I think this is one of the challenging projects I have ever done!
About 35 years ago I was given this small little monkey’s fist made from leather cording, as a staff identification lanyard at a summer camp. I have wanted to make one ever since. Finally, (because of the C19 quarantine) I have had the time to tackle projects like this. I ordered 50′ of 3/8″ natural cotton rope and made a list of projects to make from it. This was the first project. I think they were originally made by sailors to weight the end of their ropes and use them as stops for the ends of their ropes. Recently, I have seen them making an appearance as dog toys and nautical home decor. Smaller ones made of parachuting cord are being made for key fobs and even earrings.
It took me at least 20 tries and 3 hours. I “got lost” a lot. First, trying to figure out where to loop the roops next and then trying to follow the rope over and over to tighten it. It was easy to start pulling the slack in the wrong direction and undoing all the tightening I just did! A pair of small pliers was handy, but getting it really tight I still got blisters on my fingers.
I would like to make another one (when the blisters on my fingers go away!) Next time I think I would build a jig like this one because I think it would make it a lot easier.
Here are the directions if you want to try your hand at it!