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How to Tie a Slip Knot
How to Tie a Slip Knot

A slip knot is a versatile knot that is commonly used in knitting, rock climbing, and to secure items. It is probably one of the most common knots and is something that is bound to help you down the road. A basic slip knot allows you to ‘slip’ the knot up and down the rope so that you can adjust it to fit around anything perfectly. The benefit of using it is that all you have to do is pull one end to untie it when you are done, but until you do, it is completely secure.

01

Grab a Rope

Learning nautical skills such as rope tying is an important part of the education of a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. Anna Clopet / Getty Images

Grab some rope or string that you can practice tying a slip knot with to start. Reading the instructions will make more sense if you are practicing each step as you go. The beauty of a slip knot is that just about every type of string will work with it. A piece of yawn, some twine, or some thin rope are all great options to practice making your slip knot with.

02

Situate the Rope

A set of rope of different sizes closeup on isolated white background. Studio Shot. Studio_Serge_Aubert / Getty Images

Before you start, grab the rope you choose and hold it with both hands. You want to leave about 12 inches between both of your hands. There is no need to be precise or measure off the distance, just eyeball it. The more room you leave between your hands, the more room you will have to work with for the more intricate aspects of the knot.

03

Create Your First Loop

Old Dirty Rope Circle Frame Isolated on White Background. Michael Burrell / Getty Images

You will start by making your first loop. To do this, bring the rope that sits in your right hand under the rope that you are holding in your left hand. The rope should cross at the bottom. Try to keep your ends even on both sides, but once again, this does not have to be meticulous.

04

Secure the Loop

Brown Western Cowboy Lasso Rope Isolated on White Background. Michael Burrell / Getty Images

You are going to need a hand free at this point for the next step of the knot, so use your left hand to hold the loop in place. Grab it at the point where the rope crosses and use your fingers to pinch it into place, so it doesn’t slide.

05

Start to Form the Knot

Close-up on three ropes and marine knots isolated on white background. Each is photographed separately. domin_domin / Getty Images

At this point, you will start to form the knot. Use your right hand and reach it through the loop. Once it is on the other side, grab the rope end that is sitting on the left side. It is important that you get the left end after the cross.

06

Pull It Out

White ship ropes connected by reef knot. On orange background Eshma / Getty Images

Now take your right hand and pull it back out of the loop with the end of the rope. Keep pulling until you are at least a few inches above the loop. Go slowly because this is one of the most intricate parts of forming the slip knot and will determine your success or your failure.

07

Form the Knot

Knotted rope on isolated white color seb_ra / Getty Images

Now release your left hand from the loop and instead use it grab the two ends that are hanging down. While doing this, keep your right hand on the loop that you pulled through with the right hand just a few minutes ago. It is important to keep both parts stable to set you up to create the knot.

08

Finish Your Knot

Tied knot on rope. Zocha_K / Getty Images

Finally, all that is left to do is create the final knot. Do this by pulling your hands away from each other slowly. You will see the knot start to form in the middle of the rope. You will want to twist your right hand clockwise as you pull the rope because this will help to tighten the knot that is in the middle.

09

Loosen the Knot

bright orange climbing rope with knots in the hands of a child in green t shirt Valery Ambartsumian / Getty Images

Eventually, you will want to loosen the knot and remove the rope from whatever you were using it for. When this time comes, simply pull one of the ends of the rope. This will allow the rope from the loop to slip back through and result in the knot coming undone in seconds. If you want to practice again, go ahead and loosen your knot and then repeat the steps.

10

Tryout Your Slip Knot in Real Life

geogif / Getty Images

At this point, you should be pretty good at tying a slip knot, so now it is up to you to actually apply your knowledge. A great way to practice is by tying the slip knot around the base of a tree; this will help you see how to actually place the knot around things, instead of just creating the knot in your hands.

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