Tying the Knot

A masterful knot can turn a simple rope into a multipurpose tool. Fishermen use knots to anchor boats and sometimes to attach bait. Hikers use knots for secure climbing and gear attachment. Scouts frequently learn knot-making as part of survival skills training. Even fashion mavens turn to knots to prepare neckties or fashionable scarves. The guide below explains how to tie 30 popular knots.

  • Blackwall Hitch This half-hitch knot is typically used in boating. It cannot sustain excess weight and is often considered insecure.
  • Bow KnotConsisting of two loops, the bow knot is often used to tie shoes.
  • BowlineAmong the most secure knots, the bowline is quick and easy to execute.
  • Bowline On Bight- This knot is a variation of the standard bowline and consists of two separate knots yoked together. It can bear heavy loads and is often used to hoist people and objects. (Please see the “variations” section of the webpage).
  • Cats PawThis swivel knot is frequently used in fishing.
  • Chain HitchThis self-locking knot is used for pulling.
  • Clove HitchThis fishing knot consists of several rope crosses and cinches.
  • Double Carrick BendThis strong knot locks in place without sliding enabling it to sustain grain pressure.
  • Double Sheet BendThis knot can be used to securely join multiple ropes of different sizes.
  • Figure Eight Knot – This large, sturdy knot consisting of two opposing loops is often used in sailing.
  • Fisherman's Eye: This knot consists of two separate knots which slide together to carry objects. (See bottom of page for diagram). 
  • Fisherman's KnotThis basic clinch knot is the standard one used by novice anglers.
  • Granny KnotA granny knot is created with six criss-crosses.
  • Half Hitch Among the most basic knots, this hitch uses a lone loop.
  • Hitching TieThis knot is a variation of the overhand knot and is used to secure hiking gear.
  • Larks HeadThis adjustable knot is used for nooses.
  • Millers KnotOften used to tie bags, this knot is known for its strength and easy construction.
  • Overhand KnotThis knot is often considered a permanent knot and is used for sturdy loops.
  • Rolling HitchThis knot is often used to support a tow line or to tie railing.
  • Sailors Knot This anti-slip knot is simple to create and withstands great pressure.
  • SheepshankThis knot is often used to make ropes shorter.
  • Sheet Bend Based on a series of loops, this knot is a popular Celtic tie.
  • Square Knot  This knot is frequently used to tie kerchiefs and scarves.

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