Day 138: Learn a new knot.

I’m not good at knots. I can tie my shoes, I can tie a square knot, and I can make some knot-shaped objects, but that’s the extent of my knot-tying abilities.

Or it was, until today. Today I doubled the amount of knots I know how to tie.

Before learning a new knot, I had to select a knot to learn – and, this being 2011, I went to Wikipedia and looked up ‘knots’. If I’d been at home when I was doing this, I might have looked in my Boy Scout Handbook, but I was in my office. (For the record: I was never a boy scout; I was a cub scout for one meeting, and then the troop vanished mysteriously, and that was that. But I do have the book, and I’m always prepared. Not clean, sober, thrifty, or reverent, though.)

I somehow landed on the “trucker’s hitch” page, which sounded good – where was this knot when I was trying to secure my new hot water heater a few weeks ago? – but which also turned out to be a category of knots, rather than a particular knot. I decided on the “Alpine butterfly knot” – because why not, dammit – which can be useful by itself, or in combination with a half-hitch or double-half-hitch.

The Alpine butterfly is actually pretty easy to do: two twists, a fold, another fold, a pull, and BAM! a knot. I practiced in my office, in the dark. A woman I don’t know walked past, looking pleasantly lost. She gave me the briefest of “what the fuck are you doing” looks, and I gave her back my best “tying knots in one’s office in the dark is totally normal, alright?” looks back. Then I closed my door.

I didn’t actually get to use the knot today: nothing appeared that said “tie me with an Alpine butterfly knot!” It must knot not have looked enough like a hammer to me, because I saw no nails.

So, that’s that. Today’s lesson? Learning a useful skill = boring blog post.


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