Author Topic: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?  (Read 8139 times)

Mrs Glenys Chew

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Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« on: January 12, 2006, 12:07:05 AM »
Dear All

As well as a 6 year old firefighter, I have a really lively 21 month old girl, who does more steeplejacking than her brother did.  I keep her on baby reins with double length straps, total length 59 inches/150cm (with a clumsy knot in the middle - no idea what sort, I just made it up by passing each end of the nylon strap back through it's own metal D-ring to form a loop, then passed one of the loops completely over the other to sit on its standing end, and passed the standing end of that first loop through the second loop, and then pulled them snug, so that each D-ring appeared to hold the other strap's standing end - now I've partially loosened it to figure out how I did it, can I make it look nice and neat and flattish again?  No.... )

Anyway - to shorten her reins I usually just halve and halve again all the strapping, then put a simple overhand knot in.  But it's usually a bit fiddly trying to work it loose next time I want full length.  So I was looking for a knot that would shorten, but be easy to tie and untie, and could take the unstable load of a 21-month old girl.... ???  Something tells me that a sheepshank probably isn't the right knot.

All-comer's welcome   ;D

Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10
Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10

KnotNow!

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 05:50:37 AM »
Hi My Friend,
 You are learning more about knots than the Firefighter and the 21 month old.  Yes, a sheepshank shortens the line between fixed points... but unless I've lost my memory (which is happening as we speak) a "terrible two" is not a fixed point.  The blessing in this case (besides the obvious blessing of having two heathy and very active young people in your home) is that there is not much strain on the line.  The sheepshank fails for this task simply becasue the loaded and unloaded phase may happen so fast and be repeated so often ... Run, Suzie, run.  I'lll sleep on this and try to get back tommorrow.  
 It will take a bundle of your line... but it may have a slipped retaining knot.
 As I was working through your post... well never mind.  Tomorrow will be time enough.
 You are a fine Mom and I wish you and my fine Mom could have met.
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.

deckhandiana

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 05:31:45 PM »
What about a Drummer Boy's plait?  Maybe with a toggle or something to keep the end from slipping.  Otherwise known as chain stitch I think if you're a sewer.   No, that reads wrong: nothing to do with drains.  ;D  I mean an embroideress of course.  You obviously have many skills, I'm sure that is one of them.


roo

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2006, 07:24:23 PM »
If you're going to put your child on a leash, maybe you'd find it convenient to use a retractable leash designed for what you have in mind:

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?hl=en&lr=&q=retractable%20leash&sa=N&tab=wf

Although, you might get some odd looks from visitors.  ;)

-roo
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Willeke

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2006, 07:24:27 PM »
The 'knot' Deckhandia mentioned is the single chain in Crochet. To make it start tying an overhand (or thumb) knot but do not pull all the length through, next you pull a bit next to the loop through and pull the first loop closed, repeat as often as needed. If you unhook the end of the line from the girl or the fixed point you can feed the end through the last loop, other wise you can just tie a knot with the last loop, that will work well enough if your kid is no escapist.

A sheepshank, even locked or toggled, will be less usefull, as the line in the knot can still get tangled.
If you click in this link you get a picture of the locked sheepshank. http://knopen.ismijnhobby.nl/diverse/locked_sheepshank.jpg

Willeke.

"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.

Mrs Glenys Chew

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2006, 10:10:50 PM »
Dear All

I haven't yet found a really good smiley for an embarrassed grin, but take it I'd use one.  Yes - as it happens, I've dabbled with embroidery in my teens.  My last project was a set of 4 panels based on Beatrix Potter's pictures.  Not big, but very complex.  And I've done crochet - but I could never get the hang of knitting.

And, er, yes, roo, we did try my sister's retractable dog lead last summer whilst at a local park.  It worked brilliantly.  But I am trying for some decorum.  Baby reins used to be common enough, and you'd be amazed at how many people stop me to say how clever I am to use them - especially after the Jamie Bulger incident in Liverpool.

Her brother had to stay on reins until he was nearly 4.  After running into the path of traffic 3 times, we felt it justified.  Even now he has a tendency to vanish on his own errands, and I end up alerting the supermarket security.

Deckhandia, once I'd sat down and worked out your root word, I knew exactly what you meant: a sew-er, or seamstress  ;D  and yes, I've done that too.

I did notice one mistake in my original post: I said the D-rings appeared to hold the other strap's standing end.  But when I finally got it to look about right again, I realised of course that that was my mistake, they clearly hold their own.  Sorry.

Thanks for the image, Willeke.  Another one useful to know.

One chain stitch/drummer's boy plait or a rose by any other name coming up...........
Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10

knudeNoggin

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 11:59:02 PM »
Quote
... total length 59inches/150cm ... Anyway - to shorten her reins I usually just halve and halve again all the strapping,  ...  Something tells me that a sheepshank probably isn't the right knot.

Something tells me that at about 5 feet one has a short leash; but halved twice,
one begs the question:  what--a handle?!

With such short cordage, it would not be difficult to tie a Sheepshank with full
Bowline-like knots at each end--use the Bwl-on-a-Bight method for the one that
might be attached to child, and the other likewise or simply bring the end around
through the bight directly.

*knudeNoggin*

Flyman

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2006, 09:10:01 PM »
Hi Glenys,

I know this post is over a week old but I'm always late for the party!

I've been pondering your problem and tried a few things with little success.  I did think that you could try clove hitches on the end of your sheep shank instead of half hitches but that didn't really like the webbing strap I was using.

You gave the length of your straps but no the width or thickness.  Is there any chance of a picture?  There could be an answer in using a side release buckle if the strap would allow.  Let me know and I may have an answer.

KnotNow!

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2006, 04:01:41 AM »
Hi Flyman,  Better late than never.   It is refreshing to have someone come at the problem from the side (pun intended).  Since my only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail.. so for every problem there must be a knot!  But yes.. a side release buckle inserted into the mix.. somewhere between child and wrist loop would allow for instant shortening and instant release.  For thoes not "into" the camping and outdoor stuff these are buckles for flat web strap or tubular braid that you may have seen on backpacks and belted pouches.  No stitching is required and you can do almost anything with them (no life support).  Most camping outfitters in USA and on line carry them and they are very useful... even to a dedicated knot person.  Very clever of you. ;)  I don't use them unless I must.  I always consider a "knot solution" more "elegant" (for want of a better word) than a mechanical solution.  You probably would not have suggest buckles if you had played around with the previous posts... as deckhandiana posted the drummer boy's plait (aka several other names, perhaps ABOK #2868 is it)  as it is perhaps the best of all the posts for a non mechanical solution.  At least, for myself, when I came to that post I just went to get some food, for I said "done is done".  I use it to put up electrical extension cords for instant use, air hose and water hose if it will stand the kink, many braided line usage.  That was until you "came back" with one more interesting mechanical solution.  Good show.
 I had one of the noggy self retracting reels.  You must still run after the runner and can not haul them in, where as with the chain you can stay put and haul them in.  Also I "toggle" the last loop of the chain with the wrist loop... "that'll hold you"...  :-[  But you can still cast away and let the chain run out.
 Still, I must admit,  the side release buckles are a good mechanical idea.  I've been trying to think how to play them out in small sections... which the chain will do... but the buckles will, perhaps, not.  Great fun.. lets get some toddlers and put it to a test!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2006, 04:05:20 AM by PABPRES »
ROY S. CHAPMAN, IGKT-PAB BOARD.

Mrs Glenys Chew

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2006, 12:56:12 AM »
Hello Flyman & Roy,

Thanks for the extra posts.  I'm trying to put together a photo album on Yahoo.

I've just found what the telephone directory tells me is the only outdoor pursuits shop in our area.  There must be another somewhere, even a camping shop, so I'll give the Activity Centre at the Burrs Country Park a ring sometime, and ask them for a good source of ropes and bits.  The Park is at the bottom of our approach road.  When Tim's older, he'll be able to do abseiling, canoeing, wall-climbing, etc.

Oh, and just for the record, yes - a five-foot rein is a leash, and a quarter of that is a handle.  But our pavements are only four foot wide anyway.  Many are less than that.  In putting two reins together, and using them frequently at full length, I'm actually giving Rachel extra freedom against the standard working length of about 3 feet, secured to the child at both ends.

Get some toddlers in.... hmm.  I hope your nerves are as strong as the rope you'll be using, Roy  ;D   I suppose you could either try a local mums & toddlers group, or perhaps arrange a creche at the next knotting meeting you hold.

Tim had his first Beaver Scout meeting this week - it went really well.  Except that he says they don't play games.  Ah - could be a problem.  Still, he likes the idea of badges sewn on a uniform  :D

Will pop a post on when I get this photo album working.

Regards
Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10

Flyman

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2006, 06:53:32 PM »
Hi again,

I've been thinking about the chain sinnet idea for shortening the reins but I'm unsure whether it would work in the flat webbing of the reins in question.  Now I've seen what we're potentially working with I can see that ABOK #2868 might work okay as the webbing looks quite soft and "workable".  Roy, I understand what you're saying about finding a knot solution more elegant and I do agree but after managing a camping shop for many years, I've answered alot of this sort of problem with the cunning use of webbing, buckles, clips etc etc.  So the mechanical way seemed easier.  I don't know if there is an easy knot answer to this.

Looking at the set up of the reins it looks to me that there's two lengths of webbing clipped to the harness that are then joined together with a knot that looks suspiciously like a reef knot.  If that's the case then you might be able to replace the reef knot with a "Tug-of-War Knot" (ABOK#2558 ).  This is basically a Fisherman's bend but using Rolling Hitches instead Half Hitches.  You can then slide the ends apart or together to lengthen or shorten the reins.  This, in theory, should shorten the reins by half when both Rolling hitches are next to the child and be at full length when they are next to each other.  You'd be able to have any length of rein inbetween.  Unfortunately I don't have the necessary 21 month old child to put this to the ultimate test but, in theory, the knots won't slip when a strain is put on them.  

I guess, Glenys, between us we've given you a few ideas.  Let us know how you get on so the next time we're asked the best way of shortening reins on a child, we'll have the answer ready for them. :D

Mrs Glenys Chew

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2006, 10:53:59 AM »
Hi,

Sorry for the delay in replying.  My husband is home from hospital, I'm learning about scheduling and time management - but I've yet to practice what I'm learning.  It isn't as easy as knot-tying - I can now do both sheet bend and bowline with my eyes closed, and I'm putting a Turks Head (I think it works out at 24x7 or 8 ) round a drinks bottle.  Photos will follow when I'm done, which is likely to be next year at this rate.

Ironically, I came up with a totally different solution to the baby reins whilst practicing the bowline.  I'd put an overhand loop just above the knot which joins the two reins, to practice the sheet bend with whilst having nothing much better to do at the gymnastics lessons, and no rope on hand to do it with (I now carry about 18 inches of haberdashers cord in my waistbag - how's that for converting the unknotted!).  When the lesson finished, I was on the move to quickly to undo the last bowline I'd tied, and on the way out realised I had a nice pair of loops which shortened the reins without me having to do any worse than grab the higher one........

But all the advice has benefitted my Mum - she makes homemade cards, and I've volunteered to make her some knot chains out of ribbon.  I'll put the 5x8 TH mat photo on the photo album: http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/glenys_chew/album?.dir=/c1e1

It's only very simple, a single pass, so that my Mum could see how the turns went, and I'd turn some of the corners differently next time.  More neatly, for instance  ;)

Speak to you again soon,
« Last Edit: February 04, 2006, 12:14:24 PM by Willeke »
Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10

Willeke

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Re: Can you put an unstable load on a sheepshank?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2006, 12:23:46 PM »
Nice little mat you made out of the ribbon.
I have been working with the plastic strips they use around parcels and while it is good for knots that have no sharp corners, it is lousy material for neat folds.
I think you will be able to get the folds in your mat a little neater because the material is more forgiving.

By the way, I only added one space in the message above to change from  8) to  8 ) The software of this forum is a little anoying when it come to that.

Willeke
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.