These pages are intended to show some of my favorite variations on basic knots that make them 'better'.
The first variation on a sheet bend is one that
I call a 'locking sheet bend'. I have also seen
it referred to as a 'weavers knot'.
Figure 1. Simple sheet bend Figure 2. Locking sheet bend
The advantage of the locking sheet bend is that it is more secure and both free ends are running the same direction.
Figure 3. Simple sheet bend Figure 4. Double sheet bend
The advantage of the double sheet bend is that it more securely holds the bight (loop) in the larger rope.
Figure 5 shows another way to start a double sheet bend. Finish the same as the double sheet bend. Figure 6 shows the finished knot.
Figure 5. Another start for double sheet bend Figure 6. Another double sheet bend
Figure 7. Tying a slipped sheet bend Figure 8. Slipped sheet bend
The advantage of the slipped sheet bend is that it is just as secure as a regular sheet bend, but can undone by pulling on the free end shown in figure 8.
The first variation on a bowline is called a French bowline.
Figure 9. Starting a French bowline Figure 10. Tying a French bowline
After forming the two loops, finish, like a simple bowline, by going around the running (long) end and back through the hole shown in figure 10.
After forming the knot, tighten by pulling on the rope ends as shown in figure 11.
Figure 11. Tightening a French bowline
The advantage of the French bowline is the two non-slip loops that form a secure, no-hands-needed seat in the end of the rope.
Figure 12 shows how the two-hole bowline starts with two holes for the running end of the rope to pass through to form the non-slip loop. Finish, like a simple bowline, by going around the running (long) end, but make sure to go back through both holes as shown in figure 13.
Figure 12. Starting a two-hole bowline Figure 13. Tying a two-hole bowline
Figure 14 shows a finished two-hole bowline.
Figure 14. Finished two-hole bowline
The advantage of the two-hole bowline is that it is more secure than a simple bowline. It is used by some rock climbers to secure a belaying rope to their harness because, after a load has been placed on it, it is easier to untie than the traced figure-eight knot that is commonly used.
Another variation is to use the two-hole starting with the French bowline to make it even more secure.
Any bowline can be locked by tying the free end of the rope around the non-slip loop using one or more half hitches. Figure 15 shows a locking two-hole bowline.
Figure 15. Locking bowline
The locking bowline makes any bowline even more secure and is especially useful with slippery ropes.
The first variation on a slipknot is called a bowstring knot.
Starting with a simple slip knot, thread the free end as shown in figure 16. Tighten by pulling carefully and evenly as shown in figure 17 to maintain the shape of the knot.
Figure 16. Tying a bowstring knot Figure 17. Bowstring knot
The bowstring knot forms a very secure loop in the end of the
rope and the free end is tucked neatly inside the loop.
This knot can be tied more easily than a bowline in very thick rope and will
not slide even in very thick, slippery rope.
The Hanson knot is a simple variation on the bowstring knot. To tie the this knot, take the free end back under the loop as shown in figure 18 and tighten. Figure 19 is a finished Hanson knot.
Figure 18. Tying a Hanson knot Figure 19. Hanson knot
If a heavy load is placed on the bowstring knot, it can be
very difficult to untie. The Hanson knot is easier to
untie than a bowstring, even after heavy loads.