Many complex hitches use the half hitch as a building block. We used it as a friction in Day 2 and combined it into a lock in Day 4. Because of its simplicity, the half hitch is a powerful tool to create structure and beautiful patterns. A series of half hitches on a limb form a quick ladder tie, and using it to change direction creates a zig-zag pattern. Looking at its use in macrame and knitting is very inspiring to create new ties.

Half Hitch

Half hitches are a great way to add structure to a tie but it requires maintained tension in order to keep its grip.

Here we are using the half hitch as described in ABOK 2490. For more knot geeking, the Ashley Book of Knots is an excellent resource to explore the different variations and combinations of this hitch and many others.

Zig Zag Strappado

A strappado is a tie that brings the two arms parallel in the back. It is also known as armbinder. This is a great way to try both the ladder structure and the zig-zag pattern.

When tying on the arms, make sure the rope is slightly loose to avoid nerve compression. For most people, this arm position will be hard to maintain, be ready to untie quickly if needed.

We’ll look into more strappado ties in Day 105.

Dreamcatcher Leg Tie

Dreamcatchers are an amazing inspiration, this Native American tradition has a huge variety of beautiful patterns to study. The classic basic pattern only uses half hitches and is quite easy to tie.

Practice Time!

Create a tie with a zig-zag or dreamcatcher pattern to drill half hitches in different directions.

Self-evaluation checklist:

  • There are no unnecessary twists in the rope
  • The rope folds in a way that makes the half hitches folded for maximum efficiency
  • Maintain equal tension across the tie. Anticipate tension change as catching a previous rope and pulling will progressively add tension

Exploration ideas:

  • Try the patterns on different body parts
  • Try the patterns on an inanimate object such as a chair or a frame
  • Compare half hitches vs just going straight (not catching on itself, for the same tie design)
  • How does the tie behave when moving the limbs after they were tied?
  • Look at different macrame and dreamcatcher patterns and try them on the body

Being Tied: Holding the Pattern – sansblague

This half hitch can be used to make shapes that look beautiful – as long as you stay in one specific position with your body. Since the pattern is made in the space between your limbs, it would be easy for you to destroy it by moving your arms closer to each other, bending them or wiggling your way out of the cuffs on your upper arms. In this case, you will need to hold still and let the situation be your bondage if you want your partner to be able to practice.

Inspirations and Resources

Coming soon!

Credit:Half hitch R/P: Ebi McKnotty. Zig zag armbinder M: Nathaniel Flumen R/P Ebi McKnotty. Dreamcatcher leg tie M/R: FreakyFerret P: Ebi McKnotty

Or return to Hitches for more options.