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This is knot a thread (examples of knots in use on the homestead)

 
gardener
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Location: Japan, zone 9a/b, annual rainfall 2550mm, avg temp 1.5-32 C
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I am bad with knots. I want to get better. I also want to get a better understanding of when to use what knots where.

Typically up to now I've just combined a lot of wrapping with granny knots or square knots if I'm lucky enough to remember which direction to thread the twine.

I'm about to make a tomato cage out of some mulberry sticks. Probably something more or less like this photo I found:

source

I think this lashing knot will help me out.


Please share the practical application of your knot-lore in this thread!



 
pollinator
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I like to use a bowline knot because it can be untied easily and is usefully. I learned a lot about knots from reading arborists books and watching arborists related videos like the one below. I also practice knots when I have some down time.

 
L. Johnson
gardener
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So far I've used the lashing knot (or my horrible rendition of it) to make these supports. They look great and are holding together well so far. Hopefully that will continue as the peas grow up them.





 
pollinator
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I was a commercial fisher in addition to being a homesteader, so I have used a lot of knots. But these are the ones that our family uses daily, are simple, and have lots of uses. For example, the other night a hard frost was suddenly forecast.  We drove a few t-posts around sensitive trees, and the family erected a shelter in a hurry by flashlight, using string, a few poles, and bedsheets.

sheet bend--When you need to extend your string, knitting yarn, rope, or whatever, attach another piece with this simple knot.
,
bowline--Make a loop that takes a lot of weight or pull and yet unties easily. This is used for everything from lifting someone out of a hole (tied under the arms and pulled upward) to towing a car.

figure-eight knot. Another knot that  is strong but comes untied easily. Use instead of the ubiquitous overhand knot.

clove hitch--this secures your line to a pole, wire, or other stationary item. When lashing, this is how you attach your string to the pole at the beginning. Because the string never doubles back on itself, but keeps going the same direction throughout, you can make a clove hitch with delicate materials like grass or stems. When I want to tie a small plant like a pepper or flower to a stake, I use a couple blades of long grass twisted together and tied into a clove hitch. Cheap, unobtrusive, and ready to hand. For more demanding jobs like towing a log, the constrictor knot and rolling hitch are heavy-duty variants.

square lashing--the photos in other posts speak for themselves on this. Can be used for substantial buildings as well as light trellis. I've seen 5-story lashed-pole scaffolds.

square knot--the bow on your sneakers is a slipped square knot (slipped means you have loops so you can pull the ends and untie the knot.) Pull the string all the way through instead of making the loops and you have a square knot. Easy and fast to secure a package or a bundle. Should never be used to extend a rope or string, as it's not trustworthy for that. Use a sheet bend instead.

trucker's knot--turn any piece of rope into a tie-down instead of buying fancy webbing. This is how you keep a load on your truck or your car roof at 70mph.

We still love the classic Ashley Book of Knots, and find its line drawings to be less distracting than photos, but any source that works for you is good. The only real way to learn a knot is to do it over a few times--it's your fingers that need to really learn it.  Arborists are a great idea, and of course mariners. Brion Toss produced books, and I think a TV series in the 1980's called The Rigger's Apprentice which featured both old-time mariner's knots and newer sailing gear.

I always shake my head when I see the kind of thing people envision for survival gear after the apocalypse. The real necessities are edge tools (knives, drills, axes) and cordage.  Then containers and salt. Then with effort and skill you can do the rest.
 
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I have a list similar to Jamie's. The only other one I'd add would be a carrigh bend, as that doesn't slip under load, where a sheet bend might. Ashley:s is a great book on knots, but I can also recommend "The Marlinespike Sailor."

You needn't know hundreds of knots. Knowing a good stopper knot (like the figure eight), bowline that's just so darn handy to tie things together, tie to one thing like a loop or fence ot tent pole, a bend to join two pieces of rope together, a truckers hitch for having a loop on the middle of a piece of rope that can help secure things, a clove hitch to keep things tied up, and a car right bend for when you're marrying ropes from two different things together ( such as towing something) takes you pretty far.

I learned them by using a pair of old shoelaces and a pencil or pen to stand in for a fence post or dock. It was easy enough to practice pretty much anywhere, and helped me to learn how to untie the knits, too.

Another knot I've used idms a monkey fist. Helpful if you have to throw a line pretty far and you want to add some weight to the throwing end. Came in handy for me when I was throwing a bit of rope up in the air, hoping it would wrap around a high branch. My cat was stuck in a tree, and I though if I could hoist up a basket he liked to nap in, he might be willing to climb in. He wasn't, but eventually made his way down all the same.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Thanks for your insightful reply Megan!

And welcome to Permies! What a great first post. I hope you share more of your knowledge and experiences with us here.
 
pollinator
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I only use a few basic knots, learning how to make a slip for any knot. I use alot of half hitches, and square knots. Being able to understand how to make knots is a lost art now. I use the trucker hitch every day and teach it to others too. I would go take pictures but still 38" of snow here. We use rope and twine, string for everything. But everywhere i go people tell me thats what ratchet straps are for. Rope has so many more uses than rachet straps and longer life. Way lower cost, i use cheap red diamond from harbor freight.
Thanks
3HR
 
steward
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I thought this thread needed a few examples.
knot-02.jpg
[Thumbnail for knot-02.jpg]
 
pollinator
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I'm in the process of reupholstering an antique chair. I had to learn the clove hitch knot to do the 8-way tie for the springs. 72 knots in all! I can't get the photo to post.




 
John F Dean
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Clove hitch
maxresdefault.jpg
Clove hitch
Clove Hitch
 
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Knots are like magic.  I use most of the knots mentioned.  In addition, I love a prussic or any other friction knot when I'm camping to attach a tarp to a ridge line.  It can be used anytime you want an adjustable way to attach a rope to another rope.  The Trucker's hitch is probably the coolest knot ever; use it whenever you want to tie something tight (hauling on a truck, tying a canoe to your car, tying a tarp, or any number of things.  It also comes untied instantly if you use the slip version.  I typically use a slip knot for the required loop because you can just pull it and it comes out when you are done with the knot.  I have found that with very small string, the slip knot will bind and not come out very easily if has been under a lot of tension.  So I have started using a figure 8 slip knot instead which seems to come out more easily and causes less wear on the string.

My favorite new knot I learned is similar to the sheet bend called a lapp hitch (knots seem to have lots of names).  I use the slip version so it can be untied instantly and it is adjustable.  It holds like a bowline (I think it is not quite as strong as the bowline and you can easily tie it slightly wrong so use the bowline if you are putting tons of tension on it like hoisting people or heavy objects), you don't need access to either end of the rope, it comes untied instantly, and it is adjustable yet holds tight.  Because of the adjustability, you can also cinch it down tight on something and it won't loosen or tighten further.  I've been tying my shoes with it, using it anywhere I might use a square knot or 2 half hitches.  Did I mention it comes untied instantly?  You can use it to join 2 ropes (just like the sheet bend) but because it is a slip version, it comes untied instantly when you want.  So this one knot can functionally take the place of a bowline, taut line hitch, sheet bend, square knot, and even a clove hitch for things like tying a bundle together.  Did I mention it comes untied instantly? Here are videos with 2 different ways to tie it.  The first one shows how to adjust it.


 
pioneer
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J.D. Lenzen, the inventor of fusion knotting, and content creator of @TyingItAllTogether a Youtube video channel dedicated to functional knots, decorative knots, and other elaborate ties demonstrates why the following knots a useful!

Levels of Knot Tying: Easy to Complex | WIRED


0:13 Level 1 Overhand knot
0:28         Stopper knot
0:39         Square knot
0:59 Level 2 Bowline
1:36 Level 3 Slipknot
2:31 Level 4 Solomon bar/Cobra knot
3:27 Level 5 Zipper sinnet
4:39 Level 6 Trucker's hitch
5:07         Half hitch, Full hitch97
5:49 Level 7 Fisherman's knot
6:30         Zeppelin bend
7:23 Level 8 Double coin knot
8:19 Level 9 Prosperity knot
9:58 Level 10 Snake knot
11:42 Level 11 Spindle fiber bar
13:49 Level 12 Emergency snow goggles
15:40 Level 13 Backbone bar
16:45 Level 14 Utility pouch
17:49 Level 15 Bush sandals

I don't have JD's latest book yet as there's as whole list of other books to get priority first but I do have Des Pawsons KNOT CRAFT 35 Ropework Projects published by Bloomsbury (ISBN 978-1-4081-1949-5)
Which gives a list of traditional knot working tools

  • Heaving mallet
  • Heaver
  • Fid
  • Marlinespike
  • Sweedish fid
  • Littlemarlinspike
  • Loop tool


  • Each would make an ace little green-wood-working project to produce for ourselves.

    The main takeway from the research I've done for my own building project is that knotting is a technology. Knots have to be functional to be safe, but not necessarily pretty. Pretty takes practice.

    Stay practical and happy knotting.
     
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    Is there a PEP/PEM/PEA that includes knots?
     
    steward
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    Julie Wood wrote:Is there a PEP/PEM/PEA that includes knots?


    I can't see any as such, although I'm not fully familiar with PEP...Mostly the badges make or do something practical to demonstrate a skill, so it might come under lashing a load to a vehicle for example. Or you could use knots for an oddball badge. Knowing which knots are suitable for different purposes is certainly a skill worth having.
     
    master gardener
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    For people that want to get started with useful knots, but don't know where to begin...

    The fire service in New York really simplified basic knots for me.

    Learn how to do a figure eight. Practice it. Do it so your hands can make a figure out without your eyes watching. Practice it again.

    The figure eight is a basis for progressive knots. It is a 'stopper' knot. This will prevent the rope from slipping through something such as a carabiner, a hole. or a any kind of device.

    Once you get the figure eight figured out, start making a figure eight loop. Do the same as the basic figure eight. Be able to make this with your eyes shut.

    You can now use this to lash down equipment, to be able to lift tools up to higher ground OR lower them, plus many more!

    If you really want to impress some folks, learn about the figure eight with a DOUBLE loop.


    I'm a figure eight fanboy, what can I say? It might not come apart super fast and cool, but its a reliable knot system.
     
    Aaaaaand ... we're on the march. Stylin. Get with it tiny ad.
    Our perennial nursery has sprouted!
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