This is a list of my favourite knots. Many are related, i.e. they may have similar starting
procedures as in the Clove hitch, the Bag hitch and the Constrictor.
A knot may be used for different purposes, e.g. the Alpine Butterfly is basically a
loop, but can also be used as a bend. To this end, if often needs to be constructed in a different manner.
Most of the following knots are described on these websites:
The easiest and best-known is the overhand knot. This is the knot we use when starting to tie our shoelaces.
Left over right, right over left. To finish of tying. Topologically equivalent to 2
Reversed Half Hitches.
Running knot. Often used as a step in a more complex knot, such as the trucker's hitch or
Karash Rescue rope. Truckers and rescuers execute this loop with one quick underhand
movement of the left hand.
Basic hitch e.g. to temporarily tie boat to a shore fixture.
Good to start lashings.
Secure binder. Used as anchor hitch for the Trucker's Hitch. Variant of the Clove Hitch
Where tension is applied (and maintained) from 2 opposite sides.
Grips like a boa-constrictor. Very hard to undo. Variant of the Clove Hitch.
Possibly the most standard knot to create a non-slipping loop at the end of a rope.
The bowline has been called the 'king of knots'. A must know for general usage.
The proper way to tie a bowline can be seen on
Youtube: Bowline knot.
It is more practical and less prone to error than the 'rabbit out of a hole' method.
However, I found it still necessary to learn to tie it from the opposite point
of view, which seems to make more sense to me.
The initial loop formed in the bowline can be doubled or trippled.
The Cowboy Bowline (where the 'tail' ends up outside the loop) is
said to be more secure during ring loading.
The Rapid Bowline is made by passing the end of a rope around an
object, then tying a loose Slip knot in
the main part of the rope and passing the end through it. Pulling on the main
part will capsize the knot into a Bowline. This technique is used in the
Karash Rescue Knot.
Figure 8 or 'Flemish' Bend
Basically a figure 8 knot that is turned in on itself.
Different methods of tying depending whether you need to strand it through a
ring or whether the ring can be clipped into the loop.
Widely used by mountaineers - 3 versions:
- on Bight: an open loop
Climbers often prefer the Figure-Eight Bend (with some type of Stopper Knots)
over other bends for situations when lives are at stake.
Alpine Butterfly or Lineman's Loop
My favourite knot. Generally condidered the strongest in-line loop knot.
- Needed when creating a loop in-line for tying the kayak onto the roofbar.
- Used by climbers to hook onto the same rope.
- Used to circumvent weak parts of a rope.
- Also as a bend to tie two ropes together. See Alpine Butterfly Bend: How to.
There are various ways of tying this knot - I prefer the method as shown in
Tie an Alpine Butterfly Knot
If you want to use the Alpine Butterfly loop at the end of the rope, without
creating the loop first, such as would be needed when fastening the end of a rope
around an anchor point that is fixed on both ends so that no loop can be thrown over it,
you need to use a 'follow through' method as can be seen at
davidmdelaney's Butterfly Bend Loop.
...it doesn't matter which way you pass the second end of rope through the loop in the
first end of rope, and it doesn't matter if you curve the two ends of rope upwards
or downwards, and it doesn't matter if you cross the two ends of rope on top of or
behind the main parts of the ropes. The only thing that matters is that the two ends
of rope form interlocked loops which are mirror-images of each other, and that they
both pass through the center of the knot together (i.e. in the same direction).
[ref - Layhands]
Sliding Grip Hitch, Adjustable Grip Hitch and Adjustable grip bend
One of these knots that's great to play or show off with - but haven't really used it in practice.
- Grips when tightened
- Sliding Grip Hitch is one-directional
- Double: Can be used to adjust the size of a loop
- uses: tightening tent ropes, fan belt
For bundling items together while keeping the tension (camping gear, sticks). Needs to be well
dressed. Number of turns determine the friction.
Shown to me one day by a trucker who was helping me to move house with a trailer.
It has proven to be the most useful of all knots ever since. I use it mainly to tie the kayak onto the car's
roof rack. Its main advantage is that you can apply (and maintain) tension while tying the knot. The
slip knot (used as the loop) can be executed with a quick flip of the hand - speeding up the
process where many hitches are involved. Very useful if you want to impress people when helping to
Read also my post on IGKT Forum
(reply 72 onwards) for a discussion on how to finish off the trucker's hitch.
To tie this knot, first tie two loop knots (such as Alpine Butterflies). For one of the loop knots
, leave the Working End of the rope fairly long. Bring the long Working End through the other loop
knot, then pass it through its own loop knot. Bring the long Working End through the other loop knot
again, then begin tightening the system by pulling hard on the Working End. The self-locking nature
of the system will hold the tension as you pull tighter.
For tying 2 strings together. Basically consists of 2 knots that are pulled together. Gives cability
to add lines between the 2 knots such as for sinkers and hooks. There are single, double, and
'however many you want' fisherman's knots.
Karash Rescue Rope + rapid bowline
Creates 2 loops for the legs and one accross the chest for heaving people in emergency situations.
To create the chest loop, and interesting variant of the bowline is shown whereby the strand
forming the loop is entered through a sliding loop and then collapses into a bowline.
See Karash Rescue Rope Demonstration video
Prusik knot at Animated knots. Allows a rope to be climbed.
The knot requires a "Prusik Loop" which is constructed by joining the two ends of a length of rope using a
Double Fisherman's or a Triple Fisherman's. Use
Klemheist if load is only applied in one direction.
- To add weight to the end of a rope. (a heaving line).
- 3 coils around hand
- 3 coils perpendicular over first winding
- 3 coils inside first winding outside 2nd one
Tying loops at the end of strings for string instruments such as the zither banjo requires some specialised knotting.
I found the following examples quite useful:
I started a thread on this subject on IGKT,
if anyone likes to contribute...
Another very practical knot to bind together 2 pieces. Here's a good animation