One of the most useful and inexpensive skills to acquire is knot tying.
From the complex and beautiful Turks Head to the utilitarian Trucker’s Hitch, knowing how to correctly secure cord or rope can save you from much embarrassment. That includes expense when your truck borne load goes flying into oncoming traffic. Yes, it’s happened to me. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but there were a few moments of sheer terror followed by well deserved cursing, at me and by me.
Some of the best resources for the knotty minded is The Complete Guide to Knots and Knot Tying by Geoffrey Budworth and the Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley. Both books are filled with illustrations and textual explanations of the knots. The Budworth text uses color illustrations of the knots while the Ashley uses black and white line drawing.
And as always, in this age of digital wonder, you can find sites on top of sites that cover knots and tying on the internet. One of my favorite ones is the International Guild of Knot Tyers. And if you enjoy videos, Tying It All Together or TIAT is a master of the knot, developing his own fusion knots and presenting them in amazing videos.
When I’m not in the garden, at the keyboard or off chasing my dog across the hills, I can usually be found sitting on the porch with a bight of rope practicing the knots I have yet to perfect. It’s a frustrating exercise in futility most days, but occasionally I get it right and that makes is all worth while.
Some thoughts for comments:
Do you think that the skills of ropework and knowledge of knots has far been underrated and are useful skills to acquire for self-reliance?
If so, do you practice these skills? What do you use them on?