We don't serve string here
September 13, 2016 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I love this so hard, I can't stand it.
posted by Kitteh at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

"I totally want to steal this idea and do it myself," I say, momentarily forgetting I can rarely keep my shoes tied.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:55 AM on September 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

I saw her at Layers conference this year, she had us all do a couple knots. It was wonderful!
posted by Brainy at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

"The same Windy Chien who used to run Aquarius Records?" I asked myself when I read this. Yes, the same. Nice to see that she's gone on to do cool things.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:04 PM on September 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

I can honestly say that while I haven't even read the article yet, I am now having horrific memories of having to throw various knots used in making old fashioned lobster traps as a child because of my dad. He didn't lobster, but we did sail, and my dad thought that learning how to tie umpteen thousand knots some of which I've never used since was a good life skill. On a positive note, I can still tie a bunch of knots. On a bad side, you really don't want to know how many times you actually have to tie something to really learn it and hate it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:04 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Needs the "knotical" tag.
posted by The Tensor at 12:05 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Ashley Book of Knots is the best resource I've found if you want to follow along.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:06 PM on September 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

Thank you for the title of this FPP. That's my favorite joke ever.
posted by holborne at 12:09 PM on September 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

God that is deeply satisfying. I am beyond envious of her monkey's fist. I can make one, but I can't make one that pretty.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:16 PM on September 13, 2016

There are 3,854 figures in the Ashley Book of Knots. She has nine and a half years to go.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 12:19 PM on September 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Where's the Jury Mast Knot? That's always been my favorite because it's used for jury rigging a temporary mast on a sailboat or ship after the original one has been lost.

Also, a shoutout to the Spanish & Portuguese Bowlines, which can be used to fashion a makeshift Bosun's Chair.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:21 PM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Very keen post, and helpful comments!

Of all the things I've forgotten from Boy Scouts, knots are the one I miss the most, because "square knot, or a bunch of loops and stuff" are my answers to the question "how do I tie these things together?"
posted by filthy light thief at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2016

Oh, if you're planning on tying these, don't forget your marlinspike!

Fun Fact: All plebes at the United States Merchant Marine Academy are required to have an appropriate Sailor's Knife (with Marlinspike) on them at all times.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:30 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm hoping that the name of the Dune Creature will help me convince my husband we can hang it on our wall.
posted by armacy at 12:30 PM on September 13, 2016

If he ernters a knot tying contest it would surely be not tied.
posted by dipolemoment at 12:32 PM on September 13, 2016

Also, a shoutout to the Spanish & Portuguese Bowlines

But what about the Dragon Bowline?
posted by Miko at 12:44 PM on September 13, 2016

NEEDS MOAR VARNISH AND PINE because I'm a sucker for a knot board.

Of all the things I've forgotten from Boy Scouts, knots are the one I miss the most,

Me too, mostly because I'm flummuxed knowing there's a Right Knot for a given application and I've only got, like, a handful left (square, taught-line hitch, timber hitch, figure eight, Official Gallows Noose™ and when lucky a bowline) and some lashings. I occasionally wish for a trucker's hitch or a diamond hitch or to remember my goddamned triline knots from one summer to the next. Taught line should be taught in school: so useful, esp. as the "other knot."

I'd love to see an "outsider knot" project. The functional forms are beautiful but limiting.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:44 PM on September 13, 2016

Trucker's hitches are the bomb. A seriously useful knot that not many people know. Great for tying scavenged furniture from the side of the road on top of your car.
posted by Miko at 12:49 PM on September 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

You can do an awful lot of good in this world with just a trucker's hitch and a bowline.
posted by notyou at 1:47 PM on September 13, 2016

Is the Zeppelin hitch in there somewhere? Because that's the coolest knot I ever learned. For some reason, I still remember it long after giving up sailing and forgetting most of the others to the point I'm not even sure if I could tie a clove hitch any more.
posted by sfenders at 1:52 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've used Animated Knots by Grog to learn a few lately.
posted by peeedro at 4:03 PM on September 13, 2016

At some thing in the desert this year i finally learned how to do a taut line hitch and saved the day many times over (in my mind) by tying it everywhere. I was so excited! I received the nickname 'taut line witch' for my troubles. I guess what I'm saying is.. thanks for this post.
posted by thedaniel at 4:12 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I use a midshipman's hitch in cases where I don't need to adjust the length and don't want the hitch to slip. It's the same as a tautline hitch, except the second wrap around the standing part crosses over the first wrap instead of being 'next' to it.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 4:30 PM on September 13, 2016

I love knots. I make stuff with them. I use them around the house. It's hard to remember more than a handful, but I still read knot books for fun and practice knots for fun.

Splicing, too: I have tons of thin Amsteel around for passing time profitably & pleasurably.

Yay, knots!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:40 PM on September 13, 2016

The dyneema stuff (Amsteel) is ridiculous. You can lift up a Suburban with something just under the diameter of a pencil.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:27 PM on September 13, 2016

Get the rope! Some of these have an immediate elegant appeal to me. Now I want to tie silver into these knots. Oh yes!
posted by Oyéah at 8:00 PM on September 13, 2016

Taut line hitch/knot. That's my jam (poor pun intended).
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:08 PM on September 13, 2016

20 years ago I was working on a lighting crews for soap operas. There was a lot of downtime on an average 18 hour day, and at that time before phones and everything else we sat around and did crossword puzzles and taught each other knots. We use a few knots for everyday applications like ad-hoc rigging and whatnot - bowline, clove hitch and trucker's hitch most commonly - but a few of us were into all kinds of stuff, and I casually learned back splicing, whipping, tons of decorative knots and everything else just to kill time. Nowadays those shows are gone, and any down-time we have is now filled with nonsense on a phone or an ipad. It's a real shame, and I feel that loss often, even if I do have a PDF of Ashley's book on my phone.

Also, that bowline....the knot stagehands use most is probably the bowline. When I was coming up in the business the question you were asked pretty much first is "do you know your knots?" I knew the bowline, but I wasn't great at it. Then the boss of one of the crews I was working on said "cmon." He threw a two foot length of rope at me, took me up in a very small genie lift to about 20 feet in the air, above the lighting grid. He tied it once, and then said "your turn." Then he started rocking the fucking genie back and forth. Back then I was afraid of heights.

I'm no longer afraid of heights, and after that night I can now tie a bowline with one hand, behind my back, eyes closed, wrong-handed and every other way you can name.

Feel free to ask me about the flying bowline and the dragging bowline.
posted by nevercalm at 5:54 AM on September 14, 2016

Please tell me there's no book planned. The last thing the world needs is another "I did X for a year, and here's what I learned" memoir.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:21 PM on September 14, 2016

I love those books and I love knots, so I hope she does write a book.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:51 PM on September 15, 2016

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