Category Archives: Decorative Knots

Celtic Knot

A Celtic Knot has been used for centuries from the Romans to the Saxons. These knots were used for jewelry or for decorations and is still used today. The knot is said to be designed after the Celtic Tree. This tree is said to symbolize many things, including wisdom, strength and longevity. It is said to make a connection between spirit and earth.

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How to Tie a Celtic Knot

It is not difficult to make a Celtic knot, but tightening of the knot will take some practice.

  1. Take a cord or string to practice tying the knot. You will need about 2 feet to work with.
  2. There will be two sides you are working with, right side and left side. Secure the left side with tape or pins to a surface while learning how to make this knot. First, tie the two ends together and then fasten the left side to a surface.
  3. Next you will want to make a loop, about the size of a quarter. Take the string that is on the right side and you will want to thread it over the other side, or left side of the string, then again back over the right.
  4. The objective is to keep making loops from the right side to left side. You want to go up and under each time alternating. As you beginning to make loops, you should start to see a square emerge and form your knots.
  5. The final step is to keep looping the string around the top portion of the knot. To finish up, take the string and take it under and then make a final crossing to complete the knot.

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Monkey’s Fist

The monkey’s fist or the monkey’s paw is a type of knot. It is named so because it looks similar to the animal’s closed fist. The end of the rope which looks like a hand is used as an anchor so it is easier to pitch. The knot is typically wound around a weight such as a small stone, piece of wood, marble and sometimes even folded paper. Newer variations of the monkey’s fist do not use a weight and instead the spare end is tucked into the knot. This makes the end less deadly when pitched.

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In the nineteenth century, this type of knot was used by sailors as a weapon called a slungshot which eventually became common with street gang members of that era. In ancient China, the monkey’s fist was used to practice and learn the meteor hammer, a deadly weapon that consists of two weights on a chain. In the past, this type of rope is also employed in rock climbing. The anchor is inserted between cracks, however this is now considered obsolete and dangerous.

Monkey’s fists are also a great way to conceal and transport precious metal and gems. In fishing, they are used at the opposite ends of tow lines. This allows the net to be cast between boats allowing the trawl to be used between the two.

How to Tie a Monkey’s Fist

  1. Make three turns around your hand; preferably around your index, middle and ring finger.
  2. Make three turns perpendicular to the first set of loops.
  3. Make three turns passing through the first loop and three more turns through the second loop.
  4. Tighten the knot around a flexible core such as a ball of yarn. Whip or splice the end of the standing part. Splicing means you are creating a semi-permanent bond through braiding or weaving.

Lanyard Knot

The lanyard knot or the diamond knot is a decorative knot named because it is tied on a lanyard. A lanyard is a cord that is kept close to the body either around the neck or wrist. This type of knot is used to keep valuables close and visible to the wearer at all times.

The lanyard originated in fifteenth century France and is derived from the word “laniere”. Typically, lanyards were used in the French military to keep pistols, swords and whistles connected to their uniforms for visibility. Lanyards are used mostly by the cavalry or naval officers to ensure that their weapons are not lost. This knot is used to secure the object to the lanyard.

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From this function, lanyards and their knots became more decorative. Lanyards eventually began to have different colors and braids. They were worn on the shoulders of military officers and their different types were used to denote rankings, affiliations and qualifications.

Today, the lanyard knot is mostly decorative and used whenever the object requires some type of pull. They are used in key rings, whistles, id tags, electronics and even scarves. The lanyard knot can also be used to tie two ropes together.

How to Tie a Lanyard Knot

  1. Hold the rope in your hand and keep your pinky above the rope. This stabilizes it.
  2. Form an underhand loop with the working end.
  3. The standing end is now your new working end. Wrap this around the old working end and under into the loop’s center.
  4. While you bring the last coil at the top, you should form a bight into the working part.
  5. Make sure that the knot is loose while slowly pulling your pinky out of the knot. This will create a diamond pattern in the knot’s center.
  6. Pass the standing end in a counter clockwise motion through the underside of the diamond pattern.
  7. Repeat step 6 for the working end. Both ends are now fed through the diamond’s underside.
  8. Grab both the working and standing ends and pull. Slowly slide the knot off your fingers while pulling on the bight and tightening the ends.