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~ Alaska Museum of Fancy Knots ~
~ Star Knots ~
The first knot book I bought over 25 years ago was The Marlinspike
Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith. It had the directions for the Star
Knot. I tried to tye it and after about a year I finally gave up. After
another year I finally tyed my first Star Knot with the help of another
knot tyer. It was not tyed the same way as these directions, as I
didn't even have a needle! There are quite a few books with the
directions for making Star Knots:
The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley
The Marlinspike Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith
The Complete Book of Decorative Knots by Geoffrey Budworth
Knots, Splices and Fancy Work by Chas.L. Spencer
Creative Ropecraft by Stuart E. Grainger
The Harrison Book of Knots by P. P. O. Harrison
...these are all excellent knot books and as all Star Knots are made the
same way, any of these books should be used as a reference while making
Star Knots from the directions on these pages. To start out, a couple
of simple projects is to make a handle for a chain saw file and a handle
for an ice pick.
picks have many uses. I make these for fly fishermen who use them in
their fly tying. There are many Star Knot projects to make and making
an ice pick handle is an easy project to start out with in learning how
to make Star Knots.
Here are the tools needed to make the chainsaw file handle and the ice pick handle:
A. chainsaw files
B. ice picks
C. cord (3mm paracord)
D. white index cards
E. Japanese Marlinespikes
F. ice pick awl
G. scissors (small & large)
H. dental floss (waxed)
J. BIC lighter
K. (bos'n mug)
L. "self-threading" needles
For these two projects cut 6 strands of 3mm paracord 28".
Using dental floss, use half hitches to bind the ends of the six cords securely.
A better view of the ends:
A. tye the end securely with dental floss
B. cut flush close to the dental floss
C. melt the ends together with a BIC lighter.
Make sure these ends are secure!
Melt tapers on the other ends for the "self-threading" needle using a BIC lighter.
In tying the six cords together, make sure that the 6 cords are symmetrical!
Begin making the Star Knot with a "Single Hitch".
making the single hitches on all 6 cords. There are a couple of ways
of making these hitches, but I will leave it up to you how you make
them. These photos should be as explanatory as you will need in making
the first step in making a Star Knot. In making Star Knots the first
steps are as important as the last steps and these hitches should be as
symmetrical as you can make them. They should be fairly tight, but you
will be passing the needle through the knot twice more in making the
Star Knot. At this point symmetry is more important than the tightness
of the hitches. The best teacher is experience and the best way to
learn how tight to make these hitches is to make a lot of Star Knots!
This a view of the back of the knot after you have made the hitches.
Now make a "Crown Knot".
using the "self-threading" needle, each cord will go as shown in the
photo. If it helps, use the books on Star Knots as a reference.
this point you should leave "thumb-sized" loops before you tighten up.
In making Star Knots, I am constantly tightening/pulling/tugging, etc.
the knot to keep it's shape and these little "thumb-sized" loops make it
easier to do. Using the loops, finish off this part of the knot as
symmetrical as possible.
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