In order to make the angle neater, the spool should be withdrawn before the last knot is tightened, so that the last loop is made to come into the angle; and the first knot should be untied, and the large front loop a Fig. 348 B also drawn up tight, so as to render the net correct in shape.
Making square-meshed nets.
The netting of an oblong net, such as shown in Fig. 348 C, is a rather more complicated matter. This is commenced with a half-square as before, the length of the sides determining the width of the net. This done, at the end of the next row the last two loops are to be taken up at once; but on returning to the end. of the succeeding row, two loops are to be netted into one as before, and this alternation is to be continued. At the end of one row toco loops are to be taken up at once, and at the end of the next row two loops are to be netted into one. The side at which the latter is done - a c d - will be the long side of the oblong, and when this is of the required length, two loops are taken up at each end of each row; and the net diminished to the point e.
In making an oblong great care must be taken always to diminish or increase at the proper sides of the net, otherwise a confused mass of useless netting will be the result. This error is easily avoided if a few threads of coloured string or a riband is tied at the angle 6, to show which side should be .diminished by taking up two loops in one.
This proceeding may perhaps be rendered clearer by a consideration of Fig. 348 D, in which a is the first loop. Five rows are then netted, each being increased by netting two loops into the last of each row, making the half-square a b and c. Then on returning to 6, two loops are taken up together, and at the side a c d two loops are netted into one, and when the required length a to d is reached, two loops are taken up together at the end of every row and the net diminishes to a point completing the oblong.
A lawn tennis net of the M.C.C. regulation size is 5 ft. high by 8 yd. long, and the mesh is 1 1/2 in. square. The strongest and most durable cord to employ is that called mattress twine, the usual price being about 6d. a ball; 10 balls are generally required for an ordinary-sized net.
To make a net of this size a half-square of 40 rows would have to be made before one side should be diminished by taking up two loops in one, and then the long side a c d should be continued for 192 rows before diminishing to the corner e Fig. 348 C by taking up two in one at both ends of every row.
It is hardly necessary to add that a net of 10 or 12 yd. length for double games can be made by simply continuing the side a c d until the required length is obtained.
(4) Mending Nets
The ability to mend nets is an art of rather rare occurrence; except amongst fishermen and their wives, there are perhaps 100 persons who can make nets for every one who can repair them when damaged. The first step towards acquiring this power consists in learning to make a bend knot. This has been already described (p. 386) and illustrated (Fig. 345). A knot, which will be found of the greatest use, not only in fastening the cord to which the foundation of a net is attached, but also in stretching out the different parts of a net whilst it is being mended, has been described on p. 386, Fig. 345 F.
It is impossible to mend nets by using the ordinary netting stitch which is employed by most persons. What is termed the fishermen's mode of making the knot is absolutely necessary. This was described fully on p. 392. In mending a torn or damaged net, the first operation is to spread the net out as flatly as possible, with the loops in the same position with regard to the mender as they were to the netter when the net was made. In the case of a lawn-tennis net the corner or angle at which the net was commenced must be farthest from the operator. The damaged or torn part must then be cut away in regular rows, as shown in Fig. 349 E, where the whole of that part represented by dotted lines is supposed to have been removed. The short ends of string that are knotted into the loops 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 must be unpicked, when those loops will remain uninjured; and the knots at 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 must also be unpicked, so as to liberate the loose ends of those loops that have been cut away; but the knots at the sides of the part removed, viz., at 1, 13, 7, and 19, must be left, otherwise those loops would be opened, which is not requisite.
The mender should then take a short needle (one of those alike at both ends is most convenient for mending); fill it, but not over-full, with twine of the same size as that used for the original netting; or twine -slightly finer may be employed, as, being new, it will be stronger than the old. The end of the twine should then be fastened by a bend knot to the loop 1, the needle passed upwards through loop 2, then the twine should be taken between the thumb and fore finger of the right hand, and a length measured equal to the distance from the knot at 1 to just beyond the knot at a, this gives the exact length of twine required to form the new loop from 1 to 2; this new loop is caught on the little finger of the left hand, and pulled back; the point of the old loop 2 and the cord passing through it are held by the thumb and fore finger of the left hand, the loose twine is thrown over to the left, the needle is brought to the right, and the knot is completed by passing the needle under the loop 2 from right to lett.
In short, the loop 2 is taken up by the fishermen's knot, only made on the little finger, instead of on a spool, the length of the twir.e required to form the new loop being ascertained by measuring from 1 to a.
When there are a large number of meshes to be filled in, a spool may be used, but when there are only a few it is neither necessary nor desirable to employ one.
The new loops from 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, and 5 to 6 are made in the same way, and then the side 6 to 7 must be made by netting into 7 as into a loo p. This completes the fir»t row of new loops.
The second row has now to be netted into the first. If performed as recommended, without a spool, it may be worked backwards from right to left with great facility; or the netting may be turned over on to the other side, when the second row can be completed in the usual direction, from left to right.
In this manner the space cut away must be filled up, until the last row is reached; this requires different treatment. In Fig. 349, 3 rows of loops only are shown as having been removed. When the second has been entirely replaced, the twine will be attached to the knot at 13; to complete the repair pass the needle through the loop 14, and secure it by a bend knot, 14 being the loop of the bend knot, and taking care that the side 13 to. 14 is of the proper length; then knit into loop 12 from 14, return to 15, and so on, connecting the whole in the following order - 11 to 16, 10 to 17, 9 to 18, and lastly 8 to 19, which completes the repair. Of course the reparation of larger rents and more extensive damages is only an extension of the same proceeding as is here described with reference to three rows of loops. The description of this process doubtless appears tedious, but the performance is, with a little practice, sufficiently easy. (T.)