Monday, July 21, 2014

Forward & Reverse Tension Column Ties


Howdy rope geeks,

  This week we finally get a chance to walk through the definitions, advantages, and disadvantages of "forward tension" and "reverse tension" column ties. I came up with this categorization about a year and a half ago when I was trying to make sense of the seemingly endless procession of column ties that kept crossing my path. In this video, I hope to convince you that simply learning one column tie from each of these two categories should enable you to simplify the number of column ties you need to drill into your hands while still ensuring that you'll always have the right tool for any job that presents itself in your rope play.

  Happy rigging,
    ~Tracker

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Leg Ladders


Here are two leg ladders - one that is decorative and the other that is restrictive. The decorative one is tied on a single leg and can be worn under clothing. Although I show how to tie the restrictive leg ladder while Tracker is standing (because otherwise you wouldn't be able to see it in the video), I recommend tying the double leg ladder while your bottom is sitting or lying down. If you do choose to tie it while they're standing, be sure their arms are free for safety.

Some helpful links:
Extending Rope
Lark's Head Cuff

See you next time!
-Lady Lux

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tying a Column Off Using Excess Rope


We have shown you a lot of column ties to be able to safely put rope around someone's arm, leg, wrist, ankle, legs, chest, etc. These ties lock off so they can't tighten and secure the body part in rope. Now what do you do with them? You might want to tie off that limb or other body part with the rope left over after you do your tie. Just in case you want to have that limb a bit under control for some reason...

Before explaining this, be sure that you have your column tie down. If the column tie you are tying collapses and tightens that is no good. If someone were to be tied to a bed for example and their wrist had a collapsing column tie on it and they were to struggle for some reason- (hopefully a fun one...) then there is the possibility of nerve damage. Basically, make sure that your column ties are solid before using them in the manner shown here. 

Another safety moment: be sure that what you are tying off to is something safe to tie to. Wrapping the rope around a bedside lamp that will get pulled off the bedside table and fall on top of your bottom (or perhaps the both of you) when in the throws of passion is no good. Make sure that it is something that can handle the strain of being tugged on. If you are using gear from the hardware store, get the good stuff. For example, don't use snap clips or cheap carabiners. They do not handle strain well. Be sure that whatever you tie to is SOLID and won't move. At best it might wreck your scene, at worst, someone could get hurt. And think about how fun it would be to explain to emergency personnel why the lamp broke on someone that was tied onto the bed...  

Also note that the ties shown here need to be under tension to work right. They can, and will, collapse if not under tension. So be sure to use these to keep those legs apart or arms over the head... 

First let's demonstrate a technique you can use with forward tension column ties. Forward tension ties have a loop left in them after being tied off. That can be used to help secure someone. 
Tie a column tie on your column. Here a Wyk'd Fast Bowline is tied at the top of the calf.

Take the tails and bring them to the object you are tying to, in this case an O-ring set in place on a bed.
Bring the rope through (or around if it is a bed leg or tree, etc.) then back to the column tie. 

Take the end of the tails and thread them through the loop left over from the initial tie. Bring the tails back toward the object you tied to.  

Put a half hitch in the tails around the rope going to the object. 

Repeat the half hitch again further down the rope. You can tie off after one half hitch, but if you have extra rope this is a way to "chew" some of it up and have it look good. Looking like a hot shit rope top never hurts...

Here a second half hitch is being placed tight to the first one, but it is being done in reverse.
This forms a Cow Hitch.

This is what a completed Cow Hitch should look like. It can be left just like this. 

Now, to add a bit of security and make it look even a bit more clean here is another trick. Split the ropes securing the column with your fingers as shown. Grab the tails.

Pull the tails through the rope. Voila! it is tied and looks pretty good!
 "But IFA Team, I only use reverse tension ties because they are more secure!" cries a despondent IFA blog reader. Never fear! There is a solution! And it works with forward tension ties too!
Tie your limb off with a reverse tension single column tie- in this case the Lark's Head Cuff.

Bring the rope to the object the column will be secured to then back to the column tie. 

Pull the rope underneath all of the bands of the column tie then redirect it back toward the object it is secured to. 

Secure the rope with a Cow Hitch. But Oh No! We have a lot of rope left over and we want to have a clean looking tie to take pictures of! What will we do?

"Vine" the excess rope around the two lines securing the column. The link shows how to "vine" rope.

As before, pull the last bit of the tails through the two ropes as seen in the first part of this.

So, what is going on here?  There is a Takate Kote tied here and on the stem of that tie a Wyk'd Fast Bowline was tied. That single column tie was tied off to an object just off screen to create tension. 
Cool huh? Both of these techniques can be used with Double Column ties too. It just didn't seem fair to give you all these cool column ties to play with without giving you one way to tie them off to things... More like this again soon!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Green Mountain Cabaret "A Foreign Affair" Rope Performance


Green Mountain Cabaret Rope Performance May 2014 from Lady Lux on Vimeo.

 Here is our most recent performance with the Green Mountain Cabaret in Burlington, VT. The theme for May was "A Foreign Affair", so we hammed it up this time with the spy theme... Enjoy!

  Happy Tying,
    ~Tracker and Lux

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spiral Futomomo


Here's a basic futomomo that's decorative, comfortable and works really well for floor work. If you've had trouble with futomomos in the past that require passing the rope between the calf and the thigh, give this one a try. We start out this tie using the Burlington Bowline which you can find here. It also relies heavily on the munter hitch which you can learn more about here. I like using this tie because it's restrictive without blocking the "fun" parts. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Spreader Bar Double Column Tie

This tie is a fun and simple way to keep a bottom's limbs apart. If you can't think of something to do with a willing somebody that has their wrists or legs spread apart then you might be in the wrong part of the Interwebs right now!  

The tie is a reverse tension double column tie. Once tied it is fairly secure. It has a lot of uses when it is tied. For example when it is tied on the wrists the spreader bar can be put into a bottom's mouth to be used as a gag (be sure to set up a signal with them to let you know if something is wrong). Use synthetic rope in that situation for easier clean up. 

You can use this tie on the ankles, upper arms, wrists and thighs to keep them apart. You can also tie wrists to ankles or any other combination that you might think of! Have fun with it!

Start off with a Lark's Head and then go around the columns a couple of times as shown. You can do one wrap or multiple wraps around the columns depending on what you are going for. Place the limbs the distance that you want them spread apart. Have the bottom maintain tension for this. 

The second wrap should finish up near the initial Lark's Head. 

Pull the rope through the intersection of the rope

Bring the rope down underneath the bottom wrap then bring it back up. 

Bring the rope over the top of the wraps then back down underneath them. Slowly tighten the two wraps together. Be careful not to pinch your bottom with the rope as it tightens. 

Continue to "vine" the rope around the two column wraps. Vining is simply wrapping rope around rope. 

Every now and then grab onto the wraps and push back toward the starting point to make sure that the rope vine stays good and tight. 

When you get to the end there are a couple of options for tying off... 

You can do a simple half hitch as shown. 

Which will look like this when completed. 

Or you can split the tails around the wraps....

And complete with a square knot. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Reverse Tension Double Column Ties


Howdy rope enthusiasts,

  This time around we'll be taking a look at five different variations on the reverse tension double column tie. Some are speedier, some are more bombproof, but all of them should serve you well in your rope scenes. Pick whichever one appeals to you most and master it, since from a practical standpoint, all of these ties are interchangeable.

  Have fun and happy tying!
    ~Tracker