Author Topic: Knot book  (Read 9223 times)


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Re: Knot book
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2007, 12:24:08 AM »
Rather than buying the Encylopedia of Knots and Ropework - which is a nice to have book for inspiration, but not much else - I think you will benifit (with the work you do) from buying the Encylopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding by Bruce Grant instead.  Yes it is aimed at leather workers, but the braids and Turk's Heads etc in this book work equally well in cord. 
Des Pawsons book has been reprinted slightly larger than the original version - agree, a 'must have book'

For what it is worth, with my main interest being in practical knotting, splicing and Sailor's Marlinspike ropework - my most used 10 books are:-

The Ashley Book of Knots - C W Ashley
A Fresh Approach to Knotting and Ropework - Charles Warner
The Complete Rigger's Apprentice - Brion Toss
Handbook of Seaman's Ropework - Sam Svensson
Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding - Bruce Grant
Creative Ropecraft - Stuart Grainger
The Splicing Handbook - Barbara Merry
The Arts of the Sailor - Hervey Garrett Smith
History and Science of Knots - Turner & van de Griend
Knots Splices and Fancy Work - Spencer



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Re: Knot book
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 03:31:33 AM »
Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Rope Work by R. Graumont [& J. Hensel (aka, "Hansel & Gretel")]
(can anyone help me decide on this one, is it worth taking ... ?)
I have heard and read a lot of un-flattering nicknames for G+H, indicating that more knottyers think the same.
It is a great book portaying knotted work, but it is not as much a book of instructions.
Re EKFR, it should be a matter of outrage by any interested
practical knotter as to how this book came to be published, and then
repeatedly so for all these decades!  It purports to present a boatload
of knots, but although there are indeed many, many plates of photos
of entangled rope(s), after some examination the book begs the question
Why is this knot here?--over & over ad nauseam!!  One is given knots
that can be of no practical use (and sometimes the authors admit this),
with photos that occasionally are ambiguous, and textual accompaniment
that is usually unhelpful to gaining any understanding of the presented tangle.
(In one comical conjecture H&G speculate that Turkish archers of old
shot arrows farther on account of the use on some knot!)

It's a shame, for there are some interesting things in the heap.
--maybe more than one would suppose, if they'd just present
the history.  But in one case of near verbatim plagiarism I've
found, one can see pretty shoddy work:  the knot is switched
from what they copied (which was itself a joke) in one crossing
and in which end was loaded, the text slightly adjusted to
accommodate this change, and the nonsense altered and

I have concluded (as have some others) that H&G took it upon
themselves to conjure up all sorts of knotted structures (mostly
of no possible worth) and put them on plates to ... fill up a big
book of "knots"!!?!  --it's hard to imagine any other reason for it.
"The Double Overhand Eye, Secured shows how to secure an
Overhand Eye."  --as though "Overhand Eye", being put in capitals,
will lead you somewhere (no).  This structure can be seen as
an intermediary state of one method of tying a Bowline on a
Bight--must've caught their fancy, or H&G couldn't get the rest
of the way and just snapped the photo here and slapped on
a name & number!  (They DO have the BoB, btw.)  They really
go to town with sheepshanks--three plates of 'em!!  And then their
individual gems:  "The Combination Square Knot Hitch has a
Hitch tied  through a Combination Square Knot."   --that's all!
Again, no help on what the cited "C.S.Knot" is.  Now, with the right
imagination, this particular structure can be seen to be a variant
on the Constrictor (which is otherwise absent); ya gotta dig & wiggle.
Another gem:  The Dutchman's Knot is a relic of bygone sailing
ship days, and is now a curiosity."  --right!  It would be a curiosity
in ANY day:  What does one do with THIS???  (Beside it, alas, is a
"Single Bowline on a Bight" which, had they oriented the knot right,
been a potential boon to knotters, actually being just that!   Knotting
has now presented it and other versions several times,
and I have one image w/tying steps on-line; pity H&G didn't get it.)

For the decorative knotter, well, there is a lot to look at; how much
the words matter in those cases I can't say, for it's not my interest,
but it's probably a mixture of "enough to get going" and "huh?"

.:.  So, if you happen across this book in some used-book shop
for under $10 and want to indulge one big curiosity & comedy
of knotting, buy it.  No telling what you might dig out of it.  But
in the meantime, don't encourage the publisher any further.



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Re: Knot book
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 06:02:59 PM »
It's the eternal question: "What is the best book ?"
I should ask myself "Best for what purpose ?"

99 % of all guild members will vote ABOK #1 and I agree. Its definitely the book that I would take with me to a remote island.
But I am not so sure that it is the best book to learn the basics. Take a look to H.G. Smiths "The Marlinspike Sailor" and  you'll see unrivalled clear drawings combined with good writing and deep passion for the subject. Isnt this a good candidate for a book to learn the basics and get infected with the knotting virus ?

ABOK may be the knotters bible, but you didnt learn reading with the bible or did you ?  I have learnt "reading" with Kaj Lunds "Fancywork". which I appreciate until today and remember my first knots as I remember the first sentence of my first schoolbook.



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Re: Knot book
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2007, 06:55:21 PM »
Ruben you are right there.
I learned my first knots out of a library copy of Smiths book, and when they took it out of the collection I was luckey enough to find a copy of the book in a secondhand store.
But nowadays most young people will search internet for the knots they want to learn, and will only start to buy books at a later stage, and we know Justknot has the basics and beyond already.

"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.


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Re: Knot book
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2007, 05:45:10 AM »
i have Roo's link and many more on my knot link page.  It is a little light on fishing and beauty knots (perhaps i could use a hand there); but a wealth of general, climbing, working knots, science, gear etc..   Also, i have started a page of some animations of my own am presently looking on expanding the math animation/lesson for someone special; so have included it at no charge!

There are 100's of drawings of rigging and pulley etc. theory in the index at the bottom of each page.  All quiet affordable (if it's free, it's fer me!).

ABoK in the states goes for about $75 new list price; $50 at and also found on ebay: but is the best value and most comprehensive in categories, methodology, science, legend and lore of texts.  I like color and polish of some other books, but there is something raw and honest in Ashleys pencil drawings, that brings across the rich power and history of knotting; like no other IMLHO!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2007, 05:46:30 AM by KC »
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