Most ropes are braided by twisting the strands but strands can be plaited (called a sennit) to create a “fancier” looking rope. Similarly, rather than ending a rope by tying it off in a knot or by whipping the end, you can terminate the rope end with plaits. This is commonly seen on lanyards, quality clothes, and fancy leatherworking. When making tools in the wild, you can plait the ends for decorative purposes and function.
A Round Sennit can be made with any even number of strands. In the example below we complete a Round Sennit with a rope containing six strands.
Step 1: Unlay the strands and whip them at the point where our Round Sennit will begin.
Step 2: Cross each neighboring pair of strands and, allowing the even-numbered strands to hang down, lift the odd-numbered strands up and out of the way. In our example, the even number strands (black strands in our diagram) will go to the right and the odd numbered strands (white strands in our diagram) to the left.
Step 3: Pass each even-numbered strand over the odd-numbered strand to its right and when this has been done, hold the even-numbered strands up up and allow the odd-numbered strands to drop down.
Step 4: Cross each odd-numbered strand over the even-numbered to its left, hold it up and allow the even-numbered strands to drop down.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 alternately.
Plaits are similar to sennits but a bit more complicated.
The Chain Plait is a single strand plait.
Step 1: At the end of the rope, make an Overhand Knot but make a small loop (bight) instead of both ends of the rope (see “A” in the diagram).
Step 2: Pull a small bight (“B”) through the loop (“A”).
Step 3: Through the new loop that is formed, pull another bight of the loose end, and so on.
Step 4: To finish, run the end through the last loop.
Double Chain Plait
Step 1: Form a Figure of 8 Knot but do not pull the knot tight.
Step 2: Dip the end I through the bight “B”. This leaves a new bight “A”.
Step 3: Dip the end through the new bight. This leaves another new one under “B”.
Step 4: Continue dipping the end through each new bight. Finish by running the end through the last bight and pulling it tight.