Without knots, our lives unravel. Just a few weeks ago, a bow tie knot issue made Neil Gaiman late to the London premiere of Amazon miniseries Good Omens. Neither Neil nor his wife, his publicist, his agent – nor even the staff at the hotel he was staying at – knew how to tie a bow tie, and Neil refused to attend without one. Eventually, crisis was averted, with a barber helpfully intervening, and the universe returned to bow-tie-bearing order.
For next time, there’s always Animated Knots, a nifty website with easy-to-follow animated breakdowns of all the knots you’ll ever need. The bow-tie, it helpfully relates, is based on a square (reef) knot and features the same bow used in shoelace tying, a fact which could have saved Neil a whole lot of trouble.
Better yet, the site is filled with knots that can avert disasters more pressing than being late to a premiere. Sorting knots by activity yields everything from more mundane applications, like bow ties, neckties and knots for bunching your curtains together, to surgical knots for securing blood vessels and search and rescue knots for emergency harnesses. Or, for the more serious knot aficionados, you can sort instead by knot types, in the event that your tastes run more towards hitches as opposed to end loops.