Knot facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Monkey Fist HowTo
How to tie a Monkey fist knot

A knot is a fixed looping of a piece of string or rope. Knots are often used for binding things together. While a knot is often made from rope, it can also be made from many other things. In fact, a knot is actually the condition a long flexible object is in. For example, hair can be tied in a knot. The ends of balloons are tied in a knot to prevent the air from escaping.

The average person over 5 or so years of age is likely capable of tying a knot; most of these knots people tie are probably with their shoelaces. Ribbons are also tied in a knot so as to appear pretty, as when wrapped around a gift.

In addition, knots are also made by sailors in many different forms and for many different purposes. There are even people who have adopted knot-making as a hobby. There is a large variety of knots, each with properties that make it suitable for a range of tasks.

Some knots are used to attach the rope (or other knotting material) to other objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or stake. Some knots are used to bind or constrict objects. Decorative knots usually bind to themselves to produce attractive patterns.

A knot in the strictest sense serves as a stopper or knob at the end of a rope to keep that end from slipping through a grommet or eye. Knots have excited interest since ancient times for their practical uses, as well as their topological intricacy, studied in the area of mathematics known as knot theory.

Basic useful knots

Alpine butterfly loop
Alpine butterfly knot
Palstek innen
Bowline
Knot so
Double overhand knot
  • Alpine butterfly knot for a secure loop in the middle of a rope when the ends aren't free
  • Bowline for tying a loop in the end of a rope, as around one's waist or to secure a ring or grommet. The knot is also used as an anchor knot and is used in many knot systems that are used in mountainous terrain such as a highline or hauling system.
  • Constrictor knot for making bundles or cinching the neck of a sack, though this knot jams and may need to be cut
  • Figure-eight knot as a stopper
  • Grass bend for tying belts together, though insecure with ropes
  • Monkey's fist used to weight the end of a rope
  • Prusik for ascending a rope
  • Reef knot (square knot), a common but insecure binding knot for joining the ends of a piece of cordage wrapped around an object or objects
  • Sheet bend for joining the ends of two ropes, which need not be the same diameter
  • Spanish bowline used to hoist crewmen aloft or suspend them over the side
  • Versatackle for hoisting heavy loads and tightening rigging
  • Water knot for tying a knot in flat material such as nylon webbing

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Knot Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.