Sunday, July 21, 2013

Practical Knots for Everyday Uses

I recommend the nine knots listed below because they are the most useful for virtually any practical knotting job.
I call them “Practical Knots” because they are natural knots that work well and that you can use in everyday life. They are all “Natural Knots” — that is, simple knots that are easy to tie, easy to learn, and hard to forget.
Before selecting these nine knots, I considered hundreds of standard knots for general-utility rope work. The ones that I discuss are all the knots you will ordinarily ever need.
Each of the nine knots performs two or more tasks very well. I also discuss other knots that have been frequently recommended in knot books for the past couple of hundred years or so. I point out the shortcomings of these traditional knots—Knots of the Old Tradition they are—and explain the advantages of the nine Practical Knots.
I selected these knots on the basis of my more than seventy-five years of knot tying, knot use, and study of knots. I recognize that even the simplest knots deal with structures and forces that nobody fully understands. Many details about the knots I describe remain to be worked out.

A Different Kind of Writing about Knots

I have discarded many of the old concepts about knots and have replaced them with new ones. These concepts fit the facts more squarely than the old ones. The knots meet the needs of modern, 21st century people.
For newcomers to the world of knot tying — both children and adults — I hope that my discussions will be your introduction to a lifetime of pleasure in tying and using knots. I intend them to be your authoritative guide to a lifetime of learning. Since they begin with useful knots that even a small child can tie, and move to ever more advanced realms of knotting that most people are unaware of, I am confident that they will be interesting and useful for all.
Some of my statements about knots may seem startling, but I can always back them up by facts, the comments of experts, and my own experience.
In the next note, “The Nine Knots,” I briefly describe the knots that everyone should know. I also identify some false beliefs about these knots. These are myths that have crept into common knot lore.
Here are the nine knots I recommend:
1. Overhand Knot  
2. Overhand Bend
3. Overhand Loop
4. Running Overhand Loop
5. Hitched Loop
6. Round Turn and 2 Half Hitches
7. Double Bowknot
8. Ring Hitch (Tag Hitch)   
9. Overhand Knot as a Backup for a Base Knot


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