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Ian's Shoelace Site Knot Variations Home

All of the knots on my site were illustrated only one way - the same way
that I tie them. Whilst you are welcome to use your own variations,
this page shows how to ensure that the finished knot still ends up secure.

Typical Knot Variations
Some of the ways that you could tie your knot differently to my instructions.
A Reverse Instructions LEFT to RIGHT
Knots that are not symmetrical, such as the Standard Knot, can be reversed left to right. For example, instead of making the right lace into a loop, make the left lace into a loop. This may result in more natural movements for left handed people.
B Reverse Instructions FRONT to BACK
Most knots can be reversed this way. Any instructions such as "Put the left end over the right end" can be changed to "Pass the left end under the right end". Same goes for wrapping around the front/back or passing through a hole from the front/behind.
C Use DIFFERENT FINGERS
You may find it easier, more comfortable, or even necessary, to use different fingers than those that I describe. So long as you retain the "core" of the technique to achieve the same result, you are welcome to use whatever finger movements are best for you.

Keeping it Secure
How to tie your knot differently without making it "worse".
If you have used either Variation A or Variation B (above), you will have "reversed" your knot and made it insecure. As I discuss in more detail on my Slipping Knots Page, a secure knot depends on symmetry between the Starting Knot and Finishing Bow.

In short, if you reverse one thing, your knot ends up unsecure and will come undone.
To fix it, you need to reverse two things. Or four. Or any even number.

For example, if you use variation A to reverse your knot left to right, PLUS variation B to reverse it front to back, you will have maintained symmetry and your finished knot be just as secure as the original:
Here's the normal shoelace knot.
Standard Shoelace Knot
(1) The right lace is made into a loop.
(2) Then the left lace is wrapped
around the back of the loop
and ends up in front.
Here the knot is reversed TWICE.
Reversed Standard Shoelace Knot
(1) The left lace is made into a loop.
(2) Then the right lace is wrapped
around the front of the loop
and ends up behind.
The above example of two reversals results in a secure knot. Another example would be to reverse both your Starting Knot AND your Finishing Bow.

In summary, if you follow my instructions exactly, all of your finished knots will be secure. If you do need to reverse something, then you will have to reverse something else as well in order to re-balance the finished knot.

You can also refer to my Slipping Knots page to find out whether
your existing technique results in a secure knot or a slip knot.

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Copyright © 2004 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.



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