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Ted K.


You may want to expand this article by adding a section on decorative / personal knotting. I'm referring to macrame ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macram%C3%A9 ) and gimp braiding ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoubidou ). I've made key chains from gimp and seen others make a sort of bolo tie from it. My current key chain is macrame, 150# nylon, using four knots : gimp square, cored half-hitches, pineapples (variant of the gimp square), and an overhand.

While knots have faded due to professional changes I think they will continue to be taught and preserved. There are groups like the various scouts, Amish, SCA (it's not just swords and chain mail), etc. My own profession, comp. eng., could use natural fiber cordage for strain reliefs and cable organizing in machine rooms that require low static-electricity materials. While writing this comment I saw in my mind's eye a cored half-hitch braid that mixed copper (core strands, good for grounding), hemp twine (smooth as possible), and a pair of steel eyes for the ends. The copper core would allow the safe draining of ESD's while the braid would provide an anchor point for a variety of cables. Such a braid could be screwed onto a rack mount or the wall.



The easiest to use knot guide I've found is here



A couple of observations: one field where knot-tying is still absolutely essential is climbing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_knots_common_in_climbing

Only ropes which are laid (made of strands that can be separated) are joined by splicing; for most purposes lines will be connected by a class of knots called bends, with the sheet bend being one of the simplest to tie:


Also a general note is that as versatile and useful as knots are, they weaken the line they are tied in, to varying degrees. Some also are more prone than others to jam, that is, to resist untying after they have been used.



The best way I have found to tie two ropes together is to take the first rope and bring the end around so the rope crosses itself with the end over the length with several inches sticking off to the side. Then take the second rope and lay it on top of the first in exactly the same manner. Now stick both ends through both loops from the bottom and pull them till the slack is gone. Finally pull the other ends of the ropes apart till the knot is tight.
This knot holds the ropes together quite well even when the ropes are of different thicknesses and when the time comes the knot unties easily.

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