I learned to make these rosaries when I lived in Peru and it has sort of become my hobby, although getting the right kind of thread at a non-prohibitive price seems to be difficult in this country (probably as there aren't many people making fishing nets by hand) and nowadays I tend to make them only when I have someone specific in mind, rather than on the off chance. String is not yet banned on planes, and a piece of string easily fits in your handbag (although does have an unfortunately habit of tying all your possessions together, which then spill over the floor when you pull it out) so it is a good activity for journeys and waiting rooms.
I like to put Marian medals on rosaries and, as these are Confirmation gifts, I thought it would be a good idea to give the Holy Spirit a look-in as well. As I live in the Catholic wilderness, in the end I commissioned a friend in Manchester to get me some medals from the shop at Salford Cathedral. They have had these rather nice ones of the Holy Spirit with the Heart of Mary before, but whenever I have been in there specifically looking for them I have been disappointed. On my own rosary I have medals of Our Lady of Walsingham, Pope Benedict XVI, Blessed John Henry Newman, St Bernadette and St John Bosco. In this way when I pray the rosary I have the experience that I am praying with friends (and I also remember to say a decade for the Holy Father).
These knotted rosaries are rather good for using when unable to sleep (or when you wake up in the night worrying about whatever mad dream you have just had) as if you do drift off while praying, you don't then wake up when you lie on top of them or they fall of the bed with a resounding crash. Theoretically they are also machine washable and won't leach all over your sheets if you accidently bundle them up when stripping the bed/leave them in your pockets. I haven't actually tried this.
Also featured in the photo is the extremely PC hymnbook we use in our parish (borrowed for legitimate purposes), which I have finally found a good use for as background.