Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Knot Head Part I: Mastering The Eldredge

The visually stunning Edredge knot
Freemasons like to dress up.  That's one of the first things I realized when I joined the Lodge.  When they showed up for my degrees, they were wearing suits and ties.  Many Masons, I later learned, are very snazzy dressers.  When I joined the Lodge, I'd been wearing a tie to work almost every day for a couple decades--I've probably got over a hundred ties in my closet.  But I didn't own a jacket.  Purchasing a jacket was one of the first things I did after my first degree--right off the rack at Wal-Mart.  I must admit, I've learned to dress a little better in the years since.  And I've learned a few things about shoes, about overcoats, and even about hats.  And a lot of what I've learned isn't from the older members--it's from the younger ones.
After a dictionary full of inappropriate language during a few tries
over the last couple years . . . I finally got it!
I was at our Grand Lodge session a few years ago, and I met a young man who was wearing this really cool tie knot.  I'd never seen anything like it before, and I finally asked him about it.  He told me it was called the Eldredge knot, and then he showed me how to tie it a few times.  I thought I had it, but later, I realized I'd missed something important apparently.  I found a video--that didn't help.  I found some instructions, but they weren't very clear either.  I've tried it a few more times over the last two years without success, but I was never able to tie it again.

Last weekend, one of my friends on Facebook brought it up that he was trying to learn to tie the Eldridge.  Perhaps it was a sense of competition, or maybe boredom that weekend, but I finally found an illustration that worked for me, and succeeded during my second attempt.  I've tied it several times since.  I finally got it!

How to tie an Eldredge knot
Like with anything, once you do it once, it gets easier.  My advice is to use a very light material tie--like silk.  Be sure to put a dent in the fat end of the tie before you begin tying it.  And keep the knot tight when you're tying it--it's impossible to tighten this knot up after the fact.

I was so happy to have finally, excuse the pun, untangled the mysteries of the Eldredge knot, that I found a few more really interesting tie knots you might enjoy.  I'm going to put up a short series over the next few weeks, and share a few more of them.  Perhaps, as they have me, they'll encourage you to step up your game a little.  We can't let these young Masons show us up--even old dogs can learn new tricks.

The good news is, of all the knots I'm going to cover over the next few weeks, this one is the hardest to master.  If you can figure this one out, you shouldn't have any trouble with any of the rest of them.

This is the first installment in the Knot Head series--you can read them all here


Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel Shot to Hell which will be released in Spring 2014. You can contact Todd E. Creason at:

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