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Another Knot

A contribution from your overworked and underpaid Editor.

Well, no - you can't actually invent a new knot to-day, as generations of people have twiddled rope into every conceivable shape before you.  However, I managed to tie this knot more or less accidentally the other day and thought that it may - or may not - be of interest.

Before describing how to tie it, a few words about this knot might be as well.  Like most knots, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Its main advantages are twofold. Firstly, it is an extremely non-slip sort of knot.  Even with a slippery rope, it is guaranteed to lock up into a solid chunk - and stay there. In spite of this, it is comparatively easy to undo.  Secondly, if a loop is made in a rope using this knot, either or both ends may be pulled upon without running any risk of shortening the loop.  Thus, if you do this sort of thing with it….


……the loop will stay open. This might be useful when, say, guiding an injured man up an awkward pitch.

Unfortunately - AND A WORD OF WARNING MUST BE GIVEN HERE its very non-slip properties are caused by the vicious, and sharp bends it puts into the rope.  An ordinary bowline will reduce the strength of any given rope by half and this knot is very considerably worse.  So a rope must be of VERY adequate strength before you trust your entire weight plus snatch to this knot.  Like all such knots, it becomes kinder to the rope if it is tied on a bight by doubling the rope and tying the mat in the doubled end of rope.  This lessens the sharpness of the bends which the knot causes.

The knot is commenced as in the figure opposite by making a small loop as shown and passing the end of the rope under the loop after having passed it round your body or the object to be fastened to the rope


The free end of the rope is then worked over, under, over, under and over as shown in the next figure opposite.  After this, the knot must be ‘pulled together’ as it does not self-tighten very well owing to its high internal friction.


A view of the completed knot in a single rope end is shown opposite.  The knot is undone by pulling the uppermost loop forward with no tension on the hauling end of the rope.  The knot will then loosen.


Below is shown front and back views of the knot as tied with a double end to the rope.  In practice all rope ends should be longer than shown in the diagrams.


The most strenuous job so far carried out using this knot was the hauling up a fairly steep incline of a quarter of a ton of 'Rayburn' cooker - a loop being made in each end of the rope by the knot described with one end round the Rayburn and the other end loop attached to a 30 cwt winch.  The tension in the rope was very considerable.  No visible permanent damage appeared to have been caused by the knots but this does not mean that no damage in fact occurred to fibres inside the rope.

I finally found this knot described in - of all places one of Sally's books on embroidery.  It is used in its opened out form as a decorative knot in macramé work where it is known as the Josephine knot.

Hardly the right sort of image for caving or climbing~