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Currently viewing the category: "Knots"

I know I should be out in the shop tearing into the pile of tools we’ve got backed up here for testing, but (like everyone else, I suspect) I get sidetracked by the internet sometimes. It’s one of the dangers of writing online; the net’s always there, just a click away, waiting to tell you all about some new-found interest. Here’s how it happened to me this time:

I was walking around Half-Price Books (an awesome place, by the way) a few days ago when I came across the book What Knot? sitting on an end cap. Flipping through it, I discovered that it’s pretty much like all the other knot books I’ve seen, with the notable exception that it includes quite a bit of history as well as some pretty sweet color photos. Not quite motivated to pick it up, I snapped a shot of it with my cameraphone, intending to look into it later.

Then this morning I ran across the picture and looked it up on Amazon [What’s This?]. Good news: Lots of used copies are floating around cheap. Then I Googled the first-listed author, Geoffrey Budworth. Read on to follow me down the knot-history rabbit hole.

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The only thing I love more than a bad pun is a good learning aid. If you want to practice knot-tying — specifically, if you’re learning how to tie hitches — you need to have on hand the hardware the knot is meant for. The Fourteener from Complete Knotting Systems replicates 14 different kinds of hardware in a portable package that’s perfect for learning knot-tying wherever you are.

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About ten minutes after humans figured out how to make rope we started devising ways to tie two pieces together. Knot tying is a valuable skill for any Toolmonger, so today I present to you the first in a series of practical knots that you can use in daily life: the Fisherman’s Knot. Often used to re-connect tuna nets, it’s also handy for connecting two short ropes together into a single, longer one. In fact, I used this very knot today to repair to my shoelaces.

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