Knotty problems

A good knot:

  • Solves a problem
  • Is easy to remember
  • Is easy to tie
  • Is easy to check
  • Is strong (causes as little reduction in the strength of the rope as possible)
  • Is secure (doesn’t come undone when you don’t want it to)
  • Doesn’t jam (doesn’t become extremely difficult to untie after being put under strain)
  • Is easy to undo (the rope can be returned to its un-knotted state and be ready to use quickly)
  • Has something about it that you like (the method of tying it, the satisfaction of using it, an appealing symmetry, a story behind it)

With a couple of tweaks, this checklist is helpful for choosing (or making) any tool at home or at work.

More on knots here, here and here – and in a future post.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...