The Loop Knot

Variations And Applications

Any Loop knot can be used for forming a Lark's Head at the end of a flying line. Even the Simple Loop is quite strong in this application.

There are also several uses for forming loops mid-way along a line, and these are illustrated in the step-by-step photos below.

Butterfly Loop knotButterfly - the best, if you can tie it!
Butterfly Loop knotButterfly - the best, if you can tie it!

 



On this site, there's more kite-making info than you can poke a stick at :-)  Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small. Every kite in every MBK series.



The Mid-Line Loop Knot

Instead of going to the end of the line before forming the knot, you can put one in at any point along the line. It doesn't matter if both ends are connected to anything else, as long as you can pull some slack into the line.

Here are a couple of uses for this knot...

  • You can pull the tip of a small parachute through the loop - just enough to hold fast as you fly the kite up. A good shake will allow the parachute to slip free and descend back to the ground!
  • While I was doing KAP (Kite Aerial Photography), two mid-line Loop knots with a large paper-clip through each allowed me to suspend a camera cradle from the flying line. The two paper-clips acted as the pulleys for a Half-Picavet suspension line. Haven't lost a camera yet!

What other uses can you think of, for a mid-line Loop knot?



Simple Loop Knot

Simple Loop Knot - step 11. Form a loop
Simple Loop Knot - step 22. Around and over
Simple Loop Knot - step 33. Around the back and through
Simple Loop Knot - step 44. Pull tight

Now, a simple loop in the middle of a flying line is fine for small kites, where the line usually has ample strength. However, for much bigger kites, it's a good idea not to weaken the line unnecessarily. In particular, there are 3 knots which offer greater mid-line strength than the simple Loop - the Double Loop, the Figure Eight Loop and the Butterfly Loop knots.

Other uses for this knot include...

  • The bow-line loop through which you insert the toggle, to bow the spar. This applies to my Dowel Series of kites in particular.
  • A handy large knot to stop a Lark's Head from slipping off the bridle line. I put a short line with a Simple Loop at the end on just about all my kites except the Deltas.
  • A knot with a very small loop is handy to stop Slip Knots from slipping through. The loop itself doesn't do anything, but the double-size knot in the line sure holds the Slip Knot securely.

If you're in the habit of using a Truckie's Knot to pull some bow into a spar, then of course, that uses the Loop Knot as well. No need for anything fancier there.

The Dowel Sode uses 2 long loops of flying line to tension the bowed horizontal spars away from each other. The Simple Loop is adequately strong in this situation too.



Double Loop Knot

Double Loop Knot - step 11. Form a loop
Double Loop Knot - step 22. Around and over
Double Loop Knot - step 33. Around back and through - twice
Double Loop Knot - step 44. Pull tight

The Double Loop is about 5% stronger than the Simple Loop when tied midway along a line. That is, it does not weaken the breaking strain of the line as much. However, it's almost as easy to tie as the Simple version. Just wrap the loop around twice instead of once. That's it. Use this knot on the end of your flying line, so it can be attached to a kite bridle with a Lark's Head.

This knot is also worth remembering whenever you want to tie a large knot that will not pull through another knot. For example, near the towing point of a keel. Or perhaps to make completely sure a Slip Knot doesn't slip undone! In both those cases, the Double Loop looks neatest when the loop is tied as small as possible. After all, the loop itself is not being used for anything.

I guess if you are using a tent peg as a ground stake, it would be handy to just slip a loop over to hold the line. In that case, you would have a loop tied into both ends of the flying line.

A double-ended flying line would also come in handy for attaching 2 kites together in a train. If the kite closest to ground had a short line out the back, with a large knot, the line to the second kite could just be Lark's Headed on. Quick and simple.



Figure 8 Loop Knot

Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 11. Form a loop
Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 22. Around and over
Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 33. Over the back and down
Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 44. Over and through
Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 55. Adjust length if desired
Figure 8 Loop Knot - step 66. Pull tight

The Figure 8 Loop Knot is another loop variation which is about 10% stronger than the Simple Loop, when tied midway along a line. It's a fishing knot, and just a little trickier to tie.

Many kite people use this knot near the end of their flying lines, which is then Lark's Headed to a kite's bridle.

I suppose the Figure Eight could be used as a large terminating knot like the Double Loop, but the latter is much quicker and easier to do.

How about a loop tied into both ends of the flying line? Like the Double Loop, the Figure Eight could then be used for tethering a kite to a ground stake. Just by slipping the loop over, as long as the stake was shaped or angled to ensure the loop doesn't slip off.

Also, with the right bridles, flying lines with a loop knot on both ends could be used to hitch together a train of kites.



Butterfly Loop Knot

Butterfly Loop Knot - step 11. Over hand, right to left
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 22. Around the back
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 33. Around again
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 44. Back across both loops
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 55. Pick up top loop
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 66. Pull down over both strands
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 77. Poke through on finger-tip
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 88. Pick up loop
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 99. Slip knot off hand
Butterfly Loop Knot - step 1010. Tighten

This is a great knot that has tested stronger for the mid-line scenario than all the other loop knots on this page. On top of that, it is easier to untie after taking plenty of strain. Of course, this loop knot is a little trickier to tie. Poke the line through as far as you can, otherwise it tends to slip back again with every movement of your hand.

Once you have the loose knot away from your hand, it's possible to shuffle the line around a bit to get the loop bigger or smaller depending on what you need. It all comes with practice.

This knot is over-kill for doing a Lark's Head though - a Simple Loop tested quite strong for that application. A Figure-8 is slightly stronger. 


 



As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)  Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small. Every kite in every MBK series.



Get A FREE E-book!

It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamonddelta or sled step-by-step. They fly hundreds of feet up for hours on end. Woohoo!

Could you do me just a small favor though? If you're over 16, please sign up for Tethered Flying - my free monthly publication. There's...

* 3 "tips of the month" (for beginners, parents & experienced)
* A fresh "photo of the month" (+ link to big hi-res version)
* A fresh "flight report of the month" (my personal flying)
* Updates on the latest board game from my-best-kite.com

Any questions? Here's more info on both the e-book and the newsletter.





P.S. View some previous issues of the newsletter if you're curious!



Like/share this site...

Like/share this page...

Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...