Have you ever noticed how many pieces of knotted rope end up among the beach litter on the strandline? They come in all sorts of bright colours and combinations of colours. Their textures and weaves vary from the intricate and delicate to coarse and heavy. They range from less than an inch across to a foot or more in diameter. The picture above displays just a small selection that I picked up as I walked along Gower beaches this April. Knots are equally common on Jurassic Coast beaches too.

I would love to know what it is that fishermen and sailors do that results in these very short pieces of rope being tied into a knot then discarded. Can anyone tell me?

Here are some pictures showing a range of knots,  just as I found them – curious and colourful – on the strandlines at Rhossili Bay and Whiteford Sands.








All Rights Reserved

2 Replies to “Why knots?”

  1. I found an amazing array of rope ends and pieces on Plum Island off the Massachusetts coast recently. I was guessing that the fisherpeople when faced with having to replace a piece of rope, or untie for whatever reason, decide it is easier just to cut the lines than to untie the knots. I

    I have them sunning out in my driveway now, here in Burlington Vermont, and am planning to use them in some sculptural way, as they are really quite stunning!

    thanks for your post!


  2. What amazing serendipity. I posted a picture of rope knots on the Sea Glass Lovers website only yesterday. The link to the picture and comments is http://seaglasslovers.ning.com/photo/knotted-rope-flotsam-shells?context=user – – – only I am not too sure whether you can access it if you are not a member. I had arrived at the same conclusion about their origin too. I just fill glass jars with the small rope knots that I bring home. Some knots are massive, though – maybe 30 cms or more across and I have to leave those on the beach. Now they really would lend themselves to spectacular sculptures. I look forward to hearing from you when you have constructed your ‘sculpture’ – I would love to see what you do with your knots.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: