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 owing to allergies) is a subtle blend of acrylic and nylon. It’s King Cole ‘Comfort chunky’ and I have three of the more edible-sounding colours, among which is one called Dolly Mixture.

Long story short, I hitched a ball of Dolly Mixture to my trusty lucet and rapidly whipped up ten feet of pretty cordage. (For victims of the metric system, ten feet is approximately a few metres 🙂 ) with which I then produced something called a long mat, also known as a Prolong mat. (I followed the instructions in Des Pawson’s excellent book ‘Knots and Splices’.) It measures seven inches long by four inches wide. Admire, if you will, the double passes and all those fancy overs and unders. These mats can be used for putting hot teacups on, or simply as decorative items. This kind of mat can be finished tidily by glueing a suitable piece of felt to the underside. Or not, as the case may be.

If there is enough interest or curiosity, I might even show you how to make cordage on a lucet. We shall see at some later date perhaps…


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 a few false starts using some silver-grey metallic yarn, in the hope of making a small glitterball. I eventually succeeded by switching to some thicker braided cordage we bought a few weeks ago.


With this knot, the real art is in tightening it neatly. I’m still practising that part of it, although I did recently make a rather nice smaller version of the knot, complete with a catnip ball at the core, for Smoky to play with. He seems to enjoy it and there’s little danger of his getting at the innards any time soon 🙂


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 car steering wheel Look around and see if you can find any other uses for it in your home, such as a bed headboard or footboard.

If you have never tied any turk’s head knots before, this may be a tricky one to start with, but the results are most rewarding.

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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 your own shed a bit of bling then it’s a great shame, isn’t it?


And here’s one a tied a while back when I was first getting the hang of those fiendish Turk’s Head knots. This one has a large wooden bead inside it and I somehow managed to conceal it completely (which is what you should do).


I’m now just getting round to trying some “monkey’s fist” knots, with a view to doing more key fobs and also making a cat toy with a concealed catnip ball for Smoky to chase around. Progress updates will follow ‘as and when’. Best perhaps not to hold your breath 🙂