How to Tie a Slipknot


The slipknot is used for everything from tying a horse's lead rope to a tree branch to creating that very first stitch in what will one day be an intricately knit afghan. Crochet and macrame projects also make frequent use of the humble slipknot. Its versatility begins with its ease of construction and ends with its myriad uses -- including rock climbing. By carefully following a few short steps, you can generate a slipknot out of a length of anything from thin crochet thread to a thick hunk of rope. Begin by practicing on a 24-inch length of yarn or twine.

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn or twine, at least 24 inches long

Tying a Slipknot

  • Hold the length of yarn in your dominant hand with your pointer finger and thumb, leaving about a 14-inch tail hanging from your dominant hand and the remainder of the yarn dangling over the top of your pointer finger. For now, ignore the 14-inch tail and focus on the dangling length.

  • Form a loop from the dangling yarn with your nondominant hand by folding about 4 inches of yarn in half. Transfer the loop to the dominant hand pointer finger and thumb that are still pinching the original piece of yarn. You'll still have about 6 inches of dangling yarn to work with.

  • Take the remaining 6-inch piece of yarn with your nondominant hand. Rap it halfway around the loop, from front to back, right to left.

  • Create another loop by pulling a doubled stretch of the 6-inch yarn through the first loop. Use the pointer finger and thumb of your nondominant hand to manage this second loop. Make sure to leave a tail of yarn from this second loop. This tail will dangle from the back of the first loop.

  • Loosen your dominant hand hold on the yarn -- hanging now onto the 14-inch span -- and gently pull the new loop through the first loop until the first tightens and secures the second. The magic of the slipknot is that now by firmly pulling on the remaining short yarn tail the knot comes undone.

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