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 The Art of Braiding, Turk's Head II


The group of buttons and knots chosen for The Art of Braiding, Turk's Head II are all new, thus the instructions are new as well. The exemptions are a few more common braided Turk's head's needed as groundwork.

As I was deciding on which new buttons to select, I explored many potential candidates. Of those possibilities, I only chose those I felt I would want to braid again. These were the buttons and knots I found fascinating, attractive and fun to braid. Others I explored did not fit my criteria so were eliminated. The buttons and knots included range from easy to braid to more complicated and challenging, but all are interesting and enjoyable to work.

What is a Turk's-head? Ron Edwards describes it as "a tubular knot tied with a single strand which shows a regular repeating pattern and which starts and finishes in the same place."

A rule, proposed by Clifford Ashley from Ashley Book of Knots, states, "A knot of one line is impossible in which the number of leads (parts) and the number of bights have a common divisor." He adds, "A knot is never 'nearly right'; it is either exactly right or it is hopelessly wrong, one or the other; there is nothing in between. This is not the impossibly high standard of the idealist, it is a mere fact for the realist to face." This is my favorite Clifford Ashley quote. I have tried to explain this in many ways; his quote is prefect and so true.

Several terms are used interchangeably in this book. The following are synonymous: 1) lace/strings, 2) foundation/skeleton knot, 3) button/knot (when used in the instructional text).

The Art of Braiding, Turk's Head II, is in three sections. As in previous books, Parts & Bights are discussed as they are often difficult to comprehend; however, in the first section of Turk's Head II, I have decided to illustrate an additional approach which may make them slightly easier to understand.

Following Parts & Bights is a section containing instructions and illustrations for the new Turk's head's with their interweaves and instructions included wherever possible.

The final section contains a variety of knots and buttons with different interweaves. Some need one of the more familiar Turk's heads as a foundation. Many do not and start their own pattern from the beginning.

Whenever possible, 2 or 3 string colors are used for instruction. This makes the pattern easier to see. Some of them are 1 continuous string and only allowed for a single color.

A Glossary, Index and a Materials Source List are available in the back of the book for reference.

Deciding the names for some of the buttons has not always been easy, but have done my best. If they have a distinct name like Headhunter’s Knot, it is not a problem.

The photos in Turk's Head II illustrate each pass needed to braid a particular button that may display several of the above graphics. These photos are easy to follow, but for clarity, text is added below each set of photos. An italicized Note will also provide a comment or observation that will help with pattern understanding.

As the pattern is followed, the text will describe common WE 'over one, under one' and 'over two, under two' passes. Depending on the button, the WE over/under passes may become over/under three or over/under four (or more). When the passes increase to a higher number, the text, i.e. three and four, will be underlined the first time they occur as a cue to be mindful of their occurrences as braiding commences.

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