We've done at least once around tightening up the lines and
we should have something looking like "R" in hand. If so, you may pat
yourself on the back and proceed to the next step...
Gently tug each line in turn to seat it and you'll wind up with something
closely resembling "S"... and when you do, you can splice the
main-brace, kick the Jimmy and spit on the Wardroom's mat. You is a
BUT... ya' isn't done yet, sailor, so hold off on the splicing, kicking and
spitting for the moment!
"T"... Take any line of the six, call it "A" and lead it to the RIGHT and go
down the rabbit hole again. This forms the third line in the starknot's
"petal" or "rays" display. MOST people call these petals so I shall do so
"T-1"... When you go thru the rabbit hole, you'll notice that by now it's
become a bit tight and difficult to force the line through...now it's time to
reach for that fid or awl from page one to help open the way for the line.
"T-2" ... But even then, the line may not want to lie "fair and flat" to form
the petal... Simply take your awl / fid and insert under all three lines in
the petal, pick up slightly and continue along with the next tuck(s) until all
are done and faired up.
"T-3" ... So, all things being equal, here's what you should have as a
finished face. A nice double crown knot in the centre and six nicely
faired up petals around it, and no additional tightening up or extra work
required, except for finishing the back of the
The BACK of the knot.
01: The back of the (censored) knot.
Well, not so bad, actually. More a matter of precision pull as opposed to
a long job like we just finished. (Incidentally, this time I just showed one
petal finishing instead of going through the whole thing...) Again. take
ANY line and (as shown) follow it's two mates to the RIGHT and under
the lines to it's imeediate right and out. You'll find the line exits between
the two lobes of the starknot, so when you snug it down, don't pull high
or low, keep aligned with the "vee" feature. (You'll see why soon...)
02: All snugged down and looking good. Again, if you need to align the
three lines forming the petal you can use the "stick in the fid and lift" trick
to get them all the same level, flat and fair.
03: To trim off the lines, there's an easy way to do it:
Grab the knot between the side of your thumb and your ring finger, while
grabbing the line to be cut between the tip of your thumb and the index
finger. It takes a very small amount of coordination and a bit of practice
to be able to hold the line under tension while cutting it.
04: My preferred method for doing this is a pair of "full-jaw" cuticle
nippers. They have a "vee" shaped jaw which will get right in as close as
possible to the best cut point, they offer the very best chance of a clean
cut without cutting fibres on the body of the knot, they are comfortable in
the hand and they're fairly inexpensive if you get them on Ebay in bulk. I
buy then in lots of not less then ten. Be sure you get "full jaw" and
NEVER, EVER employ "used" cuticle nippers for their original intended
purpose. There is a very large possibility that they may be infected with
Hepatitis, or something even uglier. As line cutters, they're A-#1, but
DON'T use them on yourself or others.
Get a hand-sharpening stone (fine grit) and when they get dull (and they
will) a couple of quick swipes on the stone and they'll be good for quite a
few more cuts.
SO: There y'go. Here's a couple pics of the front and back of
the knot. Hope this drivel was of assistance to you and I'd love to see a
picture of how your work turns out!
Frayed Knot Arts (Vince Brennan)