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Ashley Book of Knots [Hardcover]

Clifford Ashley
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 115.00
Price: CDN$ 72.10 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 21 1944
Describes every practical knot, what it looks like, where it comes from, and how to tie it. The book includes 4,000 knots, with all the varieties of shipboard knots as well as knots used by butchers, steeplejacks, electric linesmen, knitters, cobblers, surgeons, poachers and cowboys.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Ashley Book of Knots + The Marlinspike Sailor
Price For Both: CDN$ 86.50

  • The Marlinspike Sailor CDN$ 14.40

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Product Description

From Amazon

The Ashley Book of Knots takes us back to a time when knots saved lives and put dinner on the table. Whether out at sea or in a pioneer cabin, knots were a part of daily life, one that is nearly lost today. But in this attractive, well-organized archive of more than 3,900 different knots--presented through 7,000 illustrations--the art of knot tying lives on, both as a historical reference and a reservoir of handy knowledge.

About the Author

Clifford Ashley was born in 1881 at the whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He sailed on many kinds of boats in many capacities, from ship's surgeon to interested observer. His ruling passions were marine painting and knot-tying, on which he was one of the world's leading authorities. His paintings are represented in the permanent collection of many American museums and libraries. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The sailor, from the very nature of his craft, has a dependence upon rope and a consequent familiarity with knots that is demanded of no other workman. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just look it up in Ashley's!" Oct. 10 2002
THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS (c.1944) by Clifford W. Ashley, is the definitive reference work on knots, splices, and ropework in general. Born in 1881 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Clifford W. Ashley was an antique dealer and artist, who spent eleven years writing his magnum opus, THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS, and died three years after its 1944 publication.
In his pursuit of ropework, Mr. Ashley spent six months at sea on the whaling bark SUNBEAM; and six weeks on a Delaware Bay oysterman called a 'bugeye'. He interviewed tradesmen, such as: steeplejacks, cobblers, truckdrivers, butchers, electric linesmen, and boyscouts as well as sailors and sea captains to document each nuance of knot unique to its trade. He was taught a few knots by Mr. Ringling himself of circus fame; and taught a knot to Mr. DuPont, a captain of industry.
The result of Mr. Ashley's research was a significant collection of 7,000 drawings of 3,900 knots and their application in a 620 page knot tyers tome which has become a veritable bible for rope workers the world over. In just about any capacity that a rope can be utilized has found its way into THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS. Mr. Ashley has covered: netting, lashings, block & tackle, splices, hitches, and bends. He went from purely decorative knots with no practical value to knots applied to industrial use. He included a whole chapter on rope tricks and puzzles. There is an amusing catalog of small figures the author drew to rate the quality of each knot described, such as a deuce of clubs to designate 'unimportance', or an kedge anchor to indicate 'reliability'.
Equally important as the knot's description was their utilization on incidental equipment. Mr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashley Book of Knots Feb. 12 2002
If I were to have to chose a book to be the Bible of knot tying this one is it. It covers many of the aspects of Marlinspike Seamanship and just about anything knot tying you might ever be interested in.
There may be books with easier to follow directions for different knots, but this one is relatively concise and once you puzzle out how his nomenclature works you are well on your way to tying just about any knot in the book.
This book is expensive but is well worth the price. It is a main stay of my personal reference library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Knots as objects of beauty and utility June 30 2001
This book is the fruit of a live passion for knot tying; it contains approximately 3900 knots, sinnets and splices accompanied with individual explanations and 7000 drawings.
The involvement of Mr. Ashley with knots began as he relates, in his early childhood when his two uncles that were whaling captains taught him the first lessons in knot tying, after this he began the gathering and practical study of every kind of knot that crossed his path. The result is this imposing book that took him 11 years to finish.
The book presents in an organized way knots of general utility, and others that are used in more particular circumstances as fishing or camping. You can find and discover scores of very interesting uses for knots from simple ornamental to practical and useful purposes. The sections that I enjoyed the most are the one about occupational knots and the section about tricks and puzzles, one can spend hours and hours navigating through the book that is so full of interesting details and curiosities.
If you are like me a beginner in knot tying, you could find some of the illustrations and directions a little difficult to follow at first, but I can assure you that if you keep trying, in a short time you will get the knack of it, and you will agree with the author when he says: "To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space."
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5.0 out of 5 stars The single best, most authoritative source Nov. 16 2000
For anyone wanting to know more than the very basics, Ashley is a must: an absolute best. No one has ever done it better, and this is the standard reference work.
There are a handful of modern knots that aren't here in this edition, but that's very minor quibbling. The only people that will care about this, are people who will absolutely need Ashley's book in any case!
For the person wanting to get started, while he or she may soon find the need for Ashley's book, there is so much information that overload is bound to occur. I'd recommend "The Handbook of Knots" by Des Pawson for the beginner who doesn't want to put that much effort into it and wants a fast start. But as Ashley pointed out as his reason for having only one book, instead of also having a simplified book, the fact is that even children who were really interested in the subject proved themselves able to make even the most complex knots from his complete book, so he felt no need for a simpler book. If you have that degree of interest, then indeed you need nothing else, but if you're looking for quick, easy, yet everything you need to know to get going pretty well, then some of the smaller books are better choices (and I think the above-mentioned Pawson book is best.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best bathroom material around... June 6 2000
...if you have a genuine love for knots. My fascination with knots grew out of years spent as a stage hand, where it was a necessity to know how to tie a bowline, a clove hitch, the occassional trucker's hitch, and of course knots tied on the bight when you're sixty feet above the stage having to tie off a 100' rope to the grid.
I would probably guess that 99% of people who know knots have learned them from others, who in turn have inherited their knowledge from someone else. It's a tradition, that's how I learned. In this day and age though, where for all practical purposes the art of knot tying is dying (if it is not already room temperature), _The Ashley Book of Knots_ is keeping that tradition alive, even though it may have been published well over 50 years ago. The drawings aren't always the clearest (it does help to have some knowledge of knot tying in hand when reading the book), but they are sufficient and with enough time and perseverance, the knots are doable. On the other hand, while it is one thing to know how a knot is tied, it is another to know its history and practical use. And that is where this voluminous book shines. As far as historical archives are concerned, this is one of the best, if not THE best, and you will want to have it in your bathroom... err, your library.
Highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Real informative.
Easy to read and understand. More information than I had expected. Would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about knot tying.
Published 11 months ago by Andy Culbertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book for knot enthusiasts
I have wanted this book for years, so has my entire family. We are all sailors and have been our whole lives and have always thought of this book as the Holy Grail. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2011 by Nick Ta Mere
4.0 out of 5 stars Above all other knot books...in weight only.
I gave this book a 4 for just one reason, a lack of detailed drawings. Although it is the most extensive book of knots known to man. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2002 by "bm_coastie"
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashley's book of life
Excellent from the beggining to the end. Suitable boath for kids and adults. It gives the reader how and why for every of 3854 knots listed. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2001 by "fewfish"
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book BEFORE you buy any other knotting book.
... This book is indeed the Bible of knots and ropework. It's entertaining and darn near comprehensive. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars No better book on knots
This is THE authoritative work on knots. There is simply no better book available. Every kind of knot for every purpose is detailed along with every variation (good or bad) that... Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2001 by Harold McFarland
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick way of learning
A great little book for the novice to get an upper hand on the knot problem. Learn quick and you are ready to go sailing with the best of sailors.
Published on April 4 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Knots,But A Whole Lot More
This book is a work of art and devotion. Clifford Ashley presents an encyclopedic array of knots in this book. Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2000 by Thomas Powers
5.0 out of 5 stars encyclopedic -- you will knot find this stuff elsewhere...
The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedic tome on knots -- It's huge, it's very well organised, it's very useful and a lot of fun. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2000 by Mayer Goldberg
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