Wednesday, December 28, 2011


For my final knot design this year, I thought I would tie a lanyard for my rear view mirror in hope that it will bring me good fortune next year. The lanyard is tied with three Chinese knots, the Good Luck Knot, Butterfly Knot, and the Snake Knot. The Good Luck Knot is used on monk's garments or drapes in temples signifying good luck. The snake is one of the twelve animals in the Chinese horoscope. It is regarded as bringer of good fortune, and also the guardian of treasure. If you subscribe to the notion that "it can't hurt", then continue reading to view links to the tutorials and books that I used to tie this lanyard.

I tied this lanyard using eight feet of black 550 paracord, I added two glow in the dark skull beads that don't add any luck value to the lanyard but look cool glowing in my Jeep at night. I started by tying the Good Luck Knot. I learned to tie this knot from the Complete Book of Decorative Knots by Geoffrey Budworth, but if you don't own the book, you can find other alternative tutorials at the end of this post. Then I tied the Chinese Butterfly Knot, I learned this knot from The Book of Decorative Knots by Peter Owen, although I couldn't find any alternative tutorials for this knot, you can search the book in Google Books for "Chinese Butterfly Knot" and you can view the tutorial. The last knot I tied on the lanyard was a Chinese Snake Knot, I don't remember which tutorial I used to learn to the design because there are so many available on the internet, you can use one of the links listed at the end of this post to tie the knot.
If you intend to make a closed loop on your lanyard, you can use the same method that I used. Insert one end of the cord into the other end of the cord and sing them together. Then start loosening one of the cords of the Snake Knot and continue loosening to the Good Luck Knot and eventually you will end up with one single cord and the joined together section will be hidden inside the Snake Knot.

Even if you don't tie this design, I hope you have good luck and fortune in the coming year.

Thank you for supporting my blog, Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I might get corrected with the title of this article, but from my understanding of what a marlinspike is supposed to be, this fits the bill (in some ways). As you might have guessed, I debated on what to title this article because it might also be called a fid. For lack of a better term, I am going to call them "knot working tools" for the remainder of this article. If you are just beginning your journey into tying knots then you may not know what purpose these tools serve. I use one of these almost every time I tie a knot to get the proper tension. These can be made from different materials, but I chose a ready-made tool that only needs a handle to be a perfect knot working tool.

The basic materials to get started...
To make a knot working tool you will need a Knitting Needle (I used a 14" size 5) that can be purchased from your local Wal-Mart, and a wooden dowel in the diameter of your choice (notice in the photos that I used two different sizes).
Once you have the required tools, you will want to decide on how long you want the knitting needle and wooden dowel handle to be. Once you decide, cut the wooden dowel with a handsaw or whatever tool you have available for wood cutting (I chose to make the handles longer because my hands aren't tiny and I find I can get a better grip with a larger handle). To cut the knitting needle to length, you will need to remove the metal cap over the end of the needle. I removed the cap by placing the needle in a vise and then I used a set of wire pliers and a hammer. Once you have the metal cap removed, cut the needle to length (remember that the needle will be inserted into the wooden dowel so you will need to estimate the handle size and the needle size) with a hacksaw. With the knitting needle still in the vise, hammer the metal cap back on the end of the needle. The next part is tricky if you don't have a drill press, but don't let that stop you because I didn't have one either. You will need a drill and the longest drill bit that you can find that is the diameter of the knitting needle or just a fraction larger. Drill down the vertical center of the wooden dowel, making sure you hold the drill as straight as possible. Once you have drilled the hole, insert the knitting needle through the wooden dowel (a hammer might be needed to get the needle through the dowel). Once you have put the materials together, you should have a fully functioning knot working tool minus the decorative paracord wrap.

For the last part of the equation, you will need to choose how you want to wrap your new knot working tool. In this article, I chose to include four of my favorite knot working tools, from which you might decide to use one of the designs (or you can pick your own design). Whatever path you choose to take is completely up to you and needs to be a design that you really like because you will see it every time you tension or dress your other knot designs. If you want to use some of my suggestions, I will list the tutorials in the sources and links section at the end of this article.

Coachwhipping | Crown Sinnet | Crown Sinnet (Over Two Method) | Gaucho Fan Knot | Long 4 Bight Turk's Head  |  Little Lump Knot  |  Matthew Walker Knot  |  Spanish Ring Knot - 2 Pass  |  Star Knot | Unique Ropecraft

Monday, December 19, 2011


A year or more ago, I came across an advertisement that included lanyards, bracelets and key fobs. Though I don't remember the site or where it originally appeared, there were two key fobs in it that I really liked. I had totally forgotten about the key fobs until the other day when I was thinking of what type of key fob I wanted to tie to replace an old worn out fob. For some reason in my mind, earth tones go hand-in-hand with winter so I used three colors to tie these designs (black, olive drab and coyote brown).
For the first key fob, I used five different knots and I will explain the process I used to tie the fob. I used three-four feet of black and olive drab paracord to tie the first section.
Start by halving the cords so that you will have four strands. Then start tying a Round Crown Sinnet, after you start the sinnet, pull out a loop in one of the colors for the key ring, then continue tying the sinnet for about two to three rounds and then stop.
Next, I tied a Four Strand Matthew Walker Knot (the video is for a Three Strand Matthew Walker Knot, but the instructions are the same).
Continue tying the Round Crown Sinnet until you end up in the section of the fob that you want to add the Wall Knot.
Continue tying the Round Crown Sinnet until you reach the length desired.
Now gather a couple of feet of paracord in olive drab, black and coyote brown.
Using either olive drab or black, tie a 5 Lead by 4 Bight Turk's Head Knot that will be the base of your Herringbone Knot.
Using the coyote brown paracord, tie the Herringbone Knot. The instructions for the knot shows the bights protruding from underneath the black and olive drab strands, I didn't want that so I simply pulled them tighter underneath the other strands to hide the coyote brown bights.
Cut the ends left over on the Round Crown Sinnet and singe them in place.
Now place the Herringbone Turk's Head over the bottom part of the Round Crown Sinnet.
Tighten and dress the Herringbone, then cut and singe the ends and hide them underneath the strands of the Turk's Head for the best looking result.
The Ladder Rack Star Knot Fob is deceptively easy to tie and doesn't require very much paracord. Gather Five feet of olive drab and two feet of coyote brown paracord.
Start by tying a Two Strand Matthew Walker Knot and leave room for the loop size you desire.
Now follow the instructions for the Ladder Rack Knot, but weave in the coyote brown strand after you get the first loop started, then it will go back and forth between olive drab and coyote brown. 
Once you reach the bottom, you should have four strands remaining. As far as I know, there are no tutorials available for a four strand Star Knot, but if you follow the instructions in this tutorial and do the same thing only with fewer strands, you can easily tie this knot. I think many folks in the knot tying community consider this knot to be a challenge, but it isn't. Just follow along with the tutorial and if you get stuck, I will be glad to help. You may also want to search for a video or another tutorial for any of the knots used in the article, just because I found them satisfactory, that doesn't mean that you will.

Basic Herringbone Knot | Ladder Rack Knot | Matthew Walker Knot (2 Strand) | Matthew Walker Knot (3 Strand) | Round Crown Sinnet | Star Knot | Trilobite Video by TIAT | Trilobite (Two Color) Video by TIAT | Turk's Head Knot (5 Lead by 4 Bight) | Wall Knot


The Ladder Rack Knot is easy to tie and though it may be known by other names, it is tied basically the same way. This is a great design for someone who is just beginning to learn to tie knots, or anyone for that matter. In other words, if you tie knots, this design should be in your knot library. This design is the first of two posts that I will show how this knot can be expanded and the ways you can use it.

There are several ways to learn to tie this knot available on the internet, but I followed the tutorial by Bud Brewer. J.D. at TyingItAllTogether calls the design a Trilobite and has two videos that you can use to learn to tie either the one color or two color design.
To tie the blue Ladder Rack, I used six feet of paracord. You will notice a knot on the loops of the lanyards, it is called a Matthew Walker Knot and though they may look a little different between the long blue and shorter lanyard, they are the same, I trebled the Matthew Walker Knot on the blue lanyard which all you have to do is add another turn or two around the two strands when tying.
The two color Ladder Racks where tied with about three feet of black and about two feet of another color paracord. My version of a two color Ladder Rack Knot is a little different than the video from TIAT, but it's pretty simple to tie it either way, just weave in the second color after getting the Ladder Rack Knot started.
This design is a little different from the others, it slides freely up and down the black paracord. I tied it using about three feet of yellow paracord, and though it looks gutted, it's not, it's just cut from a batch of flat paracord (approximately eighteen inches). To tie it you will need to be familiar with tying the Ladder Rack Knot first. I tied the Slider by leaving out the part where you run the paracord down and then back up and went straight to weaving the yellow paracord around the black paracord.

Ladder Rack Knot Tutorial  |  How to Tie the Trilobite Knot by TIAT  |  How to Make a Two Color Trilobite Bar by TIAT  |  Matthew Walker Knot Tutorial

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I have been tying this design for a while now and I debated on whether or not I should post it because others already have. But, I feel that Turk's Head knots are looked over by novice knot enthusiasts because they think the knots are too hard to tie. This knot can be tied by anyone who can moderately understand how to tie a knot, it just takes a willingness to try, and that is why I felt this knot deserved to my next post.
If you follow the information in this article you should be tying these lanyards without instructions in no time.

The Turk's Head Lanyard Knot was originally shown in the Ashley Book of Knots (labeled as #595 Two-Bight Turk's-Head Lanyard Knot). If you don't own a copy of the book, don't fret, you can go to and view some of the pages and this design is on one of those pages. Or if you would prefer, Stormdrane has created a video that shows the tying process. Also, there is another tutorial available that shows how to tie a Long Two Bight Turk's Head, which is the same thing as this except for the starting process. You might note that you can make this lanyard as long as you want by adding an initial turn or turns.

To tie this knot you will need a straw or other small cylindrical object such as as a Bic pen with the insides and end cap removed. Once you've got that part covered, grab some paracord and give it a try. The thicker tripled lanyard will need around five or six feet of paracord while the smaller will only need a couple of feet.

I started to create my own tutorial on tying this design, but with all the knowledge already available, I didn't think it would be needed. With that said, don't hesitate to ask for help if you get stuck. If I can't help you, I am sure another knotter will, I have found that most are always ready to offer their support.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


If you follow my blog you may have noticed that I haven't posted many new posts lately. Recently I experienced the loss of my sister and though I have been tying a few knots here and there, I just didn't feel up to the task of publishing any of them.
I decided I would get back to publishing in hopes that it will help in this trying time. That's when I decided that my first post would be honor of her.
This knot is called the Celtic Cross and is really an attractive Cross. And though it may look challenging, it is really an easy design to tie.

I followed the instructions from to learn to tie the design. I tied the Celtic Cross using about three feet of paracord in neon orange and neon yellow. I followed the instructions for the first course exactly, but for the second I ran one of the strands from each color underneath the other color and followed alongside the single strand. I finished off the design with a Knife Lanyard Knot on either end.