The Simple Knot

Variations And Applications

Since the single-strand simple knot is so simple, this is more about usage than how to tie it! The main use I find for it is to prevent fraying near a free end of kite line, in just about any situation. Of course, for nylon or polyester lines there is also the old kite-maker's trick of melting the frayed end with a flame. The gas stove lighter can come in handy for this.

The Simple Knot - Single Strand

Knot Tying Illustration - The Simple Knot.
The Simple Knot  - 32
The Simple Knot  - 2

Another handy use is to fine-tune the amount of bow in a horizontal spar. Wait, I'll explain! The MBK kite designs use fixed-length toggled bow-lines to put some curvature in horizontal spars. To increase the amount of curvature, you can put knots in the lines. One at a time, until the amount of bow is where you like it. Actually, it's surprising how much difference just one knot makes!

I tried using this knot to prevent Slip knots from pulling through, but it's not really big enough. More recently, I have been using the Double knot instead - which is much bigger but far neater-looking than the small Loop knots I used to use! As long as you don't leave too much line hanging free from the knot.

Oh yes, one more situation... The shoe-lace ties used by the kites in the Dowel Series fray really badly where cut with scissors. A tight knot near the cut end of the shoe-lace will stop the fray from getting worse. Quick, easy and effective. The specified length to make the ties takes this shortening of the tie into account.

Now, if you really want to go overboard with knot-tying...

The book Knots: The Complete Visual Guide has an amazing average review score of 5 stars from 12 reviewers - the last time I looked. If it's a more general knot-tying resource you need, this would definitely be it!

The Simple Knot - Multi-Strand

The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 1
The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 3
The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 2

The main use for the Multi Strand Simple knot in an MBK kite is tying off the lines that have been taped to either side of a plastic keel. The nice thing about a double-line knot is that you can adjust it to an exact position along the line, before you tighten it fully. It takes some practice, but it feels good when mastered!

With a little care, this is a great knot to use along the edge of the keel that touches the vertical spar of a kite. If the knot is adjusted too far one way, you'll crush the keel edge out of shape. Too far the other way, and there will be an untidy gap between the keel edge and the vertical spar when you finally attach the keel to the spar with Granny knots.

This knot is also handy at the Towing Point corner of a keel, defining the spot through which the flying line tension acts.

E-book special of the month (25% off)...

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) diameter Parasail kite. This kite performs well in gentle to moderate wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. It pulls hard for it's size, so should not be flown by very small kids!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parasail kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Diamond In 'Light Air'

    Apr 29, 17 04:43 AM

    Though overcast and nearly windless outside, there was still a chance the 1.2m Dowel Diamond would stay up...

    I selected my special light wind version, which stays rigged - saving the weight of glue an…

    Read More


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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7