The poet Crabbe, speaking of the writing of the rustics, signing his parish registers, says
"'Tis strange that men
Who guide the plough should fail to guide the pen !
For half a mile the furrows even lie;
For half an inch the letters stand awry."
A parallel remark might with equal jnstice be made on the gentler sex, who, after exercising a degree of tact, neatness, and tasteful invention, that the 6elf-styled "lords of the creation" might in vain hope to rival, in the formation of a piece of needlework, knitting, netting, or crotchet, are, for the most part, totally unable, when it is finished, to tie it up so as to make a decent parcel: ladies' packages are, in fact, the opprobrium of the sex - the annoyance of all carriers, cads, and coachmen who have anything to do with their conveyance, and the torment of their owners: the cords are certain to become loose, the knots are sure to slip, except when a slip-knot is requisite, and then it is a fixture ! It is in the hope that we may be instrumental in improving this state of things, that we are induced to devote this article to Knots, Packages, Parcels, etc, and we shall at once lay before our fair readers a method of tying a parcel neatly and securely, and at the same time affording facilities of releasing the contents without destroying the string by cutting it away - a too-ordinary practice, especially where time is an object.
3113. The most simple purpose for which a knot is required, is the fasten ing together of two pieces of string or cord: the knot selected for this purpose should possess two important pre-'perties; - it should be secure from slipping, and of small size. Nothing is more common than to see two cords attached together in a maimer similar to that shown in Fig. 13. It is scarcely possible to imagine a worse knot; it is large and clumsy, and as the cords do not mutually press each other, it is certain to slip if pulled with any force. 3114. In striking contrast to this - the worst of all, we place one of the best; namely, the knot usually employed by netters, and which is called by sailors "the sheet-bend" It is readily made by bending one of the pieces of cord into a loop (a b, Fig. 14), which is to be held between the finger and thumb of the left hand; the other cord c is passed through the loop from the farther side, then round behind the two legs of the loop, and lastly, under itself, the loose end coming out at d. In the smallness of its size, and the firmness with which the various parts grip together, this knot surpasses every other: it can, moreover, be tied readily when one of the pieces, viz., a b, is exceedingly short; in common stout twine, less than an inch being sufficient to form the loop. The above method of forming it is the simplest to describe, although not the most rapid ha practice; as it may be made in much ess time by crossing the two ends of eord ( a b, Fig. 15) on the tip of the forefinger of the left hand, and holding them firmly by the left thumb, which covers the crossing; then the part c is to be wound round the thumb in a loop, as shown in the figure, and passed between the two ends, behind a and before b; the knot is completed by turning the end b downwards in front of d, passing it through the loop, securing it under the left thumb, and tightening the whole by pulling i. Ax formed in this
mode, it is more rapidly made than almost any other knot; and, as before stated, it excels all in security and compactness, so firmly do the various turns grip each other, that after having been tightly pulled, it is very difficult to untie; this is the only drawback to its usefulness, and in this respect it is inferior to the reef-knot, Fig. 16, which is made in precisely the same manner that a shoe-string is tied, only pulling out the ends instead of leaving them as bows.
3115. The only precaution necessary in making a reef-knot is, to observe that the two parts of each string are on the same 6ide of the loop; if they are not, the ends (and the bows, if any are formed) are at right angles to the cords: the knot is less secure, and is termed by sailors a granny-knot. Other knots are occasionally used to connect two cords, but it is unnecessary to describe them, as every useful purpose may be answered by those abovementioned.
3116. The binding knot (Figs. 17 and 18) is exceedingly useful in connecting broken sticks, rods. etc, bout some difficulty is often experienced in fastening it at the finish; if, however, the string is placed over the part to be united, as shown in Fig. 17, and the long end b, used to bind around the rod, and finally passed through the loop a, as shown in Fig. 18, it is readily secured by pulling d, when the loop is drawn in, and fastens the end of the cord.