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A globe knot is one that covers a spherical object. There are a huge number of possible globe knots. I'll be showing you how to tie one with 30 facets, or 30 sections of cord that show on the surface of the knot. In this case it's the same as the number of crossings, but that's not always the case. A globe knot is tied around a knot mandrel before being transferred to your spherical object, followed through the desired number of times and then tightened down to complete the knot. In the video above, I demonstrate the whole process using a mandrel that I make and sell, which has the knot pattern engraved into it. You can purchase the mandrel and others on my website.

In the following steps, I'll show you how to make your own mandrel using cardboard and T-pins, along with free software to get the pattern.

Step 1: Mandrel Options

A mandrel is just a cylindrical object, often with holes in it for sticking pins in. Many different materials work for a mandrel. In the following steps, I'll be demonstrating with rolled up cardboard, but any of these options can be adapted to work as well.

Pool noodles

Pool noodles work great because toothpicks can be used for pins and can be placed anywhere. You're stuck with a limited number of diameters, which is fine, but can take longer to tighten down your knot if you're transferring it to a much smaller object.

Rolled up cardboard

Cardboard is a very flexible option as you can make it any desired diameter. It can be difficult to get perfectly cylindrical, but that's not as important as it might seem. Just roll up some cardboard from an old cereal box or any other kind of cardboard. Sturdier pins are necessary. I recommend T-pins that you can get at any office supply store.

PVC

PVC is a very sturdy material which is perfect if you want it to be reusable, but requires more work to stick pins in it. Sometimes people avoid using pins and instead use rubber bands to hold the bights of the knot. I recommend drilling holes and getting some threaded pins to keep your knot secure.

Wood

Wood is another study option, but a little pricier, especially as you get bigger in diameter. You can drill holes and use threaded pins like with PVC or just cut up some small dowels for pins. The mandrels that I make and sell are wood and use 1/8" dowel pins.

Step 2: The Knot Pattern

The knot pattern was generated with software that I've written called the Advanced Grid Maker. Knot tyers all over the world use it to generate instructions for tying these types of knots (Turk's head and Turk's head-like knots). The tool was originally designed just for myself to use, so the interface leaves much to be desired, but it can do a lot. An infinite number of knots can be created with this tool, and by using the following steps as a guide, you can create a mandrel for any Turk's head or Turk's head-like knot. You can use it yourself here: http://freakinsweetapps.com/knots/knotgrid/advanced.html

To get the 30 Facet Globe Knot pattern above, you'll need to set a few options. First, next to the Pineapple Grid button, set the Nested Bights option to 2. Then, click the Pineapple Grid button. Scroll down until you see the knot grid and use the mouse to click and drag the bottom right corner until the grid is 10 rows x 12 columns. You may also notice a little further down it says that the knot takes 1 strand to tie and has 30 facets and 30 crossings.

Now we need to size the knot, so when we print it out it's sized for our mandrel. I'm using a 1 inch diameter mandrel about 2 inches tall. When making one out of cardboard the exact dimensions aren't too important because you'll be rolling the cardboard to fit whatever your pattern's dimension is. To start sizing the knot, scroll to the top and click the Stretch button. Now scroll back down to the knot grid and when you click and drag the bottom corner, the knot will be stretched rather than resized. Stretch it until the dimensions say roughly 1 inch in diameter x 2 inches tall.

You can adjust the color of the knot by changing the color and shadow color options near the top. I used white for color and gray for shadow color. You can list multiple colors with spaces in between and if your knot is multiple strands the strands will cycle through all the listed colors (this one is a single strand, so you won't see anything change if listing multiple colors).

To save the image of the grid, you can click the View As Image button. After clicking the button, the image will be displayed just above the button. You can right click on the image and save it. The dimensions of the image will be based on the real world dimensions you specified earlier, and the DPI (dots per inch) specified near the top of the page. By default the DPI is set to 300. When printing the image, you'll want to make sure you set it to the same DPI. Image software such as the GIMP (which is free) or Photoshop can easily print the image at the specified DPI. If you want to skip that process, I've set the correct DPI on this image, which you should be able to print from your default image viewer software. Just make sure that you don't have any kind of scaling settings applied to the print such as Scale to Fit.

Step 3: Cardboard Mandrel

Print out the image from the previous step. Cut out the knot so that the edges of the knot pattern can be joined together after being wrapped around your mandrel. Roll your piece of cardboard into a cylinder (or as close as you can), sizing it so that you can wrap the knot pattern around it. Tape the pattern using any clear tape. Place T-pins under each bight of the knot. Now you're ready to start tying the knot!

Step 4: Tying the Knot

You'll need a length of cord to tie the knot. The Advanced Grid Maker can help determine how long a piece you need. If you've set the diameter of your cord, and the dimensions of your mandrel correctly, you can use the grid maker's strand lengths as a place to start. In this case, the default cord diameter is 1/8" which is roughly the size of standard paracord (a little smaller, but it'll do). If you scroll down, there is a text box with approximate lengths of every strand in your knot (in this case, just a single strand). If you've followed all the instructions so far, it should say 2 feet 6.1396 inches. That's the length to go around a single time without any left over. Generally, a globe knot will be followed through several times. Three times is a good place to start, so multiply that number by 3 and add 10% to have a little extra. We'll round it to an even 10 feet of cord.

You can start the knot wherever you like, and if you go over or under any strand you come across as laid out by the pattern, you'll eventually come back to the beginning and have the completed knot. If you start at A1 and go down and to the right, you can verify what you're doing by looking at the instructions provided by the Advanced Grid Maker (see the second image above). For example, the instructions say to go from pin A1 to D3, and then from D3 to B2 going Over the strand that's already down. In fact, with the instructions listed by the Advanced Grid Maker, you don't need the pattern, just the labeled pins and you can tie the knot.

Step 5: Transfer the Knot

Once you've completed the knot, you can transfer it to the object you want to cover. Remove the pins from your mandrel and slip the knot over your globe. I'm using a 1" foam ball that you can get from many craft stores or online. Start to form the knot around the ball. Follow the knot through with more cord. Make sure you do every over or under that the strand you're following does. There's nothing worse than completing the knot and then realizing that you have a single over where it should have been an under and having to back out the knot or just start over. In this example, I followed the knot through two extra times for a total of 3 passes (which makes it a 3 ply knot as seasoned knot tyers would say or the knot was tripled). Keep everything loose as you follow the knot. Tightening the knot too soon will lead to uneven gaps around the knot (some areas will be tight and others will have gaps). Much of the slack will find where it needs to be as you follow the knot through. Once you're done with the number of passes you'd like, remove the rest of the slack from the knot. You can then trim the ends of the knot to hide the beginning and end or use them to tie some kind of lanyard or loop to hang it with.

Thanks for following along! Feel free to ask questions or let me know what you think in the comments below.

For those interested here is a video that shows how I make the wooden mandrels that I displayed in the first couple steps. Any knot designed with the Advanced Grid Maker can be engraved (there are some physical size constraints). This one is a Boy Scout Woggle Knot (a 3 part x 5 bight Turk's head).

<p>Hi, I want to make a boleadoras with 2 larger superballs &amp; 1 smaller one. The range in diameters of the balls is 1&amp;1/8&quot; and 1&amp;1/2&quot;. Can these size balls be wiggle-roomed to fit inside the globe knot made by your knot mandrel with 30 facets? If not could they be tightened down from the mandrel that makes the 56 facet 2&amp;1/2&quot; knot? Thanks! </p>
Hmm, I think 1 1/2&quot; would be a stretch, but could be doable if you tie it loose enough. Tightening down is easier that adding slack in my opinion. There is a 2&quot; option for a 56 facet globe knot that would be better than the 2 1/2&quot; option. I've gotten a couple 1 1/2&quot; requests so it might be time for me to make some in that size (could still be a couple weeks as I have to make a jig for it first).
<p>That would be excellent! Thank you for your quick response. The sizes I need to figure out proper # of facets for are 1&amp;1/2&quot;, 1&amp;3/4&quot;, 2&quot;, 2&amp;1/2 inch. Seems like there would be a list of these corresponding size/facet#s somewhere already... </p>
What size cord are you using?
<p>Hi again, I'm using military spec nylon 550 paracord. Also, I would like to suggest that you make a step by step picture (not video) series showing how to best tighten a four or five cord monkey's paw knot. That's the part the knot-tying pros are skimpiest about. Thanks!</p>
<p>Military spec nylon 550 paracord.</p>
<p>This is great, I love when people explain the underlying principles!</p>
<p>Nice 'able. </p><p>Are you aware of any formula for selecting cord size and/or number of &quot;plys&quot; and/or number of facets given a specified sphere diameter?</p><p>Example of failures: The example globe knot made of 1/2&quot; cord around a golf ball or the example cord size globe knot placed on a bowling ball.</p><p>Any info would be appreciated.</p><p>Just an FYI: Looking at &quot;The Ashley Book of Knots&quot; this might be considered a &quot;Monkey's Fist&quot; rather than a &quot;Turks Head&quot;, based on application. There seems to be a lot of overlap between the 2 types.</p>
<p>Found it under a pile of knot mandrels! I've found this equation works well. It is only an approximation, so I'd definitely pad the numbers you get from it as there's nothing worse than coming up a foot short after spending hours tying the knot. D = sqrt(p^2*w^2*F/pi) where D is the diameter of the core, sqrt is the square root, p is the ply, w is the diameter of the cord and F is the number of facets of the knot.</p>
<p>That's what I was looking for!!!! I'll have to take a look at the &quot;Globe Knot Cookbook&quot;.</p><p>Thanks very much for this and the length equation.</p>
<p>You'll then need this one as well: L = 6*D^2/w where L is the length of the cord.</p>
<p>The globe knot cookcook (http://knottool.com/gk_kit.html), by Don Burrhus, has some good equations for approximating cord length, but I can't for the life of me find it right now. When I dig it up, I can post his equation. I've implemented my own 3D knot software that I generally use for that type of problem. You couldn't get more than a single ply with 1/2&quot; around a golf ball and it would be about 5ft, and to cover a bowling ball with 1/8&quot; cord you need around 18 or 19 ply (a very tricky thing to keep even!) and that would come out to around 270 feet (I'd probably add extra to that number to be safe if you really were going to try it). Those are two extremes that I wouldn't recommend doing, though.</p>
<p>How did you determine it would take 18 or 19 plys to cover the bowling ball? Is there an equation relating sphere diameter, cord diameter, to number of plys? For example if I wanted to cover a bowling ball with 1/2&quot; cord, how can I calculate the minimum number of plys to assure coverage?</p><p>Any equation relating the 3 variables would be helpful.</p>
<p>My software represents the knot in 3D given several parameters and calculates the length given my inputs. Unfortunately, it's not a straight forward equation. This is the 1/2&quot; cord around a golf ball sized core. I'll let you know when I'm able to dig up my Globe Knot Cookbook, as there is an equation in there that's exactly what you're looking for.</p>
<p>You are quite correct in the difference between the two classes of Knots. Turks heads are designed to be tied on a cylindrical shape and monkeys fists are designed to enclose a sphere in order to hold it without slipping off. I have used turks heads on the end of a broom to create a loop for hanging or to decorate a cap for a container but for a heaving line they are way too tedious to get a good reliable hold on the weight. The mandrel seems to be essential for the globe not. </p><p>There is another knot I learned as the true lovers Knot that can be used to make buttons or decorate the end of a lanyard or as a back splice stopper knot.</p><p>As for diameter of the line, I use scale as a guide. To look right at least four wraps are minimum for a fist while three courses are adequate for turk's heads. I did notice that one mandrel design created the pattern used to make woven belts.</p>
<p>One small tip. I always seal the end of the line with wax for natural fiber or flame for synthetics to make passing it through the decreasingly sized holes much easier..</p>
<p>In the past I've used super glue and electrical tape to seal the ends.</p>
<p>That's a great tip! I'll have to try wax the next time I tie something out of cotton.</p>
The Advanced Grid Maker can make a very wide range of patterns! In fact, it can do the true lover's knot. Attached is a ring that my 3D knot software generated. A friend of mine wears it every day.
<p>It's certainly a covering, which a Monkey's fist would fall into. Turk's heads are very similar as they have a certain number of parts and bights, and are very grid like in nature. Both can be represented on the Advanced Grid Maker.</p>
<p>That is Globe Knots and Turk's Heads, not a Monkey's fist.</p>
<p>I like the depth of information you are sharing here. I always intended on trying my hand on making a globe knot and now have a much better understanding how to make it happen. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Nice Instructable, I am looking to make some juggling balls that are 2.5&quot;s I will most likely fill a balloon with sand, rice, or beans for the core. What settings would you recommend to ensure that things don't start falling out as I am playing with them</p>
<p>If you follow the same steps as the 30 facet globe, but go to 12 rows x 16 columns, you'll get the knot. Then stretch it to 2.5&quot; in diameter and around 3&quot; tall rather than 1&quot;.</p>
<p>I sell a 56 facet pattern on a 2 1/2&quot; mandrel: <a href="http://freakinsweetapps.com/product/56-facet-globe-knot-mandrel-2-12-diameter/">http://freakinsweetapps.com/product/56-facet-globe...</a></p><p>You'd need about 28 feet of 550 paracord to cover it, but it could be tricky not to have a solid core. Lacrosse balls are 2.5&quot; in diameter and work great as a core.</p>
<p>Goo job getting top pick on the instructables. </p>
<p>Great video!! Thanks...I've always looked at those Turk's Head balls and wondered how to do one...great job!!</p>
Thanks!

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