The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework (英語) ハードカバー – 1999/4/1
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Each of the knots described in this reference is clearly identified by category and step-by-step instructions and colour photographs explain how to tie or splice them. The author also includes information on ropes, their strengths and their uses.'
If you are a serious mountaineer, I would think the cost of a single carabiner is worth a reference that can teach you dozens of knots practical to you. If you are a really serious dirtbag, it's still worth checking out at the library or on a kindle. I have read many old sailing texts but never found a better reference so far that will direct your interest in a better direction. The only way to truly gain intimacy with rope craft is by tying lots of knots, thinking about how to use them, thinking of them comparatively, and studying their respective shortcomings and useful attributes. If you have ever wondered how someone comes up with a knot, which knot is the best for a certain application, or how you could devise a new and useful knot, you should buy and read this.
Since my initial reading, I have taken this off the shelf more than once a week as a valuable reference. It changed the way I see knots forever.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots and Ropework is a collection of images for some of the most common knots and plaits. They are digital images of fairly good quality. It is not an encyclopedia of knots and rope work. It is a picture book of common knots.
There is no discussion of any knot's usage and history. The book lacks any images, illustrations or discussion that depict or explain a knot's function and usefulness, or why one particular knot may be more suitable, stronger or safer than another. Each page provides three or four images of a knot in progress. Most instructions are lacking in detail. You get a few images of a knot, with a few sentences providing cursory description.
If one is seeking an encyclopedic reference, Ashley's Book of Knots is a much better resource; albeit somewhat antiquated. In addition, more in depth discussion on functionality and tying instruction may be found in various military field manuals that cover seamanship, or mountaineering, or survival escape and evasion, or search and rescue. Likewise, civilian field guides, or books on climbing, scouting, pathfinding, pioneering or sailing and seamanship (e.g., Knight's Modern Seamanship) also provide better discussion and instruction. Books on plaiting, netting, knitting and crochet may provide some insight into working with cordage and yarns too, and their related specialty knots or 'fancy knots'.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots and Ropework is neither ultimate nor encyclopedic.
I also strongly recommend Budworth's "The Knot Book". A paperback that is available used for a few dollars. It's nothing like this book, being done with simple black and white drawings. Nevertheless, it contains a lot of material and some valuable information about how to use knots and ropes to solve practical problems.