Archive for the ‘cool knot projects’ Category

A Classic Tree Swing Kit Story

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Enjoying a Classic Tree Swing

This just in from our Classic Tree Swing Kit customers, the Shepherd Family:

We had been anticipating the swing hanging day ever since Christmas. Finally, spring came and my husband announced our swing excursion for the evening.  We were so excited.  I suggested a wagon ride.  So, my husband hooked the tractor up to our wagon, and we loaded on with ladder in tow.  We had so much fun looking over the property for that just right tree and just right spot.

Finally, we found it: not too far from the house, just the right tree and an amazing view.  We took our knot book for knot help, in case we needed it.  Since our son attached most of the ropes, he got the first swing.

The swing seat can even handle standing!

I got the last.  The babies all swung in our laps.  My first swing out was thrilling! I just hadn’t had that kind of fun in so long. I’ve swung on our hip hugger swings alone and with the girls, there is just no comparison!  This swing is wide enough for everyone’s caboose and easily endures multiple bodies.  Any of our family can even stand and swing on the bench seat.  Just try that on the hip hugger swings.

Swinging on our Knot4Fun Classic Tree Swing with little ones.

Thanks for our fun swing adventure Hoffman’s and Great Aunt Louise, who gave us the swing at Christmastime as a gift.

The Shepherds’

Thanks, Shepherd Family, for the story of your Knot4Fun Classic Tree Swing adventure! And thanks for the wonderful tree swing pictures as well! We hope your family enjoys their swing for many years to come!

Purchase a Knot4Fun Classic Tree Swing Kit for Your Family

If your family likes traditional fun, check out our Classic Tree Swing Kit today! They are hand made right here on our family farm with oak sustainably harvested in the nearby Cherokee National Forest.

Rustic Backpack Project

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Looking for Rope & Knot Projects for Kids

Whilst searching for rope & knot projects for kids (and their parents too), I came across this YouTube Video by Living History School:

This simple backpack is made with materials found lying around most homes and backyards:

  • Rope
  • Raw Hide (dried leather that you can find inexpensively online)
  • Sticks and branches

Lewis & Clark for Children with Knots

This is an excellent hands-on project for homeschool students studying the Lewis & Clark Expedition or other American History. There is no better way to ensure learning & retention of the material than with practical projects. And let us not forget, this is a very usable survival skill.

Build Confidence with Knots

Has your child ever made something that they can really use? You can see his confidence build when he completes a project and is able to use  his creation. This Rustic Backpack Project will do just that for your son or daughter: give them real self esteem.

Learn the Knots

Not sure how to teach you child how to tie the necessary knots? Google a bit and you will find what you need:

  • Square Lashing. A set of knots for connecting the stick frame.
  • Square Knot. A knot for tying this Rustic Backpack around your waist and attaching your bedroll to your pack.
  • Packer’s Knot. A knot and instructions for making a bedroll for your blanket & gear.

And if sitting in front of a computer and learning the knots doesn’t work for you or your child, consider purchasing our book on knot tying for kids. This book is spiral bound and sits flat on the table or floor in front of you while you practice the knots.

Extreme Tire Swing

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The Thrill of a Tire Swing

Swings provide much enjoyment for the young and old alike. Swings hung over a slope provide even more thrilling as can be seen here on our tire swing:

Make Your Tire Swing Even More Extreme

If you have a high branch, the swinging becomes even more extreme as the high branch and longer rope allow for a longer swing time. More flying!

Low-Cost Summer Swinging Fun

Nice thing about a tire swing is that it is inexpensive. An old tire and a length of rope (3/4 inch manilla is a good choice for a tire swing) coupled with the bowline & swing hitch and you have a recipe for low cost (or no cost) Summer fun!

How to Hang A Tire Swing

Want to learn how to tie the knots for your own tire swing? Get our knot tying book for children, Why Not Knot for Fun?! The book is spiral bound so you can easily lay it flat while you use two hands to tie up your tire swing.

Springtime Swingtime!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I know, we’re a knot tying bunch with our knot tying book and all, but did you realize we also have Tree Swing Kits available?

That’s right! Our Classic Tree Swing Kit includes everything you need to get you swinging, except the tree, of course. Swing trees don’t ship well and as such, are not included with the kit. With our Classic Tree Swing Kit, there are no holes to drill, no hardware to purchase. Just rope, a sturdy oak swing seat, and two easy-to-learn knots.


It’s like flying!

Our swing seats are made right here on our farm from oak that has been sustainably harvested in the nearby Unicoi Mountains. They are sturdy enough for an adult to stand on! And they won’t squeeze your hips when you sit on them. The rope we use in our Classic Tree Swing Kit is manufactured right here in the Southeastern U.S. and is considered “marine” grade. This is NOT polypropylene rope and will last for years.

Wouldn’t our Classic Tree Swing look lovely hanging under the branch of a shady tree in your yard?  Order one today!

Mozzarella Knots

Monday, April 5th, 2010

In our not-as-often-as-we’d-like efforts to show how handy knot tying can be at any age, here is an amazing video of Mozzarella Cheese being tied into knots:

A Glance at Last Autumn

Friday, February 5th, 2010

OK. We are knee deep in mud around here. Not that I’m complaining. Just think about the drought of ’07 when rain ceased for consecutive months and temperatures exceeded 105 degrees F, and you still appreciate the precipitation. But it is still pleasant to look at a project that was carried out under the soft blue Tennessee sky of November.


Tree platform between three living pine trees.

Three children got the urge to elevate some logs one day. The oldest was only ten, so you can see that these projects are not extremely difficult. With a little teamwork and a 6′ step ladder, these young arborists lashed the tree beams in place using 10-30 foot lengths of 3/8 polyester rope and a square lashing knot at each end of the beam. They then placed decking of scavenged boards and short timbers to form a decking.


Detail of pattern used to secure decking to tree platform.

The decking is best secured to the main beams by using a 1/8-3/16″ strong cord in the pattern illustrated above. First anchor the cord using a clove hitch. Then weave in and out between the decking elements (boards, posts, and other scavenged items) and the main beam between two trees. Maintain good tension. Very quickly you will have fashioned a fun tree house. After a month or two you might want to remove the tree platform so that the living trees can grow some more. And lastly, don’t forget to install a beam several feet (usually about half the height of the smallest child involved) above the decking above the main beams. This is especially important if the platform is higher than one foot above the ground. Use the square lashing to install this railing.

Knots and Kites

Monday, November 10th, 2008

After many failed attempts to fly an on-sale Walmart box kite, our oldest son is eager to build one that really works. And after some examination, we discovered why the Walmart box kit design failed:

No Knots!

No Knots!

Well no wonder it didn’t work! How can you make a kite without learning the critical skill of knot tying? O.k., so there are other design issues with this kite. But really, no knots?! Come on!

So with the failure of this store-bought toy, we’ll be starting an entire series here at Knot4Fun’s Knot blog on handmade kites and knots!

Stay tuned!

Setting Up a Quick Shelter

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

When spending a night out of doors, the most important consideration is remaining dry while you sleep through the night. Except in high wind or heavy snow, you will be well served by setting up a lean-to shelter. Using any water repellent sheet or tarp, erect two corners 2-4 feet above the ground, and two corners near the ground. If the sheet is big enough, double up half the sheet as a floor. At the left is an illustration of a lean-to with a floor, which will add significantly to your comfort. The two knots that you will need to know for this project is the taut line hitch (rolling hitch) and a round turn and two half hitches.

At the right is an example of a lower corner of the shelter connected with a taut line hitch to a small sapling. After the hitch is tyed, the user can then tighten this cord. The other end of the cord will be tyed with around turn and two half hitches.

Two half hitches are fast to tye and easy to untye. It is one of those knots that are handy whenever you have no extra slack on the working side of the rope.  The only thing more important than knowing this knot, and how to use it, is to actually have rope or twine available when you need it. Carry some with you at all times! It is amazing how useful seven feet of rope can be.

Some of the things from which you can make a shelter:

Shower curtain
Tarp   Poncho
Sheet  Raincoat

You never know when you might be stuck outdoors for the night and need to know how to erect one of these shelters. Go outside and try out this project.

Instant Hammock

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Here’s a simple hammock you can make with a couple lengths of rope and a very large blanket or old drapes.

Know How to Make a Hammock

The knot Mr. Anderson makes in the drapes is an Overhand Knot.

We did make this ourselves and can say that a twin size sheet is waaaay too small. Try it with a king sized sheet or the recommended drapes. Very simple and very cool!