ABoK #1241 around the neck of a paper bag
|Names||Miller's knot, sack knot, bag knot|
|Related||Ground-line hitch, constrictor knot, strangle knot, clove hitch, Bottle sling|
|ABoK||#388, #389, #390, #1241, #1242, #1243, #1244, #1674, #260, #1142, #2007, #2186, #2300, #2554|
A miller's knot (also sack knot or bag 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.
Constrictor makes a fiercer binding knot, but Miller's/Bag is suitable for most applications, and is easier to tie/untie. Miller's/Bag makes a great hitch, like the similar Ground-Line. Binding usage has force emanating from inside rope ring evenly, hitch usage has force input from one side, then reducing around.
As noted above, several other distinct knots have historically been known as miller's, sack, or bag knots; namely ABOK-1241, ABOK-1242, ABOK-1243 (Ground line hitch), ABOK-1674, ABOK-11 and their slipped versions. These fit the short description "two crossing turns – ends tucked under".
The following 3 knots do not fit the simple "two crossing turns – ends tucked under" definition but are very secure:
The common aspects of the most common bag knots are two crossing turns, and both ends tucked under some turns near the crossing point. Two ends, and two turns one can tuck under, gives a limited number of alternatives. All of these knots can also be made in a slipped form by starting with a bight and/or by completing the final tuck with a bight instead of the end.
To avoid ambiguity, versions of these knots that are not slipped are pictured below with the reference numbers found in The Ashley Book of Knots .
This is to tie a Constrictor knot version of the miller's knot:
To tie the other variants:
Tying other knots that also may function very well as a bag knot but are slightly different from above descriptions:
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.
The constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots. Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot that can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened. It is made similarly to a clove hitch but with one end passed under the other, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn. The double constrictor knot is an even more robust variation that features two riding turns.
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.
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.
The trucker's hitch is a compound knot commonly used for securing loads on trucks or trailers. This general arrangement, using loops and turns in the rope itself to form a crude block and tackle, has long been used to tension lines and is known by multiple names. Knot author Geoffrey Budworth claims the knot can be traced back to the days when carters and hawkers used horse-drawn conveyances to move their wares from place to place.
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.
A Zeppelin bend is a symmetrical and inherently secure end-to-end joining knot. It is remarkable because it is stable and secure and totally resistant to jamming. It is resistant to the effects of slack shaking and cyclic loading. There is no load test that has managed to induce jamming. The structure fundamentally consists of two interlinked overhand knots (#515). The Zeppelin bend has point inversion symmetry.
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.
The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.
The buntline hitch is a knot used for attaching a rope to an object. It is formed by passing the working end around an object, then making a clove hitch around the rope's standing part, taking care that the turns of the clove hitch progress towards the object rather than away from it. Secure and easily tied, the buntline hitch will jam when subjected to extreme loads. Given the knot's propensity to jam, it is often made in slipped form.
The buntline hitch, when bent to a yard, makes a more secure knot than two half hitches, but is more liable to jam. It differs from two half hitches in that the second half hitch is inside instead of outside the first one.
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.
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.
The bottle sling is a knot which can be used to create a handle for a glass or ceramic container with a slippery narrow neck, as long as the neck widens slightly near the top.
The strangle knot is a simple binding knot. Similar to the constrictor knot, it also features an overhand knot under a riding turn. A visible difference is that the ends emerge at the outside edges, rather than between the turns as for a constrictor. This knot is a rearranged double overhand knot and makes up each half of the double fisherman's knot.
The strangle knot starts with a round turn and the end is stuck under two parts. It may be used to tie up a roll. If required, a loop may be stuck instead of the end, which makes a slipped knot that is one of the best for tying up sacks and meal bags. With one or two additional turns the strangle knot makes an excellent temporary whipping for the end 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.
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.
Swing hitch is a way to tie a swing rope to a branch or other horizontal beam. Ashley describes it in ABOK as "... firm, strong, secure, and easily untied once the load has been removed."