How to Tie Different Knots

By Heather Mckinney
knot image by Galyna Andrushko from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Knots are used for many tasks: attaching a fishing hook, tying off the end of yarn, securing a boat to a dock. There are too many individual knots to list in one article. However, knots are broken down into categories according to their purpose. For instance, stoppers tie off the end of a rope or thread. Hitches tie rope to an object, and bends splice two lines together. Knowing some of the basic knots in these categories will help you to accomplish some tasks easier.

Overhand Knot

Step 1

Cross the loose end of your rope in front of the main rope. This forms a loop in the top of the rope.

Step 2

Wrap the loose end behind the main rope and pull it through the loop. This is a simple stopper style knot that is meant for tying off the end of a rope or string.

Step 3

Pull the loose end until you have tightened it into a knot. You would use this type of knot for tasks like finishing a crocheted or knitted piece.

Square Knot

Step 1

Wrap the rope around the object to be secured. Cross the two ends of your rope over each other as closely as possible to that object. Bend one end under the point at which they cross and pull it through. This step is the same motion you use when beginning to tie a shoelace.

Step 2

Bring the ends up and cross them over each other again. This forms a loop beneath the spot where the ends meet. Pull one end of the rope through that loop. This simple bend knot is sometimes called a reef-knot.

Step 3

Pull the ends tightly to form the knot. It is easy to make the knot, but not always easy to undo it, as the knot grows tighter under more tension.

Half Hitch

Step 1

Pull the rope around a pole or other stationary object. Hitch knots are meant to tie a rope to an object.

Step 2

Cross the loose end under the main length of line. Bring the loose end back over the main rope and into the space where the rope and pole connect.

Step 3

Tighten the knot by pushing it toward the pole. This knot by itself is not very sturdy and would only secure a light load of a pound or two. However, the half hitch is important to master as it is the basis for many other complex knots. The taut line, used in tents and clotheslines, is an example of a knot that uses the half hitch as part of it formation.

About the Author

Heather Mckinney has been writing for over 23 years. She has a published piece in the University Archives detailing the history of an independently owned student newspaper. Mckinney holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from University of Texas at San Antonio.