As we tie, the rope gets shorter, and we want to keep on tying! A common strategy is to add a new rope at the end of the previous one. We may want to use a different techniques depending on context. Sometimes we want the fastest method, other time we’ll trade speed in order to have more control on the location for the extension.

Cow Hitch Extension

This simple method is very fast and leaves no bulk at the connection point. It requires knots at the end of the rope. These can be pre-tied, or can be added right before adding the extension.  Note that the connection can untie if you lose tension. The cow hitch is also known as Lark’s head.

Square Knot Extension

Opening the loops of a cow hitch will transform it into a square knot, this is a phenomenon called capsizing. This extension method starts the same way than the cow hitch extension but requires a few more steps. It allows for more flexibility in the location of the extension, works on any kind of rope, is more solid than the cow hitch extension but will leave a part of the tail hanging.

We’ll explore more variations of rope extension techniques in day 215

Practice Time!

Tie a single column tie and enjoy some improvisation time and keep on adding rope when you reach the end. This will help practice extending rope, and removing the extensions on the fly.

Exploration ideas:

  • Alternate the style of extension you use to drill different methods
  • How much tension do you need to keep the extension in place?
  • Shake the tie around; are there locations where the extension is at risk to untie?
  • What are the situations where you prefer one style of extension vs the other?
  • Is one side of the extension more flat on the body?
  • Can you do the extension one handed?

Inspirations and Resources

Credit:  Pictures –M/R: Ebi McKnotty R/P: AlexK7

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