it has a set of undesirable features: clumsy, bulky, bad lead, capsizes under load. None of those is true, but all are based on a fundamental misunderstanding. The knot is neat, slim, has a good lead and cannot capsize. I cannot think of any other knot so undeservedly badmouthed.
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 08:57:51 PM »
... the b and q method we use in many, indeed most, other bends.

I don't use the b/q (d/p) method on many, and certainly not most, bends;
what ones do you do so?  (E.g., Square, fisherman's, grapevine, Ashley's #1452 /
#1425 / #1408
, Sheet, Lapp, Dbl.Lapp, Dbl.Harness, Fig.8)

--dl*
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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 09:01:30 PM »
No xarax. A pq pattern is not fruitful for the tying of Carrick Bend. The reason mainly that the knot topology is very different from the torm that is tought. My approach is a choreography, which forms the knot from a series of movements, just like a dance.

The pattern of Carrick Bend is so easily remembered, that no complicated rule has to be implemented. It is a quite regular weave: over, under, over, under etc. That has never been a problem.

Curiously however, the dressing of the knot is a mystery for most people. It is so simple, but it is different from most other knots, because the only way to dress this knot is to deliberately let it take its final form all by itself, and the topology of the finished knot is very different from what has been formed in order to tie it.

The first image here shows the pattern. All that must be remembered is that it is a regular weave, and that the standing parts come in diagonally.

The second picture shows how to flip the pattern over, so that the ends hang down, before it is tightened.

The third picture shows the topology of the knot. Two backhanded hitches that nip each other.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 09:04:28 PM by Inkanyezi »
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 09:33:25 PM »
I say that the Carrick is more bulky/bumpy than some other like knots
in that if the point of the nipping of the ends is left as you show it in
your image in the OP, you have a sort of 4 diameters in line, whereas
other knots smooth this out, they *round* it.  Sometimes, though I
find that the draw of the SPart will transition the nipped end to lie
between the opposite-rope's collar and SPart, and while this elongates
the knot, it also leaves the end less firmly nipped --I should expect it
to slip in HMPE at loads, but then that's a bit of a moot question in
that one shouldn't be knotting HMPE cordage (but if one needed to,
for some reasonable load, still I'd worry re slippage).

Not understanding the Carrick can lead to the inferior version in which
the loading of the lattice form comes on non-diagonally opposed ends;
this knot is asserted to be able to be nearly manually pulled apart in
e.g. rockclimbing kernmantle rope (Heinz Prohaska, KM article).

And for the capsizing transition to the lattice form, as I indicated previously,
there is risk to slippage and imbalanced capsizing.

Has anybody ACTUALLY SEEN a seized lattice-form Carrick bend ?!
-- or is this one of those knotted structures that occurs only in books?
Frankly, I find it hard to understand how this works unless the seizings
are --contrary Toss-- very strongly made (he writes that they "will take
very little strain," which does not make sense (regarding 50% of load
as being serious not little strain, i.e.)).

 - - - -

In the Toss book I reference, I see:
 "the Benson bend",
 "the Angler's Loop"

Are these in the three book versions you are familiar with?

Its text associated with the image indeed matches what you have cited.
(I was reading the non-caption text, and, so, puzzled.)

--dl*
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knot4u

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 10:05:59 PM »
I've been practicing tying the Carrick Bend over the past couple of weeks.  I'm good at tying it now.  I like this bend.  I put it on my short list, alongside the Butterfly, the Zeppelin, and the Double Sheet.  What I really like about the Carrick are the following:

-Its symmetry
-Its security
-Non-jamming, not even close
-Easy of untying
-No interlocking Overhand Knots (unlike Butterfly and Zeppelin, which have interlocking Overhands)

Regarding easy of tying, I find the hybrid method of the Butterfly to be the easiest for a bend.  That is, apply this Hybrid Method to the Butterfly Bend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeKLU_6NLv4
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 10:10:15 PM by knot4u »

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2010, 11:00:31 PM »
Yes Dan, all those knots are in the book. Before the Carrick Bend, there is a "Strait Bend", which is identical with the Butterfly.

I too have adopted the hybrid method for the butterfly, both loop and bend. It is a very fast and secure method that needs very little working. After passing both ends together through the turns, I draw it up by pulling on both ends away from both standing parts, before I jerk the standing parts in different directions. It is somewhat faster tied than the Carrick Bend, but not quite as easily tied without the help of vision.

And the primary drawback of most other interlaced overhand knots is that they are a bit complicated, and thus prone to error. I think that the prevalence of sheet bends and bowline in the sailing community is due to the fact that they are so easily tied as a set of movements rather than relying on remembering a pattern. The Wave method of tying the Carrick Bend shares this feature, which is rather important for a knot that needs to be swiftly tied. And that is my reason for ruling out the Zeppelin/Rosendahl. All tying methods that I have seen so far rely heavily on vision and remembering patterns. Also the number of tucks is a problem, two from different directions; we have only two hands, and the Zeppelin requires that all four parts are engaged both in forming the pattern and drawing it tight. The Zeppelin is amply secure, but its tying is too complicated. I know it, but I virtually never use it. When I need a more permanent bend, as for a prussik sling, I use a double fisherman's (grapevine) bend, but then I don't fancy ever opening it again.

So my all purpose bend of preference is the Carrick Bend. But I never use kernmantle rope, for which I would rather use the butterfly, as it draws up snugger and stays that way. For HMPE rope I would prefer the double fisherman's bend, just as I do for my prussik slings that are Spectra. I have tested the double fisherman's by trying to break a prussik sling with a hydraulic jack, but failed to do so, as the jack was capable of only about 3 tons. The line then had a high pitch when I struck it with the marlingspike, as the highest notes on a piano. There was virtually no slip after the knot had been tightened with high load.

So I do use different knots for different purposes. The Carrick Bend is amply secure in most sruff that is used aboard. But I would not use it for HMPE.
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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 11:38:42 PM »
And for the lattice form Carrick Bend, I have never seen one, but I have seen other knots with ends tucked through the lay. The ones I have seen here,, by fishermen is what here is called a "helling", which is also the designation for the Carrick Bend when seized in lattice form. The form I have seen a few times is a granny or whatknot with ends tucked twice through the lay.
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2010, 07:55:23 AM »
...the Zeppelin requires that all four parts are engaged both in forming the pattern and drawing it tight.

  Not true ! The Zeppelin, once you form it, does not require any attention on the tails. This bend, as well as the Ashley s bend, do not "eat" its tail while it tightens...

Au contraire, vrai!  Especially if one cares to dress the knot for what
I'll surmise is maximum strength --where a SPart nips and draws towards
its pull the opposite end, which takes some careful forming with a loose
knot and then, as Inkanyeze states, tensioning all parts.  Even otherwise,
though, Rosendahl's Z. bend can need some tightening of the ends to
achieve a more compact form and avoid the sort of bowlinesque half-hitches
from having generous feed of ends in the knot.
Mind you, the loose knot still holds (and is most easily untied).

--dl*
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Carrick Bend, revisited
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2010, 08:05:13 AM »
Yes Dan, all those knots are in the book. Before the Carrick Bend, there is a "Strait Bend", which is identical with the Butterfly.

Then I suggest that you need to revise your assessment that (re Carrick case)
"The flaw that I mentioned here is the only one" !  I'll leave this hint for a
starter, at least : it's a problem of usage & origin (& origin re "Strait", for that matter).

--dl*
====