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A recent question on Turk's Heads dealt with tying a five-lead knot in string. Here is a series of pictures illustrating the method for doing so. The resultant knot is a 5x4 (five-lead, four-bight) and is probably the most commonly found Turk's Head knot after the three-lead knots which are so simple that everyone already knows how to tie them. (Those are the ones you see people wearing on wrist or ankle when they come back from tropical vacations, usually tied in hemp and doubled or tripled.)
first and second pass First the line goes around twice, with two crossings. Note that in this and the following illustrations there are no crossings hidden behind my hand, so as to avoid confusion.
On the third go-'round, a simple three-lead knot results, but we're not finished. Observe the placement of the line carefully, the next pass is critical. third pass
fourth pass It looks wrong, but that's because there is still one more line to go. Parallel the previous lead, but go over where it is under, and under where it is over.
Now it starts to look right again. Remember, there are no crossings behind the hand -- the running part will come around parallel to the original standing part to complete the knot and begin the "doubling" process. fifth pass
After you've done this a couple of times, it starts making sense. It is possible to extend this method to make more complex knots, and I've put up another page that shows how to do a series of knots, starting with the 3x4, then the 5x6 and the 7x8, each larger knot containing the previous knot as a preliminary stage.

(This site last updated on 12-12-2020)

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