Sunday, 26 May 2013

Of nets and creels

I'm always trying new things; there are so many things to try!

I've been keeping an eye on an abandoned creel that's been sitting on the beach for a few months with the intention of having a go at repairing it.  I brought it home a couple of weeks ago and after working out it's missing the "door" at the end I set about fathoming how to repair it for my own purposes.

 photo MyCreel_zps810d396a.jpg

 photo MyWonkyCreel_zps50dd012d.jpg

But first, I need to learn how to tie nets.  I spent a good couple of hours looking at picture tutorials on t'internet before finding a nice, easy to follow set of videos on YouTube showing how to tie a purse net (used for rabbitting or ratting).  After a few false starts I think I finally have a good idea:
 photo NetKnots_zps3374dc60.jpg

I also now think I know how to make a string bag by doing this in a spiral rather than back and forth.
 photo NetPinned_zpsf84a0853.jpg

 photo NetKnotsCloseup_zpse540c761.jpg
I'm not really using the correct tools though.  Currently I'm using a 6" ruler as my "mesh stick" and an intarsia knitting bobbin as my "net needle".  But, I already had those and the crochet cotton I'm using, so it cost me nothing to see if I could do this.

You may be wondering why I don't just knit a net?  There are good reasons.

Firstly: it's a LOT quicker.  Really, even with my slow knotting and checking I've got things right, this still got finished quicker than the equivalent in knitting.

Also, in knitting you're passing loops over each other.  This means that should you catch a loop it will pull out (like snagging a jumper) and get bigger while the others in its row shrink down.  Not really what you want in a net.  If you go dragging a net through pebbles and such the last thing you want is your lovely catch to escape through a giant hole because you caught on a piece of flimsy weed.  So in fishing nets and cargo nets every single point where two strands cross is knotted.  The size of the holes is fixed.

On the creel I've stashed the holes are about 1" each side.  In my practice they're almost 1.5".  Apparently I can make a net needle "easily enough" but having looked at them my mind simply boggles at how.  I think I shall have to find someone more that-way minded to show me.

I did order some nylon cord in what I think is the right size, so once that arrives I can make a mesh stick and a needle and get repairing.  Now I'm keeping an eye for more abandoned creels that might have a "door" I can nab.  My current reckoning is; if it's been sitting for a good few months or is half buried then it's free to nab.  If any islanders wish to correct me on this, please do!  I don't want to annoy anyone.

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