Learn how to tie various knots the old fashioned way, and you'll be amazed at how often your new skill will come in handy. Below are instructions for tying over 20 basic knots that you will find uses for in the home and garden, in addition to nautical and farm uses.
Few persons know how to tie various knots. It is as easy, indeed easier, to make a neat, ﬁrm knot, one that's easy to untie, as one clumsy, insecure, and readily jammed. In practising, it is better at ﬁrst to use a coarse cord or ﬁne rope. The 7 knots given below can all be mastered in an hour's practice, and will be found of daily use.
Also called the ﬂat knot, is the one best adapted for ordinary use in tying the two ends of a string. It is neat, ﬂat, does not readily slip, and is easily untied. It is the same as is used in tying shoelaces and neckties, except that the ends are drawn through. It is essential that the two parts of each string should be on the same side or there will be formed a "granny" knot.
Also called the weavers' knot, is used where great ﬁrmness is required; it is small, cannot slip, and can be made when one end of the string is just long enough to make a loop. It is more liable to jam than the one last named. Bend one end of the cord into a loop, which hold in the left hand, pass the other end through the loop, around it and then under itself.
A little practice will enable the learner to use both hands at once, in which case it can be tied very quickly. It is easily made after learning the ﬂat knot, by passing one end across or under the loop instead of through it. It is obvious that in having the free end of the loop long it can be used instead of another end, and thus heavy bodies, as window-sash weights and clock weights are hung.
Is used for fastening broken sticks or rods after serving them with several turns of the cord which should never overlap. Before beginning the serving make a loop a little longer than the proposed extent of the turns (a, Fig. 3). When the serving is ﬁnished pass the end of the cord through this loop, and by pulling in its free end the other is drawn within the serving and made secure (b, Fig. 3).
Is made more
quickly than any other tie, can be instantly undone, and is very secure.
It is used to fasten ends of ropes in rings, etc., when they are to be
quickly cast off, and may be used for slinging light bodies of small
diameter. It is also put over the tops of bottles to fasten in the
corks, and is then called the beer-knot: in this case the two ends are
afterwards tied. By reversing it it becomes a running knot, or "sailor's
In practising, at ﬁrst take the ﬁxed or "standing" part of the line in the left hand, make a loop in it: then make a second loop in the right-hand part, and put it through the ﬁrst (a, Fig. 4). Afterwards try it through rings. and around rods and small posts (b, Fig. 4). For large posts use the glove hitch; the single half-hitch will slip. Remember that when it is to hold, the strain must come on the standing part. It differs but slightly from the common single bow-knot, and can be made as easily with a little practice.
One of the most useful of all fastenings; it is not properly a knot, for
it is neither tied nor untied. It is largely employed on shipboard and
in reducing dislocations, but opportunities for its use in ordinary life
are of daily occurrence.
In practicing, take the ﬁxed or standing part of the rope in the left hand, turn the free end under it, and put it over the thumb; repent this, and the hitch is made. (Fig. 5.)
When the clove-hitch is made on the standing part of the rope, after it
has passed around a post or box, it is called two half-hitches, and is
the best method of fastening boxes or bundles. In this case it should
never be fastened to the cord at right angles to its own, but that in a
line with it. (Fig. 6.)
Is used in slinging heavy bodies; it cannot slip, and will never jam under the heaviest strain. It is difﬁcult to understand at ﬁrst, but with a little practice can be made very rapidly. Take the ﬁxed or standing part of the rope in the left hand (this should be done in making all knots), lay the free end over it, and then by a twist of the wrist make a loop in the standing part which shall inclose the free end (a, Fig. 7); then carry the free end behind the standing part and through the loop, parallel with itself (b, Fig. 7). This knot will well repay the trouble spent in learning it.
How to Tie Various Knots was adapted from...
The Household Cyclopedia of General Information by Henry Hartshorne, M.D., published by Thomas Kelly, New York, in 1881.
Pictured above is a demonstration of how to tie seven basic knots that I created for a merit badge when I was an eight-year-old Wolf Cub in 1958. It was graded 7/10 by the Akela who said my printing could stand some improvement. Hey, I was eight!