Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 15, 2010

How many of you are (k)not experts?

The length of purple rope lay in my hands expectantly. “Tie me,” it seemed to taunt. I didn’t know where to start.

In my life, I’ve learned how to tie shoes, scarves, and sutures. That is three (3) kinds of knots. Any time I’ve been camping, lashing something onto a car top, or securing something for a move, I either let someone else do it or I end up with the ugliest jumble of untrustworthy ropes and loose ends that you’ve ever seen. Knots have been my nemesis.

It is now time for me to look at them differently.

Ed models the first one, a water knot called a Ring Bend. “This one secures two ropes to each other.” With a few flips of his hands he has a handsome figure of rope that I am to copy, and I enjoy success with this very easy knot. After a number of repetitions, I think I have it, and we move on to something else that should be vaguely familiar — a Figure Eight Follow Through, one I’ve used in the past for rock-climbing. That one boosts my confidence as well, which I think is Ed’s strategy.

Knots can be fun???

We work through the list. Watching someone who’s tied them thousands of times is one thing; I, however, have no muscle memory, nor any concept of what each one is used for. It’s pure mechanics for me: grab bight, twist twice, insert short end through loop, etc, etc, etc.  After each one I review the ones I learned earlier, and am pleased to discover that I have a modicum of retention.

That’s good. My life, and the lives of others, will depend on having strong and correct knots.


[Permission granted by Ed to use opening line of his Knots Class as this post’s title.]


  1. I am not, naught, nought, knot an expert, but I can see the pure joy on your face already…having made the decision to go for it. Am proud of you-what an adventure you’ll have!

    Comment by Chichi — March 15, 2010 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  2. ahh yes. in life, there are the haves, and the have knots. i believe you fall in to the latter….

    Comment by john — March 15, 2010 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  3. Not only can knots be fun, but think about the bragging rights you will have when you have completely mastered eleven different knots!!! I can see how you will be spending all your spare time for a while!

    Comment by Mom — March 15, 2010 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  4. And remember you can’t “knot” do it, as you already are doing it! Ha!

    Comment by Chris — March 15, 2010 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  5. shoes, scarves, sutures, and…… THREADS!!! I bet you know how to tie a knot on threads for, say, tying a quilt… But I bet the big purple rope wouldn’t wind so easily between your thumb and your forefinger (nor go through a needle!).

    Comment by Becky — March 16, 2010 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  6. I love getting all knotty myself 🙂

    Welcome to the joy!!

    ~ Kaz

    Comment by KaziGrrl — April 24, 2011 @ 9:32 pm | Reply

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