Net Making | Making Cast Nets & Hammocks

how to throw a cast netNet Making

I found very little information on net making. I picked up a pamphlet once that gave step by step instructions on how to make a casting net. Page 8, is when they say that you will tie approximately 11,500 knots. I started a few times to tie a casting net, but never made it to the end.

Here I would like to give information on how to tie a net that could be hung on a wall, or made into a casting net if so desired. The net is like what is on fishing vessels, once you get the idea of how to tie the knot, net making is a piece of cake. Mending a net is then nothing more than child’s play.

Net Making – Getting Started

To start your net you will need the following items:

  1. A shuttle, or needle to hold your twine
  2. A paddle, or gauge to measure your mesh width
  3. Twine

Net Making – The Knot
The basic knot is a sheet bend: (If a casting net is your desire you will need to know how to tie a widener knot, which is nothing more than making a loop over the knot instead of over the next loop. And to add here, a reducing knot is tied by skipping the loop to be tied onto and going to the next loop.)

Net Making Begins With This Sheet Bend Knot

First tie a loop in the twine. Then just build from that loop with the sheet bend. The size of the gauge you choose will create a mesh that is double the gauge size. So if you use a one inch gauge, you will have two inch meshing for your net. The gauge helps stretch the loop and the knot is tied. Line up the top of gauge to the bottom of the knot. Your first loop you make will look a little big, and you side loops will also look a little backward.

I normally use my index and middle finder as my gauge. I have tried using a wooden, make shift paddle, but found that I would loose the paddle before I was done making the net, and the coordination of holding the gauge, holding the shuttle, and trying to bring tight the knot is crazy.

Net Making – First Row
The first row is the worst, then it’s easy from there. Just come down to the next row when you think your net is wide enough, and come across on the second row, and so on until you fell your net is the size you want it.

Things to remember:

  1. Measure the loop a little larger than you desire, the knot tends to make the mesh smaller.
  2. Keep the end loops of the rows a little larger, at least on one side, so that if you misjudged the size of the net you can add onto that side you kept the loops larger. (Slightly larger, don’t go overboard.)
  3. The knots you have made earlier will begin to untie, you will need to be attentive at all times and keep retightening the loose knots. (It has always happened to me, unless I use macramé and pull the knot tight with all my might.)

The question may be raised, what happens when I finish a shuttle full of twine? Good question, I have been looking for an answer that no one seems to write down anywhere, I guess it is just assumed what to do. What I normally do is, reload the needle, and with the free end, tie a sheet bend around the last knot I made before I ran out. Another thing that works well is, take the free end of the shuttle, and the twine end from the net of the last knot I made, put them together, and tie your next knot with both pieces of twine. Both techniques work well. If someone has another, I would really love to know.

Net Making – Hammock Time

Making a Hammock If your desire is the hammock, after you have your net, it can be easily converted to a hammock. Get one or two pieces of wood, one piece through the top end of the net and the other piece at the other end of the net.

Now to keep the hammock from closing, drill holes in the wood on each piece at each corner. Run a strong piece of rope through the hole at the headboard of the hammock, down through the loops of the net and through the hold at the foot board. Next bring the rope around and do the same on the other side. Then tie the ends of the rope together, and you now have your hammock.

The rope will keep the hammock from collapsing in one you as you rest in it. I normally use macramé to make a hammock. You will need a stopper knot after and before it enters the wood so that the pieces of wood don’t try to come together. Initially it will stretch a lot as the weight of your body tightens the knots. After I’ve been in it, the knots hold pretty well.
Net Making, Net Making Tips

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