Over-two refers to the fact that you are making a simple crown hitch but going over two
lines instead of over one.... sounds simple, but there’s a real trick to doing this:

Theimportant points are:
(1) keeping track of the line being tucked and the progression,
(2) tucking the last two lines, and
(3) the method of tightening the hitch to the work.

Now, I can’t tell you how many wefts to make up around the work,  that’s something you’ll
have to figure out for yourself, but the rule of thumb is figuring out how many lines fit in one
inch, multilying that by the circumference,  then dividing the total by 2 and adding one line...  
so IF you have a 6” circumference work and  IF your lines are 1/8” ,  you’ll wind up with 25
lines (approximately).  When it comes to math, I’m all thumbs, so that’s the method I use.

(1/8" line = 8 lines per inch x 6” = 48 / 2 = 24 + 1 = 25)  It ain’t pretty, but
it DO work.   (sometimes.)

Figuring the circumference of the work is fairly complex if you use mathematical formulas  
(lessee: measure the diameter, then half that for radius, then Pi x R squared, throw away
the 6 and put in a Genoa Jib.... ahhhh, the hell with it.)
  Just take a piece of butchers twine
or heavy white thread and wrap it around the  work to be covered three or four times.... hold
it in place and make a pencil mark across the wraps,  unwrap it and measure the distance
between the marks.... close enough for Navigation!  If you wanna be even closer, measure
the distance between ALL the marks and average them out.   Works for me and it don’t
strain my brane.

Another tricky part is how LONG to cut the lines you’ll use for the hitching.... I’ve never really
solved it well.     I’m sure there’s a formula (
damn formulas again!) for how long to cut the
wefts in relation to the diameter of the line used with consideration for the ends, but I just
take a shot and pray.   I usually wind up “on the side of the angles and (
Angels? Yah, them.)
have line left over, but that’s OK too, and you can use it for puddings for chest beckets and
more bellropes and like that, or (if you have more than a 1 foot piece) strip it out and use
the parts for constrictors.   If you  DON’T allow enough,  you may need to stop halfway thru
the hitching and start again with a new set of lines, and use a turkshead to cover the join.   
On most work you’ll have a decorative turks somewhere along the length of the work, so
that’s no disaster,
(CHANGED!) but I'll generally leave 6.5 times the length of the core or
maybe a bit more.... you'll quickly get the hang of how much is enough as you do several
pieces with this covering.  MAKE NOTES of the size line used in covering, the number of
lines used 'around' and the diameter of the work vs. the covering lines...

OK:  now you’ve got the diameter of the work and the number of wefts* to use,  make them
up around the work at one end about an inch  from where you really want the hitching to
start .... the easiest way I can think of to get the wefts around the work is to "roll them on"...
take a small line (sailtwine or very heavy thread) and clove hitch around the work for a
tautline, then slowly roll the work either toward or away from you as you prefer and add
wefts as the tautline comes to bear on the work....

(*=wefts: the lines running ALONG the work which will be tucked to form the fender weave.)

After you've added the correct number of wefts, arrange them more-or-less evenly around
the work and then put a constrictor on ‘em to make ‘em fast.   Leave about seven or eight
inches hanging loose on the lower end so you’ll have something to use when you come
back to back-hitch.  The hitching will (provided you have the correct number of lines
selected) even itself out for you as you go along.    You’ll back-hitch the work up to the finish
point as a last step and you will then eliminate any irregularities you may have when
starting this off....  trust me,  it works.

Keeping track of the lines to be tucked is accomplished by the following trick:  use your
thumb.    Now,  right- or left- handed,  the best way to do any hitching job using right-hand -
laid line (the most common) is  counter-clockwise around the work being covered: why?  
because the lay of the lines being used will naturally tighten up if you hitch in that direction
and you need all the help you can get on this baby.    Get used to using your left hand to hold
the work and the right hand to do the tucks.  If you’re doing this in nylon cord, it doesn’t
matter which hand you start with since it has no ‘lay’ to it - just remember that if you work
holding the piece in your right hand, reverse all the following directions.

Start by taking any three adjacent cords and, with your left thumb sticking out, drape them
over it...

Take the first cord (LEFT SIDE) and lay it up and over the other two and then back under
your thumb: let the ball of the thumb hold it against the work....

Now pick up the next cord is series to the right and lay IT over the thumb (the other two are
still there...) so you again have three...

Take the LEFTMOST of the three (left side) and do it all over again....

Continue crossing two and picking up one until you have only two cords on your thumb and
are back around to the line that got the first tuck....    now the tricky part.

Take the left cord on your thumb and go over the remaining line and tuck thru the loop
formed by number 1...  note that you are still 'crossing two" when you do this....

Take the remaining line and tuck it down into BOTH  loop 1 and loop 2.  Note that  you’re
STILL crossing two lines when you do this....  (ENLARGE THE FOTO!!)

It’ll take you a few tries to get it right (took me MORE than a few before I got it) but once you
DO get it,  it becomes second nature.

Now, for tightening up the tucks.... I've tried several times to take pics of this but to no
avail.... I can't control the camera with my feet and I need both hands to do the work, so
you'll have to be content with a written description... forgive me....

I take the work in left hand (just like you did when you were tucking) with the lines draped
over the hand, and rotate the work clockwise until the gap appears.  As you turn the work,
the lines wil drag and a definite gap will be created: use this as your starting point.

I  grasp the line with my right hand and put my thumb on the work while snagging a bight of
the line between little finger and palm and rotating the hand so that the line, while being
clamped against the palm by the little finger runs out and across the outside of the little and
ring fingers.  The middle finger then hooks down and acts as a tensioner while the thumb
tip against the work is your fulcrum.... tightening the middle finger toward the palm and
stressing back with the thumb will tighten the line to the work
**.... now, without removing
the tension, lead the line around the work and under the index finger of the left hand and
clamp with it, then go to the next line and repeat all the above nonsense.   Always work to
the left and rotate the work slightly in your hand each time you do a line.    Gradually work
all the way around -  you’ll probably need to do this two or three times around to get it fairly
tight, but just get it
fairly tight....  

(**=  this is very tough on the side of the first knuckle of the ring finger, since there's a lot
of stress put on it and also the line will move a bit as you tighten it up.... I suggest putting a
bandaid or some sort of chafing gear on the knuckle so as not to wear a hole in it, and I am
NOT feckin' kidding, neither!)  A bloody wound will make some interesting colour
variations, especially when using cotton line.  NOT good.

Now start the next row and do all the tucks and then the tugging-in for a snug fit....

 (I switched to white cotton because the
                                                              nylon was proving recalcitrant and I'd only
                                                              used it for clarity.  Youse lot are gettin'
                                                              coddled like I never even thought on!)

By the third pass, you should start to see a pattern emerging, as well as having the lines
sitting fairly snugly after only two passes.   

Ok:  Turn on the stereo or whatever and go to it.... just keep on tucking the circles and then
tightening the other way and you should have a fair amount of  work finished in about an

Stop.  Look at the work.  Is it all even?  Did you have a problem with tightening up things?  Is
there a line sticking out somewhere that didn't get tucked in?

The mark of a good 'over-two' hitch job is when the pattern forms completely vertical, or
along the line of the work.   If it has a spiral  right appearance, you have too few lines, if you
have a spiral left, too many.


(a)  there seems to be a gap in the work when I tighten up everything....

OK:  at the next tuck,  cut another line to length and add it in to the pattern.  If you need to
add two, then add them at opposite sides.  If you need to add three, you may have
(censored) up the measurements, or perhaps my formulae are suspect,
(Well, why not?  I’VE been a suspect before...) so send me an
email and let’s commiserate
on this.

(b) no matter how hard I try to snug them down,  there’s a loose ‘lip’ to
the courses when I finally give up, like a shawl collar on a pretty blonde
or they just wont snug down neatly...

Probably too MANY lines in the hitching... try dropping a few out one per course until you get
a snug fit around the work but no gaps.

(c)  I missed a cord on a previous row...

Until you get used to doing this,  pull out the row(s) until you get to the one where the
offending cord is, then continue the work from there.   IF IT AIN’T RIGHT, GO BACK AND FIX IT
AS SOON AS YOU NOTICE IT!  Otherwise you’ll have a sloppy job and you will ALWAYS know
that there’s an error right there.   You’ll probably decide it needs fixing anyway, so you may
as well do it while the delay is minimal.                                 Again, TRUST ME ON THIS!  

(d) my hands are sore after about twenty minutes work....

NOT funny!      Your hands WILL hurt, especially if you have landsman’s hands and skin (un-
callused) and are unused to working with small, rough line.   All I can tell you is that when
your hands start to really hurt, STOP for a day.  Whatever you do, you DON’T want to wear
open a raw or bleeding wound on your hands or fingers.  (NOT because I like you:  I could
care less:   But the blood will stain the work and you’ll have to start all over again or splice
in to replace the stained section....  When I first learned to do ropework, I didn’t have the
luxury of resting a day and instead soaked my hands in a heavy brine solution (try THAT on
raw skin.... makes a root canal seem like a vacation!) until I started to get my calluses.   
Now, if I do two squareknot belts, I can put a cigarette out on the side of my pinky and never
feel it, but YOU don’t wanna do that, so take it easy, allow your hands to get acclimated and
if you need to,  get a couple pair of those white cotton gloves women use when doing their
lingerie or handling stockings.... they’re thin enough that you can still feel what you're doing,
cheap enough that you can wear ‘em out and throw ‘em away easily and white so they don’t
dirty up your work.  Kevlar sailing gloves ( minus the first joint of the fingers and thumbs)
will also do the trick, but they may leave a residue on the work and they’re HIDEOUSLY
expensive.   I do this all day, so I just build up the calluses and ignore the whole thing.   
 CAUTION: Nylon cord, especially braided small “mini-blind” type cord,  will eat
you alive in nothing flat, going thru a callus as what would resist any type of manila or
cotton ropes like the proverbial “hot knife”.... another reason I went to white cord above!

OK.  Assuming that all is going well,  you should have just about covered the work in hand
and be approaching the end-point.   Keep hitching until you get to one course  away from
where you want to stop,  then take all the lines and constrictor them to the work,  put
another constrictor on the lines and then you can trim them off and that end will be ready
for covering with a turkshead or whatever you want to use to hide the end.  

Now go back to the starting point and turn the work end-for end.  You’ll probably have two
or three rows that just don't look as good as the rest of the work, so pull them  out until you
get to the ‘good stuff” and then just start tucking again until you get to one course away
from your end point, constrictor and trim as previously and you’re finished.  One of the joys
of "over-two" is that it looks the same no matter which end you may work it towards....

You CAN end this off with a footrope knot made up of the (however many) strands you used
for the hitching, but that’s a complicated project and quite easy to screw up....  try it if you’d
like to.  Don’t constrictor the ends: convert from an ‘over-two’ to a simple ‘over one’ crown,
do an ‘over-one’ wall beneath it and pass it thru two or three times.   It’s a pretty knot but a
bugger to fair up and get looking right.

If you’re going to varnish the hitching,  now’s the time to do it, before you put on your
turksheads.  You want the varnish to penetrate all the lines in the hitching, and if you apply
the turksheads and then varnish,  there will be a section of line ends under the turksheads
which will remain unprotected and prone to ‘wicking’ up any water the work may be
exposed to.   Promotes rot.  Not good.

Also, if you've done this on a tube as shown in the photos,  you CAN (although I
you you'll muck it up the first try!) lightly varnish the outside of the hitching, then remove the
core tube and DIP the work in varnish and allow it to dry.  This will give you a hollow hitched
shell of ropework.  It will NOT be strong and is prone to cracking, but for a display it is
impressive: for a workpiece, such as a needle case, leave the core in place.

If any of the above is not clear, or if you think there’s a mistake,  go
HERE and get a T.S. chit
for the Chaplain’s office.  I’m done wi’ ye!
Fender Hitching
Vince Brennan, RWG, SOSKA
Last updated  2006-12-28
Click on any
picture to bring
up a larger
finished row
As always with ANY of
the tutorials, if you feel
you can clarify or
improve the exposition
in any way, please feel
free to
contact me,
especially if you can do
better pictures (
groundhog could do
better pictures!
) than I!