The Half Knot
is a a binding knot, used primarily as the first portion of the Square (or Reef) Knot. It is also one of those “need-to-know” knots that are essential in making almost every hemp or macrame pattern out there.
Cross the two ends over each other, and then pass one end over and then under the other to make the Half Knot. Simply wrap one around the other to produce a symmetrical knot. The symmetry is important because the knot can only “bind” when tied like this. If tied in the air – it cannot bind and if it is allowed to capsize into the Half Hitch it will slip.
The first Half Knot is nearly always followed by a second half knot. It is important to remember in which way you tied the first half-knot – e.g., “Right over Left”. This is important because to correctly tie the Square (or Reef) Knot, the next Half Knot must be the opposite of the first – e.g., “Left over Right”. When the second Half Knot is a repeat of the first, it creates a Granny Knot.
Although two Half Knots make a satisfactory “Knot”, it’s use should be restricted. The more advanced Square (or Reef) knot is notorious for it’s ability to capsize and slip. It must never be used for critical loads.
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