It's simple and fast to tie (with a little practice for muscle memory), and with an extra turn has exceptional friction preventing loop collapse in some situations where even a bowline would have an issue. However, by relieving tension on one side of the knot, like a taut-line hitch it can slide.
I use it for its common application of tensioning, but I also find it useful for cinching. It can go anywhere a cord lock might have been useful in but a few seconds.
If anyone knows the 'proper' name for this knot I would greatly appreciate it.
My most useful knot is the trucker's hitch. It's so handy for tying down loads, I don't know how I ever lived without it: https://www.animatedknots.com/truckers-hitch-knot
It's really strange to me though, and it's probably a culture thing, because for this use case literally everybody I know would use a bowline knot (https://www.animatedknots.com/bowling-knot), possibly with an extra lock to make sure it does not untie if there's no tension. This observation comes from a French sailing background, hence the probable cultural bias.
Could you educate me as of where the trucker's hitch is better? (to me the bowtie feels simpler, no possible slippage and easy to untie after a load)
The first part, up to step 6, is just a slip knot. That part could be replaced by a bowline. But the slip knot can be thrown in one-handed in the middle of the line without needing to pull the end through like a bowline. And when you're done you give it a yank and the slip knot pops out.
Step 7 is the real point of the whole thing. You're using the loop and the hook (in this example) to create a pulley system to crank your load down tight. Then the rest of the steps are a hitch to keep it in place.
This is more secure than the version than I typically see used (and would be annoying to untie). I normally don't poke the end through like in step 9, but make another slip knot so the whole thing can be unravelled by pulling on the end of the line like a quick release.
Typically, I'd do a bowline on one end first, and tension it with a trucker's hitch. If you go with two bowlines, you end up with a floppy line, not great way to tie a load down.
Only had one lost load, due to using the wrong rope (my friend's polypropylene rope rather than my usual climbing rope or yachting halyard rope). Unfortunately, that involved 5 canoe polo kayaks falling off, in the middle of a busy city intersection, in the evening peak hour. Lesson learned: bring your own rope!
This does not disappoint:
Plus, it's really satisfying the way you can slide and adjust it. There's something so wonderful about getting sophisticated mechanics from things made purely of rope or cord.
Works on the same principle as the taut-line hitch. You can hang your weight in the knot on a vertical rope indefinitely. If you can then find a way to unload the knot, you can slide it up the rope and then put your weight on it again, slightly higher up than before.
So how do you unload the knot? By loading another of the same knots! So you alternate between loading and sliding the two knots, making your way up the rope with comparatively little effort and comparatively high security.
It's quite amazing!
Great example is from the video linked above with the airplane. At the end he's complaining about the tautline. In that instance, I would use (if not the knot he's showing) a truckers to the plane, and the tautline to set the length.
By comparison, the Farrimond Friction hitch is two major steps: wrapping a small underhand loop you can put anywhere on the running end of the rope is faster and more contained motion. After wrapping it, you just tuck a bight through, and you're done. If you crave much more security than what a bight allows, pull the rope through.
If anything took some practice vs the taut line hitch (or the midshipman's variant), it was the fact that the knot is one of those you tend to dress at the end: a taut-line hitch has a distinct and neat look at every step...at the cost of having to thread a rope through one loop (twice), then another once.
Dressing the Farrimond Friction hitch is simple to do, a firm tug on the standing end plus sliding the knot is all you need, but to someone without muscle memory the knot may appear to be controlled chaos in mid-tying. It's a very easy knot to tie without any visual feedback after a bit of practice, you gain a feel for it with your hands.
(If anyone is curious, the carrick bend is the other one I use very often.)
A taut line hitch is a good choice in most cases though.
i learned the trucker's hitch in high school and use it all the time
Speaking of climbing-related knots, the figure-eight knot is another great knot to know.
1. The Klutz Book of Knots (it's a book with holes around the pages so you can practice the knots next to their instructions). I think it's supposed to be a kid's book, but I bought for myself few years ago and was probably the resource I used the most.
2. I find it _much_ easier to learn how to tie a knot by watching someone's hands while they explain what they're doing. KnottingKnots on Youtube is incredible at that:
I think the knots I use the most, both in everyday life as well as for hiking are (from most used to least used):
- Trucker Hitch
- Bowline knot
- Clove hitch
- Figure of Eight knot (bend too but less often)
- Sheet Bend
- Prusik knot
- Square knot
- Taut line hitch
This pandemic I started learning about knots as well but IMHO one end up using a very few selection that works for most cases. I admit sharing small selections may not be that useful because people have different life styles but there are some that are almost always useful.
I'd like to add a few 'quick releases' to your selection like the Painter's Hitch and the Highwayman's Hitch. I personally use the Painter's hitch and the taut line hitch to secure my motorcycle's cover on windy days, pretty fun to use!
And yes, the selection really depends on one's use case. I think that Trucker Hitch was the most life changing for me. Both for securing items in the car but also as a more versatile replacement for taut line hitch when staking down guylines to the ground (Andrew Skurka has a good demonstration of this use case).
Though for your use case taut line is probably best as it's easier to adjust and you probably aren't trying to optimize for minimal line length or weird anchor points)
It's used to tie the ends of two ropes together.
It's super easy to tie, super easy to untie (when you want to), and will not untie accidentally.
 - https://www.animatedknots.com/zeppelin-bend-knot
You could even say there's something nice about it.
Someday I'll buy the Ashley Book of Knots, and on that day I'll truly begin my journey into middle age.
The ABoK was something I always wanted to see, but never bothered to buy... until I found that PDF. Scrolling through it finally convinced me to buy a hardcopy. It's one of my favorite books to just flip through. There's more than just the knots: the history and the anecdotes are a fascinating window into the past.
I disagree. The Ashley Book does not give in-depth step-by-step details, but it gives enough. You may have to train your brain a bit, but it's not all that difficult. It seems like I reference my copy every week or so for one thing or another.
If there is a complaint about the Ashley book, it's that it was written at a time before synthetic fibers. Some knots may require modifications, and all splices should be increased in length to account for the differences.
For a single reference book, it covers so much quite well, and the index is a marvel. It deserves a place on your shelf.
You could probably find it at your local library.
Most of the knots in it are either decorative, useless, or just a renamed version of a different knot.
Maybe you're thinking of a different book?
I've had mine for near 20 years now and only ever bothered learning one knot out of it, #599 The Chinese Button knot, which I find relaxing. I wouldn't recommend it as the first book you buy on the subject, but maybe as the third or final book, when you have a feel for tying. The instructions are there for the best way of tying a bowline #1010, but a beginner would struggle.
Nevertheless, it remains in the category of Far More Than You Ever Wanted To Know.
I’ll share an image of my order history if you want
I wish this app would show how to tie the knots efficiently with your hands, like in this video 
For example, could 'practical' knot tying be modelled as a sequence of states? So one state would be 'untied' and then the next might be 'looped under', then 'end passed through loop' and so on?
If i think about the enormous pain i had when first tying a bow-tie... then realistically there are all sorts of details like which hand you hold which part with :/
That's how you know you've caught a new convert.
I usually go with Ian knot by default but switch to the secure one if it comes undone.
I found it on this page - apparently it's called the "palomar knot". I'm very fond of it because you can easily tie it with cold, wet hands in the rain and it won't lose fish. Works with braided and monofilament.
Note for the author: the "Note" section on that page has the same text pasted 3 times. Still a great tutorial!
Many years ago, I learned about Ian's secure knot (https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/secureknot.htm), a shoelace knot, which I have used since then. It just never accidently opens but still is simple to tie and also simple to open on intention.
Regularly (and dependably!), posts about knots make their way to the front page, often to the top … it's nearly in the same mold as "articles warning about lending/housing behavior".
- Practical stuff like tying up boats?
I like knots because of the relationship to protein folds, but hey ymmv.
I think a lot of us also have a bit of a primitivist streak, and knots are a low technology that can replace a lot of higher tech and still get a lot done (compare to HN's enduring fascination with Forth).
Question is, why don't we see as many about saws?
I suspect it has to do with that knots are universal, transform something simple into an incredibly useful tool, and has limitless applications.
I'm now trying to thing of other things that fit this description beyond raw materials.
I'd be interested in recommendations for better shoe-binding knots (other than the old TED talk advice of doing it in reverse).
As an aside...my brain is really bad at doing knots. I have an old book and it's almost impossible for me to work from graphics+text only.
My problem is that when tightening the cord around the coiled hose, once I try to tie then the cord gets looser around the coiled hose and the coil gets "sloppy".
I saw a person do a good knot for this once, but unfortunately I didn't see how he did exactly because he did it so fast. When he first tightened it around the coiled hose, it stayed tightened and then he could easily finish the knot so it became permanent and it was easy to untie.
Any suggestions on any knot name I can look at that could be suitable? Thanks
As I type this my boat is tied with what looked like a child's shoelace.
Though thread/knot simulation is a very difficult problem. I’m involved in a VR project for surgery that simulates knots for surgical suturing. We have two full time physics phds on it and they’re delivering some promising results but it’s far from good enough to teach IRL knots.
Students practise on poultry, cadavers and the real thing. And yeah VR too perhaps.
I was a sceptic initially about it, but from my time with the topic of simulation training, I’m finding that there is a shortage of people who want to be doctors. And many of those that do want to go down that path are good at all sorts of things but this whole knot tying can be very challenging. Some people just have a really hard time with it.
For example while a bowline knot is easier to untie after having a heavy load placed on it, it weakens the rope more than a figure 8 knot.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxR5HBEa76w
Truckers hitch Knot
Half Hitch Knot
Named after the place Topologist was at when he discovered that very useful knot.
I have about 4-5 knots memorized for each of those category, but sailing I typically only use a cleat hitch, bowline, and clove hitch (in order of frequency).
Too bad so sad, and I was ready to give them 6 bucks.
That being said check out the underwriters knot, which is specifically designed for strain relief: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwriter%27s_knot