Knots were first used by the earliest man who found it necessary to fasten things together. Primitive man twisted together the ends of vines and other foliage. At different times, tree bark, branches and strips of animal hides and leather were also used.
With the invention of rope, the use of knots became more and more prevalent and important. Ropes, cords, twines and threads are our common means today for making fastenings or knots. These are used constantly on board ship, in lumber camps, in construction, in agriculture, on ranches and in factories and mills and in all industry.Not only in industry, but as a hobby and pastime, the making of knots is full of interest, knowledge and fun. Knots are used, as you know, to fasten together the parts of one or more ropes, cords, twines, etc., or to attach a rope to some such object as a pole, ring, hook or animal.A pictorial description of the more familiar knots are given in this section. A small length of quarter-inch cord is excellent for practicing and learning how to tie knots. The mastery of tying various knots is an amusing pastime and will give you many hours of great pleasure.
Overhand Knot: This is used to make a 'knob' or stopper on a cord; generally it is used as the beginning or as part of another knot.
Fourfold Overhand Knot: If you want a 'knob' with more bulk, tie three, four or five folds, as shown.
Stevedore's Knot: This differs from the 'Figure-of-Eight' Knot only in the extra turn, and therefore is larger in size. It has the same uses as other end knots – to prevent slipping, or from sliding through a hole – and can stand more strain.
Sailor's Knot: This knot is most often used to join the ends of two ropes, as for reefing sails. This is very secure when taut and can be made and undone with great rapidity.
Figure of Eight Knot: A quick-tying knot, used to prevent a rope from slipping. Can be opened without difficult.
Twist Knot: This is an interesting and well-known method used for shortening a rope. Start as in the first illustration, making the loop as long as you want shortened.
Weaver's Knot: This simple knot is used for safely joining heavy or large ropes together.
Flemish Knot Joining Two Ropes: This is made similar to the 'Overhand Knot.' It shows the ends of two ropes joined by means of a Flemish Knot. This makes an extremely secure knot, because one 'knob' jams against the other to hold securely.
Fisherman's Knot: This received its name from being used by fishermen for joining silkworm gut securely for fishing purposes.
Overhand Knot Joining Two Ropes: This is an efficient, quick way of joining two ropes. The ends are held together with enough room for the knot to be made. The double parts are then grasped in each hand and an overhand knot is formed, which is tightened by pulling on both parts at once.
Marling: Here you have a series of overhand knots practical in securing canvas gear and in lashing hammocks. Useful in the home for tying rugs, or any large, long, narrow object.
Cat's Paw Knot: This is a very effective way of attaching a rope to a hook. It can't slip off and needs no constant strain upon it to make hold. Twist up two parts of a rope in opposite directions and you will be able to hook the tackle through the two eyes thus made.
Stationer's Knot: This knot is used in tying light parcels, as it can be made rapidly and undone with ease.
Miller's Knot: This is helpful in tying flour or other sacks with cord. The forefinger plays an important role here. The first turn leads over the forefinger and the others pass under all fingers.
Pipe Hitch Tie: This is a secure knot, quickly made for lifting cylindrical objects in a vertical position.
Bowline Knot: A very important knot. The bowline knot makes a link that will not slip, making it most useful in life-saving or in fastening a horse or boat to a post.
Surgeon's Knot: This is used, as the name indicates, in surgery. The first part holds in place by the friction of the cord, while the second overhand is being completed.
Clove Hitch: To tie a rope to a post or spar, this is the simplest hitch to use. Also known as the 'Builder's Knot.'
Square Lashing: This form of lashing is employed when spars, poles or other timber have to be tied at right angles.
Diagonal Lashing: It is often necessary to tie two things together, such as two spars or other pieces of lumber. A timber hitch is used to start the lashing around both spars, which draws them together. Four or five turns of the lashing around each fork are made. The lashing is finished with a clove hitch around the most convenient spar.
Package Knot: This is the practical knot for typing up a parcel so that it will not fall apart in transit.
Lariat Loop: This loop is the cowboy's must. It is an excellent tie for horses and cattle because it makes a fixed loop and is easily untied by opening the overhand part.