FIRE crackles in the centre of Raymond McLaren's twelve-sided home come office.
"Technically it's a yurt, I didn't specifically design it like that but it sort of ended up that way," he said.
It's not the first time something has sort of ended up happening to Mr McLaren.
The Moonbi resident made national news when a book he loaned 53 years earlier earned him a $5000 'fine' at Newcastle Library.
The book, Knots, Splices and Fancy Work, led him to the art of knot-tying, and now, Mr McLaren will host the first Australian meet-up of the International Guild of Knot Tyers.
He reckons there could be up to 10,000 different knots that exist, and created his own multi-million dollar business weaving and plaiting metal string.
"People try to invent new knots and occasionally think they have," Mr McLaren said.
"It's unlikely but it's possible.
"There's a whole field of science called topology and it's to do with knots."
Through the yurt and into the backyard workshop, Mr McLaren's contraptions and inventions line the walls, punctuated by thousands of yards of rope and decorative knot work that took hours to perfect.
It's a niche skill shared by at least 20 other people in Australia, who will be coming to Tamworth to show each other the ropes.
Fancy knot work requires a lot of patience, Mr McLaren said, and can push some to the end of their tether.
"I've developed special tools and become quite skillful, but there's other people around the world who are very, very skillful," he said.
"People don't need knots as much anymore when these days there are things like load binders.
"In a way the world is making things simpler for us but we're losing these skills, people can't make things anymore."
The meeting is at Wests Tamworth Leagues Club on Saturday and Sunday.
Members of the public are welcome to look at the exhibition of knot work.