The Knotting Dictionary of Kännet
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Fisherman's Knot
Water Knot
Lark's head
Round Turn
Timber Hitch
Fisherman's loop
Clove Hitch
Jug Sling Hitch
Round hitch
Slippery round hitch
Pile Hitch
Two Half Hitches
Buntline Hitch
Monkey's fist
Diamond knot
Simple Simon Over
Double Simon
Simple Simon Under
Vice Versa

About Jan Korpegård

Monkey's Fist

Monkey's Fist
Frequently requested knot! Finaly I made a description on how to do it.
This is a knot primarily for decoration. For example you can have it in your key ring to impress your friends...
  1. Take a string (or thin rope) aprox. 1 meter long, and hold it as shown on the picture.
  2. Make three turns around your fingers.
  3. "Turn" in between the two fingers, and make three turns around the three previous turns. Do not tighten to much, there should be a little space in the middle.
  4. Remove your index finger from the rope. Put something hard, for example a marble, in the space inside the knot. Now put the end of the rope into the hole where your index finger used to be.
  5. Remove the other finger and let the string go throw the hole where the finger was. Continue until you have made three turns, until there are three turns here also.
Now you are almost done with the knot. Befor you finish it, you should check that there are three turns all around the knot, it is easy to miss a turn.
Start at one of the ends of the rope, and tighten the rope around the marble. Do not pull to hard, it is better to tighten two or three times, then the knot will be much more symetric.
The knot can be done with various number of turns and different thickness of the rope. All depending of how big marble you have.
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Other Languages (Show)

Reccomended Books
At (USA):
The Ashley Book of Knots
The Marlinspike Sailor
Knot Tying: Advanced Knotting (CDROM)

User Comments (Hide)
Everything in this box is submitted by other users on Internet. I take no responsibility of the information.

Submitted by: Todd
This knot has more applications than just decoration. It is used aboard sea vessels for securing lines. Some of the lines used to attach the vessel to the dock are just too big to throw to the dock workers, so a monkey fist is placed on a smaller line that is tied to the bigger line, the fist is thrown to the shore (with some respectable accuracy by the older sailors, so make sure you aren't around if you have mad one angry lately) and as the line gets pulled, it takes the bigger line with it so that it can be tied off, securing the vessel.

Have a nice day.

Submitted by: Brian
This knot is commenly used in the Navy for a "heavie". The heavie is used when ships pull into a port to cast lines across to the pier then drag the heavier mooring lines across. A good heavie will cast a line similar to a lasso over 200 feet!!

Submitted by: tmcox
you don't need a marble of course - it will happily tighten down onto itself. I have a lovely one hanging from my rucksack - I melted the ends of the rope together and then fed them through the rope so it looks like it wasn't actually tied to the bag...

Submitted by: Jon Fairhead
Actually the Monkey's Fist is a useful way of weighting the end of a line so that it can be thrown more easily and for a greater distance (a small weighted object such as a stone can be added for weight). It has also been used as a makeshift cosh.

Submitted by:
1\\\\\\\\4 inch line put large nut in middle of monkeys fist tighten makes great heaving line 50-60 feet best sash cord

Submitted by: Klaus Chung
in Chinese: µU¤lµ²

Submitted by: Scott Mills
This knot was developed primarily for throwing a line from a ship to dock or visa-versa. Basically it is designed to give the end of the line enough weight to enable throwing it a long distance.

Submitted by: S.M.
The average size of a Monkey's Fist for throwing is around 10cm or 4 inches.

Submitted by: Alain Legeay
En Français ce noeud se nomme le poing de singe ou noeud de pomme de touline.
Références le Ashley en français et le Manuel des Noeuds de G. Perry

Submitted by:
what does it look like?

Submitted by: scott
you can use a golf ball

Submitted by: justin refugia
i cant seem to get it together because i always have a big section of string hanging of the middle of the ball and i cant seem to get it to pull toghether with the rest of the monkeys fist. pleasse give some tips . thanks

Submitted by: Casey Watson
This is the most simple demo of a monkey's fist I have found. Nice work!

Submitted by: John Doe
Can any1 put a link on this page on how to make the crowned monkey fist?

Submitted by: Tony
You are right - this knot is primarily used for decoration and for showing off now. However, it used to have a valid function. I was taught the knot was tied so that there was a short length of rope left on the end, perhaps 1 or two meters (3-6 feet). This end was tied to another rope, so that the knot could be twirled around in a circle and then thrown when throwing a light line. If more weight was needed, a larger stone was put in the middle, or even a lump of lead. It probably was not much fun if you were at the other side trying to catch it, though!

Submitted by: Melanie
This isn't really for more information, I just wanted to say thank you. Someone attempted to teach me how to tie this knot at a scouting convention, but he wasn't too successful. I just wanted to let you know that I think your tutorial is excellent, and it explains things much better than the other guy. Thanks again!

Submitted by: Pip
The largest monkey's fist I made required 15 passes of cotton clothes-line around a softball (I know, my captain told me to do it).

Justin: by far the easiest part to screw up is getting one lead overriding another lead where the line goes under another set of perpendicular lines, this kind of "cross" results in you pulling the wrong line, even though it all appears right when you look at it. If you can't uncross the line, just start again.

I've also heard of this knot being tied with thicker line, cored with lead, with a three foot lanyard attached. This concoction was known as a 'lifesaver' - and if you were cornered in a bar, you'd start swinging it over your head, and any intelligent rival would realize that you're demanding a 3' swath of space. It might help you get to the door in time to break into a run.

("Lanyard" coming from "land yard" - 3 feet.)

Submitted by: Felixx1
Good clear instructions. I put cricket ball in them when I make heaving lines

Submitted by: Ikaika
Used extensively when ships were wood and men were iron. It was used by boatswains mates to grapple and secure ships broadside to broadside prior to bording. Though hampered by clouds of smoke, the sailors could then liberate their personal knots and use them as bludgeons.

Submitted by: Ron
Excellent description!

Another use... make a loop with the other end (you can tuck it back into the fist before tightening even. Then the monkey's fist can then be pushed through your belt loop to hold a Coffee Mug on your person...

Also instead of a marble etc.. you can simply (before fully tightening) tie an overhand knot on the very end and tuck it into the centre, tightening the monkey's fist around the knot.

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