If you use the Somerville Bowline for single column ties, it's convenient to use the same technique when tying two limbs together. Here's how:
You can also see my original photo reference or this earlier video.
Hi ! Thank you for the (as always) great explanations. I was taught another version of the Somerville Double Column and I was wondering what you thought about it. Basically, before getting the bight in the loop, we first go around the ropes with the bight to form the cuff (what you call going 'all the way', at 1:35, except we do it first and there is no loop yet). Afterwards, everything else is exactly like the Somerville single, we put the bight in the loop, etc. The method is simpler (because it's exactly the same as the single bowline except for this one step of forming the cuff), the knot is smaller and the central cuff is only made by one double rope. I was wondering what are the pros and cons of each method.
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This is a very interesting question! In a few minutes of playing with it, I can see 3 subtly different ways to tie something like what you describe, each with some benefits and drawbacks. The most straightforward interpretation I can find, and the one which completely re-used my hand motions for a normal Somerville Bowline, results in a knot that seems to me to be not nearly so stable as a normal Somerville Bowline. Taking the same approach, but routing the bight on the opposite side of the cinch for its final pass through the cuff, I get a knot that appears to have all the normal properties of a Somerville Bowline, but is substantially off-center relative to the cinch. The version I like best involved forming the loop of the Somerville facing the "wrong" way around the line going down into the cinch, then coming back up through the loop (on the same side of the top wraps) when returning from the back of the cuff. That variation appears to me to have all the structural benefits of my standard approach -- however, I don't think it's any simpler or more compact, and it gets less re-use of muscle memory from the single column SB.
I imagine there are other variations in a similar vein that I haven't thought of, so I'd be keen to see exactly what you've been doing.
Hi ! I'll be happy to send you a short video of what I am doing if you give me an email address !
If Topologist doesn't mind, I'd love to see that @pleasedontstop
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