Long mat

While the rest of the world (or so it seems) has cottoned on to cotton, I have become a dyed-in-the-wool fan of acrylic. To any yarn purists reading this I might apologise for mixing my metaphors. But not for mixing my fibres 🙂 My latest acquisition (thanks to Shana, who can’t actually use it herself…

Neon knots

We recently bought some 2mm rainbow/neon coloured satin cord. Partly to make a rope toy for our cat, Smoky. And partly so I could indulge my fondness for knots. Here are just a few examples, including the sheepshank. What is a sheep’s hank? I hear you ask. Visit your local butcher’s, I reply. He will…

Yarntropy, the scientific facts about yarn barfs.

Knitting and the laws of thermodynamics. I bet you thought they had nothing to do with each other, didn’t you? But think a little longer, and you will soon realise that knitting (or even crochet) is closely related to the scientific laws of heat. If you’ve ever knitted a sweater or (Hello, Shana 🙂 )…

Monkey’s first

Just tried a “monkey’s fist” knot.  This is the first one I’ve tried at this size and it had six passes (ie, I wound it six times round with each change of direction) and the inner core was a polystyrene sphere a couple of inches in diameter. The tying was easy enough, although I had…

T-shaped Turks Head Knots and How To Tie Them

Today, you will learn how to tie the T-shaped Turk’s Head knot. On the Internet you can find lots of different Turk’s Head knots, but you rarely find the T-shaped version. Decorate a tool handle  with it (if you want to have the fanciest spade down at the allotments 🙂 ) or tie one on a…

Fobs, fobs, and more fobs

I have made a few colourful key fobs from time to time using a series of crown knots. Usually I tie them using four strands, but recently I went a bit mad and tied a six-strand crown knot sinnet. A bit fancy just for a couple of outhouse keys perhaps, but if you can’t give…

Better the dibber you know…

Doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re never too old to own a dibber. I acquired my first ever dibber only this week and I’m 1 years old (oh dear, I seem to have deleted the figure in the tens column but never mind eh? 🙂 ). Stranger still, I have a dibber and I’m…

Hurrah for rope!

It’s a long story so I’ll make it short. In rope terms that would mean using a sheepshank, which is just a quick way  to shorten a long piece of rope without cutting it. (More about sheepshanks soon; somebody stop me 🙂 ) So, keeping it short, as promised, basically we have a grocery delivery…

The knots of yore

If you get interested in knots, over and above simply the ones you need to tie your shoelaces, sooner or later you will want to delve into a few knotting books. Shana bought this old one last week.  Penned by a mysterious Commander J. Irving, it is a ‘completely revised and rewritten edition of J…

Pli-cord: how to cast off

Just in case anyone is out there with three miles of Pli-cord dangling off the end of a pair of pliers and wondering what to do next, here’s how to cast off. You may now breathe a big sigh of relief. Altogether: Phew! Right. Here’s where you start. Or finish, I guess. Let’s assume you’ve…

Forget about I-cord. Here comes Pli-cord!

My very recent post about making Turk’s Head knots led some CraftShack readers to want to know more, especially about how I made the cordage to begin with. Well, I used a little tool called a ‘lucet’. They’re easy to get hold of or you could make your own. But other means are available for those…

How I finally got my head around the Turk’s head

As a keen dabbler in the world of knots, I have long been intrigued by the intricate patterns of what are known as Turk’s Head knots. For a long time though, I just couldn’t get my head around even the simplest of them. One of the most basic Turk’s head knots of all is one…