Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Step Thirty One: {K}not so plain sailing...

Dearest Sylwi

This week I decided to tackle another project that I've had in my head for years, but have never got around to doing! :-)

A few years ago, I became interested in knot craft as used by sailors for both functional and aesthetic purposes. Considerable skills and creativity with rope have been passed down through the centuries and I find all of the different techniques fascinating.

I began this week by making some idiot cord from household string, using this fantastic tutorial from The Purl Bee. (So much eye candy on that site, all so beautifully photographed, I could get lost for hours!)

I really like how the string worked in this cord. It became very supple and soft, not like string at all. So, I began experimenting with knots...

Then I remembered that earlier this week I had been very inspired by Etsy's "How Tuesday" post on Sailor's Knot Bracelets and thought maybe I could use the cord for a bracelet. The technique is genius, using an old can to weave the rope around into a bracelet.

When I tried with my length of i-cord though, it didn't look nearly as good as the ones in their photos! :-( ha ha! So, I tried with some rope that I have.

The rope I have is a very soft, white, large rope... I thought it might make quite a cute, large bangle!

But, no! Admittedly, I did feel a bit like a fender on a boat when I put it on! heee! Maybe it's a bit too large! ha ha! ;-)

So, I played around using other materials. Here I used an old scarf that I ripped up and plaited...

... but I didn't really like that either! :-)

Determined to finish today having created something I liked, I tried making a keyring out of the i-cord. The instructions for this came from a book called "Knot Craft" by Des Pawson. The basic knot used here is a boatswain's whistle lanyard knot...

It turned out almost like the picture in the book (my cord wasn't quite long enough to finish it properly), so I was still feeling dissatisfied. ha! These knots aren't as easy as they look! There's a fair amount of skill involved in getting the tension right and it took me quite a bit of time. I'm not entirely sure the result warranted the effort! ha ha! :-)

Whilst, flicking through that book, I came across a project that I've been wanting to try for ages and is the reason I have so much rope in my cupboard! A few years ago, I noticed that it became a bit of an interiors trend to use rope "monkey's fist" doorstops. They were so darn expensive in the shops though, I knew I could make one cheaper. (Uh-oh!)  :-) I bought the rope at a local marine store, but then never got around to the project! ... ahem! So, today 52 Steps came to the rescue again! ;-)

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of the large, soft, white rope for the knot, so had to use a coarser type of rope (I'm not sure what it is made from - hemp, or hessian maybe)... it goes quite well with some old floats that I found in a junk yard last year!

I'm exhausted now. I feel like I've knotted everything I own in the house! ;-) At least I finally got around to all of these projects that I've had stacked up in my head!

Promise I'll write soon, I've been so busy last week and this week. Hopefully, next week will be easier again. Speak soon. Can't wait to see your step 31! Can you believe it? Only 21 left to go! Eep! :-)

Lots of love


  1. I think they alll look great. You can teach me when you come to COleman . . . and I'll sing to you!

    Something about rope and sailor's knows always seemed so romantic and also useful, to me. I have a book about sailor's knows somewhere but have never given it a try. It's going on my to-do list now!

  2. wow! oh! Dear! I love your experiments with rope. The bracelet looks fabulous - even though it is big. The balls and "monkey's fist" doorstops are my favourite. I see that you intuitively must have known that I won't post that day and you did the projects for two of us!!!