The Ashley Book of Knots

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Despite Ashley being an esteemed painter, the cover illustration was painted by George Giguer
Reprint-Version: 1963–1979

The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedia of knots first published in 1944 by Clifford Ashley. The culmination of over 11 years of work, it contains some 7000 illustrations and more than 3854 entries covering over 2000 different knots. The entries include instructions, uses, and for some knots, histories, and are categorized by type or usage. It remains one of the most important books on knots, as it is one of the most extensive, covering both good knots and bad, and noting which is which.


[edit] Use as a reference

Due to its scope and wide availability The Ashley Book of Knots has become a significant reference work in the field of knotting. The numbers Ashley assigned to each knot can be used to unambiguously identify them. This is a useful function since knot names have evolved over time and there are many conflicting or confusing naming issues. Citations to Ashley numbers are usually in the form: "The Constrictor Knot (ABOK #1249)", "ABOK #1249" or even simply "#1249" if the context of the reference is clear or already established.[1] The book title is also found abbreviated in the forms: TABOK, TABoK, or ABoK.

It is important to keep in mind that some knots have more than one Ashley number due to having multiple uses or forms. For example, the main entry for #1249 is in the chapter on binding knots but it is also listed as #176 in a chapter on occupational knot usage.

Note that The Ashley Book of Knots was published in the days of natural fiber cordage; some knots as presented are not entirely appropriate or safe when tied in modern synthetic fiber ropes because many modern materials exert much less friction than natural fibers do.

Revisions and corrections have been added by International Guild of Knot Tyers. At least one knot, Hunter's bend (#1425A) was added in 1979.

[edit] Trivia

[edit] Further reading

[edit] References

  1. ^ J.C. Turner and P. van de Griend (ed.), The History and Science of Knots (Singapore: World Scientific, 1996), 22.
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