Book Report: The Klutz Book of Knots by John Cassidy (1985)

Book coverI was never a Cub scout. Oh, I attended an organizational or informational meeting for it, once, in about the second grade. My mother, my brother, and Boogie and his mom went down to a church on Teutonia to hear more about it, and we were very excited about it, but it required some sort of financial outlay, and we couldn’t swing that back in the government cheese days.

Fortunately for me, this book can help me overcome that disadvantage, at least as far as tying knots goes.

I mean, I know two knots, basically: a slip knot and a double reversed slip knot that I think my father taught me as a square knot. So when it comes to tying things down in my truck, for example, I’ve had to rely on them. With success, fortunately, so far.

But this short book contains a menu of 24 knots and includes cardstock pages through which you can lace some string to practice the knots in a helpful, step-by-step manner. It’s not quite as good as having someone there to help guide you, but it’s better than a mere set of photos alone. Which will become important when it comes time for me to pass on generational knowledge to my children, knowledge whose knowing I’ll have to get from books instead of getting them from actual, you know, preceding generations of my forefathers.

Sorry, I was talking about a book here before I somehow wandered into a self-involved bit about growing up in a broken home.

The book includes these knots:

  • The Bowline
  • The Clove Hitch
  • The Two Half Hitches
  • The Tautline Hitch
  • The Better Bow
  • The Bow Tie
  • The Trucker’s Hitch
  • The Constrictor Knot
  • The Ring Knot
  • The Prusik Knot
  • The Timber Hitch
  • The Killeg Hitch
  • The Sheep Shank
  • The Rolling Hitch
  • The Coil
  • The Package Knot
  • The Harness Loop
  • The Short End Bend
  • The Figure 8 Stopper
  • The Incredible Magic Loop

As you can guess, it’s not a long book, but so it’s a quick run through. But it’s a solidly constructed piece of work, coil-bound and on cardboard so you can practice. I’ll probably keep the book on my desk so I can practice some of these knots while I watch a process run or such. A little bit of practicing on something every day to get better at it. Something I never learned to do. Probably because I was the product of a broken, government cheese kind of home as a youth. Or more probably because I have quite a touch of the lazy in me and always have.

Books mentioned in this review:

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