Posted:Remember, invest in a Swedish fid if you're going to tie a monkey fist knot, even if only once. Your sanity will thank you for the $7 investment.
(Incidentally, I think everyone's first pair of fire poi should involve hand tied monkey fists, because once you've been through that ordeal you will LOVE those poi. Yeah, I just made another pair for a friend's late Christmas present...)
Posted:It's basically a half-open spike-shaped tube that you shove through the tight parts of knots to create a channel you can push the working end through. Another weird marine supply tool.
The knots I've tied, I've given myself a foot or less of extra length, and getting it through without the fid would be impossible. To avoid the fid, however, I'd need 2-3 feet of wick I'd just throw away (which is an additional 30-50% of what's in the knot itself).