Author Topic: essential knot thread restart-up  (Read 4365 times)

myoman

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essential knot thread restart-up
« on: October 30, 2007, 05:31:47 AM »
I was about to post a reply on the "essential knot" thread, when the site warned me to start a new thread. So, here goes.

First, start off with a list of "basic knots". five to ten should do.

Second, make a list of "essential knots" Ones everyone should know, but are not really "basic" per se; they might have some basic knot componants to them. Again, five to ten average. Make it thorough; include bends, hitches, loops, stoppers, friction hitches, and the like; maybe one from each classification, but its up to you. Some people like variations of knot families, like zepplin, alpine butterfly, etc. You can do that, if you wish.

Third, make a list of specific knots based on your profession or interest. Keep these knots different from the previous lists. four to ten would do.  If you have you have knots that you use regularly on the first and second lists, make a * next to those knots. This will give a better overall view of specific knots for specific interests.

I hope this does well!

myoman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 05:44:55 AM »
Basic
half hitch
overhand (thumb)
crossing knot
bowline*
reef knot*
clove hitch*
figure 8 knot
sheet bend*
noose/ overhand running knot*
rt2hh*

Essential
alpine butterfly loop
rosenthal bend
double dragon loop
adjustible grip hitch*
constrictor knot*
double sheet bend
stevedore knot
trucker's hitch*
square lashing*


Specific (backpacker/tinkerer)
versatackle
transom knot
timber hitch/kilik
fisherman's bend
package knot
round lashing
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 06:08:29 AM by myoman »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 06:07:56 AM »
I'd like to see some rationales for these--explanations of where the particular knots
are envisioned to come into play, and so are "essential" or whatever.

What is the significance of the asterisks?

And what do you mean by:  "Figure 8 knot", "tickerer" , and "Fisherman's bend"?

--dl*
====

myoman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 06:26:24 AM »
I'd like to see some rationales for these--explanations of where the particular knots
are envisioned to come into play, and so are "essential" or whatever.
hopefully it can start new threads on that subject. This is more for trying to narrow down the most important knots that everyone should be familiar with and most people would use. Think: the knots in the "best of breed" thread or the "essential knots?" threads. 

Quote
What is the significance of the asterisks?
as the first post states, asterisks are put there to denote if you use the knots in the first or second list on a regular basis in regards to your specific hobby or profession. The third list should be different knots, more specific to what you use but not necessarily used by other knot enthusiasts frequently. I.e. climbers using a timber hitch w/ marling 

Quote
And what do you mean by:  "Figure 8 knot", "tickerer" , and "Fisherman's bend"?
--dl*
====
figure eight stopper knot, typo, fisherman's knot (true lover's in some books)

« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 06:46:19 PM by Dan_Lehman »

agent_smith

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 01:24:29 PM »
I agree with DL here...

What do you mean by "essential?"

In my case (yes, I've stated this before), I use knots in life supporting roles, ie vertical rescue, mountaineering, caving, abseiling and rock climbing. In these types of applications, a mistake can lead to death or serious disablement.

A fisherman might stand to lose his/her prize catch or lose his/her line - but a climber could lose his/her life, including the loss of his/her climbing partner. There are plenty more fish in the ocean and fishing line, but human life is not replaceable (although climate change might see to it that fish stocks will be depleted).

I am of the opinion that climbers should not try to memorise too many knots as this could lead to confusion and errors (oxygen starved brain, fatigue, stress, operating in survival mode, etc..).

I have provided what I believe is a robust list of knots in a previous thread... however, this type of list will be endlessly debated (and I think there will never be world-wide consensus). Its kind of like religion and politics - we all have our own beliefs and views.

I base my views on some 24 years of continuous climbing experience - and they have been proven to work (by me!), and those who I have taught. Many whom I have instructed have gone on to build successful climbing careers (including business ventures) - this is an indicator that I might be on the right track.

A 'rationale' for particular knots (in my view) is based on application. There are recurrent tasks/skills that all climbers apply - eg getting down off the top of a mountain/cliff might require the need to join 2 ropes together to increase the total abseil (sorry rappell for you fine US citizens) distance. There is even controversy about which is the best knot (ie bend) to use to join your ropes. DL has views on the offset overhand bend (OOB). I have views on the Rosendahl. I have extensively tested the Rosendahl as a joining knot for the past 12 months. In only the severest of rope trajectories with respect to the cliff edge, the Rosendahl works exceptionally well. Where the anchors are low and create a low angle of departure, the notorious OOB works. However, it is an unstable knot in my view (when the load reaches a certain force).

Be that as it may, the OOB will have a higher likelihood of pulling around a 90 degree edge than a Rosendahl. In my view, rigging retrievable anchors low to the ground is asking for trouble. In any case, the joining knot can be deliberately positioned over the edge - this can be carried out by the last person to descend. A prusik safety line can be used to scramble over the edge to get in position for the descent...

Anyhow, in relation to Mr DerekSmith's other post, I may have a NATA certified test authority (located in Perth, Australia) that can conduct knot testing.... will advise as i gather more information.


agent smith

Dan_Lehman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 07:43:30 PM »
Re asterisks marking regular use:
Ah, so actually reading your entire msg. would've told me--oops, sorry; thanks for repeating!   ::)

What regular use do you find for the Constrictor binder?  It seems to pop up often in lists
of mainly "knot tyers", but I'm not aware of it finding much actual use in what limited surveying
of practical knots I've done.  (E.g., in one whipped (uncommon!) bit of commercial-marine
cordage, quarter inch kernmantle whipped w/mason-line-like cord, what at first seemed to
be a Dbl.C. turned out to be a Clove w/follow-on HH(s)--and quite tight.)
I've used it at times for a quick hold, and sometimes for whipping (often preferring the more
tedious to tie #1253 version of a Dbl.C.), but prefer an extension of the Strangle for that, as
it better aligns the ends w/rope, and can bury its internal crossing in the crease of the lay.

-----------

The question of some set of fundamental knots I think begs the question of how one
is to use these knots--i.e., just a presented, or in combinations and with some
possible modification/extension?  It can argued that actually knowing the Bwl,
e.g., entails being able to form various versions of it, a Dble. version tied with a bight
(not the "Dbl.Bwl"--which entails knowing the backflip manuever!), and maybe
some end-tucked securing of it.
Or, e.g., if I'm given a Clove H. & an Ovehand Stopper in my basic set,
may I use the stopper to secure the hitch (which could otherwise be seen as a special
version of a knot)?  --it might seem that one should be allowed this, yet I imagine that
many users given such a set will not think to do so (stopping such a knot wasn't part
of my thinking until rather recently).

One might have the Rolling H. in the set, but will it occur to use a series of them,
or at least an initial double roundturn as a guard to the hitch in cases of
special slipperiness?  And the "RT&2HH" could be seen as a knotted structure
combining an RT with a Clove H. (except there might want to be more than 2 HHs),
not a special, particular knot--as it's been pressented, historically.  Ditto for the now
usually presented "Killick/Killeg/K___", which I believe is a propagation of error
from what orginally was a hitch to a stone, and essential was the adjacency of
the now separated structures, such that in natural-fibre cordage of the time it
would jam secure--essentially, as secured Cow H.

What spawns my remarks on such considerations is Agent_Smith's opinion that
"climbers should not try to memorise too many knots"--as though knot tying to solve
problems is some sort of indexing of problem into ones (limited) store of solutions,
rather than a fuller appreciation of knotting.

(As to how he can believe that climbers can employ the non-simple Rosendahl's Zeppelin
Bend (RZB) at times of "oxygen starved brain, fatigue, stress, operating in survival mode, etc."
vs. the fundamentally simple ORB (Offset Ring Bend, Offset Water Knot (OWK)--I'm losing my
zest for "OOB" (and ORBs are a halloween thing)), is beyond me--smacks of personal lust
vs. rational thought!   ;)  )

---------

I recently had the opportunity to further observe knotting practices on the coast,
and I was appalled that of the several small craft docked by a restaurant I was to enjoy,
not one had a "properly" tied cleat hitch!  --not one, and there were plenty of monstrosities
in its place!  --it's a quite simple knotting (got wrong though by some supposed knot pro
writing for Chesapeake mag.:  bringing line to near ear of cleat, egads!), and yet none
of these boaters got it.  Similarly, I get the feeling that the fishermen on the trawlers have
a rather limited, poor, or rudaimentary knotting level.  (I met a man putting a big net together,
and after he used an upturned small table's X legs to hold one end of net he remarked
"That's (better than?) a man:  it holds it, it doesn't move, and keeps quiet!", to which I
replied "... and knows about as much (re knotting), too!"  [he chuckles] "That's the (darn)
truth."  And I continued then to have an extended session of net knotting observation
Q&A (and rope bits collecting!).)

.:.  There is a skill to be had in knotting that goes beyond the mere tying some knot
correctly, which isn't easily reflected by making a list of knots.

--dl*
====

agent_smith

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2007, 08:59:42 AM »
As always, I welcome your opinions Dan Lehman.

I standby by remark about not trying to memorise too many knots (in practical terms for climbers, rescue technicians, etc).

I use the word 'memorise' to represent the fine motor skills tht a person needs to develop to tie the knot - including the ability to recall from memory, which knot might best fit in a particular application.

I see no valid benefit in teaching would be vertical rescue technicians a multitude of knots. There are many other skills that must also be mastered in order to function as a competent member of a rescue team.

IGKT members will of course bring their knotting passion into a rescue team (if they were a member of such a team). But time needs to be carefully allocated to ensuring a range of skills are learnt and mastered - knots and 'knotting' are but just one core skill area.

I know from many years of instructing that to go down the path of teaching too many knots simply overwhelms the learner. Most VR courses are only 4-5 days in duration. How do you best allocate your teaching time? I for one think it unwise to spend too much time knotting at the expense of other (equally) important skills.

..........................................................................
Quote: Dan Lehman...

What spawns my remarks on such considerations is Agent_Smith's opinion that
"climbers should not try to memorise too many knots"--as though knot tying to solve
problems is some sort of indexing of problem into ones (limited) store of solutions,
rather than a fuller appreciation of knotting.

.......................................................................


Its not what I believe Dan. You are misunderstanding my words.

I am stating that the Rosendahl does have a place in climbing. I agree with you that it is a more complex knot to tie than an ORB. You have no argument from me in that regard.

For the record, I am NOT stating that a Rosendahl is superior to an ORB in every application. Clearly, an ORB would be simpler to tie at altitude where the effects of hypoxia may impact on thought processes. But not every climbing situation is at high altitude.

The Rosendahl can be mastered - there is a tying method that can be used to simply achieving the desired outcome. The BQ method is complex. There are alternative ways to achieve the Rosendahl.

I would prefer if you weren't so hasty in arriving at conclusions about my thought processes Dan.

I am taking a stance on the range of knots that are of immediate and practical use to a climber and a vertical rescue technician. I firmly believe that it is possible to become an excellent VR operator or climber with only a handfull of knots in ones toolbox. You dont need to master 300 knots to climb a route or reach the summit of K2. It can be achieved with only 7 knots. I hold the view that 11 knots will be sufficient to cover almost every conceivable climbing and rescue situation.

Again, this is my view - not the view of the IGKT.

I am responding in this manner due to unfair response (my view) given by DL.

If climbing courses and VR course were 6 months in duration (a pipe dream), it would be possible to teach the art of 'knotting'.

Dan Lehman, I can confirm that most instructors are lucky if they get 4 or 5 days to teach a VR course and maybe 5 days to teach lead climbing. You need to strike a balance and dedicate teaching time to a range of skills - ie how to function in a cliff/vertical environment and how to apply a range of skills.

Does this make sense to you?


agent smith





...
Quote by Dan Lehman....

(As to how he can believe that climbers can employ the non-simple Rosendahl's Zeppelin
Bend (RZB) at times of "oxygen starved brain, fatigue, stress, operating in survival mode, etc."
vs. the fundamentally simple ORB (Offset Ring Bend, Offset Water Knot (OWK)--I'm losing my
zest for "OOB" (and ORBs are a halloween thing)), is beyond me--smacks of personal lust
vs. rational thought!     )
...

lcurious

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2007, 04:10:26 PM »

It would be nice to have a consensus of a 'definitive' list of knots by catagory/use etc

Perhaps if we settled on list of 'uses/practical applications' first we might come to that consensus.

I am the Chief Mate on a large topsail schooner (200ft loa displacement 740 tons) and have some practical experience with knots required/used on our ship, both working and decorative.

If I were seeking advice on the 'best' knots particular to climbing I would certainly listen very carefully to Agent Smith because, with his experience, I suspect he knows whereof he speaks.

I invite everyone to suggest/guess what knots are used on my ship and why. I'll list what knots we actually use and why, with comments on teaching same to new crew and the problems of doing same.
 
Some things we do using 'ropes' in the course of a sailing season:

Raising/lowering sails (11,000 sqft)
Hoisting cargo (gangway, liferafts, sails, washing machines/dryers, spars, beer etc)
Rigging ship's launch
Rigging sails
Rigging fenders
Rigging awnings
Stowing sails
Decorative mats
Decorative bellropes
Decorative gangway ropes
Decorative whistle lanyard
Lashing deck cargo
Hawsers for mooring
Heaving lines

I suggest this can be the first category, 'Working Sailing Ship'. Lets work on a list of knots for it!! ( I am sure I can pick up some new/improved knots from your suggestions) I can also try out any 'practical' suggestions and let everyone know the results.

I would suggest that a very practical category could be Climbing, hosted by Agent Smith

paulj

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 05:38:01 PM »
Didn't the original thread (or one similar to it) set the context as knots that a neighbor might use around the house or yard?  In that context a few knots that easily learned, and usable in a number of ways, are best.  The type of line also matters.  A good knot in natural fiber used to tie up some plants to a trellis will be different from one in slick yellow polypro.

The topic of knots that are essential on schooner would be interesting, but not one that I could contribute to, except by echoing information from a book on sailing knots.  There are plenty of such books, Toss and Ashley come to mind.  Again in sailing you need to specify the type of line.  The bowline was king because it held well in natural fiber, was easy to tie, and easy to untie.  With many synthetics you have to use loop knot based one one or two overland knots (e.g. anchor loop), or stick with splices (in high modulus line).

I think the big difference between climbing and sports fishing knots has to do with the choice of line.  Fishing line is usually quite slick, and the smallest that will do the job.  The knots typically have many turns, both to add security in the slick line, and strength.  But using those same knots in climbing rope would use unacceptable lengths of line, and produce very bulky knots.  They are also difficult to untie.  A fisherman doesn't try to untie his knots, he just cuts the line.  Climbers choose line with a substantial safety factor.  They want knots that are secure (don't slip or come undone by themselves), and in some uses, knots that run smoothly over edges and through gear.  But they don't worry so much about the breaking strength of the knot.

I used the term sports fishing because commercial fishing has yet a different set of knot requirements.  A number of the classic nautical knots were used in fishing nets, some roles requiring greater security than others.  Knots in mooring lines will be different from ones in the nets.

paulj





lcurious

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2007, 05:55:23 PM »

What is your list of the best/fewest knots for around the house/yard?

What string/cord/rope would you advise your neighbours to buy??

DerekSmith

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 11:50:13 AM »

What is your list of the best/fewest knots for around the house/yard?

What string/cord/rope would you advise your neighbours to buy??

There seems to be some fundamental need in Knot Tyers to develop, or at least debate, the ultimate list of Essential Knots, and despite many attempts and contributions, it seems we are still nowhere near achieving that goal.

Why might that be ??

One obvious answer might stem from the fact that Trades/Activities have their own specialist requirements and have over time selected knots which work particularly well for them but which might be useless or excessive in many other fields, so a Sailors 'Essential Knots' list will differ from a Riggers list which will in turn bear no resemblance to a Kite Fliers list or a Gardeners list.

Or would they ??

Yes, there doubtless would be some specialist knots in each 'bag', but might there be some small core of truly ESSENTIAL Knots that most people would benefit from knowing?

To this end, I think that Icurious has hit on the direction to think in -- not how big could you list be, but the opposite -- how small could the Essential Knot List be?  All specialist knots would be discarded as being only valuable to a small group and of very little interest to everyone else except knotting anoracks.

To get onto this list a knot would have to be super useful and ultra versatile, easy to tie and remember, not fail and not jam (unless it was supposed to).

If I were to teach a thousand people just three knots, then what knots would they be in order to maximise their overall usefulness either individually or in combination?  Of course, teaching how to tie a knot is only 10% of the job -- the other 90% is 'how to use the knot' and must go along with the teaching of how to tie it.

So for me, for a knot to go onto an Essential Knot list it would have to be super useful and re-usable in many day to day situations.  The knot I tie the most is possibly my shoelace knot, but that is all I use it for, likewise my Windsor tye knot, so neither of these would feature on my useful Essential Knot list.  For a knot to get on this list it must be possible to argue for its breadth of usability, how many different applications would it be good for.

Although I know how to tie many more knots than most people do, I rarely actually use them.  In fact, I get more enjoyment from finding ways of using a minimum set of key knots to do as many jobs as possible, so long as they do them well.  In reality, this is exactly what people do, except the only knots they know are the overhand and its many 'stacked' variants with assorted 'wraps', so the world gets entangled with variants of this one knot:-



But what knots would do this general everyday work any better?

Children grow up and we try to arm them with at least a minimum set of skills in order to better the world.  What minimum set of knots should we teach everyone in order to improve their use of cords?

If, in 'Desert Island Disk' style, we could only take three knots into life with us, what would they be and why?  What three knots will do more jobs than any other?

Above all other knots, there is one knot that I would just have to have on my list and that is the Strangle.  It is easy, strong and can be used for loops, adjustable loops and bends even for different diameters.  The strangle in all its variants single, double etc. etc without question will head up my list.

As for the other two?  Well I will have to think a little more carefully about them, with only two choices left, they need to be carefully considered.

Derek


Dan_Lehman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2007, 02:56:20 PM »
Quote
Above all other knots, there is one knot that I would just have to have on my list and that is the Strangle.
It is easy, strong and can be used for loops, adjustable loops and bends even for different diameters.
The strangle in all its variants single, double etc. etc without question will head up my list.

Which goes to my question about "knot" and about teaching knotting vs. some simple
index of tasks to be performed ("rope problems", in P. van de Griend terms) into the knot universe.
Above, Derek implies knowledge of an aspect of either trace or pull-together/opposition
knot structures, neither of which is exactly what a Strangle, per se, does--it is a binder.
And generally one would count e.g. a Fisherman's Knot (the bend), a (n Overhand) Loopknot,
a start-to-shoelace-tying (simple) knot, & an Overhand stopper as distinct knots--not all coming
with "Overhand" into play.  (I trust that reaching for the Fisherman's Bend (Anchor hitch) as one
variant of the Strangle would be a reach too far--though topologically equal.)

It is in part with the above knot mechanics-revelation edification in mind that one might
craft a Basic Set of Knots--i.e., selecting members expressly to contain some variety of knot
mechanics, which might in fact also be accented by using the same component structure,
such as an Overhand; but one might prefer to sneak in other fundamental structures for the ride,
and thereby set seeds for further understanding & expansion.

--dl*
====

myoman

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2007, 06:54:43 PM »
One of the goals of this thread was to see, with enough posting of lists, any patterns that pop up; if there are several knots in the second "essential" list that reoccur, and if there was more of consensus of specific hobby-use in the third list; if there was a basic patten for lumberjacks, climbers, backpackers, etc. You could then have a notion of what "super knots" there might be that are actually used on a regular basis.  As it was said, a fisherman's essential knot list might be way different than a climbers, but there may be some knots they both use. There is no way to know until you starting making lists, and see what happens. There might be only three or four knots that might be considered essential, meaning that they have a high percentage of popping up on everyone's list, and there might only be one or two knots everyone can agree on for their specific hobby or profession, but we just have to see. I was also interested on what people had on their basic first list, since a lot of knots seem to be based on a certain rudementary group of knots. For example, constrictor, rolling, and others are based off the clove hitch.

paulj

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Re: essential knot thread restart-up
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2007, 06:01:50 PM »
A little book of climbing knots from 1960 (Ropes Knots and Slings for Climbers by Walt Wheelock) has a good list of basic knots:

Terms:
running end, standing part, bight, loop, half-hitch (loop around something)

Basic knot-forms:
overhand knot, figure-eight

Applications of basic forms:
fisherman's knot - two overhand knots
fisherman's knot secured - adding either half-hitches or overhand knots to add security
fisherman's loop - same knot, just used to make loop
overhand bend - either overhand with the doubled rope, or follow through
figure-eight bend - easier to untie (nothing about tying method)
overhand loop and figure eight loop - tying in bights

bowline (also use in noose and bend)
-------------
From here he goes into more elaborate knots

more elaborate forms of bowline (e.g. on a bight)
butterfly (they prefer the bowline on a bight for middle man loop)
square - good for package, poor as bend (most people know this, many don't know its proper use)
sheet bend - poor choice for climbing
etc