At some point, it’s time to let go off the rope and this is when more specialized knots will come in handy to tie everything in place. You may want to use a lock when finishing the tie, or just to secure a part of the tie before moving to something else. This is particularly useful before starting something that risk losing tension.

Clove Hitch

Sailors have a long history of using many different knots, and it seems the clove hitch is a very common methods to lock lines on a boat. It is a very fast way to tie a rope in place, efficient, not the most secure, but easy to remember.

Crossed-Leg Pose

Binding the ankles and then crossing to the waist in a sitting position is a classic and is a great way to practice locking the rope in place. This is often referred to by the Japanese name agura shibari 胡座縛り.

Here we are using a variant of the clove hitch called two half-hitches. It is the same knot form than the clove hitch, but tied on it’s own standing end, making it a bit more secure.

Practice Time!

Using the crossed-leg tie pose or any other tie, try to find the most efficient way to lock a tie in place.

Self-evaluation checklist:

  • There are no unnecessary twists in the rope
  • The rope folds in a way that makes the lock compacted for maximum efficiency
  • Can the lock slide or move? Is that a problem?

Exploration ideas

  • Play with different location of lock. What feels the most secure?
  • How fast can you tie it?
  • How fast can you untie it?
  • The lock can become difficult to untie when under a lot of pressure, pull on one end and try to untie it at the same time.
  • How is the regular clove hitch different than the two half-hitches variant?
  • How much space do you need between the change of direction and the first half hitch of the two half-hitches knot? Enough so it remains easy to tie. Not too much so it is secured enough.
  • How do you use the rest of the rope after a lock?
  • Do you know other knots that can be used to lock the tie in place?

Inspirations and Resources

Credit: Clove hitch pictures – R/P: Ebi McKnotty Cross-leg pose pictures -M/R:Ebi McKnotty P: AlexK7

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