Thanks to the square knot, we now have a hammock hanging in our yard between two trees. It’s pretty idyllic. Which is what we shoot for around here. Of course, you may not have a hammock, but you can still have a square knot. And how cool is that!?
The square knot starts the same way you start tying your shoes; with an overhand knot. The rest of the knot is simply a second overhand knot. The key to getting the knot right is to keep track of which end is which. You want the same end to go over both times, but the first time that end will be on the right and the second time that end will be on the left. Sneaky. It is a very distinctive knot when you’re done so you’ll know if you did it right or not. If all the parts of rope exiting the knot are sticking out in different directions, you should try again.
The reason there are so many different knots is because they are all best used for very specific uses. The square knot is a pretty common knot, but it’s often misused, and therefore you might think of it as a not very good knot. You’d be wrong. The goal of a knot is for the tension on the rope to continuously tighten the knot. In the case of a square knot, that only happens if the two ends of the rope are being pulled away from each other. So it is a great knot for making a loop of rope that will be pulled taught, such as tying up a bundle. Another bonus of the square knot is that it can be tied with two ends or one end and one middle. Apparently, the square knot is not recommended for joining two pieces of rope, you’re supposed to use a sheet bend for that. So there.