Single carrick bend

Last updated
One of many 'single carrick' bends
Single carrick bend.JPG
Category Bend
Related Carrick bend
Typical use Large rope

The name single carrick bend has been used and even recommended by many different people to refer to different knots with a similar general form to the carrick bend. All of these knots are weaker and less secure for the purpose of a bend which is the connection of two rope ends. Several have other properties which make them desirable for specific uses.

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.

Carrick bend

The carrick bend is a knot used for joining two lines. It is particularly appropriate for very heavy rope or cable that is too large and stiff to be easily formed into other common bends. It will not jam even after carrying a significant load or being soaked with water. As with many other members of the basket weave knot family, the carrick bend's aesthetically pleasing interwoven and symmetrical shape has also made it popular for decorative purposes.

Knots carrying the name single carrick bend can be characterised as being able to be arranged flat so that they look the same as the carrick bend except for variations in which ropes go under which at the intersections.

Knots which have been called single carrick bend in various knotting books include the reef knot, the sheet bend, the granny knot, the thief knot, and even several arrangements that fail to form a knot at all, and simply fall apart. [1]

Reef knot type of knot

The reef knot, or square knot, is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is sometimes also referred to as a Hercules knot. The knot is formed by tying a left-handed overhand knot and then a right-handed overhand knot, or vice versa. A common mnemonic for this procedure is "right over left; left over right", which is often appended with the rhyming suffix "... makes a knot both tidy and tight". Two consecutive overhands of the same handedness will make a granny knot. The working ends of the reef knot must emerge both at the top or both at the bottom, otherwise a thief knot results.

The reef knot or square knot consists of two half knots, one left and one right, one being tied on top of the other, and either being tied first...The reef knot is unique in that it may be tied and tightened with both ends. It is universally used for parcels, rolls and bundles. At sea it is always employed in reefing and furling sails and stopping clothes for drying. But under no circumstances should it ever be tied as a bend, for if tied with two ends of unequal size, or if one end is stiffer or smoother than the other, the knot is almost bound to spill. Except for its true purpose of binding it is a knot to be shunned.

Sheet bend bend knot

The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.

Granny knot

The granny knot is a binding knot, used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is considered inferior to the reef knot, which it superficially resembles. Neither of these knots should be used as a bend knot for attaching two ropes together.

The granny knot is also called the false, lubber's, calf, and booby knot. Patterson's Nautical Encyclopedia calls it "old granny knot" and Sir Edwin Arnold calls it the "common or garden knot." The name granny is given in Vocabulary of Sea Phrases and Roding pictures the knot in 1795.

The granny consists of two identical half knots, one tied on top of the other. It has but one practical purpose that I know of and that is to serve as a surgeon's knot. Formerly it was employed for tying up parcels in five-and-ten-cent stores, but the practice was given up and paper bags substituted as they were found to be simpler.

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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.

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.

Carrick mat

The carrick mat is a flat woven decorative knot which can be used as a mat or pad. Its name is based on the mat's decorative-type carrick bend with the ends connected together, forming an endless knot. A larger form, called the prolong knot, is made by expanding the basic carrick mat by extending, twisting, and overlapping its outer bights, then weaving the free ends through them. This process may be repeated to produce an arbitrarily long mat.

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.

Grief knot

A grief knot is a knot which combines the features of a granny knot and a thief knot, producing a result which is not generally useful for working purposes. The word grief does not carry its usual meaning but is a blend of granny and thief.

Diamond knot

The diamond knot is a knot for forming a decorative loop on the end of a cord such as on a lanyard. A similar knot, also called the diamond knot, is a multistrand stopper knot, that is similar in appearance. To avoid confusion, it is advisable to call this knot the knife lanyard knot. This knot is a four strand diamond knot implemented in two strands. The knife lanyard knot is, "tied alike," the Chinese button knot, "but they are worked differently."

The sailor's knife lanyard knot, also called marling-spike lanyard knot, single-strand diamond knot, two-strand diamond knot, and Bosun's whistle knot.

Offset overhand bend

The offset overhand bend is a knot used to join two ropes together. The offset overhand bend is formed by holding two rope ends next to each other and tying an overhand knot in them as if they were a single line. Due to its common use in several fields, this bend has become known by many names, such as thumb knot, openhand knot, one-sided overhand knot or flat overhand bend (FOB), though the terms "one-sided" and "flat" are considered incorrect.

Water knot A knot frequently used in climbing for joining two ends of webbing together.

The water knot is a knot frequently used in climbing for joining two ends of webbing together, for instance when making a sling.

<i>The Ashley Book of Knots</i> book

The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedia of knots written and illustrated by the American artist Clifford W. Ashley. First published in 1944, it was the culmination of over 11 years of work. The book contains exactly 3854 numbered entries and an estimated 7000 illustrations. The entries include knot instructions, uses, and some histories, categorized by type or function. It remains one of the most important and comprehensive books on knots.

Ashleys bend

Ashley's bend is a knot used to securely join the ends of two ropes together. It is similar to several related bend knots which consist of two interlocking overhand knots, and in particular the alpine butterfly bend. These related bends differ by the way the two constituent overhand knots are interlocked.

Basket weave knot

The basket weave knots are a family of bend and lanyard knots with a regular pattern of over–one, under–one. All of these knots are rectangular and lie in a plane. They are named after plait-woven baskets, which have a similar appearance.

Carrick bend loop

Carrick bend loop or Carrick loop is a knot used to make a reliable and stable loop at the end of a rope formed by the tail turned around and attached to the main part using a carrick bend.

Chinese button knot

Chinese button knot is essentially a diamond knot where the lanyard loop is shortened to a minimum, i.e. tightened to the knot itself. There emerges therefore only two lines next to each other from the knot: the beginning and the end. The knot has traditionally been used as a button on clothes in Asia, thus the name.

The Chinese Button Knot is worn throughout China on underwear and night clothes. Buttons of this sort are more comfortable to lie on and to rest against than common bone and composition buttons, and they cannot be broken even by the laundry.

A Chinese tailor ties the knot without guide, flat on his table. But one may be more quickly and easily tied in hand by a modification of the sailor’s method of tying his knife lanyard knot (#787). The two knots are tied alike, but they are worked differently.


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