You can use a stopper to prevent a rope or yarn from unfolding, but please do that only in cheap rope/yarn. Use a proper whipping in all other cases.

The Overhand Knot or Half Knot

This is the simplest knot. Therefore probably the most
used. The knot is very useful to support knots in yarns. The loose ends become
a bit thicker. When this support makes the total bend too bulky you have to
look for another bend. The overhand knot is not strong, so it is not used in
situations where you might expect great force. It also reduces the strength of
the rope or yarn by about 50%. But as an "anti-slip-knot" it does not
have to withstand a lot.

The Double Overhand knot
The double overhand knot is beautiful, thicker than the common
overhand knot, but not any stronger. But use it with caution. The double
overhand knot is also called the bloodknot when it is used at the end of a
whip. This knot has several ways of tying and in principle two ways of working
up. Both ways of tying shown here also show both results. The bloodknot shown
in the middle is the preferred way of working up the second way of tying marked
with the crosses. The bloodknot is very hard to untie after it has been under
stress. If you put an object through the cross-marked hole the knot will work
up as the strangleknot. It is usefull to practice
this way.

The Multi fold-Overhand-knot

If you make more than two turns in the overhand knot it wil be fatter. (But hardly stronger.) In twined rope it is important to work up the knot very carefully. (It will not only look neater, it wil prevent 'kinking' which will weaken the rope even more!)

The (Flemish) Eight

This knot is larger, stronger and more easy to untie than the overhand knot. It does not harm your rope as much as the overhand knot does. So therefore sailors use this knot in most cases. (! not for bend support, where the smaller overhand is used, or in rope, a permanent small stopper)




The Reef Knot or Square Knot General

The reef-knot is only useful in simple applications. Ashley says "it is a true Binder Knot, for which it is admirable, but under no circumstances should it be used as a bend." It is easy tied and will not jam, so it is always easy to untie. It is used to tie packages, and as a base for he shoe-bow. Sailors used it for binding rolled sails or better reefed sails. And that is where it got its english name from. Americans call it the square knot. Probably because it looks square, or because it was much used on square-rigged-ships, but that is a total guess of me.
Its relatives, the granny, the thief-knot and the what-knot all have their purposes, but not as a trustful knot. 


The Granny.

This knot is dangerous, and untrustful. One moment is slips the other it jams. It is best to ban it out from your habits.

The Thief Knot.

The story goes sailors used this knot on their bags for they did not trust landsman. If a thief closed the bag after his theft, he would close it with a reef-knot, which is detectable by the sailor.


Sheet Bend

The sheet bend is my favorite bend. Be careful. With the loose end on the wrong side you have an other, weaker knot (Left-hand sheetbend). If the knot is well seized it does not matter if it is tied right or left handed
For more information on the reef-knot-family you may visit the Sheetbend Family.




The The Carrick Bend / The Josephine Knot

Also known as Full carrick Bend, Sailor's Knot and Anchor Bend. Beware! There are not many knots with so much wrong drawings as this bend. The ends have to be on opposite sites and the crossings always are alternating up/down/up/down... The Carrick Bend is one of the best knots. Ashley states it is possible the nearest thing we have to a perfect bend. It does not easily slip, not even if the rope is wet. And it is always easy to untie, also after a heavy load. If used as a Hawser bend in heavy material it is always seized and parceled to save wear. The Josephine Knot In the Macrame this knot is called the Josephine Knot. It is self evident the Josephine knot is not seized nor pulled tight.

Fisherman’s Knot

The Fisherman's Knot may be laid in two different ways. Which of both the is the stronger, I do not know.  With two equal overhand knots it is symmetrical. This is probably the most used variant.

With two different overhand knots you get the most beautiful version (always work it up neatly!) Only ... The double eight is stronger, easier to untie after use and as decorative from all sides as the true lovers at best.


The Weavers-Eight

Although it looks difficult to tie, it is actually very easy. Fast to tie with small material, and reliable for wool, linen and most other weaver materials. Because both loose ends fall back over the standing part, it has an almost perfect lead. Hold both threads together on the crossing between your thumb and finger. (first drawing)
Twist both threads together while you hold the cross in two simple movements. (first/Second drawing)
Now, you pull over the standing part of the line you tie on, (third drawing)
And put both loose ends over the line you tie on through the loop you just created. Now let loose the cross and hold the loose ends fixed to the standing part of the line you tie with and pull the knot tight. This knot is related with The (Flemish) Eight. You can observe this by removing the thread you tied the knot with, leaving the thread you tied the knot on unchanged. If you have difficulties in learning this knot, you can start by practicing the Flemish eight in the thread you want to tie on, using an imaginary thread to tie with.

For the other direction :
A weaver on a traditional weaving loom never knows in advance in what direction the next line has to be tied. Therefore he has to know two ways of tying the weaver knot. One for each direction. This is the same Weavers-Eight but tied different. Tied this way the knot points to the other direction.


The Single Hitch

(also called The Simple Hitch) Although this is probably the simplest knot of all, you have to be a skilled knot-tyer to know how to tye and use it in a safe way. The loose end of the rope is nipped against the object and the standing part. The best nip is obtained against an edge or shoulder. If the load is released and the standing part shaken, the hitch is spilled instantly. It is used to attatch rope to a belay-pin, a weaver needle or even to a tree branch, to start belaying, to start winding or as a temporary easy to spill made-fast.

The Half Hitch

This is the capsized overhand knot. It is very useful to carry light loads which have to be removed easily. Ashley recommends it to use it for hanging store to out of reach for mice. It should not be disturbed.

The Clove Hitch

This is a very important knot of only theoretical value. Without extra support, it is untrustworthy in any situation, except as a crossing knot. You have to learn it for scouting and at sailing schools. If you have to use it, work it up properly; pull length-wise only at both ends before you load the working end. It is better to use The Rolling Hitch instead.

Two Half Hitches

The two half hitches is used for tieing a rope with a right-angle pull to a pole or ring. It should be constant under load. (Not under constant load). It does not jam. If the object you tye it on has a small diameter it is better to use the "Round Turn with Two Half Hitches". This is the same knot but with an extra turn round the object.

Buntline Hitch

The Buntline Hitch is (was) used to tie a buntline to a square sail. It is a secure knot, but it tends to jam, so it is not easy to untie. Therefore, it is useful for work that will be left unattended for longer periods, since it will not untie suddenly.

The Rolling Hitch or Magnus and Magner's Hitch

The best simple hitch for lengthwise pull. It needs to be laid very carefully and pulled firmly before loading. Never use it for right angle pull, for it will spill.





Midshipmans Hitch Or Tautline Hitch

This is a remarkably useful knot. It is adjustable AND trustworthy. Each sailor should know how to tye this knot in any circumstance. Especially to tye himself to a rescue rope thrown to him in the water. On the lifeline he has to hold the loose end securely to the standing part. This gives a good grip and a useful goal in this critical situation (HOLD!) Anyone who uses a tent should know this knot. It is the best way to adjust your lines to the tent-poles. It is the most simple of the adjustable knot family.

Adjustable or Jamming Hitch

This brother of the midshipman’s Hitch is just a bit less important. This is because it tends to jam. When jamming is desirable, this knot is o.k., as when work will be left unattended. Ashley states it was used by cotton brokers in New Bedford to tie their cotton samples they took from mill to mill. The packages could be opened and closed at will, and still be secure when left alone at travel.


The Cow Hitch

This hitch is really useful for tieing a cow to a pole so it can graze round it. You can add an overhand knot at the loose end as a stopper.  Sailors use it to secure a lanyard to a shroud.



Lobster Buoy Hitch

The Lobster Buoy Hitch is almost as secure as the Buntline Hitch, but more easy to untie.

 It is used to tie timber.



Marline Hitch or Single Hitch

This hitch is very practical to lash long objects. The working end needs only one tug and will not slip easy. Before the 'tiewrap' (or how are they called) this hitch was used by electrical engineers to tie 'wiring-trees' A row marls hitches is best started en ended with a double marls hitch.

The Strangle Knot or Double Marline Hitch

The strangle knot is important as temporary whipping and as permanent binding from which you need more in line. Laid well it is virtually impossible to untie without tools (needle or knife). So never use it if you need to untie. Used as marl hitch it is best used as first and last in a row. Or when a row becomes 'dangerously' long this hitch is used as insurance between shorter rows. Be careful!. Tied in this way the working end (or the bundle) needs only one tug, but it is not enough to pull once, it needs to be worked up properly!

The Constrictor Hitch

The constrictor knot is important as temporary whipping and as permanent binding from which you need more than one in a row, but not in line (when you should use the strangle knot). Laid well, it is virtually impossible to untie without tools (needle or knife). Never use it if you need to untie it. It is almost the strongest among the 'simple' hitches. Only the double constrictor is stronger. Because the constrictor may be tied in a bight, it is often preferred over the strangle knot.


The Bowline (The Life Saving Knot)

The Bowline Knot is one of the most used loop knots. This variant is most used in the world. Probably due to its simplicity, security, and its relationship with the Sheet bend. Keep the cross point in step A between a finger and thumb and make a clock-wise turn with your wrist. Without the loop in between, it is the same knot. If the loop is expected to be heavily loaded, the bowline is, in fact, not secure enough. There is a rule of thumb which states that the loose end should be as long as 12 times the circumference for the sake of safety.


The Dutch Marine Bowline / or The Cowboy Bowline

The Dutch Navy uses this variant of the bowline. And, of course, the Dutch sailor says this one is superior. The working end is not so easy pushed back by accident, they say. I think it is just a difference in culture. There is a rule of thumb which states that the loose end should be as long as 12 times the circumference for the sake of safety.




Double Figure-of-eight loop.

The double eight is a knot used by climbers. It is easy to tie and safer as the bowline. There is a discussion whether there should be a stopper at the end of the loose end or not. Speed of (un)tying is a safety factor itself. The first way of tying is equal to the way of tying the flamish eight, but now in a double rope. The 'loose-end' is the loop. This way is only applicable when the loop is 'empty' during tying. If the loop is to be tied round something (round "your waist" for instance) you first tie an eight then lay the loop and double the eight. It is important to have enough rope for the loop. It requires experience, so start practicing.


The Bowstring Knot

The Bowstring Knot is an ancient knot that is used as an eye for bowstrings. The knot is simple and strong. Once tied and pulled firmly, you do not want to untie it: you might call it a good 'tie-once' loop knot. The bowstring knot is appreciated because it is small, strong, secure, and easy to tie. It's neat because it does not have loose ends. Modern archers prefer fixed spliced loops. If the loose (cross marked) end is not secured within the loop between the bow and loop, it is wise to add a small overhand knot as stopper.

The Tucked Double Overhand

If you need a good looking and strong loop this is a good candidate. The Loose end must be at least two to three rope diameters long. But if you make the loose end inflexible with for instance glue, resch or by melting and you can hide it almost completely inside the two round turns. The "tucked double overhand" is a permanent loop. It jams badly, but that’s what it is made for.


The Butterfly or Lineman's Loop

An excellent easy to tie loop for applications needing a loop in another place than the rope-end, but somewhere in the middle. It has an excellent lead, and is secure even if the forces on both ends are stronger than the load in the loop.






The Artillery Loop

A practical and easy to tie loop for applications needing a loop in another place than the rope-end but somewhere in the middle. It is not as strong as the butterfly but is a bit faster to tie and untie. As the name already suggests it was used by the artillery (for carrying their guns over the shoulder.) Do not pull the rope too hard when the loop is not loaded. It is best used as temporary knot for carrying things. As always, work up the knot neatly!

The Pendant Hitch

A hitch to tie a pebble or a breastplate to a necklace. You have to make sure the object is secured in the loop. If you use a loop (this loop) to tie a pebble or other nice stone to a neck loop without extra (visible) support it is wise to use a leather neck loop. Make a cut in the length of the inside of the loop. Not too deep; it is only to roughen the surface to improve the grip of the knot. And last but not least..... use a good shoemakers glue. The result is surprising. The pendant hitch is closely related to the True Lovers or Fisherman's Knot.




The Scaffold knot or Gallows Knot.

The third noose is based on the Multi fold-Overhand-knot. As its second name already suggests it has a dark history. It is also used as a knot to tie angling-rods to fish line.





The Hangman's Knot.

This knot is used for the gallows-tree as well. The force to close it is adjusted better than with the gallows knot. And because it is bigger in the neck it is believed to break the neck more easy. That would make it more mercy-full as the gallows-knot which kills by strangling. The Hangman is also used as a knot to tie angles to fish line.





The Reverse Eight-noose.

This is the only 'wrong' running noose. Applications for. It to tie a package and for tying YoYo's. Experts use one loop to make it possible to let the yoyo spin on the end and to call it up with a little firm pull. The yoyo has to spin fast and the noose has to be trimmed carefully. Starters use two loops and tie it firmly.Use eventually an overhand-knot on the cross-marked ends.(This is not the best way to fasten your YoYo. If you want to use the best technique   you have to un-twine a line with two yarns and re-twine one of the yarns by doubling it with the YoYo in the middle. Free-spinning the YoYo my wear out the loop.)



The Monkey Fist

The Monkey Fist is used as an end knot for a heaving line. A heaving line is a line used for throwing from one location to another. This enables a larger line that could not be thrown over the distance to be pulled over. The most common use of a heaving line is at sea, to pull a cable to shore from a ship. A cable is not easily thrown over a distance of 10m [ ft]or more, so instead one throws a heaving line. The line is tied to the cable and when it has been received the cable can then be pulled over. To make it easier to throw one needs to connect a weight on the end of the line - usually a stone, lead-ball or a small bag of sand is connected to the end. Better still a small rope ball is tied on the end. It is neat, it will endure many tosses last long and it is easily thrown. That is what the monkey fist is was originally used for. Now it is also used as fancy knot for key-rings, necklaces and so on. The knot can be done with or without a central core (i.e. a round stone or ball bearing) to add extra weight but it is recommended to use extra loops depending on the size of the object.

The Dolly

You need to hook in the cross marked place. The force F you apply at the loose end is multiplied by (almost) 3 on the standing part. You may say it is only a rope tackle. Beware, it wears out your precious rope fast, so if you use it often it is wise to use a form of protection in the bight where the loose end is pulled through. A folded paper will do, a smooth piece of leather is much better.