The Clove Hitch.

It sounds like a proper knot doesn’t it? It sounds complicated. You’d think that someone who could tie a clove hitch would be a real expert on knots.

Well none of that is true: a Clove Hitch is a very simple knot. Basically it consists of a rope/string being wrapped round an object twice, the first time over itself and the second time underneath. If you follow the diagrams you’ll see what I mean. If tied to a solid object the Clove Hitch is a strong knot, providing it’s only subject to a straight pull. But if there is movement in either the object or the pull then it can come away.

To demonstrate what I mean tie a piece of string around a pencil with this knot. Then pull on the string, whilst at the same time turning the pencil towards you. The knot will “roll”. It’s still a good knot though, it just has to be used in the right situation.

As you may have noticed in my previous post on learning knots I like ones where they can be slightly changed and you get another knot for another purpose. There are two simple adaptations that can be made to the Clove Hitch.

Firstly by making a loop to tuck under on the second turn creates a Slippery Clove Hitch, so called because it will released by a tug on the loose end. it’s good for guying apparently – will have to see.

The next adaptation is one that Little Boots has designated as “cool”, though I think that that is largely down to its name the Constrictor Knot, rather than its qualities as a very strong knot. It is very simply tied as a Clove Hitch and then the free end is tied over and then under the first turn. When pulled tight this locks it down on itself.

This is, I think, a knot really worth knowing.