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For those who did not find the five-lead by six-bight knot sufficiently challenging (and for those who found the pictures a bit confusing), I have fresh pictures to illustrate the first part, and have elaborated the knot to the point where it will end up as a seven-lead by eight-bight Turk's Head. Along the way, you can stop with a three- or five-lead knot, or you can continue past seven.

In an effort to clarify this, I have some drawings made up in a series, sketching in the stages of construction of an idealized knot.
first and second pass
First the line goes around twice, as before, with two crossings. Note that in this and the following illustrations there are no crossings hidden behind my hand, so as to avoid confusion.
third pass
With this knot, the third lead is passed behind the first one, then down between the first two. Compare this with the same stage in the tying of a 5x4 knot. The structure of a three-lead turk's head is clear in this picture -- stopping here and tucking the end back parallel with the standing part (the original end) would make a three-lead four-bight knot.
fourth pass
At this point, the running part is following the same path as the original first turn. Notice that it came up and went over the standing part this time -- keep track, it will alternate. Notice also that when it followed it into the second tuck it switched sides, so that it is always above it, toward the top of my hand.
fifth pass
Note that this time the running part came up beneath the standing part, to continue the under/over/under/over pattern. At this point, if the running part were to be tucked in parallel with the original standing part it would make a five-lead by six-bight knot. Don't stop now, though!
fifth pass
It comes up from beneath, goes over the standing part, and then proceeds to parallel it, just as it did two pictures above. It is following the same path, but always to the same side, this is important.
fifth pass
Now, again, it comes up from beneath and goes under the standing part, then over the first loop, then under, over, and so on. Don't lose the loops along the edge, just take your time and keep the over one, under one pattern in mind.
fifth pass
Okay, that's enough for now. I took the running part, that's the end that was doing all the under'ing and over'ing and tucking through here and there, and fed it back into the knot where the original line started, the standing part. Then I pulled out the extra slack and moved it around until it made a regular pattern, where you can see all seven leads (from the middle out to the edge) and the eight bights that loop out from the center to the edge and back. Perhaps this will clarify why I refer to "loops" or "bights" interchangeably, and why the term applies.
It would be possible to just keep going with this pattern, and the results are predictable. The next stop is a nine-lead by ten-bight, followed by an eleven-lead by twelve-bight, and so on. I leave the verification of this as an exercise for the student.

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

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