Chain sinnet

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Chain sinnet
Names Chain sinnet, chain sennit, chain shortening, chain stitch, chain braid, caterpillar sinnet, crochet stitch, daisy chain, monkey braid, single trumpet cord, single bugle cord
Releasing Non-jamming
Typical use Shortening rope or cable for use or stowing
ABoK #1144, #1145, #2868

A chain sinnet (or chain sennit) is a method of shortening a rope or other cable while in use or for storage. It is formed by making a series of simple crochet-like stitches in the line. [1] It can also reduce tangling while a rope is being washed in a washing machine.

Rope linear collection of plies, yarns or strands which are twisted or braided together

A rope is a group of yarns, plies, fibers or strands that are twisted or braided together into a larger and stronger form. Ropes have tensile strength and so can be used for dragging and lifting. Rope is thicker and stronger than similarly constructed cord, string, and twine.

Wire rope rope made from wire

Wire rope is several strands of metal wire twisted into a helix forming a composite "rope", in a pattern known as "laid rope". Larger diameter wire rope consists of multiple strands of such laid rope in a pattern known as "cable laid".

Crochet technique of creating lace or fabric from thread using a hook

Crochet is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning 'small hook'. These are made of materials such as metal, wood, or plastic and are manufactured commercially and produced in artisan workshops. The salient difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before the next one is begun, while knitting keeps a large number of stitches open at a time.



Tying steps two and three in progress Chain-sinnet-making-ABOK-1144.jpg
Tying steps two and three in progress

To tie:

  1. Create a loop in the rope. Then pull a bight of the working part through the loop, creating an overhand noose knot.
  2. Pull another bight of the working part through the loop of the previous stitch.
  3. Tighten the stitch to the desired degree by pulling on the both sides of the loop. Adjust the loop by pulling on the working end to keep it a reasonable size.
  4. Repeat steps 2–3 until the rope has been sufficiently shortened.
  5. To lock the sinnet, pass the working end through the final loop.

To restore the rope to its original length, pull the end passed in the last step back through the final loop and pull on the free end. The sinnet will quickly unravel.

As an alternative for long ropes the rope can be doubled one or more times before chaining. All one needs to do is keep hold of one end and feed through out of the pile of rope to the other end, then start from the two conjoined ends, or then keep hold of the two ends, and feed back to the middle and then start chaining. This can be done in confined spaces or dangling in mid-air if need be, and is a common way to manage caving ropes without introducing troublesome twist.

See also

Chain stitch embroidery stitch made by looping yarn under the needle to form simple or complex chains, with many variations

Chain stitch is a sewing and embroidery technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Chain stitch is an ancient craft – examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period. Handmade chain stitch embroidery does not require that the needle pass through more than one layer of fabric. For this reason the stitch is an effective surface embellishment near seams on finished fabric. Because chain stitches can form flowing, curved lines, they are used in many surface embroidery styles that mimic "drawing" in thread.

Sennit cordage made by plaiting strands of hemp/grass

Sennit is a type of cordage made by plaiting strands of dried fibre or grass. It can be used ornamentally in crafts, like a kind of macrame, or to make straw hats. Sennit is an important material in the cultures of Oceania, where it is used in traditional architecture, boat building, fishing and as an ornamentation.

Sling (climbing equipment) item of climbing equipment consisting of a tied or sewn loop of webbing

A sling or runner is an item of climbing equipment consisting of a tied or sewn loop of webbing. These can be wrapped around sections of rock, hitched to other pieces of equipment, or tied directly to a tensioned line using a Prusik style knot. They may be used as anchors, to extend an anchor to reduce rope drag, in anchor equalization, or to climb a rope.

Related Research Articles

Knot method of fastening or securing linear material, such as rope, by tying or interweaving

A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be useful or decorative. Practical knots may be classified as hitches, bends, splices, or knots. A hitch fastens a rope to another object; a bend unites two rope ends; a splice is a multi-strand bend or loop. 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.

Bowline type of knot

The bowline is an ancient and simple knot used to form a fixed "eye" at the end of a rope. It has the virtues of being both easy to tie and untie; most notably, it is easy to untie after being subjected to a load. The bowline is sometimes referred to as King of the knots because of its importance. Along with the sheet bend and the clove hitch, the bowline is often considered one of the most essential knots.

Millers knot

A miller's knot is a binding knot used to secure the opening of a sack or bag. Historically, large sacks often contained grains; thus the association of these knots with the miller's trade. Several knots are known interchangeably by these three names.

Sheepshank knot

A shank is a type of knot that is used to shorten a rope or take up slack, such as the sheepshank. The sheepshank knot is not stable. It will fall apart under too much load or too little load.

Clove hitch type of knot

The clove hitch is a type of knot. Along with the bowline and the sheet bend, it is often considered one of the most important knots and is commonly referred to as a Double Hitch. A clove hitch is two successive half-hitches around an object. It is most effectively used as a crossing knot. It can be used as a binding knot, but is not particularly secure in that role. A clove hitch made around the rope's own standing part is known as either two half-hitches or buntline hitch, depending on whether the turns of the clove hitch progress away from or towards the hitched object.

Although the name clove hitch is given by Falconer in his Dictionary of 1769, the knot is much older, having been tied in ratlines at least as early as the first quarter of the sixteenth century. This is shown in early sculpture and paintings. A round turn is taken with the ratline and then a hitch is added below. The forward end is always the first to be made fast.

The difference between two half hitches and the clove hitch is that the former, after a single turn around a spar, is made fast around its own standing part, while the latter is tied directly around the spar.

Marlinespike hitch

The marlinespike hitch is a temporary knot used to attach a rod to a rope in order to form a handle. This allows more tension than could be produced comfortably by gripping the rope with the hands alone. It is useful when tightening knots and for other purposes in ropework.

Figure-eight knot type of stopper knot used in sailing and climbing

The figure-eight knot or figure-of-eight knot is a type of stopper knot. It is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices. Like the overhand knot, which will jam under strain, often requiring the rope to be cut, the figure-of-eight will also jam, but is usually more easily undone than the overhand knot.

The figure-eight or figure-of-eight knot is also called the Flemish knot. The name figure-of-eight knot appears in Lever's Sheet Anchor; or, a Key to Rigging. The word "of" is nowadays usually omitted. The knot is the sailor's common single-strand stopper knot and is tied in the ends of tackle falls and running rigging, unless the latter is fitted with monkey's tails. It is used about ship wherever a temporary stopper knot is required. The figure-eight is much easier to untie than the overhand, it does not have the same tendency to jam and so injure the fiber, and is larger, stronger, and equally secure.

A whipping knot or whipping is a binding of marline twine or whipcord around the end of a rope to prevent its natural tendency to fray. The whipping can be made neat and permanent by tying it off or sewing the ends of the twine through the rope. According to The Ashley Book of Knots, "The purpose of a whipping is to prevent the end of a rope from fraying...A whipping should be, in width, about equal to the diameter of the rope on which it is put...[Two sailmaker's whippings], a short distance apart, are put in the ends of every reef point, where the constant "whipping" against the sail makes the wear excessive; this is said to be the source of the name whipping." The other type of stopping knot is a seizing knot.

Zeppelin bend bend knot

A Zeppelin bend is a general-purpose bend knot. It is a secure, easily tied, and jam-resistant way to connect two ropes. Though its simplicity and security may be matched by other bends, it is unique in the ease with which it is untied, even after heavy loading, by pulling the opposing bridges away from each other.

Slip knot

The slip knot is a stopper knot which is easily undone by pulling the tail. The slip knot is related to the running knot, which will release when the standing end is pulled. Both knots are identical and are composed of a slipped overhand knot, where a bight allows the knot be released by pulling on an end; the working end for a slip knot, and the standing end for a running knot. The slip knot is used as a starting point for crochet and knitting.

The slip knot is a stopper knot that may be spilled or slipped instantly by pulling on the end to withdraw a loop. There is but one knot entitled to the name; any others having a similar feature are merely "slipped" knots.

Cats paw (knot) hitch knot

The Cat's paw is a knot used for connecting a rope to an object. It is very similar to the cow hitch except there is an additional twist on each side of the bight, making it less prone to slipping.

The cat's-paw is the common hook hitch for slings. It is the same basic form as the bale sling hitch but has additional twists. Brady says "two or three altogether," and Steel, who mentioned the name in 1794, says "three twists." It is the best of all sling hitches and is often recommended for a slippery rope. But no hitch can slip when tied in a slings since it has no ends. All that is needed is a hitch that cannot jam, and this requirement the cat's-paw fills admirably. The knot spills instantly when removed from the hook. It is the hitch always used for heavy lifts.

Triple bowline

The triple bowline knot is a variation of the bowline knot. The knot can be applied to emergency situations, such as mountain rescue.


A Prusik is a friction hitch or knot used to attach a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, ziplining, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik". More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope. The word is often misspelled as Prussik, Prussick or Prussic, as it is a homophone with the term prussic acid.

Halter hitch

The halter hitch is a type of knot used to connect a rope to an object. As the name implies, an animal's lead rope, attached to its halter, may be tied to a post or hitching rail with this knot. The benefit of the halter hitch is that it can be easily released by pulling on one end of the rope, even if it is under tension. Some sources show the knot being finished with the free end running through the slipped loop to prevent it from working loose or being untied by a clever animal, still allowing easy but not instant untying.

Falconers knot

The falconer's knot is a knot used in falconry to tether a bird of prey to a perch. Some sources show this knot to be identical to the halter hitch, but with a specific method of single-handed tying needed when the other hand is occupied holding the bird.

Bight (knot) curved section or slack part between the two ends of a rope

In knot tying, a bight is a curved section or slack part between the two ends of a rope, string, or yarn. A knot that can be tied using only the bight of a rope, without access to the ends, is described as in the bight. The term "bight" is also used in a more specific way when describing Turk's head knots, indicating how many repetitions of braiding are made in the circuit of a given knot.

Trident loop

The trident loop is a fixed loop knot which can jam when heavily loaded. It was proposed as a replacement for the figure-of-eight loop for use in climbing by Robert M. Wolfe, MD, who developed it as a loop form of Ashley's bend. While some tests indicate its strength lies somewhere between the weaker Bowline and stronger figure-of-eight loop, the trident loop shows exceptional resistance to slipping in shock-loading tests.

Coiling A method for storing rope or cable in compact yet easily attainable form

A coiling or coil is a curve, helix, or spiral used for storing rope or cable in compact and reliable yet easily attainable form. They are often discussed with knots.

Rope are often coiled and hung up in lofts for storage. They are also hung over stakes in farm wagons and on hooks in moving vans, fire apparatus and linesmen's repair trucks. For such active storage coils must be well made.


  1. Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots (New York: Doubleday, 1944), 209.