My inner Boy Scout was excited to get Knot Guide from Winkpass Creations onto my iPhone. Since I’ve barely tied my shoelaces in the last decade, much less fancy knots, surely this would bring back the mojo of my youth. I found that this app pulls no punches and exactly as the name implies, it’s a streamlined, step-by-step guide to tying every knot from the Apline Butterfly to the Zeppelin Loop. Featured are 66 knots in 13 categories, 40 of which are unique.
My usual outdoor activities aren’t quite in season so I didn’t test any knots in real-world settings; instead I employed my highly advanced alternate scientific method: a ball of string, some pencils and my favorite deadly-sharp scissors. Don’t laugh, this actually worked better than I expected, plus my goal was to test the ability to tie knots following this guide, not stress-test them in the field. So then, upon loading the app you’re presented with a popup warning about knot safety (which you can subsequently disable as desired) and then it’s down to business. The first thing you see are the knot categories such as Bends (for securing 2 separate lengths of rope) and Lashes (for securing sticks or poles together). Next, drill down to the desired knot and select ’Tie the Knot!’ for detailed instructions; simple and fast. The knot-tying instructions are presented with actual photographs enhanced with drawn arrows and other overlay data which I found uniformly clear and easy to follow across the board. Each category and knot has a little blurb describing the most common application and any extra warnings plus there’s a ‘knot lingo’ page that explains common terminology. You can also mark your favorite knots for easy recall, a feature just added in the 1.7 release so kudos to the developer for supporting their app!
After checking out approximately half the knots covered here, it’s clear to me this app could save your butt someday. It will help you hang a simple drying line with easy-release hitch knots or lash a raft together after your Fedex jet crashes into the ocean and leaves you stranded on a desert isle with a volleyball. Perhaps best of all, it will help you tie the correct knot for the application at hand (instead of the same knot for everything and you know who you are) and get this, you will actually learn a valuable skill, imagine that!
- My single beef is that the 1.6 version kept the buttons at the bottom ‘hot’ so you could always back out to the logical beginning no matter how far you were into a knot. 1.7 gave us favorites but also took away this ‘hot button’ behavior which IMO unstreamlined the app a bit. I emailed the developer about it (who have been great and very responsive all around) and it looks like they agree! So we might see this functionality returned in a nearby update.
Sure, you could do some Google searching and put together your own knot-tying reference but look, Winkpass Creations has already done it for you with a streamlined interface, the mobility of the iPhone and an extremely affordable price. This app is great; I’m now going out of my way to find applications for some of these knots around the house and yard. If you never thought tying knots could be fun, think again!
Consider Knot Guide a highly recommended app with tons of utility value…and that’s a wrap.
Version reviewed – 1.7