Knots are useful, and not just for sailors, climbers, backpackers, or the military! There are an amazing array of knots to learn, and Animated Knots is a great place to learn different knots for different uses. Here are four knots I find useful for just about anything from making a necklace to strapping something down to the top of your car. Master these knots, and you’ll never be without a way to fasten something by cord, string, or rope. And don’t worry, I’m knot going to fill this post with puns (that’s the only one, I promise!)
This is one of my favorite knots to tie! In climbing, this knot is often used as a way to put a simple knot on the end of rope so the end won’t slip through the harness-securing double figure-8 knot, and so you don’t have a segment of rope flapping around. Have no fear! There are plenty of uses for your non-rock climbing life. The most useful thing I have used this knot for is attaching two separate pieces of rope or cord to make a longer line. If you tie two of these knots on two overlapping pieces of rope, when you pull the separate ropes the knots will slide together, creating a self-tightening system which won’t slip.
My other favorite use of the double fisherman knot is for making simple jewelry. If you have one piece of leather, cord, or string that you want to put a charm on, the double fisherman allows you to create a resizing bracelet or necklace. Just overlap the two ends of whatever material you are using to create a closed circle (as tight as you want), and use the double fisherman to secure the cord to itself. You will now be able to move the knots along the cord to loosen and tighten the bracelet or necklace! You don’t need to worry about tiny clasps, complicated loops, or being tied (literally) to wearing that piece all the time. All thanks to the double fisherman.
This knot takes some time to master, but once you do this will become your go-to for securing a line to a post, fence, bar, or tree. This is a load-bearing knot, which means that while it is being pulled on, it won’t untie itself, but be careful because when it is not loaded it is pretty easy to untie. This is an easy way to create a loop a the end of a rope when you need one. I usually use it if I want to secure one end of a rope to a stationary object. One word of warning: it is is pronounced “Bo-linn,” so don’t go trying to impress someone with your knot knowledge and pronounce it “Bo-line!”
If you need tension in a rope, whether it is because you need a taut line or because you need to cinch something down, this is the knot for you. I usually tie a bowline on one end to secure the line to a standing object, then use a trucker’s hitch to make the line tight. This knot definitely takes practice, and even though the knot is made for mechanical advantage, always remember when rope is sliding against rope, friction is created. Never use this knot to haul something unless you are certain of the rope’s strength. The knot may be secure, but if the rope is weak or damaged, the knot won’t make any difference.
I saved the simplest for last! The girth hitch is really useful any time you are dealing with a closed loop of rope or cord. The girth hitch can be useful for storing things like winter gloves, a fashionable way for wearing a scarf, or a way to store your extension cords! The thing about the girth hitch is, you probably already know and use it. Now you can impress everybody when you call it by name.