Author Topic: Teaching the blind to knot  (Read 2093 times)

Mrs Glenys Chew

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Teaching the blind to knot
« on: July 24, 2007, 07:07:25 AM »
Hi, this post follows on from my conversation with Derek in 'Recruiting New Members'.

We were discussing how to teach the blind to knot.  The discussion followed two main areas: attitude (for want of a better description) and equipment.
On the whole, I would think that just a set of cords secured at the top, laid out so they won't tangle immediately, perhaps with some weighting on the end for sennits, would be sufficient.  However they're secured at the top, it has to be able to withstand some amount of pulling in order to give a good shape to the knot or sennit.  Once the basic stand or base has been devised, it should be easily duplicatable so that the blind person could have one in their own home and continue at leisure.  And idea for a shape has occurred to me, I'll draw it and post it in my photo album.  I'll write to Dave Walker about it once I'm sure no-one else has any suggestions to make to improve the idea.

I tried to ask questions like: how easily can the shape be made, how widely available and cheap would the material be, how quickly could it be available?

After much consideration, I came to the conclusion I was looking for a form of a hook, and the cheapest, most instantly available hook I could think of was a metal coat hanger.  It has great malleability for most tables, and requires only a quantity of electrical tape and/or a cork over the point to protect the table.  Alternatively, it will bend enough to go over a post, such as a bannister or bed-end, or be placed round a dining-chair-leg.  It appears in most homes, and is therefore virtually free, and instantly available.  It has the added benefit of being able to be a holding area for completed work, as well, by just wrapping plaited work round the shoulders of the hanger in a V-shape.  The only disadvantage is in being careful how the strands are secured, to be able to remove them.

Second most simple, but not nearly so easily accessible, was my own trick of a piece of dowel, secured with a loop of string (and a pair of my favourite constrictor knots, or your own choice) which is long enough to completely wrap round a dining-chair-back, over a bed-end or bannister-post, or even loop round a foot or toes and work at a comfortable length and position in many situations (make sure the foot is recently washed if in company  ::) ).  But, although it is easy to remove work by just sliding all but one end of the securing string off the dowel, you then have to resecure the string next time you want to work.  No problem to me, but its a case of who finds what easiest.

The 3rd option, which doesn't look nearly so easy as it did when I first thought of it, was for a U-shaped or hook-shaped piece of wooden board, which would go over the edge of a table.  But you need some wood, and someone to put the pieces together, with maybe 1x1 on the internal corners to make it very secure, and who is able to put a long hole in it for the cord to go through, or attach a dowel rail....  As I thought about it, It wasn't something that I could make at home myself.  And that had to be a criteria too: I have zero opportunity to do so, I should plan for other people with zero opportunity to make something.

I also mentioned some form of weight to help keep the strings right until the person was confident with handling them.  Simplest option here was bulldog-clips or pegs (I've used pegs most often).

Does anyone have any improvements to make on the idea?  What do most people use in the way of simple equipment?


Glenys Chew
Mrs Glenys Chew
1 Corinthians 15:10