I can make pineapple knots in different sizes by starting with smaller or larger foundation knots. The number of parts in the foundation knot determines how many rows of zigzags there will be. The pictures show a medium size pineapple knot with 5 rows (left) and a large size knot with 7 rows (right). The strands that are at the outside edges (tan) are actually the foundation knot - the inside color (black) is the interwoven knot. The medium size works best for braiding over crown knots on button loops and browbands. The large size is usually for ends of reins/lead ropes or with tassels. I cannot make a pineapple knot for some things (halter tie ends) because it just is not sized right - the small is too small and the medium is too big.
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The pineapple knot is one of the most beautiful braided knots. It is also one of the most complicated to make. It starts with a foundation knot and then more layers of interweaving are added until the finished product is completed. The foundation knot is a turkshead knot. As discussed on the Turkshead Knots & Buttons page, these knots can be made in different sizes due to their construction. There are various combinations of bites (determine the diameter) and parts (determine the length) which will yield different sized knots. The finished size of a pineapple knot will be determined by the size of the foundation turkshead knot it is built on.
Once the foundation knot is complete, a second knot is actually interwoven into the foundation knot. This interwoven knot has fewer parts (it is a shorter knot) than the foundation knot giving the pineapple knot its rounded shape - it poofs out in the middle because there are more strands of cord there and closes tighter on the ends because there are fewer strands there. This creates a ball shape and allows the pineapple knot to close over a round surface making it a great knot to finish the end of a rope or to secure tassels. An additional base knot is almost always needed to give the pineapple knot a shape to close around. When adding a pineapple knot to one of my products, this base knot must be made first, then the foundation knot, then the interwoven knot. Many steps are needed to complete the pineapple knot but what a beautiful and unique way to customize your tack!
on rope slobber straps
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I use pineapple knots mostly as buttons. I can also braid them onto the middle of ropes but most people choose interweave cowboy knots or turkshead knots for those areas. The raised ball shape of the pineapple knot is usually not needed and the other knots are more economical.
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Because of the time it takes to make pineapple knots, they are pretty pricey. It takes quite a while to braid the knot itself (including the base knot underneath) but it takes even longer to tighten the knot - especially the large size. As with all braided knots and buttons, tightening is done a little at a time so the the knot stays evenly round and the strands lay flat. This is especially important with an interweave pattern. I alternate tightening each color, going around the knot several times until there is no slack left in the strands and the knot is hard and round. It can be tedious and the repetitive motions don't do my joints any favors, but the finished product is quite stunning.
Pineapple knots are always permanently attached to the rope, button loop, etc. They are best braided with contrasting colors to show the details of this intricate knot.
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This knot is a variation of the pineapple knot. It has 5 bites (diameter) where a medium pineapple knot has 6 bites. It can only be made in this one size to maintain the 5 bites which creates the star pattern. It is a bit smaller than a medium pineapple knot so it can only be used for certain purposes. Very unique!
on button loop rein connectors
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