The Granny Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

Chances are you have heard of the humble Granny knot! It's a general-purpose knot which is often used for tying two ends of a line together.

I suppose grannies from many generations have used it for tying up a parcel with string... 

As a child, the Granny is one of the first knots you learn. I can certainly remember using it with coarse twine or string.

Knowing your knots is particularly handy if you make your own kites at home...

The Big MBK Book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Knot Tying Illustration - The Granny Knot.
The Granny Knot - 3
The Granny Knot - 2
The Granny Knot -

Be aware that this knot does not do a great job of fastening 2 lines together. Try it - and see how the knot tends to slip through when you apply a lot of strain.

Despite being a bad choice for fixing your flying line (!), the Granny Knot does come in handy in less demanding kiting applications.

For my kite designs, I mainly use the Granny for tying a completed keel to its vertical spar. The 2 lines already have a Simple Knot tied in next to the keel's edge, so the Granny pulls the edge tightly against the vertical spar, but does not distort the keel edge.

In this situation, fixing the knots with glue is a good idea, so the keel can't shift along the vertical spar. Of course, you need to use enough glue so it contacts the spar as well as the knot itself. As a side benefit, the Granny can't come loose either.

In a keel, the flight load is shared among several lines, so a fancier stronger knot is not required. Well, I've never had one let go yet! When I say 'stronger' here I mean 'less likely to weaken the line'.

The first half of this knot is also handy for attaching shoe-lace ties to dowel. By not completing the knot, there is less of a bump to interfere with the other dowel when it is laid across and secured. A drop of glue ensures that nothing shifts.





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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.




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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