Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tying by Night

I've found myself with a long quiet night tonight, just me, my cameraphone, and my college tie, so since I had nothing better to do I thought it might be a good opportunity to teach myself how to tie the darn thing like an adult, instead of just subsisting on the old faithful four-hands knot that has gotten me this far in life.

It hardly seems like the kind of interesting reading worth resurrecting the blog for [especially now that I've tried to do it and realised how rubbish the photos are, even if you're somehow capable of ignoring my middle-of-the-night-dead-eyes stare], but history has taught me that my loyal readers are unusually susceptible to neckwear-based content, so here we are.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, there's a whole host of options available, even if I just limit myself to one site.

Half-Windsor - I used to use this back when I had to have meetings with people that were likely to actually look at my tie, because it's just slightly neater without that much extra work. I'm not sure that it's enough of an improvement on the four-hands knot to overcome the inconvenience of not being able to just rip it off at the end of the night without leaving a knot in my tie, though.

Windsor - Has the advantage of being able to just slide it right off in a very satisfying way, but the three downsides of never being able to remember how to tie it, not being able to tighten it from the front in a satisfying way, and constantly worrying that there's a small creature hanging around my throat waiting to strangle me mean it's not the knot for me.

Simple - It's kinda fun to start out inside-out and just throw that thing straight over and boom: done, but there's no way that I could keep this thing tied. I'd spend the whole day straightening and fixing it, and ain't nobody got time for that. Besides, it just looks kinda flat.

Kelvin - I've never really gotten the hang of any of the knots that basically just get their weight from going around again, as I find that they tend to slide down and start to look a bit messy as time goes on. This one seemed surprisingly okay, but I've been bitten before and I'm a little wary of this style of knot letting me down over time.

Pratt - The Pratt knot feels like an absolute mess from the back, but it's surprisingly satisfying to tie. It has that same disadvantage as the Half-Windsor in that it's a little strange to try and untangle at the end, too, but the fun little shallow shape is honestly tempting enough for me to overlook it. I suspect that it's not the sort of map that's designed for my body type, but I'm honestly tempted.

Price Albert - Here's one of those double loop ones that I was talking about that just never really seem to work for me. They always look like I've accidentally stuffed it up (and in this case I'm pretty sure that I did), but never look quite off-kilter enough to suggest that the effect might have been deliberate. To my mind, if you're going to go weird when it comes to ties, you gotta go a lot weirder than this.

Eldredge - It's one of those party knots that I would never want to attempt without a chart, but if I ever started wearing thin single-colour ties, and going to loud parties with other people that wear thin single-colour ties, and became the kind of guy that tried to assert dominance through my superior tie choices at loud parties, I could imagine wearing this and feeling insufferably smug doing it. Tying this knot was legitimately so enjoyable that I tried to get it right three times despite my limited late-night attention span. Only problem is now that I've done it I'm reluctant to ever undo it again, which is just as well as it's...quite the puzzle.

Van Wijk - So you take the worst part of the Prince Albert and you just double down on it again, and if you somehow manage to tie it right and actually have enough tie left you're still left with something that just looks like you don't know how to tie a tie. Which honestly, by this point, I'm willing to concede.

Trinity - Yeah. Nah. That felt like it was working, it really did, right up until the moment that I stuck it all together and realised that I'd missed something critical. No idea what, though, and the second attempt was even worse than the first, so this is one of the party knots that I'll be leaving for the party people, methinks.

Murrell - I admire someone who managed to sell this as a legitimate way to wear a tie outside of a fashion parade. It's patently ridiculous and yet, somehow, it works. It's fully adjustable from both ends and somehow manages to throw the rules out the window while looking supremely confident doing it. This isn't a knot that you could wear in your work tie, but I feel like it's the sort of thing that I could wear around the house to annoy the wife while still feeling dashing. The only way it could be more excellent is if it had somehow managed to invert the lines so they were going opposite ways on either end of the tie.

Balthus - So, this is a dumb way to wear a tie, with all the drawbacks of the Windsor and none of the advantages. I'm sure there's a way to make it look good if you have an enormous neck or something, but it's not doing anything for me.

Bow - Do not attempt without professional training and appropriate safety equipment.