For details, it’s inevitable that polycount will increase. Or if you don’t want to actually model the rope in order to save polycount, you can unwrap your sword grip and use a texture on it instead, the advantage is that it adds 0 poly, the disadvantage is that you’re going to have to make the texture to wrap nicely.
Now for modelling the rope, maybe try something like that :
Add a vertex :
Viewed from top :
Now go to Object mode and add a Screw Modifier, set it up +/- like that while controlling on the top of the screen the face count generated so it does not skyrocket with the “Steps” setting (that determine the resolution of the curvation) :
Now add a Skin modifier and a subsurf modifier to get the skin more rounded
But still control the face count up there, and adjust the settings to keep it under control
Now go to Edit Mode and select the vertex that you have, press CTRL+A and change that vertex “skin scale” with the mouse or type a value to what you need
Once you’re satisfied with the polycount and how it turns out, apply the Screw modifier, only it.
Add a Shrinkwrap modifier to your skin rope object with your sword grip object at the Target line, and place the modifier on top
Apply the Shrinkwrap modifier , only it
Add a Mirror modifier, disable the “Merge” option in it (we don’t want to have vertices merged) and move it to the top
Now apply the Mirror modifier and go to Edit Mode, disable the Limit to Selection button so you can see the vertices that are under the skin modifier
(edit : because when we applied the screw modifier we had already a skin modifier , all the generated vertices are marked as “root”, so they’re all surrounded by that light red circle, you can simply select only one vertex and click on the “Mark Root” button in the skin modifier to have only 1 root)
And then adjust the vertices so instead of that :
You get that :