Kneed a Knot Book
December 31, 2004 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for a book on knots? [MI]

I'm a total idiot when it comes to 3D manipulation, so I need a book with lots of pictures/illustrations. I don't care if the book doesn't have a lot of knots, so long as the ones that are included are very well illustrated. Thanks in advance!
posted by thewittyname to Education (14 answers total)
The Marlinspike Sailor is pretty cool - These are mostly decorative knots/functional rope appliances/splices, though, not so great for fastening one thing to another.
posted by mzurer at 9:21 PM on December 31, 2004

I can recommend: "Nautical Knots and Lines Illustrated: The Essentials of Smart Line Handling, Knotting, and Splicing-In Color" by Arthur and Paul Snyder.

"This completely revised edition of the Snyders' classic Knots and Lines Illustrated teaches the 20 most useful knots and slices with step-by-step sequential photographs. "
posted by ericb at 9:23 PM on December 31, 2004

The bible.
posted by cribcage at 9:29 PM on December 31, 2004

The Boy Scouting Handbook. Really.
posted by ColdChef at 9:36 PM on December 31, 2004

Here is a book list of quite a few different knot books. Have fun!
posted by aedra at 9:41 PM on December 31, 2004

The Ashley Book Of Knots is the only book you will ever need.
posted by majcher at 11:28 PM on December 31, 2004

Actually, don't buy the whole Boy Scout Handbook. Find a local Boy Scout Council HQ and buy their knot pamphlet. When my kids were in Scouts not so long ago, it costed a whole $.75. If you want it and can't find a Boy Scout Council near you, let me know since I live close to one. I'll pick it up and send it to you.
posted by Doohickie at 12:30 AM on January 1, 2005

Oh, and here's a pretty good online knot tying guide from Troop 7 in Coral Gables, Florida.
posted by Doohickie at 12:33 AM on January 1, 2005

I can't recommend a book but thought this site might help as it has animated knot tying.
posted by Tarrama at 2:50 AM on January 1, 2005

I'm surprised no one mentioned the Klutz Book of Knots. Just the basics, but well-illustrated and described, and it even includes "rope." The pages of the book are thick board with the right holes to tie the knots being described on the page.

Underwhelming for sailors, but for a "total idiot," about right.
posted by zanni at 3:49 AM on January 1, 2005

Lee Valley has 'em, too:

All the Knots You Need and Ashley's.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on January 1, 2005

I second ColdChef. You should be able to get a used one for a dime at any decent thrift store.
posted by baphomet at 10:36 AM on January 1, 2005

I am a big fan of Des Pawson's book.
posted by jimfl at 2:34 PM on January 1, 2005

Ashley's Book of Knots, as cribcage and fff have mentioned, is the authoritative resource. However, without know what you want this for, it's hard to be more specifc. I own the New Encyclopedia of Knots, by Derek Avery, which I think is very clear (the bitter and running ends are color-coded, among other things).

For what it's worth, if you're not concerned with fancy decorative knots, you only need to know a few:
  • bowline (variations, such as bowline on a bight, are also helpful)
  • clove hitch
  • round turn and two half hitches
  • sheet bend
  • zeppelin bend (some will recommend the Carrack bend; my former boss, an authority whose judgement I'm inclined to trust, considered it more decorative than practical, and less reliable than a zeppelin bend)
  • rolling hitch (this is underappreciated but quite useful)
  • reef knot, aka 'granny knot,' useless for anything important but useful for quick-to-tie and quick-to-untie situations
  • A simple eye splice and short splice won't do you wrong, either, and both are much easier than they appear
  • the constrictor knot — an Ashley invention, IIRC
I'm sure I've missed some.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:25 PM on December 22, 2005

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