Granny Knot, Turks Head & Monkey Fist

Des Pawson's Knot Craft

During the sorting out of my father’s house I also came across the Ashley Book of Knots, this used to belonged to Rory Bell. This particular copy was actually leather bound (another skill that Rory had) Wow, I had the bible, all I needed now was the string and a Bell Rope would be produced in a few hours!!!

Ashley Book of Knots


Oh how wrong I was, the bible (ABOK) was as clear as mud. Well the drawings were beautiful, but I failed to grasp how to tie the knots required.
Ashley Book of Knots
Another problem that I soon learned was, there were so many different types of string. Some string was like handling steel rope whilst other stuff flopped about like limp celery.

The only real name of knots that I knew was the Granny, Turks Head and Monkey Fist. So the next thing I did was to do an internet search for these. Eventually I came across videos on YouTube and started to learn that way. Also on my internet travels I came across the International Guild of Knot Tyers web site, this is another great source of information.

I then learnt how to tie the Turks Head and Monkey Fist – not the Granny knot though, maybe it is too basic or not actually a knot? Very soon wherever you looked in my house there was either a Monkey’s Fist hanging off it or covered with a Turks Head.

Turks Head & Monkey Fist

Despite learning to tie these knots the ABOK was still a bit of a mystery to me.

Then came a big breakthrough, I discovered Des Pawson’s book of Knot Craft. It was perfect, it showed pictures and told me what length of string to use and also

Turks Head Monkey Fist

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what sort of string. The book has lots of projects from a fender to a cat-o-nine tails.

Des Pawson’s Knot Craft

So for anyone starting on this journey, I would recommend the book above.


I to-date have a whole bookshelf on knotting books, think it is part of the joy of this hobby, you collect the books too.

I think my next post will be about my tools, cos I really love them!!!

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