Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Single Strand Matthew Walker Knots.

Here is a picture of a 21 bight Single Strand Matthew Walker knot made with 3mm Bitumee; a tarred nylon solid braid.
This knot was made using the same method described below.
Essentially this knot is nothing more than a collection of carefully interlinked overhand knots in a single line, the trick is in the dressing.
The knot pictured has not been painted or stiffened it is pretty much self-supporting if you handle it with care.

I hope this article sheds a little light on the making of this very handsome and practical knot.

Single Strand Matthew Walker Knots.
(Edited from an article published in Knotting Matters 102)

How Do All ;-)
With reference to an article by Mr John Halifax in KM #95, page 16 “The Single Strand Matthew Walker Ring Knot” and also an addendum to the afore mentioned article in KM #96 page 8 in which John asks; “ if anyone has knowledge of this concept of ring knots, please speak up.”

I am very sorry for my very late reply to this question (too busy getting side tracked with other things).
I had asked a similar question a few years back when I submitted what I thought could be a new knot (a single strand Matthew Walker) to Nigel Harding as I could not find any other reference to this type of knot in any of the available material at the time.
I had also browsed the Knotting Matters index published eons ago and found a reference to a single strand Matthew Walker knot in KM # 42, published in early 1993 so I also asked Nigel if he could check this issue for me to see if the knot I had ended up with was the same as the one mentioned.

Nigel was very kind and made me a copy of KM 42 so I could take a look and decide for myself, on page 27 was a large heading at the top of the page “Single Strand Matthew Walker” The article was written by Neil Hood and his diagrams are dated April 1991.
This was the very same type of knot I had made and tried to submit to Nigel. This type of Single Strand Matthew Walker knot can be made with as many passes as is required, so making a full tucked Matthew Walker knot with anything from One to a Hundred or more Spiralling strands is possible with just one single strand, no need to find somewhere to hide all those ends so making for a very useful knot to decorate bell ropes, lanyards and the like.

Also worth noting is the fact that when braiding some Turk’s-Head knots the first few passes made can be a single strand Matthew Walker knot in their own right; like the 3 pass Headhunter’s knot for instance, (see Bruce Grant’s “ Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding”, Page 413, figure.1) this figure is actually depicting a 3 pass single strand Matthew Walker knot, if you continue this knot by going over all at the front (going down) and under all at the back (going up) you can enlarge this single strand Matthew Walker to any size you like.

Here is a diagram I made in 2005, using Bruce Grant’s drawings of a Headhunter’s knot of two passes as my base drawings.
My drawing shows how to tie a full-tucked 6 pass, single strand Matthew Walker knot.
If you decide try this knot for yourself please let me know what you think and if possible please send me a photo ;-)

Note: I make these knots over a plain tube or mandrel, I do not use pins or any other method to guide the knot other than holding the bights with my hands, alternatively you can use a pinned tube or mandrel if you prefer.


dominic taylor said...

hi barry,
am a bit blog uneducated and spent ages looking for a 'contact me' on your site, without success.
point is, i'm coming to uk soon and love your work (especially but not only, the woven backstrap) so thought it'd be nice to meet up.
i'm a sort of apprentice knotter so nowhere near the standard of your work, but am also a jack-of-all-trades so thought we could exchange a bit.
look at my website if you are interested:, or email me putting
best regards, dominic

Knotty Bear said...

How Do Dominic,

Thank you for your kind comments, much appreciated.
I will email you ASAP.

Take care,
Barry ;-)