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Old 16-07-2017, 03:46   #1
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Confessions of a novice fancy worker

That's "fancy worker", not "fancy woman" for those of you who misread the title .

A knife lanyard in Brion Toss's book caught my eye when I first flipped through it, so yesterday I settled down and proceeded to follow the instructions. Dockhead, thanks again for the book. I am enjoying it tremendously.

The first step in forming this lanyard is simply a three strand braid. So far so good . I think I learned this one plaiting my doll's hair as a five year old. I was lulled into a false sense of security though. From then on things went downhill rapidly.

I should have been forewarned when instructions for the next step, a Star knot, said to take the phone off the hook and shut the door before commencing. Brion should have added "shut the window". I think all our neighbours heard my laughter seeing the result of my first attempt. I blame the stiff cord :




Once I managed to stop laughing I unravelled it all and tried again. And again. And again. I wasn't about to let a little button get the better of me . I was rewarded with success. It was all the sweeter for my struggles.

This is how it should look:




The Matthew Walker was a doddle after that. Interesting history to that knot. It was probably invented in the 1700's and until the 1900's was the only knot to be named after a person. Legend goes that a judge with a nautical background offered to let sailor off with full pardon if he could tie a knot the judge could not reproduce. Matthew was sneaky. He unlaid half a length of rope first, wove this knot, then laid the rope again. It earned him his freedom .

This is a truly beautiful knot. It swirls like a candy stick or barber's pole with an intriguingly flat hard base.

This is a mini sampler of practice with a Star knot, a Matthew Walker and series of Crown knots:




My finished lanyard was not quite like Brion's, as I didn't know how to make the base of the loose Star Knot button and so I made it a six pointer instead of a five and wove it in. Also Brion's comment that the end was "involved" daunted me, and looking at the instructions I ran out of energy trying to work out exactly what what a "four strand wall and crown" was so I will look at this later. I need a better grasp of the basics.

And this was the finished product. Despite the slight clumsiness and the horrible speckled blue (no nicer thin cord available here), I will leave it on my knife as a souvenir of my first attempt at fancy work. It was an excellent learning experience:




Tying knots like this seems to be becoming a lost art. They are no longer needed on sailing boats. I am keen to learn more. An Italian I met in Greece does jaw droppingly beautiful work (lots of his images are online). I would love a lesson if our boats ever share an anchorage.

Does anyone have any good websites to recommend? I am finding illustrations, but very few instructions.

SWL
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Old 16-07-2017, 03:57   #2
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

Not bad, Fancy Worker!

Now that you are up to speed with the fancy stuff, do you reckon you could use a Fiador knot somewhere in your bag of tricks. Yeah, I know it is usually considered a equine knot but I sure you could evolve it into some fancy nautical work.

FWIW, I understand Ashley considered it to be "trick" knot
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:03   #3
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

Nice lanyard. I find rope work to be relaxing and satisfying...when its not frustrating!
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:15   #4
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Not bad, Fancy Worker!

Now that you are up to speed with the fancy stuff, do you reckon you could use a Fiador knot somewhere in your bag of tricks. Yeah, I know it is usually considered a equine knot but I sure you could evolve it into some fancy nautical work.

FWIW, I understand Ashley considered it to be "trick" knot
Hey, that's a cool one!
I didn't know a Diamond knot could be tied with a single strand.

Now let me think what can I do with it .

SWL
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:22   #5
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Nice lanyard. I find rope work to be relaxing and satisfying...when its not frustrating!
Hi Belize
Are you able to post any photos of your work? I am like a kid with a new toy, but I don't know what to do with it .

SWL
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:33   #6
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Hi Belize
Are you able to post any photos of your work? I am like a kid with a new toy, but I don't know what to do with it .

SWL
Im ashore now and dont have anything handy at the moment.

I first got interested in fancy rope work when I was part of the ELISSA crew. Some of the less critical lines on the boat were still rigged with natural fibre line which broke often. So, we had a constant supply of stuff for fancy work. We made some stuff for use aboard and the rest was sold in the gift shop.

Mr Toss was also a member of the ELISSA crew and mentions her on his web site.
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:47   #7
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Hey, that's a cool one!
I didn't know a Diamond knot could be tied with a single strand.

Now let me think what can I do with it .

SWL
How hard can it be
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:49   #8
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Im ashore now and dont have anything handy at the moment.

I first got interested in fancy rope work when I was part of the ELISSA crew. Some of the less critical lines on the boat were still rigged with natural fibre line which broke often. So, we had a constant supply of stuff for fancy work. We made some stuff for use aboard and the rest was sold in the gift shop.

Mr Toss was also a member of the ELISSA crew and mentions her on his web site.
Natural fibre gives a beautiful traditional finish. Apart from the horrid colour, the polyester braid I have is awful to work with, as it is stiff. I need to order some paracord.

Time on Elissa would have been invaluable. Old ships are probably the only spot work like this is found any longer. It is rare as hen's teeth on modern yachts.

A century ago Ashley recognised knot work was dying. He blamed this on educating young crew. They then started to turn to books for entertainment instead of enhancing their ropework skills, as had been the common practice before that.

Time for a revival .

SWL
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Old 16-07-2017, 06:49   #9
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Modern fancy work that I'm very good at!
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Old 16-07-2017, 07:35   #10
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Modern fancy work that I'm very good at!
Any particular purpose for the twin cable ties?
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Old 16-07-2017, 07:54   #11
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Any particular purpose for the twin cable ties?

Well, sure, but this is a family forum. (Ask me how I know.)
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Old 16-07-2017, 07:58   #12
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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[I]Any particular purpose for the twin cable ties?
Arrest warrant comes to mind.
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Old 16-07-2017, 08:03   #13
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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Arrest warrant comes to mind.
I am afraid my mind runs to pleasure, not pain .
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Old 16-07-2017, 08:08   #14
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Re: Confessions of a novice fancy worker

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I am afraid my mind runs to pleasure, not pain .
Me too!

Yet, this a family channel, so ...

Ps; nice knots!
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Old 16-07-2017, 08:27   #15
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Me too!

Yet, this a family channel, so ...

Ps; nice knots!

She does have great knots!
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