How to Make a Clew Knot

12 Parts:Getting startedFirst weaveSecond weaveThird weaveFourth weaveFifth weaveSixth weaveSeventh weaveEighth weaveNinth weaveTenth weaveFinishing up

A clew knot is a useful knot frequently used for hammock making. It is simple to do but can get a bit tricky depending on how many lengths you're handling at once, so a good numbering system can be helpful there. This article presents a clew knot using twelve half cords; you will need to adjust the measurements according to the number of cords your project requires you to work with.

Part 1
Getting started

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    Fold six lengths of cord in half. Attach to a ring, rod or other form of holder to keep in place.
    • Secure with a larks head knot.
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    Number the cords in your head. Use numbers 1 to 12 and keep the numbering system steady in your mind as you work with the cords.
    • If you can't remember the cord numbers very well, use markers such as small plastic bread tabs with the numbers written on them - slip these over the cords, then shift and remove these as needed,
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    Pull the cords apart evenly. Pull them taut to straighten. As cords are done with, you'll be tucking them off to the side when they are no longer needed.
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    Get ready to weave. Weaving goes left-to-right, then right-to-left and each set of left-to-right/right-to-left must alternate between under/over and over/under. The instructions will make this clear.

Part 2
First weave

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    Weave cord #1 from the left to right. Take it under cord #2, then over cord #3, etc. Continue this weaving motion to the other side.

Part 3
Second weave

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    Take cord #12, the first cord on the right this time. Pass it under cord #11, then over cord #10. Continue this weaving motion back to the left side, to meet back with cord #2.

Part 4
Third weave

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    Pick up cord #2 and pass it over cord #3. Weave to the right, going under cord #4 this time, etc. This is an over-under sequence, the opposite of the first and second weave rows.

Part 5
Fourth weave

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    Return the weaving to the left with cord #11. Take it over #10, then under #9, and so forth, until you get back to cord #3.

Part 6
Fifth weave

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    Weave cord #3 under cord #4 and over cord #5. Keep weaving back to the right using this sequence.

Part 7
Sixth weave

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    Weave cord #10 under cord #9 and over cord #8. Keep weaving back to the left using this sequence.

Part 8
Seventh weave

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    Weave cord #4 over cord #5 and under cord #6. Keep weaving back to the right using this sequence.

Part 9
Eighth weave

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    Weave cord #9 over cord #8 and under cord #7. Keep weaving back to the left using this sequence.

Part 10
Ninth weave

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    Weave cord #5 under cord #6 and over cord #7, then under cord #8.

Part 11
Tenth weave

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    Weave cord #8 under cord #7 and over cord #6.

Part 12
Finishing up

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    Do not weave cords #6 and #7. Pull the ends of both cords #6 and #7 to tighten the clew knot.
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    If attaching this knot as part of a hammock, the loose ends of the cords are attached in the opposite order to that in which they were woven.
    • This means that cords #6 and #7 will be attached at the center of the hammock rod or ring.
    • Attach cords #8 and #5, then cords #9 and #4.
    • Attach cords #10 and #3, then cords #11 and #2.
    • This leaves cords #12 and #1 to be attached last.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Ring, rod, or other form of holder to keep rope in place.
  • Flat surface to work upon

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Knot Tying