Introduction: Jack's Beanstalk Key Fob
As far as I can tell, nobody has named this knot yet, so I'm claiming it. When tied in all green, it looks like a climbing, twining vine to me. Hence the name, "Jack's Beanstalk". I've tied it here in red, white and blue to make it easier to tell the strands from each other.
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Step 1: Tying the Base
Take three lengths of paracord, and fold them in half. Interlace the loops as shown to make an interlocking, three-sided base with six strands. Pull the loops tightly together, and fold the 'top' strands in the same direction to evenly distribute the six strands.
Next, take one strand and fold it under the strand to its right. Continue doing this until you reach the sixth loose end. Feed the last running end through the loop you created with the first strand. The idea here is that you're making a wide base, and the loose ends should all point 'up' with the loops on the outside. Tug, twist and try to get an evenly tightened knot, but don't waste a lot of time. At this point there isn't a lot of cord to really hold the knot together.
In the next step, you'll do the same thing in the opposite direction to make a wall of nested bights.
Step 2: Building a Wall
Repeat the six-sided loop in the last step in the opposite direction. You should now have a set of loops that interlock around a hollow center. In the next step we start building the bean stalk by stacking triple-cross sinnet knots.
Step 3: Climbing the Beanstalk
Cross three alternate strands - in this case, one of each color for clarity. Make sure all three are on the right (or on the left) or the knot won't come out right. You can tie it going clockwise or counterclockwise, based on how you stack the triple-crosses.
The first triple should be pulled tight so that it sits flat inside the wall knot you created previously. I've found that with this particular braid, it helps to go back and tighten the previous layer, and then re-tighten the current knot. Doing this seems to keep the knot tighter, and present a more uniform appearance.
Notice how the bottom layer is tied over and to the right in order to make a spiral appearance. It's important to do the same thing each time, or the spiral doesn't come out right. If it helps, try to think about the bottom knot going over the top layer, with the running end from the top sticking out to the side. At that point, the top becomes the new bottom, and you repeat this over and over.
If you use pliers or forceps, be careful to keep a good grip and not pull out any snags.
As you stack the knots, you will see that every other layer will have both colors on the same side. Keep stacking until you reach your desired length. You want to finish with both colors on the same side as you weave the crown.
Step 4: Weaving a Crown
With two same-color strands coming out of the three sides, weave a pair under its neighbor. Weave the neighbor under its neighbor, and finally, weave the third pair under the loop created when you wove the first pair. Don't tighten these yet.
Next, weave each pair under and up through the loop to the left. Keep plenty of slack and open space in the weave.
Triple-cross the three pairs, and feed them back through the loops created by your double-woven crown. Here's the trick - weave the pair under the pair that it covers in the triple cross - for example, white goes over blue and under red. When you feed the white pair back through, tuck it under the blue pair as it rises from the crown.
Once you have worked out all the twists, begin tightening the crown. Take your time, and work each color a little at a time to keep the crown even. Pull from the top of the stalk, around the weave, and then up and over the top of the crown. Finally, pull slack from the pair of running ends hanging under the crown. This should take a while.
When the knot is as tight as you can make it, snip the running ends off as close to the bottom of the crown as possible. Using your pliers, pull just enough slack back out of the knot to make the running ends suck inside the crown. I like to hide my ends as opposed to just burning/melting them. You can do that before you suck the ends in, just to keep things from fraying out.
Step 5: You Just Climbed Jack's Beanstalk!
Use your pliers or forceps to pull out one of the loops in the base, and slide a split-ring through. If you wanted, you could add a spring clip with an eyelet to one of your loops when you begin the knot. I didn't do that in this case to make the loops easier to see.
I've gotten a lot of inspiration and knowledge from looking at Stormdrane's creations as well as watching JD's TIAT videos.
The more I tie these kinds of knots, the more I realize that a few simple ingredients, repeated in a unique way, can make for a very interesting pattern when the knot is finished.