Back "in the day", I served several places, one of which was aboard tugboats at Naval Station San Juan, PR. One of my 'buds'
back then was a rather weird little seaman named Jimmy, upon whose exploits back then we shall draw the curtain of
decorous memory, and for a reason: A few weeks ago I got an email from the Rev. James. E Calder, (BMCS, USN Ret.) and you
coulda knocked me over with a feather.... Jimmy stayed in, made Chief, lost his hair but gained a lovely wife and six kids,
retired and then became a clergyman and now tends a congregation in Idaho, somewhere. (Jimmy? You GOTTA be kiddin!)
Well, the point is he reminded me that I'd taught him to do a lanyard "back then" with a fender hitch at the collector knot (I'd
forgotten all about it) and so I sat down and made one up using the French Braid neckpiece. We'll call this the "Chief Jimmy"
style lanyard. (I also used the technique to finish off the black lanyard for Mr. Darnell.)
A 17-strand French braid neckpiece with a turkshead (7x6) at the middle, to a 6-strand footrope with 11-strand fender hitching
to a 9-strand tight footrope, then 16-strand square braid (doubled eight) to a 5-strand footrope to a 9 strand fender hitch to a
starknot with round ball (tight footrope) to an 8-strand square to yet another fender-hitch/footrope combo with the call loop.
Made me nuts trying to remember how to do the starknot/fender hitch connexion, but it came back. (Luckily, I was able to jump
out of the way as it went past at a great rate of speed.)
Thanks, Jimmy... ahh... Chief... ahhh... Rev.!
$245.00 in black or white with strop knots as shown below
$195.00 in black or white with "plain strop" (see blue lanyard)
A seventeen-strand double-braided sennit lanyard made on commission: the neckpiece is 17" from the center to the join and
the call strop is an additional 14", allowing the lanyard to hang straight without twisting while still allowing the call to be tucked
into to breast pocket of the jumper or jacket. This one is of 1.2mm nylon white round-braided cord with a core.
The braided neckpiece is middled by a 5x4 square turkshead and the two legs are mirror-image braided from that point to the
breast join (breastplate) point, where they are side-matched and then covered by a large 3x4, a 5x4 and a small 3x4 to cover
the transition to a 16-strand square braid to another 5x4 turkshead transitioning to the main strop, an 8-strand square braid
(steam-gasket braid) to a footrope knot transitioning to a 4-strand call loop. Neckstrap is appx 1/2" wide x 3/16" thick.
Note the two star-knot frou-frou which are also mirror-imaged. Some people want one of these a side per enlistment period,
others will send them back to me each year to have an additional starknot put on to denote another year in service. This
makes an excellent "Dress Blue" lanyard, and in black or brown, an excellent Dress White or working lanyard, with or without
the addition of the "frou-frou" stars.
Lanyard call loops may be had made up as a slip-fit through a footrope knot or as the traditional "hangman's" setup where the
call loop will not pull out in case of a sudden strain on it. The Hangman's style is the more interesting, visually and
THESE LANYARDS MAKE EXCELLENT GIFTS ! $255.00 plus shipping
|Click on ANY picture
to get a larger version
for detail: small pics
on this page so it
loads quickly for
|To start with, a couple of more complex lanyards: I will be adding simpler (and less expensive!) lanyards as time goes along.
To be notified as new items are added to the page, send me an EMAIL and in the subject line put "Lanyard Notifications".
|The Boatswain's Lanyard has been around ever since the first Boatswain's Call was used aboard ship. In the early days, we
may be sure that it was nothing more than a piece of small line looped around the Boatswain's neck to secure the call from
going overboard, but it rapidly became a work of art and a point of pride for the wearer.
When I was in the Navy, every Boatswain's Mate had two of these: a white one for wearing with Dress or undress Blue uniform
and a black or dark-blue one for wearing with Whites or with dungarees for working. Most had three or four lanyards, one for
work details, one for dress Whites and usually two for dress Blues.... the complexity and level of skill were a subject of much
comparison and no small envy. Here are a collection of lanyards I make and sell... starting off with two of my favourites:
| A twenty-five strand double-braided sennit lanyard, middled by a 7x6 square turkshead at the neck, 16" to the breastplate which
is composed of a 3x4, a 7x6 and a 3x4 turkshead set, to a 16-strand square to an 8-strand square to the call loop. Made of #15
natural colour codline, the neck straps are 1" wide x 1/4" thick and the entire lanyard would be more appropriate for a Chief
Boatswain... this one is designed with the Chief's dress jacket in mind, but it may certainly be worn by any rating entitled to do so.
All lengths are custom and subject to change at your desire. Star knots may be added at additional cost.
The double-braid sennit may be made with anything from 9 lines up to 33 lines (they get a bit bulky after that, but personal
preference always rules!) and any length of both neckpiece and call strop. If you have a particular type of cordage you'd like to
have one made with, EMAIL me. This lanyard is of #15 cotton line made for fancywork use.
Detail of braid on
Detail of join and star knot
Larger detail of join and star knot
|Another 25-strand lanyard but in nylon this
time, middled and mirrored with a 7x6
turkshead at the neck and breast and an
additional 3x4 turkshead at the breast, into
a 17-strand to another 7x6, then to an 8-
strand square down to the 4-strand call
Two star knots, also of mirrored
In the collection of the Tamaroa Maritime
Foundation of Richmond, Va. 2006-11-09
Two "Hangman's" lanyards for Mr. Rob't Darnell of Texas... White one for Dress Blues and black one for white and working
uniforms. Sorry the black one is so 'pixellated', but I'm a knotter, not a photographer!
Slightly less ornate than the inspection lanyards above, the working lanyard is nonetheless an example of the Boatswain's
Mate's skill at knotting and may even be a bit more difficult to do as there's not as much chance to hide the 'frou-frou' mistakes.
A more ornate neckpiece or breastplate will distract from any errors, but here we have a 'plain' steam-gasket braid.
These are available in white or colours as you may choose. The one pictured is of 1.8mm soft braided nylon, 18" neckpiece, 14"
strop, 3.5" call loop. I prefer doing these from 1.4mm hard-braid cord, but the soft-braided 1.8 makes a very nice lanyard as well.
$145.00 @ Three days lead time if not in stock.
|INSPECTION or FORMAL-WEAR LANYARDS
|A blue and maroon "French braid" lanyard suitable for either dress whites or as a working dungaree lanyard.
Footrope knots and fenderweave at the neck split, breastplate and the strop reductions,
Applied footrope knots at the loop splice and as a decorative item at the midpoint on the 8-strand strop portion.
|Same basic design but this time in Maroon with blue accents. This can be any colour preferred... and the accents can be
varied as well for colour....
Additional fancy work can be applied, the breastplate ca be modified.... your choice. EMAIL me for a consultation!
Price On Application
A recent question that sorta frosted my gonads: "Dontch'a think that's a lotta money for some string?"
Yep, I sure do. But it's a damn sight less than I'd like to charge. I spend up to 19 hours on a big
lanyard and even paying myself a lousy $10/hr, that's a measly $190. Any of you willing to work for ten
bucks an hour? Thought not. Then there's overhead.... Sheesh! I think I'll go back to sea. I made
better money. Many of the lanyards work out to VERY little profit for me.
But: YOU get a work of (if I do say so myself) exquisite art, and I get to pay for some expensive line,
keep this site going (as well as the Old Music Project), provide tutorials for those wishing to learn the
craft and - occasionally -I get to buy a drink or two at the local, pay back money to a couple of folks
and like that there.
Yeh, it's a lot of money.
Und? Was erwarten Sie?
Wenn ich machte es billiger, würden Sie nicht wollen, dass es, Bruder!
(Picture at right is full size already)
Retirement ceremony for AWCS
Larry Ventura, who retired after 26
years of service. (2nd from left)
Fair Winds, Chief!
His mates got him a "Chief Jimmy"
in white (he's wearing it) as a
retirement gift and I'm not sure if
it's the lanyard or the retirement
that's got him grinning so!
|The "Chief Jimmy" Collector Knot Lanyard
Something a bit special: a pair of lanyards in
black which are mirrored to each other. They are
short-stropped for use to hold keys while aboard,
or perhaps to hold a camera and were ordered as
In the other pictures you can see that everything
is done as a mirror-image except that I got the
collector knots a bit different in length. (Go shoot
me.) Even the braids are mirrored, although it
takes a very good eye to see it.
They are part of a set of three items, the third
being a wrist strap for a walking stick that comes
apart to accept a clip.
As the customer wanted it with a contrasting
barrel collector, I did it in blue and red.
Matched lanyards in white, black or
blue, 1.8mm nylon with 7" strop and
Wrist strop with 19-strand doubled
"English Flat" braid wrist loop, three
inch strop and thimble and barrel
collector: (Clip supplied by customer.)
|All content these pages ©2004-2010 Frayed Knot
Arts. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use
prohibited without prior written permission.
MEASURING FOR A LANYARD
One of the more annoying aspects of doing a Boatswain's Lanyard
for someone is negotiating the terminology: as with most things
Nautical, you may have learned one set of terms for things where I
use a completely different set, so I made this little sketch, and -
since I'M doing the work - let's us all use MY terminology for the
The Neckpiece: Unless otherwise specified, I start my neckpieces
out in the top center and work both ways toward the collector so
that you get a "mirrored" or "matchbooked" appearance.
The "normal" length PER SIDE of the neckpiece is 17.5 inches. For
the average person, this puts the collector knot just below where an
enlisted man would have the knot in his neckerchief, and just above
where a Chief's jacket would button. It also allows you to take the
lanyard off WITHOUT uncovering, should the Admiral wish to inspect
A 12 to 14 inch strop is also the "norm": combined with the 3" bail
to hold the call, it allows a graceful curve from the collector to your
left breast pocket for wearing with either "Crackerjacks" or a
Chief's dress coat / working shirt pocket.
I SINCERELY recommend you get some 1/8" line, tie a
34" loop and TRY IT ON while wearing a uniform or the clothing
you are most likely to use it with. Make any adjustments and then
let me know what dimensions you wish to use.
(NOTE that for knife lanyards, you may wish a longer or shorter