61. Square Knots
Knots play an important part in all of our lives, whether we think about them or not. What keeps your shoes on? Most likely a knot. What keeps your kite in the sky? Why, the rope knotted to it, of course! However, there is one knot that stands out above the rest. The most special knot of all – the Square Knot.
Also called the “reef knot,” the square knot is a reliable and secure tie. Most popular with sailors, the square knot is also helpful for tying bandages. It is often used to tie up bundles, and the square knot plays an irreplaceable role in the world of macrame.
The ancient greeks called this knot the “Hercules Knot” – or, in Greek, Herakleotikon hamma. Magical.
In addition to these myriad uses, the Square Knot is the international symbol for Scouting. The Boy Scouts of America require that each boy knows how to tie a square knot in order to join the program.
But beware. The International Guild of Knot Tyers warns that “the [square] knot should never be used as a bend to join two ropes that will be under load.” Instead, a “proper bend knot” – such as a sheet bend or double fisherman’s knot – should be used. If the knot is used incorrectly, injuries – or death – can occur. Furthermore, the square knot is often confused with the Granny Knot – “a very poor knot.” So be careful.
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